Investing in Employees’ Health Leads to Increased Productivity

An annual gain of 10 hours in pro­duc­tive time for work­ers who improve health!
Work­place health pro­mo­tion pro­grams that improve employee health can lead to sig­nif­i­cant increases in pro­duc­tiv­ity — and asso­ci­ated cost sav­ings, reports a study in the Octo­ber Jour­nal of Occu­pa­tional and Envi­ron­men­tal Med­i­cine, offi­cial pub­li­ca­tion of the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Occu­pa­tional and Envi­ron­men­tal Med­i­cine (ACOEM).“Participating in health pro­mo­tion pro­grams can help improve pro­duc­tiv­ity lev­els among employ­ees and save money for their employ­ers,” accord­ing to the study by Rebecca J. Mitchell, MPH, and col­leagues of OptumHealth, Golden Val­ley, Minn.The researchers ana­lyzed the pro­duc­tiv­ity effects of a pro­gram in which well­ness coaches pro­vided tele­phone sup­port to help employ­ees address health prob­lems or risks. The study used mea­sures of lost work time includ­ing absen­teeism as well as “pre­sen­teeism” — time spent at work with reduced productivity.The pro­gram led to sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tions in lost work time — equiv­a­lent to about 10.3 hours in addi­tional pro­duc­tive time per year. Sav­ings aver­aged about $350 per par­tic­i­pat­ing employee, com­pared to sim­i­lar work­ers who did not par­tic­i­pate in the well­ness program.

The sav­ings were even greater for employ­ees who suc­cess­fully improved their health or low­ered health risk in at least one area. For a typ­i­cal employee, the gain in pro­duc­tive time amounted to about 0.5 percent.

Effec­tive health pro­mo­tion pro­grams lead to sav­ings in med­ical and absen­teeism costs. The new results “add to the grow­ing body of evi­dence that invest­ing in a healthy work­force can help to increase pro­duc­tiv­ity lev­els of employ­ees,” Ms. Mitchell and coau­thors con­clude. How­ever, they add, “It takes time and com­mit­ment for pro­gram par­tic­i­pa­tion to yield success.”

Cita­tion — Mitchell RJ, Ozminkowski RJ, Serxner S. Improv­ing employee pro­duc­tiv­ity through improved health. J Occup Env­i­ron Med. 2013;55(10):1142–8.

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How can we help?

The Healthy Work­places blog is brought to you by Home­wood Human Solu­tions. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care orga­ni­za­tion with a focus on men­tal health and addic­tions, employee and fam­ily assis­tance, dis­abil­ity man­age­ment, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?

Home­wood Human Solutions

Nation­wide EFAP and Dis­abil­ity Pro­grams

Home­wood Human Solu­tions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the mar­ket: the high­est qual­ity of clin­i­cal sup­port and inter­ven­tion avail­able within the EFAP indus­try, and an unmatched con­tin­uum of ser­vices — span­ning health pro­mo­tion, men­tal health and addic­tions treat­ment, and prevention-focused work-life coun­selling services.

Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Program

Effec­tive dis­abil­ity man­age­ment for men­tal ill­ness must go beyond “man­ag­ing” dis­abil­ity to include both inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment. Treat­ment goals must incor­po­rate strate­gies for suc­cess­ful work rein­te­gra­tion to min­i­mize recur­rence and relapse.

The Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Pro­gram (HDTP) com­bines the ser­vices avail­able through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre – a nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre with the best national net­work of skilled men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment pro­fes­sion­als through Home­wood Human Solu­tionsTM.

Home­wood Health Centre

Nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion facil­i­ties

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is Canada’s unsur­passed med­ical leader in addic­tion and men­tal health treat­ment, pro­vid­ing highly spe­cial­ized psy­chi­atric ser­vices to all Cana­di­ans. We are a 312-bed, Sched­ule 1 facil­ity under the Ontario Men­tal Health Act. We oper­ate nine pro­grams treat­ing a range of men­tal health and addic­tion issues.

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is located in Guelph, Ontario.

Schlegel Vil­lages

Con­tin­uum of care facil­i­ties for older adults (long-term care and retire­ment homes)

Schlegel Vil­lages are designed, built and man­aged by the Schlegel fam­ily of Kitch­ener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Vil­lage to Care” lives on.

Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

Have you vis­ited our Pin­ter­est site? We have many, many more info­graph­ics to peruse. Have a look here!

We’re on Google Plus!

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Human Solu­tions, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.

 

Are employees facing the schoolyard bully in your workplace?

