Blog

Welcome to HC Link's blog! Our blog will provide you with useful information on healthy community topics, news, and resources, as well as information on HC Link’s events, activities, and resources. Our bloggers include HC Link staff and consultants, as well as our partnering organizations, clients, and experts in the health promotion field.

Please note: opinions in posts are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of HC Link or our funder.

We look forward to engaging in thought-provoking conversation with you!

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Thinking about Mental Health after Bell Let’s Talk Day 2015

Submitted by Monica Nunes of the CAMH Resource Centre
 
Most of us are becoming more and more familiar with the idea of mental illness as reflecting some kind of mental health issue. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) mental health is a positive concept that is distinct from mental illness. PHAC defines mental health as "the capacity of each and all of us to feel, think, and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face". Mental health is a multifaceted topic and making the distinction between mental health and mental illness is just one of the many potential discussions to have when it comes to our mental well-being. Yesterday was Bell Let's Talk Day; let's continue the conversation about mental health!
 
Not sure where to start or what to say about mental health? No need to worry, the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre has you covered! Check out our website for resources on mental health and mental health promotion. Our What is Mental Health postcard shares several different ways to talk about mental health.
 
Bellletstalk CAMH
You can join other conversations happening later this week. Several CAMH experts will be on TV and social media in celebration of Bell Let's Talk Day! Click here for more info.
 
If you want to share events happening this week across your organization and others, please share them in the comments section.
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Webinar Series Recap: Moving from Evidence to Action on Student Mental Health and Well-being

By Monica Nunes, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

Over 200 participants from across the province from the education, public health and policy sectors joined a two-part webinar series on November 10 and December 1 to hear about the 2013 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS). In addition to learning about the mental health and well-being results, participants explored how the data might be applied to programming, planning, and policy in health promotion and prevention.

The webinar series was co-hosted by the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre (HPRC) and Evidence Exchange Network (EENet).

In part one of this webinar series, Nandini Saxena, Manager of Knowledge Exchange, and Tamar Meyer, Supervisor, CAMH HPRC, looked at various long-term and current trends in student mental health and well-being. Participants then heard about some positive findings as well as areas of public health concern from OSDUHS researchers Dr. Bob Mann, Senior Scientist, Dr. Hayley Hamilton, Scientist, and Angela Boak, Research Coordinator, as well as Gloria Chaim, Deputy Clinical Director of the CAMH Child, Youth and Family Program. Dr. Ken Allison, from Public Health Ontario, was also on hand and spoke about the need to monitor both mental health and physical health trends in youth.

The second webinar focused on bringing the OSDUHS evidence into action.

 
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Dr. Kathy Short, Director of School Mental Health ASSIST, and Allison Potts, Mental Health Leader of Durham District School Board, spoke about how the OSDUHS data helped them set directions for school-based mental health programming at the provincial and school board level.

Next, Nasreen Giga, Public Health Nurse, and Kathy Moran, Epidemiologist, both from the Durham Region Health Department, spoke about how the OSDUHS findings support their public health unit in monitoring health trends among youth. Knowing about these trends helps inform resiliency-based programming for children in their communities.

To view the recording and slides from this webinar series, please visit the following links:

Part 1 - Results Overview Recording | Slides
Part 2 - Evidence to Action Recording | Slides

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CAMH HPRC and EENet launch new infographics during webinar on student mental health and well-being results

By Monica Nunes, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

Last week the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre (CAMH HPRC) and the Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) co-hosted a webinar to share the recent 2013 CAMH Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) results. The OSDUHS is a cross-sectional, anonymous survey of students in grades 7-12 in Ontario's publicly funded schools. The survey monitors drug use, mental health, physical health, bullying, gambling, and other risk behaviours. Two reports are available from each cycle, one focusing on student drug use, the other on student mental health and well-being. Yesterday's webinar focused on sharing the mental health and well-being results.

Following an overview of the OSDUHS findings, a panel discussion was held featuring speakers from the OSDUHS research team as well as other experts from CAMH and Public Health Ontario. The panel discussed recent areas of improvement as well as topics of concern relating to student mental health and well-being. You can view the webinar recording and access the slides.

The webinar was also an opportunity to launch a new series of infographics that share the OSDUHS mental health and well-being findings. Developed by CAMH HPRC and EENet these infographics aim to make OSDUHS data accessible to stakeholders in public health, health promotion, education, social services, government, and health care, and to inform public health monitoring, program planning, and policy making.

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The infographics highlight data on indicators of mental health for the province as a whole as well as for individual Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). The LHIN-specific infographics focus on students in grades 9 through 12 and compare LHIN and Ontario-wide data. An infographic focusing on the Ontario school setting is also available. Stay tuned for an additional infographic focusing on student use of opioids.

