“Mental health is set aside as that other kind of health care we don’t want to talk about.” – Asante Haughton, one of three youth featured in the Ontario Shores produced film “Talk To Someone: You’re Not Alone.”
Queen’s University researcher Dr. Heather Stuart says the majority of anti-stigma campaigns are not evidence based and few are evaluated. In fact, her research suggests that we may even have to retrench and undo the damage some of these past campaigns have created.
That includes discussion of mental disorders as a brain disease. Her research shows that such descriptors actually increase social distance, not close it.
Speaking at the Ontario Hospital Association HealthAchieve on Monday, Stuart says protests over stigma can “backfire,” resulting in greater polarization of the issue. Stigma should be regarded as a “transgenerational problem.”
“You can’t sell social inclusion like you sell soap,” she told the packed conference room.
We’re all part of it, she says, including families and the mentally ill themselves who create a “self-stigma.” That includes self-blame.
Kingston’s Dr. Chris Simpson has been acclaimed president-elect of the Canadian Medical Association. His term as President begins August 2014.
Simpson is professor of medicine and chief of cardiology at Queen’s University as well as medical director of the Cardiac program at Kingston General Hospital and Hotel Dieu.
Simpson’s interest in health care policy is reflected in his BLOG which focusses on such issues as wait times, health human resources planning, and health care reform.
Critical over rising wait times towards the end of the 2004 Health Accord, Simpson is surprisingly frank: “The reasons are many but they essentially boil down to one indisputable truth: the money that was invested didn’t buy change. All we did was to make the numbers look a little better for a short time.”
In his BLOG he particularly looks at the achievements made in the Scottish Health System, suggesting our proximity to the United States makes it difficult to similarly modify our own system.
Dennis Howlett, coordinator of Canadians for Tax Fairness, will be at all three public health care forums this week in Eastern Ontario. The forums are hosted by the Ontario Health Coalition.
Given the focus on debt, deficit and public sector job cuts, much of the media coverage has overlooked the impact of the provincial budget on Ontario’s health care system. The March provincial budget slowed funding further than most had predicted, leading to concerns about longer waits, crowded ERs and the delisting of some health services.
As coordinator of CFTF, Howlett is building a national campaign to promote fair taxation. CFTF believes the tax system should be reformed to fund the comprehensive, high-quality network of public services and programs required to meet our social, economic and environmental needs in the 21st century.
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Tagged Ann Clark, Canadians For Tax Fairness, Dennis Howlett, False Positive: Private Profit in Canada's Medical Laboratories, Kathleen Lahey, Marlene Rivier, Michael Hurley, Natalie Mehra, Queen's University, Ross Sutherland, Sara Labelle