Note: Orig­i­nally pub­lished on the Healthy Work­places blog Feb 12, 2012

A recent (2011) Career­Builder study shows that 27% of U.S. work­ers have felt bul­lied in the work­place with the major­ity not con­fronting or report­ing the bully. Addi­tion­ally: 11% of respon­dents say they felt bul­lied by a coworker, and 14% say they felt bul­lied by their imme­di­ate super­vi­sor. Another 7% say the bully was not their boss, but some­one higher up in the organization.

In Canada, employ­ers have a respon­si­bil­ity to take rea­son­able steps to pro­tect employ­ees from harm that may occur in the work­place. The gov­ern­ing laws vary by province and ter­ri­tory, but the require­ment is basi­cally the same across Canada— employ­ers are required to:

  • Rec­og­nize signs of vio­lence and harassment;
  • Assess poten­tial risks to employ­ees and other bystanders (e.g., clients, customers);
  • Estab­lish pro­ce­dures to con­trol these risks;
  • Edu­cate employ­ees, man­agers, super­vi­sors and key per­son­nel on these issues;
  • Respond appro­pri­ately and conᴀ­den­tially to issues (e.g., inci­dents, com­plaints) that are iden­tiᴀed; And,
  • Take rea­son­able action to resolve issues.

Pro­gres­sive provini­cial leg­is­la­tions are help­ing help­ing to change this pic­ture and requir­ing account­abil­ity from employ­ers to have poli­cies and train­ing in place that sup­port more respect­ful work­places (e.g. Bill 168 amend­ment to the Ontario Occu­pa­tional Health and Safety Act that came into effect June 15, 2010).

When work­place behav­iour is inap­pro­pri­ate and/or dis­repect­ful, do you know your responsibilities?
Sources:
2. Home­wood Human Solu­tions e-learning course: Sup­port­ing Respect in the Work­place, 2011.
Note: Orig­i­nal pub­li­ca­tion date Feb 21, 2012.

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Helping a colleague with suspected mental health challenges

In antic­i­pa­tion of the release of Home­wood Human Solutions’s upcom­ing “Men­tal Health SOS for super­vi­sors, man­agers, and lead­ers” the fol­low­ing sum­mary of infor­ma­tion from the e-course may help you under­stand and take actions to deal with sus­pected men­tal health issues in your workplace.

Men­tal health, whether you call it well-being, emo­tional wel­fare or men­tal health, is key to liv­ing a ful­fill­ing life. But many things can be hap­pen­ing in an employee’s per­sonal and work life that leave them feel­ing down or upbeat, calm or edgy, want­ing to withdraw.

Men­tal health prob­lems affect the way a per­sonal thinks, feels and behaves. When some of these feel­ings, thoughts, and actions become dis­tress­ing, over­whelm­ing, and/or inter­fere with car­ry­ing on rou­tine activ­i­ties of daily per­sonal and work life, men­tal health prob­lems can result. And, in some cases, men­tal health prob­lems have existed for a long time, with­out any impact, but stresses and other events ‘trig­ger’ their rec­cur­rence and expression.

Men­tal health ill­ness is diag­nosed by a doc­tor and is not a per­sonal weakness.

What are the most com­mon men­tal  health prob­lems?
Anx­i­ety and depres­sion are the most com­mon prob­lems with around one in ten peo­ple affected by a mix­ture of the two at any one time. Although anx­i­ety and depres­sion are com­mon, they can be severe and long-lasting and have a big impact on an employe’s abil­ity to get on with life.

Only 1–2% of peo­ple expe­ri­ence a severe men­tal ill­ness, such as bipo­lar dis­or­der or schiz­o­phre­nia, and have peri­ods when they lose touch with real­ity. This may be expe­ri­enced as hear­ing voices, see­ing things oth­ers do not see, hav­ing unusual thoughts and beliefs, and/or feel­ing excep­tion­ally ener­gized and self-important.

Some symp­toms of a men­tal health chal­lenge are shared, but no two employ­ees behave  in exactly the same way when they are unwell. And because of shame and stigma, many of these same indi­vid­u­als live with their men­tal health prob­lem with­out seek­ing help, keep­ing their thoughts, feel­ings, and con­cerns to them­selves because of fear of col­leagues and oth­ers’ reactions.

Depres­sion

Every­one expe­ri­ences vari­a­tion in mood, but depres­sion is a long last­ing low mood that inter­feres with the abil­ity to func­tion, feel plea­sure, or take an inter­est in things. It is not a sign of per­sonal weak­ness or a phase that can be willed away but a con­di­tion that needs treat­ment to reduce symptoms.

