Mental Health in the Media: December

RCMP’s mental-health initiatives insufficient, critics say
RCMP officers are criticizing the organization’s ways of dealing the mental, emotional, and physical trauma which comes from distressing events in which officers find themselves. One of the major problems if that officers do not feel safe approaching managers or colleagues for help, fearing repercussions. Gilles Moreau, appointed by the force as its “mental-health champion”, believes this is the first issue that must be dealt with. Moreau is using the response to the Moncton shootings as a model for the force to follow in how to manage traumatic events. Some believe this new strategy is not enough. Jeff Morley, a psychologist, says there needs to be more research and evidence based measures for prevention and treatments.

Pledges and promises made in mental health in Canada 2014
This article looks at the five areas in which initiatives, pledges, and promises were made in mental health in Canada in 2014: Canada Armed Forces and Veterans, Youth, First Responders, Mobile Crisis Units, and Workplace. Within each area, the article states the initiative, pledge or promise, what has been accomplished so far, and the next steps that are going to be undertaken. Links to further reading are also provided which elaborate on each area.
War over veterans’ mental health funding escalates
The chair in military and veterans clinical rehabilitation, Ibolja Cernak, at the University of Alberta, has said that the new money being dedicated to research into veterans issue is “definitely not” sufficient. The new funding amounts to $1.1 million a year, while the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs plans to spend $1.9 billion in 2015. The Auditor-General released a report saying that Veteran Affairs Canada has reduced nearly a quarter of its work force over the past five years leading to months or years long waits for mental-health benefits for vets.
Yoga program dedicated to supporting people living with mental illness
Toronto yoga instructor, Linda Malone, has developed a special program devoted to helping those with depression and/or bipolar disorder. Malone is the director of the Blue Matter Project, a not-for-profit organization with connects individuals with participating yoga studios. The project sponsor those who are seeking treatment but may not be able to afford it. Malone is now connected to therapists at CAMH who refer individuals to the project. Physical exercise has been shown to benefit a number of emotional disorders and Malone’s yoga program helps participants be aware of what they are feeling emotionally and physically both on and off the mat. Blu Matter Project:
Mental-health help for youth needs radical reform, says advocate Tony Boeckh
Mental-health advocate, Tony Boeckh, talks about the struggle he faced trying to get his son diagnosed and treated in Canada’s mental-health cate system. Boeckh found that when his son turned eighteen, all the progress they had made was thrown away when the family needed to find a new doctor because their son no longer fit into the age range of the program he was apart of. If you have connections, finding a new program for care is a lot easier, but many people don’t have contacts they can call on. The article contains a video of Boeckh talking about mental illness and the radical transformation the system needs.