National Network for Mental Health is commited to people with disabilities


Some former fighters suffer mental illness, addiction and physical and emotional pain

Sensitive emails between NHL brass have revealed a league struggling to figure out the future of fighting amid mounting concern over concussions and addictions. They have also given new ammunition to critics who say fighting should be banned outright from the game.

The emails were among hundreds of documents unsealed by a U.S. federal court this week, part of an ongoing class-action suit against the NHL.

In the exchanges, top league officials discuss the connection between fighting, mental health struggles and what one executive calls “personal tragedies.” Continue reading

One year ago today a national student mental health initiative was born. The Lucas Fiorella Friendship Bench, also known as #YellowIsForHello, was launched in response to the alarming rate of mental health issues and suicides among Canadian secondary and post-secondary students. Press Release (04/20/2016) – Suicide is now the second-leading cause of death among Canadians aged 15 – 34, according to statistics provided by the University of Guelph. That does not include the number of students who have considered suicide or who have dropped out due to depression or other mental health-related issues. Those statistics have a deeply personal meaning for Friendship Bench co-founder Sam Fiorella, whose son Lucas died by suicide in 2014. Hoping to raise awareness of mental health issues and prevent future tragedies, Fiorella and his friends launched #YellowIsForHello on April 21, 2015, Lucas’ birthday. Continue reading

An apparent spike in mental health issues in teens in Hamilton is an alarming problem, one that not only threatens the lives of our youth, but the future prosperity of our city.

As The Spectator’s Joanna Frketich reported, police calls for teens with mental health issues are rapidly rising, with police now responding to more than one mental health crisis a day in kids aged 12 to 17.

Keep in mind that police are typically the last line of defence, so in most cases, police would be called in when a child is in such desperate need of help that no other intervention has been effective. In short, the child is at the end of his or her rope. Continue reading

Eleven people tried taking their own lives on Saturday. This is a catastrophe that Canada should have seen coming

The Attawapiskat First Nation, or the people of the parting rocks, as they are known in their indigenous Swampy Cree language, number roughly 2,000 souls. They live on a small Indian reserve 600 miles north of the Canadian capital of Ottawa, at the mouth of James Bay’s Attawapiskat River. This subarctic First Nation declared a state of emergency after 11 community members tried to take their own lives Saturday night.

Since last September, more than 100 Attawapiskat people have attempted suicide in what local MP Charlie Angus has described as a “rolling nightmare” of a winter. The ghastly toll reveals a grim reality with which a nation in the midst of a process of truth and reconciliation now must reckon. Continue reading

Calgary man Daman Parmar created app after battling depression and suicidal thoughts

Inspired by his own struggle with depression, a Calgary man has created a new social media app meant to connect, encourage and support individuals struggling through mental illness.

The app is meant to be an alternative to other platforms like Facebook or Instagram, where people often feel pressured to present a perfect exterior, said creator Daman Parmar.

“It’s a stigma attached to mental illness. What is that other person going to say about me?” Parmar said. Continue reading

Laura Eggertson, Ottawa

Investing in youth suicide-prevention programs in 25 Canadian communities over the next five years could save 127 lives and more than $200 million annually, a spokesman for a national mental health charity told the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.

Partners for Mental Health, a nongovernmental organization that spun out of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, is urging the Liberal government to create a $100-million youth suicide-prevention fund in its upcoming budget. Continue reading

Erin Blakemore, Special to The Washington Post

Suicide and brain injury have long been linked by scientists, but just how many people who have had a brain injury end up committing suicide? A new study has a grim answer: It found that the longterm risk of suicide increases three-fold among adults who have had concussions.

That’s the conclusion of a team of Canadian researchers who studied a health insurance database of more than 235,000 people. Their work was recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Rather than focus on athletes or people who were hospitalized for days or weeks after head injuries, they looked at ordinary people who had concussions but did not sustain severe brain injury. The researchers matched those whose official death certificates listed suicide with their medical history over a 20-year period. They found a suicide rate of 31 deaths per 100,000 patients — three times the population norm. The mean time between a mild concussion and suicide was 5.7 years, and each additional concussion raised suicide risk. Continue reading

At least four paramedics and four police officers have killed themselves this year across Canada. And those are just the ones we know about.

“These are the suicides that have been reported to us that we are able to confirm,” says Vince Savoia, founder and executive director of The Tema Conter Memorial Trust.

Toronto Police Const. Darius Garda’s body was pulled from Lake Ontario Thursday, the third death of an Ontario first responder over five days.

A police source told Global News Garda had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder ever since he was involved in the April 19, 2010 shooting at the foot of Cherry and Commissioners Streets — nearby where Garda’s body was found. Continue reading

“There is a very bright light at the end of the tunnel for many suicidal individuals,” says U of T researcher.

More than one third of formerly suicidal Canadians have reached a state of complete mental health, says a new study from researchers at the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work.

The study, published online in the Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviour journal,was co-authored by Philip Baiden, a PhD student, and Esme Fuller-Thomson, Sandra Rotman Endowed Chair in Social Work and interim director of the Institute for Life Course and Aging.

U of T News spoke to Fuller-Thomson about the key findings of the study and what they mean for suicidal individuals, their families and health practitioners. Continue reading

Despite recent headlines, Canadian rates of suicide and attempted suicide have remained largely unchanged over the last several decades (11 per 100,000). What has changed is that we’ve seen increasing rates of suicide in the Canadian military recently, after stable rates for decades.

With over 40,000 Canadian soldiers deployed to the mission in Afghanistan, there has been an understandable concern about mental health problems and suicides among military personnel and veterans. Both the Minister of Defense and Minister of Veterans Affairs have rightly made suicide prevention a top priority.

The problem of suicide is not limited to the military in Canada; indigenous populations, especially in northern remote communities, have high rates of suicide. Continue reading