Depres­sion affects any­one of any age, includ­ing young chil­dren. It is one of the most com­mon men­tal ill­nesses. More than 15 out of every 100 peo­ple will expe­ri­ence an episode of depres­sion dur­ing their life. (note, how­ever, these fig­ures are based on peo­ple who actu­ally seek help, and there will be more who remain undi­ag­nosed). Women are diag­nosed with depres­sion more than men but this could be due to the fact that women are more likely to seek help.

Symp­toms of depression

Not every­one who is depressed will expe­ri­ence every symp­tom, and no one symp­tom is indica­tive of depres­sion. Some of the most com­mon symp­toms are:

  • Per­sis­tent low mood, feel­ing sad
  • Reduced energy, decreased activity
  • Loss of inter­est and enjoy­ment in plea­sur­able activities
  • Loss of concentration
  • Tired­ness after lit­tle activity
  • Sleep­ing and eat­ing less (although this can some­times increase)
  • Low con­fi­dence
  • Loss of inter­est in work
  • Dif­fi­culty learn­ing new infor­ma­tion or concentrating
  • Feel­ings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Sui­ci­dal thoughts and acts

Anx­i­ety Disorders

Anx­i­ety, worry and fear are feel­ings that every­one expe­ri­ences now and again. They can be use­ful emo­tions, help­ing us to be aware of risks and respond to chal­leng­ing or dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions. They pre­pare the body to take action to pro­tect itself (the so-called ‘fight or flight’ response).

How­ever, those indi­vid­u­als chal­lenged by an anx­i­ety dis­or­der expe­ri­ence anx­i­ety, worry, fear or panic at a greater level than is nor­mal. The anx­i­ety can be caused by spe­cific sit­u­a­tions or it can be present con­stantly. Anx­i­ety dis­or­ders are gen­er­ally more com­mon in women than in men, but this can vary depend­ing on the type of condition.

Of note:

  • An anx­i­ety dis­or­der is diag­nosed when some­one feels anx­ious all, or a lot of the time for no log­i­cal rea­son to the extent that this impacts every­day life.
  • Obses­sive com­pul­sive dis­or­der, panic attacks (sud­den onset of fear, a sense of dying), post-traumatic stress dis­or­der, and spe­cific pho­bias are exam­ples of anx­i­ety disorders.
  • Anx­i­ety dis­or­ders can cause both phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal symptoms.
  • Anx­i­ety Dis­or­ders are some of the most com­mon men­tal health problems.

Some of the most com­mon symp­toms of anx­i­ety dis­or­ders include:

  • Appear­ing pale and tense
  • Being eas­ily star­tled by every­day sounds
  • Hav­ing dif­fi­culty concentrating
  • Avoid­ing cer­tain situations
  • Feel­ing con­stantly irri­ta­ble or worried
  • Dif­fi­cul­ties sleeping
  • Feel­ings of dread or impend­ing doom
  • Heart pal­pi­ta­tions
  • Sweat­ing
  • Heavy and rapid breathing
  • Dizzi­ness
  • Faint­ing
  • Indi­ges­tion
  • Stom­ach aches and sick­ness (espe­cially in young children)

Many peo­ple feel one or more of these at one time or another, but peo­ple with anx­i­ety dis­or­ders expe­ri­ence them more fre­quently and to the extent that they inter­fere with their lives. Which symp­toms and how severely they are expe­ri­enced will be dif­fer­ent for each dis­or­der and person.

How can you help?

When a col­league tells you they have a men­tal health prob­lem, becomes dis­tressed or starts behav­ing out of char­ac­ter, it can be very con­fus­ing. It may dis­tress you, too. Know­ing how to respond can be dif­fi­cult and it can seem eas­ier to ignore the sit­u­a­tion than to try to pro­vide sup­port. But pro­vid­ing sup­port at work can make a huge dif­fer­ence to someone’s life.

The most impor­tant thing you can do is treat this per­son with respect and dig­nity. Talk­ing with your col­league is the first step towards find­ing out how they would like you to sup­port them.