A follow-up webinar will feature organizations that have used OSDUHS data to inform programming, planning, and policy. You can register for the 2013 OSDUHS Mental Health and Well-Being Evidence to Action webinar here.



You can read the full 2013 OSDUHS report here. You can read the Mental Health and Well-being of Ontario Students, 1991– 2013: Detailed OSDUHS Findings here. And you can view webinars focusing on the 2013 OSDUHS here.

Infographics in English and French:

Limited printed versions of the infographics are available upon request from Ontario public health and health promotion professionals. Please send your requests to Monica Nunes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will do our best to meet your request.

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CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre Launches Website & New Resources!

By Linda Yoo, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

The CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre is pleased to announce the launch of its NEW website on CAMH's Portico network! Here, you can look up past and upcoming webinars including recordings and PowerPoint slides, our research reports as well as infographics and toolkits.

MH PostcardOne new resource is the What is Mental Health postcard. This postcard provides a snapshot of various definitions and descriptions of what mental health is and what it looks like. For instance, it states that mental health is more than the absence of a mental illness. It is a positive concept that is distinct from, although related to, mental illness. Mental health is a resource to help individuals cope with stressors and reach their goals. Ultimately, mental health is a component of overall health so there is no health without mental health.

infographic 1in5Another exciting, new resource from the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre is the population mental health infographic. This poster outlines the importance of promoting mental health across the entire population, from individuals who have no identified mental illness to those with an identified mental illness and requiring treatment. It reminds us of the importance to broaden our lens beyond the 1 in 5 or 20% of the population who will experience mental illness in any given year to the other 80% of the population. The 80% may not be experiencing a mental illness but that does not necessarily mean they are doing well mentally. It also underscores that mental health promotion approaches benefit ALL people, even those experiencing mental illness.

The poster also highlights that there are unique factors that put individuals at risk of, or protect them from mental illness at various stages of life. So a population mental health approach also promotes mental health across the lifespan as it aims to increase protective factors at every stage of life. Increasing protective factors means addressing the various social determinants of health and inequities.

To support health promotion and public health professionals working in Ontario in the area of mental health promotion and substance use, a limited number of hard copies of our resources are available by request. Please send your name, work address and sector to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will try our best to meet your request.

The CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre is funded by the Health Promotion Division of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

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Cannabis in Canada: CAMH recommends a Public Health Approach

Submitted by Tamar Mayer, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

Last week, CAMH released its new Cannabis Policy Framework in which CAMH recommends legalization with strict regulation as the most effective means of reducing cannabis-related harms. Based on a thorough review of the evidence, the new framework provides recommendations for public health-focused cannabis control including:

  • a government monopoly on sales
  • a minimum age for purchase and consumption
  • controls on availability
  • a pricing system that curbs demand and discourages use of higher-harm products
  • a ban on marketing, advertising and promotion
  • a requirement that products be sold in standardized plain packaging

A blog by Dr. Jürgen Rehm, Director of the Social and Epidemiological Research Department at CAMH, accompanies the new framework and you will see that there is a strong focus on how the social determinants of health relate to this topic. Dr. Rehm underscores that health equity issues as they relate to the area of law enforcement are part of the reason that CAMH has moved away from its previous pro-decriminalization position towards one that favours legalization with strict regulation.

In addition, a video called "Cannabis in Canada: CAMH recommends a Public Health Approach" discusses the health risks of cannabis and discusses how our current system of criminalizing marijuana is failing to prevent harm. To move this work forward, CAMH highlights 10 basic principles to guide regulation of cannabis use.

 

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New Stats Can Report Shows 77% of Canadians Have “Complete Mental Health”

By Monica Nunes, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

A new Statistics Canada report provides some highlights on the state of mental health among Canadians. The report called Positive Mental Health and Mental Illness is based on data from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey. Statistics Canada was interested in measuring the mental health of Canadians as a positive concept where mental health is understood as feeling good and functioning well in life.

To determine positive mental health among Canadians, Statistics Canada used the complete mental health model which combines categories of mental health (flourishing, languishing or moderate mental health) with the absence or presence of six mental disorders (depression; bipolar disorder; generalized anxiety disorder; alcohol, cannabis and other drug dependence). Flourishing, languishing or moderate mental are assessed using 14 questions that looks at emotional, social and psychological well-being.

Using the complete mental health model, Statistics Canada identified that 77% have complete mental health meaning that they are flourishing and do not identify as having one of the six mental disorders asked about in the survey. It's interesting to note that the figure for complete mental health is notably higher than in other countries. The report's authors acknowledge that more research is necessary to explain why Canadians are more likely to report complete mental health than other countries. The reasons may relate to demographic and cultural factors or simply differences in how the survey was conducted.

