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Newsletter of the Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee
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Provincial HSJCC
November 2016 Newsletter 

 

Letter from the Co-Chair
Message from the Co-Chair November 2016

Well, it looks like winter will be arriving to our province prior to everyone receiving this newsletter.  We hope that everyone is keeping warm and that the weather man is incorrect in his predictions for a long winter in Ontario, but as Canadians – we will brace this weather and get ready for a white wonderland.  As we enter the last of the calendar months, it is often a time for reflection and regrouping.
 
As for the HSJCC team, we have been working around the province in 2016 on connecting, refining and bringing services to the individuals in each of our programs and services.  We would like to thank all of the regional and local chairs that work endlessly to keep the HSJCC mission alive in each of our communities.  As we move into the new year, one of our agenda items is “Membership Engagement”.  We would like to thank all our members and learn from their experience on how to make the HSJCC in each community more efficient and effective.
 
The Provincial HSJCC continues to host monthly webinars. More details about these webinars can be found in this newsletter.
 
The new HSJCC website will be launching soon – stay tuned! The new website is much more user friendly. We encourage participation from all HSJCC Network members in ensuring the information on their Regional and/or Local pages on the website is up-to-date. Members should use the new and improved website to showcase their HSJCC related initiatives and events.
 
The Provincial HSJCC is currently developing an Issue Management Plan, Policy Consultation Procedure, and a Member Engagement Plan. The major goals of these three workplan items are to enhance support and communication across the Provincial, Regional and Local committees.
 
Please check out  a new online course that CMHA Toronto has developed for the justice partners called: Communicating with People with Mental Health Disabilities: What Justice Sector Professionals Can Do to Remove Barriers  https://moodle2.camhx.ca/moodle/
 
As we move forward to 2017, we look to develop more linkages, to bridge the gaps between our human service delivery and our justice services.  We are proud of our accomplishments and acknowledge the work of each individual that has lent a hand in our communities.  2017 will prove to be challenging but, another year of growth and commitment to climbing the mountain of change.  We can do this together.
 
On behalf of the HSJCC, we would like to wish everyone a fabulous holiday season and look forward to new learning, sharing and collaborating in 2017.
 
Heather Lumley
PHSJCC Co-Chair

 
Provincial HSJCC Updates
The Provincial HSJCC continues to make great progress on all the work identified in its 2016/2017 workplan! Below are some highlights of the work that has been happening through the Provincial HSJCC over the fall:
  • The New HSJCC Website will be launching in the next few coming weeks.  With brand new ways of sharing HSJCC-related information, the site will be a great resource for everyone to share and engage in the work that happens across the network. 
  • The Provincial HSJCC Conference Planning Committee continues to plan for an exciting, engaging and informative even for the next conference, ‘Walking the Path: Finding the Way to Wellness’, November 20-22, 2017 in Toronto.  The committee is please to announce that the keynote address will be from former National Hockey League star Theo Fleury.  A call for abstracts will go out in the new year- watch this space for more updates!
  • The Provincial HSJCC held a full committee meeting on November 22. Meeting highlights included a consultation with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care regarding Ontario’s Opioid Strategy and the first dedicated issue management session, which focused on transportation issues for clients between correctional facilities and hospitals.  The Provincial HSJCC will next meet on January 17, 2016. 
  • The Provincial HSJCC is continuing its Mental Health Courts project, which aims to increase our understanding of how Mental Health Courts are operating across Ontario. By early next year, the HSJCC Secretariat will be wrapping up the data collection phase of the project and the results will be captured in a report on the current state and operations of Mental Health Courts in Ontario.  A forum will then be held in the spring to share the knowledge learned from the project.  Updates will be provided in future newsletters. 
  • Police-Hospital Transition Project: in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, and the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division, the Provincial HSJCC has been working with a dedicated Task Force to develop resources that will assist communities in Ontario to improve police-hospital transitions for individuals that have been apprehended under the Mental Health Act. A framework and toolkit to assist communities in improving police-hospital transitions across the province will be launched very soon, to be followed by a series of educational forums for police forces and hospitals.  Watch this space for further information on these future forums. 
Member Engagement Plan

The strength of the Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committees (HSJCC) comes from the strong commitment and collaboration from members across the justice and human service sectors. The Provincial HSJCC will be developing a Member Engagement Plan to improve the engagement of over 1,200 members of local, regional and provincial HSJCCs across Ontario.