Key points:

  • It’s good to talk. It takes a tremen­dous amount of courage for a per­son to dis­cuss how they feel and they may feel ashamed to ‘admit’ their men­tal health chal­lenges. Be open and tell them that you care. Let your col­league know that you are there if they want to talk.
  • Allow your col­league to share as much or lit­tle as they want to, do not pry If you have ques­tions that would help you under­stand what they are going through, tell them that they don’t have to answer if this make them feel uncomfortable.
  • Make it clear that you don’t blame them for their prob­lems. Do not make judgements.
  • Do not diag­nose some­one or sec­ond guess their feelings.
  • Ask open-ended ques­tions (e.g. “tell me how you are feel­ing?” not “I see you aren’t feel­ing well, you seem low and sad.”). Don’t ask too many ques­tions at once.
  • Keep your lan­guage neutral.
  • Reas­sure them your con­ver­sa­tion is pri­vate and will not be shared with oth­ers if they do not want.
  • Ask them how they would you to help them.
  • Ask if there is any­thing that the per­son find helps them cope if you can help them with this.
  • Encour­age them to get pro­fes­sional help.
  • If you are aware that a col­league has self-harmed, make sure they get the sup­port and the first aid they need.

What you can do as a manager

Man­agers often find it dif­fi­cult to deal with some­one they think has a men­tal health prob­lem, par­tic­u­larly if the per­son or they them­selves are reluc­tant to talk about it. But it’s impor­tant to talk.

Key points:

  • After you have arranged for mod­i­fied work duties and have had ini­tial con­ver­sa­tions with your employee about their sit­u­a­tion, arrange reg­u­lar follow-up meet­ings to check how they are cop­ing and whether fur­ther changes to work­ing arrange­ments are needed.
  • A phased return to work can be help­ful, with some­one work­ing a few hours a day and build­ing back up to work­ing their con­tracted hours. If you’re unsure what is rea­son­able, ask for advice from your HR man­ager or occu­pa­tional health advisor.

 

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How can we help?

The Healthy Work­places blog is brought to you by Home­wood Human Solu­tions. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care orga­ni­za­tion with a focus on men­tal health and addic­tions, employee and fam­ily assis­tance, dis­abil­ity man­age­ment, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?

Home­wood Human Solutions

Nation­wide EFAP and Dis­abil­ity Pro­grams

Home­wood Human Solu­tions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the mar­ket: the high­est qual­ity of clin­i­cal sup­port and inter­ven­tion avail­able within the EFAP indus­try, and an unmatched con­tin­uum of ser­vices — span­ning health pro­mo­tion, men­tal health and addic­tions treat­ment, and prevention-focused work-life coun­selling services.

Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Program

Effec­tive dis­abil­ity man­age­ment for men­tal ill­ness must go beyond “man­ag­ing” dis­abil­ity to include both inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment. Treat­ment goals must incor­po­rate strate­gies for suc­cess­ful work rein­te­gra­tion to min­i­mize recur­rence and relapse.

The Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Pro­gram (HDTP) com­bines the ser­vices avail­able through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre – a nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre with the best national net­work of skilled men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment pro­fes­sion­als through Home­wood Human Solu­tionsTM.

Home­wood Health Centre

Nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion facil­i­ties

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is Canada’s unsur­passed med­ical leader in addic­tion and men­tal health treat­ment, pro­vid­ing highly spe­cial­ized psy­chi­atric ser­vices to all Cana­di­ans. We are a 312-bed, Sched­ule 1 facil­ity under the Ontario Men­tal Health Act. We oper­ate nine pro­grams treat­ing a range of men­tal health and addic­tion issues.

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is located in Guelph, Ontario.

Schlegel Vil­lages

Con­tin­uum of care facil­i­ties for older adults (long-term care and retire­ment homes)

Schlegel Vil­lages are designed, built and man­aged by the Schlegel fam­ily of Kitch­ener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Vil­lage to Care” lives on.

Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

Have you vis­ited our Pin­ter­est site? We have many, many more info­graph­ics to peruse. Have a look here!

We’re on Google Plus!

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Human Solu­tions, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.

 

Homewood Human Solutions wins Strategic Partnership Award

Home­wood Human Solu­tions is proud to announce receiv­ing the Strate­gic Part­ner­ship Award for our work with the City of Cal­gary on its bet­ter sleep campaign.

The Strate­gic Part­ner­ship Award, pre­sented by Ben­e­fits Canada as part of the Ben­e­fits Canada Work­place Health and Ben­e­fits Awards 2013 pro­gram, rec­og­nizes employ­ers (City of Cal­gary) who have worked with a sup­port­ing orga­ni­za­tion (Home­wood Human Solu­tions) to develop “inno­v­a­tive and effec­tive ben­e­fits initiatives.”