And, while many readers of the report might focus on the prevalence of mental health among Canadians in this report, another significant outcome of the survey is the spotlight it places on the social determinants of health. Findings from the study show that mental health is associated with several social determinants including education, income and physical health. The study finds that those with complete mental health were more likely to be people with a partner (an indicator of social support), living in an urban environment, and had strong spiritual health. Canadians in the lowest household income quintile, without a post-secondary education, without a job or ability to work were less likely to report complete mental health. Knowing about the association of these determinants with mental health can help in identifying how we plan programs and policies to promote mental health.

Read the report here. What findings stand out for you?

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Back to School: Mental Health Promotion on Campus

By Monica Nunes, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

This week, the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre (CAMH HPRC) co-presented a webinar with the Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health (CICMH) looking at Mental Health Promotion on Campus as part of the Ask the Experts webinar series. Ask the Experts is a webinar series by CICMH which brings together specialists to share promising practices for promoting mentally healthy campuses with support from the CAMH HPRC and the Evidence Exchange Network.

Targeting student leaders and post-secondary institution administrators, this webinar offered an introduction to addressing mental health promotion on campus settings. Monica Nunes, a Research Analyst with CAMH HPRC, kicked off the webinar with a presentation that provided some basic definitions about mental health and mental health promotion. Monica described mental health as a positive concept that relates to our ability to feel, think and act in ways that help us reach our goals and cope with life's challenges.

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Next, Dr. Su-Ting Teo, Director of Student Health and Wellness at Ryerson University, provided some practical examples of how to embed mental health promotion into campus settings. Su-Ting referenced a handbook from the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services and the Canadian Mental Health Association called Post-Secondary Student Mental Health: Guide to a Systemic Approach which outlines that mental health promotion can be applied in campus settings in three main ways:

  • Though institutional planning and policy;
  • By creating a supportive and, inclusive campus environment;
  • And, by building mental health awareness on campus.

The last presenters in the webinar were John Horrox, Research and Policy Analyst, and Veronica Barahona, Communications Manager, with the College Student Alliance (CSA). John and Veronica introduced an upcoming initiative from the CSA focusing on stigma reduction called the Yellow Umbrella Project. The Yellow Umbrella Project aims to increase awareness about mental health in post-secondary education and launches at the end of October.

Click here to watch the full webinar. And you can download the slides here. CICMH will also be posting answers to questions asked during the webinar. So check back on their website for continued discussion on this topic.

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Webinar Series Recap: Highlights of a 3-Part Implementation Science Webinar Series

By Linda Yoo, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

This July, the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre wrapped up its 3-part Implementation Science webinar series, in partnership with CAMH Provincial System Support Program (PSSP) and the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF). With just under 900 stakeholders registering, this introductory series aimed to have participants from public health and health promotion settings in Ontario develop a working understanding of Implementation Science and the Active Implementation Frameworks developed by the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN).

The first webinar, Part 1 – Implementation Science: the What, the Why, and the How, walked participants through the various components of an Active Implementation Framework such as: Usable Interventions (What); Implementation Stages (When); Implementation Drivers (How); Implementation Teams (Who); and, Improvement Cycles (How). Presenter Alexia Jaouich (Director of Knowledge Exchange and Implementation, CAMH PSSP) highlighted that the gap from evidence to action in implementation occurs when what is adopted is not used with fidelity, and what is used with fidelity is not sustainable at the best scale or scope to make a critical difference.

The second webinar, Part 2 – Drivers of Implementation and Change, provided an overview of the drivers for implementing change based on NIRN's Active Implementation Framework. Alexia Jaouich provided a summary of the competency drivers, organizational drivers and leadership drivers. Next, Hélène Gagné (Program Director, Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation) and Peggy Govers (Manager of the Child Health Program, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit) had a conversation about Peggy's insights and learnings from her health unit's roll out of the Triple P Positive Parenting program. One insight Peggy shared was how leadership drivers provided opportunities for her health unit to start discussions and build a common language with other stakeholders.

In the third and final webinar, Part 3 – Implementation Science Tools, Alexia Jaouich provided an overview of various Implementation Science tools, some from NIRN and some that were adapted to support the Systems Improvement Through Service Collaboratives project that CAMH is supporting. The tools are meant to support movement through the various implementation stages of exploration, installation, initial implementation and full implementation. Alexia walked participants through the use of two tools, the Hexagon Decision-Making Tool and the Practice Profiles, which are both used during the exploration phase of implementation. Kim Baker (Regional Implementation Coordinator, PSSP, CAMH) joined Alexia to share how these tools were used to implement the evidence-informed Transition to Independence (TIP) model by the Hamilton Service Collaborative. To learn more about the tools of implementation, you can view the webinar recording and also download the presentation slides.

