Newsletter of the Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee
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Human Services and Justice

June 2014

Message from the Co-Chair


After a physically and psychologically bruising winter and chilly spring, it appears that we have finally launched the summer season!
Since January 2013, the Provincial HSJCC has hosted four webinars, each of which is available on our website.  The response has been overwhelming; the webinars are always “sold out” and they have resulted in lively discussions, both during, and after each event.  The webinar format clearly has the potential to reach a much broader audience than the membership of local or regional committees. In light of this, some of those committees have offered their own webinars: “A Conversation with Deputy Chief Mike Federico” (Toronto Regional); and “Wheels of Justice” with Dr Julian Gojer (North York HSJCC).  Several local and regional committees have indicated that they plan to offer webinars that address issues in their own communities, and/or across the province.

Our foray in to the world of webinars could not have happened without the assistance of a Knowledge Broker from EENet, the Evidence Exchange Network for Mental Health and Addictions. We are very fortunate to have the continued expertise and support of EENet, and would like to welcome Knowledge Broker Matthew Hollingshead, who will be working with the PHSJCC one day a week.

The Provincial HSJCC will be consulted by CMHA Ontario for their work on the “Specialized Courts and Court Support Services Project”.  This project will result in the development of an online repository that profiles specialized courts and related court support services, a “map” of the systems involved, and a knowledge exchange webinar that will present the results of the project. CMHA Policy and Knowledge Transfer Intern Kelsey Hogan will be assisting with this project.

In keeping with our mandate to  “identify and address provincial services and policy issues” the Provincial HSJCC issued an “action plan for housing” prior to the provincial election.  It urged all parties to invest in the development and implementation of both short and long-term housing to support individuals with mental health, addictions and/or related issues who have come into contact with the justice system. 

The organizing committee for the 2015 Provincial HSJCC conference has met for the first time, chaired by Alice Bellevance, and assisted by Joan Dervin.

As we have noted in the past, most of our work would not be created, edited, critiqued, organized and distributed, without several members of the policy team at CMHA Ontario.  We would like thank Dorina Simeonov and Jenna Hitchcox; to welcome back Kelly Downs, who has returned from maternity leave; and to congratulate Uppala Chandrasekera, who has just left for hers!

We hope that everyone has a long, sunny, and relaxing summer.

Katie Almond

Highlights from Our Annual Report

This month, we submitted our Annual Report to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for the 2013-14 fiscal year. We have had many accomplishments at the Provincial HSJCC including hosting the 2013 HSJCC Conference, launching a new website, increasing the number of newsletters and webinars we provide and continuing to inform the broader sectors on our police-emergency department protocols work.

The Local and Regional committees have also been busy providing training to police officers, collaborating with universities to conduct research, touring Correctional Centres and educating the human services and justice sectors. They have launched anti-stigma awareness campaigns, established the Red Property Bag initiative for prisoner belongings and contributed to the creation of mental health and community support courts. One HSJCC started a youth subcommittee, a few provided “release kits” to individuals being released from custody, which include basic hygiene supplies, basic clothing, community resources and information. One group even fund-raised and purchased a puppy to be donated to Autism Dog Services. The puppy will receive specialized training and be provided to a local family. 

From left, Autism Dog Services trainer Seline Desnoyers, with Local Collingwood HSJCC members Terri Dodgson and Michael Dunn, as the HSJCC handed over 'Hope' to Autism Dog Services, Friday, March 7, 2014.  Photo Credit: Morgan Ian Adams/Collingwood Enterprise-Bulletin

This year, we also conducted an annual survey of the issues that were important to Local and Regional HSJCCs. The top three issues identified are:

1.    Release from custody issues (housing wait lists, case management wait lists, access to psychiatric services and medication, shortage of shelter beds, lack of transportation, wait lists for Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Teams etc.)
2.    Court services related issues (improving bail support programs and processes, lack of psychiatry services for courts)
3.    Justice and human services related concerns for special populations (concurrent disorders, Asperger’s/Autism, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), dual diagnosis, acquired brain injury (ABI))