Theawards bring together the best of the indus­try and rec­og­nize only those orga­ni­za­tions that are com­mit­ted to sus­tain­able health­care and that achieve best prac­tices in the com­mu­ni­ties [served].” — Ben­e­fits Canada

Con­grat­u­la­tions to all involved in this most suc­cess­ful health improve­ment cam­paign and inno­v­a­tive work­ing relationship!

More about the awards here.

 

Employers play a critical role in de-stigmatizing mental illness

In the Octo­ber 2013 issue of Ben­e­fits Canada our own Judith Plotkin pro­vides com­men­tary on the crit­i­cal role employ­ers play in de-stigmatizing men­tal illness.

From the arti­cle, Judith notes:

Accord­ing to the Cana­dian Men­tal Health Asso­ci­a­tion (CMHA), stigma is a result of neg­a­tive stereo­types around men­tal ill­ness that con­tinue to be rein­forced in the media, which often depict the men­tally ill as vio­lent and unpre­dictable. In the work­place, employ­ees view col­leagues liv­ing with men­tal health con­di­tions with sus­pi­cion and ques­tion their capa­bil­i­ties, which can result in these employ­ees being over­looked for promotions.

A 2007 Ipsos Reid study found that 79% of North Amer­i­can work­ers think peo­ple would hide the fact that they had a men­tal ill­ness from their employ­ers to avoid hurt­ing poten­tial career oppor­tu­ni­ties. Almost 50% believe that if an employee is absent as a result of his or her men­tal ill­ness, he or she is likely to “get into trou­ble and maybe even fired.” And a sur­vey con­ducted in the United States found that more than half of employ­ers would be hes­i­tant to hire a per­son who is men­tally ill, while one-quarter would dis­miss an employee who had not dis­closed the ill­ness. It’s not sur­pris­ing, then, that the major­ity of peo­ple with a men­tal health con­di­tion keep quiet and don’t divulge their health sta­tus to their employers.

Depres­sion is the most preva­lent men­tal ill­ness. In fact, the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion has indi­cated that depres­sion is one of the world’s lead­ing causes of dis­abil­ity, with more than 350 mil­lion peo­ple of all ages cur­rently liv­ing with the ill­ness world­wide. For­tu­nately, depres­sion is extremely respon­sive to treatment—usually med­ica­tion, coun­selling or both. Once help is sought, 80% of peo­ple make pos­i­tive improve­ments allow­ing them to return to their reg­u­lar activ­i­ties, accord­ing to the CMHA. Yet many peo­ple do not seek help: they think they will sim­ply “snap out of it” or, because of the stigma, they are too embar­rassed to ask for it.

The longer depres­sion goes untreated, the harder it becomes to treat.

Depres­sion is also strik­ing younger and younger peo­ple: 3.2 mil­lion Cana­di­ans ages 12 to 19 are at risk for devel­op­ing depres­sion, accord­ing to the CMHA. In today’s increas­ingly com­pet­i­tive global econ­omy, Cana­dian busi­nesses can­not afford to lose skilled employ­ees in their prime work­ing years.

What the Num­bers Say

Judith quotes some dis­tress­ing num­bers in her com­men­tary. Specifically:

The 2011 Con­fer­ence Board of Canada study Build­ing Men­tally Healthy Work­places reveals the extent and preva­lence of men­tal health issues in the work­place. Of the more than 1,000 Cana­di­ans sur­veyed, 44% reported that they were cur­rently expe­ri­enc­ing (12%) or had pre­vi­ously expe­ri­enced (32%) a men­tal health issue. (This was based on a broad def­i­n­i­tion that included exces­sive stress, anx­i­ety, depres­sion, burnout, addic­tion and sub­stance abuse, mania, bipo­lar dis­or­der and schiz­o­phre­nia, among others.)

That sur­pris­ing fig­ure is behind esca­lat­ing ben­e­fits costs and dis­abil­ity claims. In the 2011 Con­fer­ence Board study, 78% of short-term dis­abil­ity claims and 67% of long-term dis­abil­ity claims in Canada were related to men­tal health issues. Cana­dian gov­ern­ment fig­ures show that more hos­pi­tal days are used by peo­ple with men­tal ill­nesses than are used by peo­ple with can­cer and heart dis­ease com­bined. A report by the Cana­dian Alliance on Men­tal Ill­ness and Men­tal Health stated that “depres­sion will be the sin­gle most expen­sive cause of lost work­place pro­duc­tiv­ity due to dis­abil­ity by 2020.” That’s just seven years away.