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CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre is currently planning for more webinars on Implementation Science in the upcoming fiscal year, so stay tuned! To share your ideas and thoughts on potential topics that should be covered, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Webinar Recap: The Drivers of Implementation and Change

Submitted by Linda Yoo, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

Earlier this month, the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre hosted the second in a 3-part webinar series on Implementation Science called Part 2 - Drivers of Implementation and Change. Featuring presenters from CAMH's Provincial System Support Program, the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation and Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, the webinar provided an overview of the drivers for implementing change based on the National Implementation Research Network's Active Implementation Framework (NIRN).

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During the first half of the webinar, Alexia Jaouich, from CAMH's Provincial System Support Program, highlighted the three main implementation drivers: competency drivers, organizational drivers, and leadership drivers.

First, Alexia provided a summary of competency drivers such as the selection of staff, training, coaching and performance assessments. She noted that competency drivers are essential to ensuring staff have the adequate skills and on-the-job coaching to implement evidence-based practices with fidelity.

Next, Alexia spoke about organizational drivers such as decision support data systems and administration systems. She explained that organization drivers assist organizations in developing new ways of working as well as strategies for making continual improvements. Further, by developing new data and administration processes, organization drivers can help ensure new interventions are more likely to be sustainable.

In discussing leadership drivers, Alexia commented that leadership is critical for effective implementation at all levels and for all drivers. Technical leadership drivers are those that help establish internal structures and processes that keep all the moving parts of an intervention working together. On the other hand, adaptive leadership drivers help deal with recurring problems that are difficult to resolve.

Overall, Alexia stressed that driver-based action planning has multiple benefits. Some benefits include ensuring that necessary processes are built, strengths and processes get celebrated, next steps are planned, and results measured.

In the second half of the webinar, Hélène Gagné, from the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, spoke with Peggy Govers from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit about her health unit's implementation of the Triple P Positive Parenting Program. Peggy shared insights on the importance of implementation drivers in the roll out of Triple P. For instance, Peggy shared that leadership drivers allowed opportunities for her health unit to start discussions with other stakeholders, including building common language.

To view a recording of this webinar, please click here. You can also download the presentation slides here by clicking here.

Finally, there are still a few more registration spots for the third and final webinar in this series called Part 3 - Implementation Science Tools. We will take a closer look at some of the tools of implementation with examples of their use on the ground. Visit the registration page for here for more information.

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Latest OSDUHS Research Findings Shine Light on Student Mental Health, Physical Health and Well-being

By Monica Nunes, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

About six months ago, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) released the latest student drug use findings from the 2013 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS). Today, researchers from the OSDUHS team are releasing findings specific to student mental health and well-being captured during the 2012-2013 school year from over 10 000 students in grades 7-12 in Ontario.

OSDUHSpic

The latest findings provide a snapshot of major trends relating to student mental health, physical health and risk behaviours through student reports on:

  • Home and school life
  • Health care utilization
  • Physical health including body image
  • Internalizing indicators (e.g. self-rated mental health, self-esteem, psychological distress)
  • Externalizing indicators (e.g. anti-social behaviour, violent behaviour, violence at school, bullying)
  • Gambling and video gaming

In their latest report, the OSDUHS researchers identify both encouraging findings as well as areas of public health concern. Some selected highlights of these findings are below:

Areas of Public Health Concern

  • There are several stark concerns when it comes to student physical health:
    • 1 in 3 students reports texting while driving at least once in the past year. Among students in grade 12, 46% report this very dangerous behaviour.
    • In addition, 1 in 2 students report not always wearing a helmet while cycling, increasing the risk of brain and other injuries.

  • There are also several concerns relating to student mental health:
    • More students today, compared with a few years ago, rate their mental health as fair or poor. And, between 1 in 8 students (an estimated 128 400) report seriously contemplating suicide in the past year. What's more, female students are twice as likely as males to report contemplating suicide.
    • One in three students report gambling in the past year. While, 1 in 10 students report having a video gaming problem.

Encouraging Findings

  • A majority of Ontario students rate both their physical health and mental health as excellent or very good.
  • A majority of Ontario students get along well with their parents and they report a positive school climate.
  • A majority of students are not getting bullied. Since 2003, schoolyard bullying rates have fallen from 33% to 25% in 2013.

In the past, Ontario public health and health promotion professionals have used the OSDUHS findings to inform program planning and decision-making. To follow up on recent webinars on the OSDUHS drug use findings, this Fall, the CAMH Health Promotion Resource with be partnering with the CAMH's Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) and the OSDUHS research team to provide in depth presentations on the latest mental health and well-being findings through two provincial webinars. Stay tuned for registration details!

To read the full OSDUHS mental health and well-being report, please visit CAMH's website by clicking here.

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2013 OSDUHS Webinar Series Recap: From Evidence to Action

By Monica Nunes, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

On June 17, participants from across the province representing various sectors like education, public health and policy attended the second webinar, Part 2 – From Evidence to Action, in a webinar series on the 2013 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS). The webinar was co-hosted by the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre (HPRC) and Evidence Exchange Network (EENet), both located in the Provincial System Support Program (PSSP) at CAMH.