For a full breakdown of the issues selected by Local and Regional HSJCCs, see the table below.
Areas of priority/ issues/concerns Local and Regional HSJCCs
Release from custody issues (housing wait lists, case management wait lists, access to psychiatric services and medication, shortage of shelter beds, lack of transportation, wait lists for Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Teams etc.)
30 HSJCCs selected this issue.
  1. Champlain Regional
  2. Pembroke (Renfrew) County Local
  3. Kawartha Lakes Local
  4. Halton Regional
  5. Hamilton-Niagara-Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk Regional
  6. Brantford Local
  7. Hamilton Local
  8. Algoma Local
  9. Nipissing Local
  10. Parry Sound Local
  11. Kenora Local
  12. Thunder Bay District Local
  13. Simcoe Muskoka Regional
  14. Collingwood Local
  15. Midland Local
  16. South East Regional
  17. Hasting Prince Edward Local
  18. South West Regional
  19. Elgin Local
  20. Grey Bruce Local
  21. Huron Perth Local
  22. London Local
  23. Oxford Local
  24. Toronto Regional
  25. Downtown Toronto
  26. North York Local
  27. Waterloo Wellington Regional
  28. Cambridge & Kitchener Local
  29. Guelph Local
  30. Simcoe Regional
Court services related issues (improving bail support programs and processes, lack of psychiatry services for courts)
26 HSJCCs selected this issue.
  1. Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry-Prescott-Russell Local
  2. HKPR Regional
  3. Kawartha Lakes Local
  4. Northumberland Local HSJCC
  5. Peterborough Local HSJCC
  6. Halton Regional
  7. Hamilton-Niagara-Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk Regional
  8. Brantford Local
  9. Hamilton Local
  10. Cochrane District Local
  11. Nipissing Local
  12. Parry Sound Local
  13. Sudbury Manitoulin Local
  14. Kenora Local
  15. Thunder Bay District Local
  16. Elgin Local
  17. Grey Bruce Local
  18. Oxford Local
  19. Windsor Essex Local
  20. Toronto Regional
  21. North York Local
  22. Scarborough Local
  23. West Toronto Local
  24. Waterloo Wellington Regional
  25. Guelph Local
  26. Simcoe Regional
Justice and human services related concerns for special populations (concurrent disorders, Asperger’s/Autism, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), dual diagnosis, acquire brain injury (ABI))
21 HSJCCs selected this issue.
  1. Champlain Regional
  2. Pembroke (Renfrew) County Local
  3. HKPR Regional
  4. Halton Regional
  5. Hamilton-Niagara-Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk Regional
  6. Brantford Local
  7. Hamilton Local
  8. Niagara Local
  9. North East Regional
  10. Algoma Local
  11. Sudbury Manitoulin Local
  12. Kenora Local
  13. Peel Regional
  14. South East Regional
  15. Frontenac Local
  16. South West Regional
  17. Toronto Regional
  18. North York Local
  19. Scarborough Local
  20. Waterloo Wellington Regional
  21. Guelph Local
Interactions with Youth with the human services and justice sectors
15 HSJCCs selected this issue.
  1. Pembroke (Renfrew) County Local
  2. HKPR Regional
  3. Northumberland Local HSJCC
  4. Peterborough Local HSJCC
  5. Niagara Local
  6. North East Regional
  7. Nipissing Local
  8. Sudbury Manitoulin Local
  9. Peel Regional
  10. Dufferin Local
  11. Lanark County Local
  12. Leeds and Grenville Local
  13. Lennox and Addington Local
  14. South West Regional
  15. London Local
Emergency department issues
15 HSJCCs selected this issue.
  1. Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry-Prescott-Russell Local
  2. HKPR Regional
  3. Algoma Local
  4. Kenora Local
  5. ED Issues
  6. Dufferin Local
  7. Collingwood Local
  8. Midland Local
  9. South East Regional
  10. Hasting Prince Edward Local
  11. Leeds and Grenville Local
  12. Lennox and Addington Local
  13. Elgin Local
  14. Huron Perth Local
  15. Oxford Local
Community services training needs in mental health and addictions
12 HSJCCs selected this issue.
  1. Northumberland Local HSJCC
  2. North East Regional
  3. Northwest Regional
  4. Peel Regional
  5. Dufferin Local
  6. Frontenac Local
  7. Lanark County Local
  8. Leeds and Grenville Local
  9. Lennox and Addington Local
  10. Huron Perth Local
  11. Lambton Kent Local
  12. Windsor Essex Local
Issues for Geriatric populations interacting with justice and human services
10 HSJCCs selected this issue.
  1. Kawartha Lakes Local
  2. Simcoe Muskoka Regional
  3. Frontenac Local
  4. Huron Perth Local
  5. London Local
  6. Windsor Essex Local
  7. Downtown Toronto Local
  8. West Toronto Local
  9. Cambridge & Kitchener Local
  10. Simcoe Regional
Prisoner belongings
7 HSJCCs selected this issue.
  1. Champlain Regional
  2. Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry-Prescott-Russell Local
  3. Peterborough Local HSJCC
  4. Parry Sound Local
  5. Collingwood Local
  6. Midland Local
  7. Grey Bruce Local
Issues affecting Aboriginal communities relating to human services and justice sectors
3 HSJCCs selected this issue.
  1. Northwest Regional
  2. Hasting Prince Edward Local
  3. Lanark County Local
Service issues related to risk (eg. Crisis services, clients identified as having high risk of harm to self or others, etc.)
4 HSJCCs selected this issue.
  1. Kenora Local
  2. Peel Regional
  3. Collingwood Local
  4. Elgin Local
Local governance (establishing committees, recruiting members, writing a terms of reference, etc.)
3 HSJCCs selected this issue.
  1. Niagara Local
  2. North East Regional
  3. Lennox and Addington Local
Networking and engagement
3 HSJCCs selected this issue.
  1. Lanark County Local
  2. Dufferin Local
  3. North York Local
Establishing a mental health court
2 HSJCCs selected this issue.
  1. Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry-Prescott-Russell Local
  2. Parry Sound Local
Transportation  issues
2 HSJCCs selected this issue.
  1. Grey Bruce Local
  2. North York Local
Appropriate mental health care for females in provincial and federal correctional systems.
1 HSJCC selected this issue.
  1. Champlain Regional
Establishing a drug treatment court
1 HSJCC selected this issue.
  1. Algoma Local
Lack of withdrawal management services locally
1 HSJCC selected this issue.
  1. Collingwood Local

