May 29, 2017
Steve Lurie's letter to the Globe and Mail in reference to the article, " Hospital overcrowding has become the norm in Ontario, figures show," published May 21, 2017
The reason that hospitals like LHSC have psychiatric bed occupancy rates well over 100% is that we have failed to design the system to focus on early intervention and rapid access to services. For example Hamilton, which has had psychiatric services integrated with primary health care for over 25 years, is able to ensure rapid access to mental health care and avoid sending people to hospital because no other option exists. We need to scale up shared care programs like Hamilton has and increase access to psychotherapy. The Ontario government should outline their plans for this now. Increasing hospital funding but not adding substantially to increasing community capacity is a step in the wrong direction.
To read the article click Here
May 17, 2017
Steve Lurie, tireless mental health advocate, accepts insignia and is invested to the Order of Canada
(Friday, May 12, 2017, Toronto) – Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario would like to congratulate Steve Lurie, Executive Director of the CMHA Toronto Branch, on his appointment as a Member of the Order of Canada.
January 18, 2017
BELL LET’S TALK
CMHA Toronto congratulates Bell for its continued commitment and efforts to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and change people’s behaviours and attitudes about mental health in communities across Canada.
Since its launch in 2010, Bell’s Let’s Talk awareness campaign has engaged Canadians in the dialogue around mental health. On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell contributes 5 cents for every text message and long distance call sent by its customers to mental health related initiatives. In addition to phone and text, the general public are encouraged to engage in a dialogue about mental health through social media and access information about Bell Let’s Talk.
CMHA has identified the elimination of stigma and the reduction of discrimination experienced by people with mental illness as one of its top priority areas. Bell’s campaign encourages people to “start the conversation” about mental health with friends, family and co-workers. Simply talking makes a significant impact in breaking down the stigma attached to mental illness and helps individuals realize the importance of not only improving but maintaining their mental health.
For more information on Bell Let’s Talk, go to: http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/
January 3, 2017
Steve Lurie's letter to the Globe and Mail published Dec 16, 2016 in response to the article, "Health spending fails to keep pace with inflation, population growth"
A 10-year deal on health care would benefit provinces and all Canadians – but there must be targeted money for mental-health services, which did not receive adequate funding in the last accord.
A recent report prepared for the Ontario government shows an annual $1.5-billion shortfall in mental-health services based on disease burden.
As the Parliamentary Budget Officer has pointed out numerous times, without an agreement on funding, the federal share of health funding will decline from 21 per cent to 9 per cent by 2024. A small investment of $87 per Canadian over 10 years would improve access to mental-health care, which has not received sufficient funding from provincial governments.
In Toronto alone, more than 12,000 people are on the list for supportive housing, with waits up to seven years; almost 2,000 people are waiting for intensive case management services post discharge from hospital.
Cuts to health spending if no agreement is reached will make access to mental-health services more difficult when we should be improving care for the one in five Canadians who experience mental illness each year.
To read the article click Here
December 1, 2016
Help a child celebrate the season through our Holiday Gift Program
It’s been over 60 years since CMHA Toronto began the Holiday Gift Program for those living with mental health issues who are isolated during the holidays. After all these years we continue to buy gifts, have hundreds of volunteers put them together with care, and send front-line workers to deliver them to those in need. Decades later we are still making a difference in people’s lives by warming their hearts at the time of year they need it most. After all these years, however, the need is still there.
With your support the Holiday Gift Program will reach more individuals this year who are in need of kindness during the holidays.
Learn more about the holiday donation program.
October 28, 2016
CMHA Toronto seeks help to find a missing person
(Oct. 28, Toronto) – The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Toronto Branch is looking for the public’s help to find a longtime client who has gone missing.
Gary Weese, 64, has been a familiar face at and a regular, reliable client of CMHA Toronto for more than 15 years. As a person with lived experience of a mental illness, Weese has steadfastly attended the branch office twice a week for services. He has only missed a counselling session a handful of times since 2001.
Weese was last seen in the Neilson Road and Ellesmere Road area on Sept. 25 at 4:30 p.m. He had been to a doctor’s appointment.
“Gary is a very responsible person and has always called to let us know if he’s going to miss or reschedule an appointment,” said Oliver Bucknor, Weese’s longtime case manager at CMHA Toronto. “We and his family are extremely worried and want him home safe.”
Weese takes medication to help with his mental illness and lives independently. There are no signs he has returned home since he was last seen on Sept. 25.
Weese is described as average build, 5-foot-5, 180 pounds and bald. He was last seen wearing black track pants, blue golf shirt and black shoes.
A photo of Weese is attached.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-4300, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637)
For more information or to arrange an interview with Weese’s family or case manager, contact:
Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
416-977-5580 ext. 4141