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This second webinar focused on bringing evidence from the OSDUHS into action. In addition to learning about the findings, participants learned how they apply to programming, planning and policy in health promotion and prevention. Presenters in this webinar included representatives from the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) and Ottawa Public Health.

Public health nurses at Ottawa Public Health, Darcie Taing and Robin Ray, spoke about how the OSDUHS findings allow their health unit to monitor health trends in children and youth and make the case for evidence-informed programming such as Healthy Transitions, a program that promotes resilience in youth.

In addition, Michael Stephens of the CCSA spoke about the application of the Canadian Standards for Youth Substance Abuse Prevention in relation to the OSDUHS findings.

"This recent webinar series reflects an effective partnership between CAMH and other system partners, like CCSA. To apply evidence into action, we need to work together to produce reliable evidence and translate that knowledge in ways that are meaningful and usable to our community partners," said Stephens.

To view the recording from this webinar click here and to view the slides click here.

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Saying When: New CAMH App Aims to Help People to Curb or Quit Drinking

By Monica Nunes, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has launched a new mobile app, Saying When, which helps those who want to cut back or quit drinking manage their drinking habits in real time. Based on an established self-monitoring, but paper-based, program from CAMH, the audience is meant for individuals that are concerned about their drinking but do not have a severe substance use disorder.

Saying When

There are several key features of the Saying When app:

  • An introduction to the Canadian Low Risk Drinking Guidelines which are guidelines that help people moderate alcohol consumption
  • A function called "Taking Stock" which lets people identify current habits to help set goals
  • Infographics that describe and define standard drink sizes
  • Tracking features where people can enter the drinks they consume and then monitor the quantity of drinks.
  • A coping section that shows which approaches work best for the user when they are trying to cut back or quit drinking.

The release of this app is timely given recent reports that show alcohol consumption as a serious public health issue. According to the latest findings of the CAMH Monitor, an Ontario-wide telephone survey of substance use and mental health indicators 18 and older, 18.4 % of Ontarians exceed low-risk drinking guidelines. This is significant since exceeding low-risk drinking guidelines increases the risk of various social and health harms.

Currently, the Saying When app is available on iTunes and is another tool that public health and health promotion practitioners can add to their toolkits when working with community members that would like to reduce or quit drinking.

For more information about the Saying When app, visit the CAMH website.

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Webinar Recap: 2013 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey Results – Part 1

By Monica Nunes, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

On June 5, the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre and EEnet co-hosted a webinar to share the findings of the 2013 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) results. Conducted every two years since 1977, the OSDUHS asks Ontario students in Grades 7 to 12 about topics that include drug use and related harms, drug perceptions, mental health and physical health.

Led by CAMH, the OSDUHS is the longest ongoing student survey in Canada. Data from the OSDUHS is analyzed and shared as two different reports: one is the drug use report and the second is the mental health and well-being report. The focus of this past webinar was the drug use report.

The webinar began with Tamar Meyer (CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre) and Novella Martinello (CAMH Provincial System Support Program) sharing a summary of various drug use trends. Tamar and Novella reported on:

  • Overall drug use by students in 2013
  • Long term trends from 1977-2013
  • Early initiation in drug use trends
  • Some drug specific highlights
  • Vehicle-related risks associated with drug use
  • Drug use and the school context

Following their summary, Tamar and Novella led a panel discussion with members of the OSDUHS research team including Dr. Bob Mann (Senior Scientist, Social and Epidemiological Research Department, CAMH), Dr. Hayley Hamilton (Research Scientist Social and Epidemiological Research Department, CAMH) and Angela Boak (Research Coordinator and Analyst Social and Epidemiological Research Department, CAMH) as well as with Gloria Chaim (Deputy Clinical Director of the Child, Youth and Family Program ,CAMH). The panelists identified positive findings in the survey results as well as areas of public health concerns.

OSDUHS Presenters

(From left to right): Monica Nunes (HPRC-PSSP), Dr. Hayley Hamilton (OSDUHS team), Tamar Meyer (HPRC-PSSP), Novella Martinello (East Region-PSSP), Dr. Robert Mann (OSDUHS team), Angela Yip (EENet-PSSP)

Highlights of their reflections are below:

Positive Findings

  • There have been long term declines in alcohol use and tobacco use.
  • Use of illicit drugs such as cannabis is also on downward trend.
  • Prevention programs which aim to delay initiation of substance use have shown progress. For example, students today use substances starting at an older age.

Concerns

  • A significant number of students are still smoking or using tobacco with devices such as hookahs or electronic cigarettes whose health impacts are not yet fully known.
  • Students that drink alcohol are drinking in hazardous ways such as by binge drinking or mixing alcohol with energy drinks.
  • More students are driving after cannabis use than after drinking alcohol.
  • Over-the-counter medications are the only drug that shows an increase in use since 1999. 10% of students reported using over-the-counter medications to get high in the past year.