For more information, contact:

Dorina Simeonov
Policy Analyst

Service Collaboratives focus on improving health and justice transitions

Released over three years ago, Ontario’s provincial strategy for mental health and addictions, Open Minds, Healthy Minds, commits to the transformation of mental health and addiction services for all Ontarians. Part of this strategy is the creation of 18 Service Collaboratives across Ontario, an initiative facilitated by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

But what is a Service Collaborative? The primary function of a Service Collaborative is to effect change in a local system. Membership in Collaboratives reflects the cross section of sectors that provide mental health and addiction services, and key groups or individuals in each community. They come together to look at their community’s system and see where they can improve access and transitions to mental health and addictions services. Then, they work together to put something new into practice.  

The HSJCC's and the Justice Service Collaboratives share a common goal: to improve transitions at key juncture points between the justice system and human services. Four of the Service Collaboratives are focusing specifically on these kinds of transitions. They are located across Ontario (click for more information on each): Because of this overlapping mandate, members of the local, regional and provincial HSJCC networks are working closely with CAMH to ensure activities build on current initiatives and align complementary objectives. Working with the local and regional HSJCC's is critical to the Justice Service Collaboratives’ success. HSJCC members will support implementation of new practices that will improve connections between the justice and health systems.

The Justice Service Collaboratives will benefit from the expertise and knowledge of HSJCC members throughout implementation of system interventions. And through this recurring section of the HSJCC newsletter, we hope to highlight updates, resources, and information from the Service Collaboratives that will be useful to you. Stay tuned for more from the Justice Service Collaboratives!

For more information on a Service Collaborative in your area, and a map of all 18 Service Collaboratives, click here.

Stephanie Sliekers
Communications Coordinator, Provincial System Support Program (PSSP)
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

Champlain Client and Family Consultation Project

In January 2012, the Champlain mental health and addictions system embarked on an extensive consultation process with clients and family members who had recently used emergency and/or inpatient hospital services.  Funded by the Champlain Local Health Integration Network, the two main project goals were to learn about people’s experiences as they were discharged from hospital, and to develop practical and cost-efficient recommendations to help improve these experiences.
The Champlain Client and Family Consultation Project:
Listening to people’s experiences when they return to their communities after mental health or substance use related hospital stays
A report to the Project Advisory Committee for submission to the Champlain Local Health Integration Network  March 30, 2012
There were many recommendations contained in this report.   These are a few that have been implemented.
Client and Family Recommendations: That community staff encourage clients and families to present a “one-pager” of information at the point of triage, containing a brief history, and contact information for existing community supports to ensure that as much information follows the person from emergency to community as possible.
In response to this recommendation the Health Information Sheet was developed and can downloaded at
Client and Family Recommendations:  That all emergency rooms have a package of information on community resources that can be provided to people at the point of triage – either directly by staff, or by volunteers.  Much of this information already exists – but it needs to be packaged in a user-friendly way and needs to be consistently provided to clients and families.
In response to this recommendation an Emergency Discharge Checklist was developed.
Further funding for the guide From Rollercoaster to Recovery: A guide for Families and Individuals Navigating the Addictions and Mental Health System in Champlain.  This guide contains information on community resources.

