Tag Archives: Mental Health

One helluva story

Photograph of Glenn French, President and CEO of the Canadian Initiative on Workplace Violence.

Glenn French, President and CEO of the Canadian Initiative on Workplace Violence.

Glenn French has a helluva story to tell.

The President and CEO of the Canadian Initiative on Workplace violence provided the keynote speech after two days of meetings by OPSEU’s Mental Health Division.

He spoke about a cleaner in a long-term residential facility in Newfoundland.

The man was well-liked and enjoyed his work.

One day he was struck with a lamp by a resident in a senseless act of violence.

While his colleagues quickly attended to the perpetrator of the act, nobody attended to the cleaner, who took himself off to what he perceived would be a safe place. It was an hour before anyone had thought to give any attention to the victim.

French says that when violence happens in the workplace it has a ripple effect, like a stone being thrown into a pond.

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Kingston psychiatric hospital sheds about a fifth of its workforce to cope with $6 million cut

KINGSTON – Facing $6 million in budget cuts, Providence Care is telling staff today of one of the biggest job losses in the history of the former Kingston Psychiatric hospital.

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union has been told the mental health facility will be shedding as many as 80-90 jobs to meet their target reduction of 60 full-time equivalent positions by next spring. This represents almost one in five jobs at the hospital.

The job reductions are part of restructuring of local health care, although the union says the planning it is based on is 20 years out-of-date.

“Providence is already under considerable stress,” says OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “The situation is volatile as too few staff are trying to manage patients with increasing care needs. This raises questions of both safety and quality of care.”

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Briefs: Women with mental illness disproportionaley more likely to end up in jail

Women with mental illness are disproportionately more likely to find jail than health care help according to the associate chief of psychiatry at the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group. Speaking to the Ottawa Citizen editorial board, Dr. AG Ahmed says it is time to address that imbalance. According to the newspaper, an estimated 800 female inmates have some form of mental disorder in the federal corrections system. Dozens of women at Milton’s Vanier Centre – Ontario’s only correctional facility for women – have symptoms of mental illness that are so severe that they could benefit from being treated at a secure unit. While the Royal Ottawa maintains such a unit to treat men, the nearest for women is in Saskatchewan.