To hear more about these drug use trends, you can view the full webinar recording here: http://camh.adobeconnect.com/p8tna7np768/ and download the presentations slides here. You can also read about the latest OSDUHS findings and reports on CAMH's website.

Finally, join us for the second webinar in this series, Part 2: Evidence to Action by signing up here.

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Implementation Science Webinar Series: Part 1 Recap

Submitted by Linda Yoo, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

Research indicates that there is an estimated 17 year gap between translation of health evidence and actual practice. And even then, only 14% of research evidence becomes incorporated into day-to-day practice.

Last month, the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre hosted the first webinar in a series called An Introduction to Implementation Science. Featuring presenters from CAMH's Provincial System Support Program (PSSP) and the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, this series aims to develop a working understanding of Implementation Science, increase awareness of implementation tools, and explore the application of Implementation Science to health promotion and public health settings. Simply said, Implementation Science is the study of methods that promote the uptake of evidence-based practice in real-life settings.

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In the first webinar, titled Implementation Science: the What, the Why, and the How, presenter Alexia Jaouich (Senior Project Lead, CAMH PSSP) highlighted that the gap from evidence to action in implementation occurs when what is adopted is not used with fidelity, and what is used with fidelity is not sustainable nor at the best scale or scope to make a critical difference.

During the webinar, Alexia invited participants to reflect on factors that may prevent evidence-based interventions or practices from being implemented as intended. Examples of factors included competing demands, shifting priorities, structure of the organization, inadequate infrastructures and systems, lack of long-term investments and "change fatigue,". Further, she highlighted that methods such as the dissemination of information, training, mandates and regulations, funding and incentives, along with organization change are all necessary yet insufficient, when used alone, in leading to successful implementation.

To improve implementation, Alexia reviewed the Active Implementation Frameworks by the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) which include: usable interventions, implementation stages, implementation drivers, implementation teams, and improvement cycles. To learn more about the individual frameworks shared please check out the webinar recording and presentation slides.

Also, please join us for the remaining webinars in this series including:

• Part 2 – Drivers of Implementation and Change on Thursday July 3 2014, 11:00 – 12:30 PM (EDT)
• Part 3 – Implementation Science Tools on Tuesday July 22 2014, 10:00 – 11:30 AM (EDT)

You can register for the above webinars by clicking here.

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Let’s Celebrate Mental Health!

Submitted by Monica Nunes, CAMH HPRC

This week organizations across Canada and Ontario are celebrating both National Mental Health Week and Children's Mental Health Week. Many provincial and local organizations are hosting events to reflect on the variety of issues that affect mental health.

In the last few years the reach of Mental Health Week has grown enormously. In Ontario alone, the variety of different activities and events that exist to celebrate Mental Health Week are many. This says a lot about the enormous amount of work that has been done to address the stigma around mental illness.

Mental Health Week is also a great opportunity to reflect on mental health as something that is part of all of us. Although related, mental health is not the same as mental illness. Where mental illness describes a set of problems we might experience with our mental well-being, mental health is very much a positive concept. Mental health relates to our ability to feel, think and act in ways that help us get the most out of life. Like physical health, we all have mental health. Having good physical health and good mental health contributes to our overall well-being.

Many of the events for Mental Health Week address how we can take care of our own mental health as well as how to make communities mentally healthier. Check out these Mental Health Week event listings shared by two mental health organizations in Ontario:

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health:
http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/about_camh/newsroom/CAMH_in_the_headlines/stories/Pages/Mental-Health-Week-(May-5-11);-Children%27s-Mental-Health-Week-(May-4-10).aspx

Canadian Mental Health Association – Ontario:
http://mentalhealthweek.cmha.ca/

Also, if you're interested in exploring the differences and connections between mental health and mental illness and some basic strategies for mental health promotion, check out this webinar recording from the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre called Finding a Shared Language.

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Alcohol Consumption and Cancer: Making the Link

By Monica Nunes, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

CCO report imageA new report from Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) called Cancer Risk Factors in Ontario: Alcohol identifies that as many as 3000 new cancer cases each year can be attributed to alcohol consumption. The same report highlights past research showing that only one third of Canadians are aware of the cancer causing impacts of alcohol consumption. Specific types of cancer that show links to drinking alcohol include cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, larynx, liver, colorectal and breast cancers.