Client and Family Recommendations:  That peer and family support be engaged to work with people while they’re in the inpatient unit, provide supportive listening, group activities, and information about community resources. 
In response to this recommendation peer and family support workers have been hired for two of the local hospitals and the Recovery Connections Program is now in the process of being expanded to additional hospitals in the region.
Our community continues to support the implementation of more of the report recommendations to improve the experience of both those seeking help and their supporters.

Catherine Corey

Visit the HSJCC Website
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is pleased to announce that a science-based, standardized mental health screening form is approved for use by its front line officers, across the province.

• The Brief Mental Health Screener, or BMHS, will help officers articulate in medical terms why a person is being brought to a hospital for psychiatric assessment. (Note: Section 17 of the Ontario Mental Health Act outlines the grounds for this action )

• If officers do bring an individual to hospital, the screener provides a systematic way for officers to articulate and document their reasons for doing so. If they do not need to bring the individual to a hospital, officers will use the screener to document any referrals made to local community agencies.

• The BMHS is based on the interRAI Mental Health Assessment System, a comprehensive standardized instrument mandated in 2005 by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for use with all patients admitted to an Ontario hospital for inpatient psychiatric care.

• The BMHS was developed collaboratively with interRAI and evaluated through a pilot project.

• By using this standardized instrument, the OPP will be able to track all Calls for Service where mental health is a factor which will allow the organization to deploy resources effectively, and efficiently.

The BMHS should improve police response to people experiencing a mental health crisis, will assist officers in dealing with these situations and serves as an example of community mobilization in action.

Judy Alton
Ontario Provincial Police

Related news items:

Justice Issues

Criminal Justice Settings as Possible Sites for Early Detection of Psychotic Disorders and Reducing Treatment Delay
Psychiatric Services

Predictors of Unmet Need for Medical Care among Justice-Involved Persons with Mental Illness (Toronto)
Psychiatric Services

With a cash-strapped Legal Aid Ontario, the victim surcharge fight is becoming a case of 'David versus Goliath'
Ottawa Citizen
Developmental Disabilities

Class actions launched against Ontario over 16 facilities for developmentally disabled
The Canadian Press

Judge makes court instructions easier to understand for those with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
ABA Journal

Steve Mesic Inquest
CBC Hamilton
Acquired Brain Injury

Repairing Shattered Lives - Brain Injury and Its Implications for Criminal Justice
Barrow Cadbury Trust/University of Exeter

Suicidality, Bullying and Other Conduct and Mental Health Correlates of Traumatic Brain Injury in Adolescents (Ontario)

Brain injury a hidden factor in homelessness
Ottawa Citizen
Mental Health

Is neglect of the mentally ill leading to violence on Vancouver streets?

"Miscarriage of justice:" the trial of Donald Kushniruk

'Miscarriage of justice' prompts calls for mental health court
Submit articles and events to the Editor, Trevor Tymchuk, at

More overcrowded prisons on horizon due to shortsighted planning: Auditor General
The Canadian Press

There's a Suicide Detector for Prisons

'Horrific conditions' in crowded jails signal need for overhaul, says John Howard Society
Ottawa Citizen

Children and Youth

Sunnybrook project navigates disjointed youth mental health system
North York Mirror

Kimberly Proctor's family seek mandatory treatment of violent teens

Perceptions and experiences of people with mental illness regarding their interactions with police (Vancouver, BC)
International Journal of Law and Psychiatry

Police Encounters Involving Citizens with Mental Illness: Use of Resources and Outcomes (Montreal, QC)
Psychiatric Services

Hamilton Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team
CHCH (with video)

Improving hand offs between police and emergency departments (Canada)
Healthy Debate

Toronto Mobile Crisis Intervention Team (MCIT) Program Implementation Evaluation Final Report
Centre for Research on Inner City Health, St. Michael’s Hospital

Stand Down - All too often, the victims of police shootings are people with mental illness. One American city has found a solution
The Walrus
Four new Evidence Summaries from EENet