The goals of the Member Engagement Plan are to (1) improve communication and collaboration of local and regional HSJCCs with one another, (2) improve engagement of local and regional HSJCCs with the Provincial committee, and (3) increase recruitment of new members to the HSJCC network. Updates on the progress of the Member Engagement Plan will be provided in upcoming newsletters.

Webinars

Through our monthly webinars, the P-HSJCC continues to share information on various topics related to the justice and human services sectors. We had the privilege of hosting many great speakers to present these webinars to the members of the HSJCC Network. The Provincial Communications and Knowledge Exchange Committee guides the development of the topic areas and themes of the webinars.

If you missed our last few webinars or would like to listen to it again, you can find them at the links provided below:
Traumatic Brain Injury and the Criminal Justice System: http://camh.adobeconnect.com/p3c7ll7s1ys/
Addressing Compassion Fatigue:      
http://camh.adobeconnect.com/p3bi33c35hh/
 
Police-Hospital Transition Framework: http://camh.adobeconnect.com/p974dl2fkcx/
 
Recommendations for Meeting the Needs of People with Complex Mental Health Needs: http://camh.adobeconnect.com/p6wj36rqzjz/
 
John Howard Society’s Reintegration Centre: http://camh.adobeconnect.com/p6oqcr9hrrj/
 
Recent Accomplishments & Upcoming Activities of the HSJCC Network:  http://camh.adobeconnect.com/p3sin7mnjh6/
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder:
http://camh.adobeconnect.com/p2y17nbjjj5/
 
The Hamilton Acquired Brain Injury Corrections Working Group: Integrating Multiple Sectors for Better Complex Case Management
http://camh.adobeconnect.com/p633yfh6q9m/
 
Overview of Developmental Services in Ontario
http://camh.adobeconnect.com/p131emb7vt2/
 
Forensic Early Intervention Service
http://camh.adobeconnect.com/p23jsmh58kv/
 
HSJCC Network Events 
Save the Date!  
The 2017 Provincial HSJCC Conference will be held November 20-22, 2017 in Toronto. The Conference Planning Committee is diligently working to organize another exciting and informative experience.  More information will be provided in upcoming newsletters. For more information contact Sherry Sim at sherry@innovative4you.com
Communicating with People with Mental Health Disabilities: What Justice Sector Professionals Can Do to Remove Barriers
 
The Canadian Mental Health Association Toronto Branch and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have developed an online, multi-media training program for justice sector professionals to remove communication barriers that people with mental health disabilities may encounter when they interact with the broader justice sector. The training was developed in consultation with various justice sector and mental health professionals and people with mental health disabilities, with support from the Government of Ontario. The course is targeted at:
  • members of the judiciary,
  • tribunal members and staff,
  • lawyers, paralegals, professionals working in courthouses,
  • professionals working in legal or probation offices, and
  • any other justice sector professionals who provide services to people with mental health disabilities, including members of Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committees.
This online course aims to:
  • increase awareness of the legal obligations of justice sector service providers  to meet the communication needs of people with mental health disabilities
  • increase awareness of mental health disabilities and related communication barriers
  • provide practical information and strategies on identifying and removing barriers in order to offer effective communications and services to people with mental health disabilities.
The course has four modules and takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete. Participants can select the modules they would like to review and go through the content at their own pace and in whatever sequence they wish. The course is structured as follows:
  • Module 1 provides an overview of the course
  • Module 2 distinguishes between the social and medical models of disability. It offers an overview of some common mental health issues and describes related disabilities
  • Module 3 provides information about the concepts of stigma, discrimination and the social determinants of health. In addition, learners will consider the impact of trauma on people in contact with the justice system
  • Module 4 outlines strategies designed to help justice professionals strengthen their communication skills, particularly in situations when they work with people who may have mental health or addiction issues
  • Additional material such as case studies, tips sheets, video clips and resource information, including referral and health service information, are also available.
 
The training program can be accessed at: http://mhjcc.ca. To view the content, please register for the program by providing a username and email address (this information is kept strictly confidential and is only used for the purpose of creating a user account). If you have any questions about the training, please contact Frank Sirotich at fsirotich@cmhato.org.
 