For many of us, this information may be a bit surprising since we usually hear more about the social harms, like injury, that can stem from alcohol consumption. Still, the report makes the case for action and highlights opportunities for cancer prevention like the few areas that are noted below:

Increasing Public Awareness of Cancer Prevention Recommendations for Alcohol Consumption

The report highlights the need to increase public awareness of cancer prevention recommendations for alcohol consumption. Specifically, the report highlights the cancer prevention recommendations from the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research.. This recommendation states that if alcoholic beverages are consumed, alcohol consumption should be limited to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. In Canada, one standard drink constitutes 13.6 grams of alcohol as the image from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse illustrates in their one-page summary on cancer prevention recommendations for alcohol consumption:

standard drink

Addressing Specific Groups

As another area of prevention, the report encourages health professionals and policy-makers to focus cancer prevention efforts among groups that tend to consume more alcohol. As an example, Ontarians who drink in excess of cancer prevention recommendations are also more likely to smoke. This is significant as research shows there is a higher risk of cancer among those who drink alcohol and smoke tobacco. Prevention efforts should also consider young adults between the ages of 19 and 29 who are more likely to drink in excess of the cancer prevention recommendations.

Addressing Alcohol Control Policy

As another area of prevention, the report also highlights evidence showing that there are a number of policy measures that can help decrease alcohol consumption. One of these policies includes reducing the number of outlets selling alcohol as well as their days and hours of sale. An overview of alcohol policies can be found in this CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre toolkit called Making the Case: Tools for Supporting Alcohol Policy in Ontario.

The full Cancer Risk Factors in Ontario: Alcohol report is available online at Cancer Care Ontario's website here. For those that have had a chance to take a look at the report or even heard about it through the media, is the link between alcohol and cancer new to you?

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Webinar Recap: Mental Health Data for Health Promotion - Finding It, Using It

By Monica Nunes, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

Local community need is a major driver of public health and health promotion activities. And, data often paints the picture of local needs. When it comes to mental health promotion, data is not always readily available. The CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre in partnership with Public Health Ontario and Ottawa Public Health recently explored this topic through a webinar.

Tamar Jacqueline Ben<style="font-size: 8pt;"="">Jacqueline Willmore (Ottawa Public Health), Ben Leikin (Ottawa Public Health) and Tamar Meyer (CAMH HPRC)

This webinar called Mental Health Data for Health Promotion: Finding it, Using it took a look at relevant population health, surveillance, and other data that can be used to inform, and respond to, local mental health needs in health promotion settings. From Public Health Ontario's Analytic Services, Jeremy Herring and Karin Hohenadel provided an overview of the provincial data landscape showcasing potential data sets that public health and health promotion practitioners may access for mental health related programming. This provincial snap shot was then complemented by Ottawa Public Health's presenters, Ben Leikin and Jacqueline Willmore, who provided examples of how their health unit has utilized national, provincial and local data sets to inform mental health related programming. Monica Nunes and Linda Yoo from the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre also shared information on data sets that are prepared by CAMH such the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, the CAMH Monitor and DATIS.

Throughout, presenters acknowledged some of the limitations and challenges in accessing data to address mental health in health promotion settings. One particular data gap is the tendency of available data to focus on the burden of mental illness and indicators related to treatment and mental illness rather than positive mental health.

Innovative solutions for linking available data to mental health related activities were also identified. In particular, webinar participants found the visual infographics presented by Ottawa Public Health and Public Health Ontario to share data on mental health in a more user friendly format particularly helpful. Public Health Ontario will soon launch a new mental health primer infographic in the coming days. And, you can check out Ottawa Public Health's various infographics here on their website.

A recording of this webinar is available here. And you can download the presentation slides from the webinar here.

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Webinar Recap- Spirit to Spirit: Learning from Practice

By Monica Nunes, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

Spirit to Spirit, a webinar series developed by the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre in partnership with CAMH's Aboriginal Community Engagement concluded recently. This series looked at considerations for health promotion and prevention practitioners when they are thinking about sharing knowledge for health promotion with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis (FNIM) peoples particularly in the areas of mental health and substance use.

Part one of this webinar series, Foundations and Context, provided recommendations for effective engagement of FNIM communities and individuals with a focus on making change, social action and addressing stigma.

Part two, Learning from Practice, comprised a panel discussion with community partners. This webinar began with an introduction from the Manager of Aboriginal Community Engagement at CAMH, Renee Linklater who introduced the panel of presenters. Then, each presenter provided a unique perspective on important considerations for sharing knowledge with FNIM populations.

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Lisa Beedie (Cancer Care Ontario) spoke from her experience with the Aboriginal Tobacco Program. Lisa powerfully noted that reclaiming health is an act of self-determination. To this end, Lisa shared that in her practice to support smoking cessation efforts, rather than enforcing a certain behavior with community members, she shares information to enable those she works with to arrive at their own health decisions.

Next, Dr. Claire Crooks (CAMH Centre for Prevention Science) highlighted a few ways that the Fourth R, youth relationship and resiliency building program, has been adapted to be more culturally relevant to FNIM youth. In discussing the Fourth R, an evidence-based intervention, Claire commented that as practitioners we must expand our notion of evidence to ensure that methods of research and evaluation are appropriate and empowering for participating FNIM programs and communities.