Brief Mental Health and Substance Use Screening Tools 
for Non‐clinicians in the Criminal Justice Population

Mental Health Diversion Frameworks in Canada 

Police–Emergency Department Protocols and Resources

Community-based Diversion Program Models for Youth at 
Risk for Justice System Involvement
Addictions and Substance Use

Using drugs to treat alcohol addiction
Toronto Star

Clinical differences between cocaine-induced psychotic disorder and psychotic symptoms in cocaine-dependent patients
Psychiatry Research
Stigma and Public Perception
Teen with Tourette's Syndrome Sends Powerful Message To Destigmatize Mental Disorders (Video)
The Huffington Post

Policy on Preventing Discrimination Based on Mental Health Disabilities and Addictions
Ontario Human Rights Commission

Mental health and human rights: Can Ontario’s new policy help?

YES! Ontario’s mental health and human rights policy can help

New human rights policy for the mentally ill
The Canadian Press

Upcoming Events

Mad Pride Toronto
July 7 - 13, 2014
Mad Pride is an arts, culture, and heritage festival created by psychiatric survivors, consumers, mad people, and folks the world has labelled “mentally ill”.

55th Annual Institute on Addiction Studies
Innisfil (near Barrie)
July 13 - 17, 2014
The Institute on Addiction Studies offers professional development and learning opportunities to those working and involved in substance use and related fields.

Trauma Informed Youth Justice Workshop
July 21, 2014
This 3 hour workshop, offered by the Attachment and Trauma Treatment Centre for Healing (ATTCH), is designed to help participants develop a trauma-informed perspective regarding youth justice and identify the key features of a trauma-informed youth justice system.

18th Annual McMaster Muskoka Seminars
July 21 - 25, July 28 - August 1, August 4-8, 2014
The McMaster Muskoka Seminars are designed to provide clinicians (psychiatrists, family doctors, other GP-Psychotherapists and mental health professionals) with an outstanding opportunity to combine stimulating symposia with a relaxing summer vacation. This series of seminars is hosted by the Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, in conjunction with St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton and with the assistance and involvement of the OMA Section on General Practice Psychotherapy.

International FASD Awareness Day
September 9, 2014
Every year on September 9th, International FASD Awareness Day is observed.  People all around the world gather for events to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking during pregnancy and the individuals and families who struggle with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).

PSR-RPS Canada - Partners in Recovery - Uncovering Potential
September 22 - 24, 2014
Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) Réadaptation Psychosociale (RPS) Canada is a leader in transforming the mental health sector to be an inclusive society where people achieve full social inclusion. The Association promotes psychosocial rehabilitation principles and the growth of psychosocial rehabilitation practices in Canada.

More Events Listings

Useful Links

Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health
The Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health (CCSMH) is hard at work ensuring that seniors' mental health is recognized as a key Canadian health and wellness issue. Working with partners across the country, the CCSMH is busy facilitating initiatives to enhance and promote seniors' mental health.

Canadian Police Knowledge Network
CPKN, a not for profit corporation, is Canada's leading provider of e-learning training for police and law enforcement. CPKN works in collaboration with police services, training academies, and recognized subject matter experts in the Canadian police community to develop high-quality online training products that meet the frontline needs of police and other law enforcement personnel.

Concurrent Disorders - Mohawk College
Three introductory courses which provide students with an opportunity to study addiction, co-occurring addiction and mental health disorders and explore assessment and treatment options. This acknowledgement may be taken for general interest or by students who are exploring a career in this field. These courses are also suitable for individuals working in social services agencies or health care settings who are interested in learning more about how to support individuals with addiction or concurrent disorders.

Open Minds Quarterly
Open Minds Quarterly is a publication of The Writer's Circle, a project of NISA/Northern Initiative for Social Action. Open Minds Quarterly is dedicated to writers worldwide who have survived depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse changes lives by bringing people and knowledge together to reduce the harm of alcohol and other drugs on society. For 25 years, we have partnered with public, private and non-governmental organizations to improve the health and safety of Canadians.

Bipolar Burble - Natasha Tracy
I am, of course, bipolar. I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder type-II ultra-rapid-cycling. Not surprisingly, the crazy takes up most of the space in my head so I have written a compendium on the subject. While initially this benefited me alone, now others have found these writings helpful in their own battles with mental illness. I share experiences, thoughts and research on topics of mental illness in the hopes of introducing facts and rationality into polarizing and emotional subject matter.

More Useful Links
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