Ontario is taking steps to provide Naloxone to justice involved client

New data that has emerged from a report recently released by Harm Reduction International shows a slowdown of the provision of harm reduction services to people who use drugs on an international scale, particularly within the criminal justice system. However, Ontario is taking steps to provide Naloxone, a life saving medication for individuals in contact with the criminal justice system who may be at-risk of opioid overdose upon release.

According to the Harm Reduction International report, addiction and substance misuse related issues impact a large number of individuals who come in contact with the criminal justice system. It is estimated that approximately 80% of men entering the Canadian federal system use drugs.

Drug overdose rates in Canada have jumped 327 per cent since 2008, and a contributing factor to this significant increase in deaths is the availability of potent opioids such as fentanyl. Individuals who are released from institutions who have addiction or substance misuse issues are often at greater risk of death due to overdose, particularly within the first two weeks.  Ontario’s Strategy to Prevent Opioid Addiction and Overdose was announced by Ontario Health Minister Erik Hoskins on October 12th and included expanded access to Naloxone across the province. The strategy also states that it will “work with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to begin providing naloxone kits free of charge to at-risk inmates at the time of their release from correctional institutions.”

Naloxone is an opioid agonist that can reverse the effects of overdose from an opioid through an intramuscular injection. The province is also working to ensure that an intra-nasal Naloxone spray become widely available to the public. Naloxone is currently available free of charge in community pharmacies across Ontario.

For more information on the Ontario Opioid Strategy: https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2016/10/strategy-to-prevent-opioid-addiction-and-overdose.html
 

Attorney General Commits to Providing Mental Health Supports to Jurors

Operational Stress Injuries (OSI), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), are often conflated with violent trauma; these are concerns experienced by soldiers in combat, or police officers after a shooting. However, OSIs and PTSD can be developed via secondary exposure (such as listening to a loved one account their experience), or through the wearing-down of capacity for resilience (such as when court reporters are required to work long hours, listening to the accounting of a crime).

Minister Yasir Naqvi, Ontario’s Attorney General, has recently committed to providing mental health support and counselling to jury members after their period of duty ends. Called the Juror Support Program, which will comprise a phone-assessment and the provision of counselling and referral services. The program is expected to cost roughly $50,000.00 a year.

Recent CBC news stories prompted the Ministry of the Attorney General to look into the current supports that are in place, and how jurors can be better supported by Government. Until recently, jurors required a Justice to order that counselling services be provided; something that has come to be recognized as a barrier to care. As we expand our understanding of Operational Stress Injuries, and workplace mental health, we foment an awareness of how particular stressors impact our daily lives.

We welcome the efforts of Government to support citizens in maintaining mental health and wellness.

Issue Management Process

At the most recent Provincial HSJCC Committee meeting, the Secretariat presented the new Issue Management Guideline which was developed to assist members at local, regional and provincial levels raise and discuss relevant issues. The purpose of the Guideline is to foster focused and informed discussion that creates a purposeful dialogue across all levels of the network. The Provincial Co-chairs will decide how best to address a given issue, whether it be directly with the local or regional membership or by tabling it at a provincial committee meeting.

One of the anticipated outcomes of this new protocol is mitigating barriers between the levels of the network – local/regional/provincial - and facilitating communication between them on emerging issues. For a question or issue that requires a rapid response, which may be time-sensitive in nature and/or affecting the wellbeing of a client population, the Co-chairs may engage the Secretariat staff to assist in providing further information or access to resources to effectively address the issue. Other issues that do not require a rapid response can be raised at a Provincial HSJCC meeting.

As a matter of practice, going forward, there will be a standing Issue Management Discussion item placed on every Provincial HSJCC meeting agenda. These issue can be raised by any of the members, partner organizations or partner ministries. One emerging issue will be identified by consensus at each provincial meeting for discussion at the subsequent meeting. Prior to the PHSJCC meeting, an issue note will be developed by Secretariat staff on the issue raised for consideration at the upcoming meeting, which will include background information and key questions for discussion. Regional HSJCC Chairs will share the issue note with Regional and Local HSJCCs to gather input as appropriate and PHSJCC partner organizations and partner ministries will gather input from their own networks as appropriate. Relevant guest speakers will be invited to attend the upcoming meeting to present information on the chosen issue.

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With Support from the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division
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