Finally, Laura Calmwind (Chiefs of Ontario) spoke about her youth engagement work with indigenous youth. She characterized these activities as a rights based approach where youth are seen as rights holders with the capacity to empower themselves. As an example of this practice, Laura described how youth influenced modifications to the suicide prevention activities they were involved with. Namely, youth participants saw the language of suicide prevention as limited and renamed these activities to be life promotion activities, reflecting a more hopeful, empowering and positive approach.

You can view the webinar Spirit to Spirit – Learning from Practice here: http://camh.adobeconnect.com/p2s01m1cot7/
and the slides here:
http://www.hclinkontario.ca/im...m_practice_FINAL.pdf
http://www.hclinkontario.ca/im...a_Beedie_PPT_CCO.pdf

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Webinar Recap: Choosing Evidence-based Interventions – Considerations for Mental Health Promotion Programming

By Monica Nunes and Linda Yoo, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

Last week the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre (CAMH HPRC) hosted the second webinar in a three part series of webinars exploring mental health in public health and health promotion settings. The focus of this webinar was on considerations for mental health promotion programming when searching for and choosing evidence.

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The webinar was hosted in partnership with the CAMH HPRC's host program, the Provincial System Support Program (PSSP) and the presenters shared expertise from their work in PSSP. Presenters included Linda Yoo (Health Promotion Consultant with the CAMH HPRC), Novella Martinello (Equity and Engagement Lead with the East Region Team) and Ilene Hyman (Evaluation Lead with the Drug Treatment Funding Program Implementation Team).

The webinar had four objectives:

  • To raise awareness of the importance of evidence in practice and decision-making processes
  • To raise awareness of the current state of mental health promotion evidence
  • To increase knowledge of the types of evidence and the ways to obtain evidence
  • To increase knowledge of ways to use evidence in practice or decision-making processes

Examples of mental health promotion-related programming were highlighted to showcase the range of existing evidence-based mental health promotion interventions. Presenters also highlighted some of the challenges practitioners face when searching for and choosing evidence such as: the complexity and long-term nature of mental health promotion outcomes like resiliency and self-esteem; the measurement of mental health promotion interventions that are often multi-level, multi-component and multi-sectoral; and the infeasibility of randomized control studies for many mental health promotion interventions given the cost and ethical considerations.

Recognizing some of these challenges the presenters reminded participants to "not lose heart" and highlighted the following quote:

"The absence of excellent evidence does not make evidence-based decision making impossible; what is required is the best evidence available, not the best evidence possible." i

To learn more about searching and choosing the best evidence possible when thinking about mental health promotion programming, you might like to view the webinar slides or the recording of this webinar through this link: http://camh.adobeconnect.com/p2w96bqsvs4/.

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i Muir, Gray JA. 1997. Evidence-Based Healthcare: How to Make Health Policy and Management Decisions. New York/Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.

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Webinar Recap: Using a Trauma Informed Approach to Prevent Suicide and Promote Life Among First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples

By Monica Nunes, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

Suicide rates for First Nations, Inuit and Métis are far greater than the national Canadian rate. According to Health Canada, rates of suicide are 5 – 7 times higher for First Nations youth compared to non-Aboriginal youth. Among Inuit youth, suicide rates are at 11 times higher than the national average. During a webinar yesterday titled Understanding and Preventing Suicide among First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples hosted by the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre, presenter Alison Benedict (Program Consultant, Aboriginal Community Engagement, CAMH Provincial System Support Program) spoke to these astounding rates.

During the webinar, Alison encouraged participants to ask "what happened" to better understand the historical and current factors that frame suicide rates within First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. These factors include colonization, social rejection, and on-going racism and violence. To illustrate the interplay among these factors and their impact on well-being, Alison shared the presentation below in Prezi format (click on the image to go to the full Prezi).

camhblog

In addition to presenting a historical context for understanding suicide, Alison along with her colleague Renee Linklater (Manager, Aboriginal Community Engagement, CAMH Provincial System Support Program), provided information on prevention strategies. During this discussion, participants used the chat pod actively to network and exchange information on initiatives and programs that they are currently involved with to prevent suicide and promote life. To learn more about the strategies shared please check out the webinar recording and slide deck.

You may also be interested in an upcoming webinar hosted by the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre titled Spirit to Spirit Webinar # 2: Sharing Knowledge for Mental Health Promotion and Substance Misuse Prevention with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. This session will focus on learning from practice and will include a panel discussion with community partners from the CAMH Centre for Prevention Science, Cancer Care Ontario and Chiefs of Ontario who will share their experiences reflecting on the successes, challenges and opportunities of working in this area.

More info here: https://spirit2spiritparttwo.eventbrite.com

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