Eras­ing the Stigma

Judith notes “It’s not easy to change deeply entrenched atti­tudes toward men­tal ill­ness, but employ­ers can cer­tainly make inroads with their work­force. Doing so requires a corporate-wide strat­egy involv­ing lead­er­ship, man­age­r­ial skills, work­place cul­ture, and edu­ca­tion and communication.”

Four areas of focus in eras­ing stigma are, all of which need to be reviewed, sus­tained and reg­u­larly refined over time.according to main­tain the effec­tive­ness of ongo­ing men­tal health ini­tia­tives in eras­ing stigma and pro­mot­ing good men­tal health. Judith iden­ti­fies these areas as follows:

Lead­er­ship.

Change begins at the top; there­fore, endorse­ment and sup­port from senior lead­ers is essen­tial. Top man­age­ment must demon­strate lead­er­ship not only in pro­mot­ing good men­tal health but also in sup­port­ing employ­ees who are expe­ri­enc­ing men­tal health chal­lenges. Active endorse­ment and sup­port from unions and other employee asso­ci­a­tions also helps trans­form ideas into action.

Man­age­r­ial skills.

Man­agers are on the front lines of orga­ni­za­tional health and well-being. Not only are they able to iden­tify pro­duc­tiv­ity and behav­ioural issues early, they’re also instru­men­tal in sup­port­ing and accom­mo­dat­ing team mem­bers with phys­i­cal and men­tal ill­nesses and chal­lenges. Man­agers often set the tone for their team and directly influ­ence lev­els of stigma. While some man­agers are well informed about men­tal health issues, they often feel ill-equipped to dis­cuss these issues with employ­ees.  Pro­vid­ing appro­pri­ate and ongo­ing train­ing for man­agers at all lev­els to help them deal with men­tal health issues and under­stand how they can guide employ­ees to the appro­pri­ate resources is one of the most impor­tant ini­tia­tives that an orga­ni­za­tion can under­take. Most employee and fam­ily assis­tance pro­grams (EFAPs) offer this training.

Work­place culture.

Cre­at­ing an orga­ni­za­tional cul­ture that is truly inclu­sive and sup­port­ive of all employ­ees takes time but begins sim­ply by ask­ing a few ques­tions. Is there a company-wide pol­icy in place to pro­mote good men­tal and phys­i­cal health in the work­place? In addi­tion to pre­ven­tive mea­sures, there should be poli­cies and pro­to­cols in place that sup­port an employee with a men­tal ill­ness to return to work or stay at work. The work­place offers many pos­i­tive oppor­tu­ni­ties and resources that can help employ­ees recover or cope bet­ter: a sup­port­ive social net­work, feel­ings of self-worth, and access to EFAPs, return-to-work sup­port and other health and well­ness programs.

Edu­ca­tion and communication.

Edu­ca­tion is per­haps the most pow­er­ful weapon in fight­ing stereo­types or mis­in­for­ma­tion. Employ­ers can increase men­tal health lit­er­acy through work­shops, sem­i­nars, and lunch and learns, as well as through printed and web-based arti­cles and per­sonal sto­ries. Man­agers need to encour­age team mem­bers to par­tic­i­pate in edu­ca­tion and train­ing ses­sions and can fur­ther show their com­mit­ment by attend­ing these ses­sions with their direct reports. The company’s EFAP—as well as orga­ni­za­tions such as the CMHA, the Mood Dis­or­ders Soci­ety of Canada and the Cana­dian Health Network—can also pro­vide a wealth of mate­ri­als and support.

The impor­tance of men­tal health benefits

Finally, Judith notes:

In Canada’s health­care sys­tem, indi­vid­u­als who seek care for men­tal health issues typ­i­cally rely on an often-confusing array of providers, and nav­i­gat­ing these providers to find appro­pri­ate care is a chal­lenge. While men­tal ill­ness is an increas­ing cost dri­ver for employ­ers, pro­grams have not kept up with the spi­ralling needs of today’s employees.”

The impor­tance of robust men­tal health ben­e­fits as part of an organization’s over­all approach to health will become increas­ingly impor­tant. Many employ­ees find that get­ting help is just too hard, and some aren’t aware of the resources avail­able to them. Employ­ees need to know the ben­e­fits and ser­vices that their employer offers. This com­mu­ni­ca­tion should be an ongo­ing part of an organization’s over­all men­tal health ben­e­fits strat­egy. EFAPs, psy­cho­log­i­cal and psy­chi­atric con­sul­ta­tions, men­tal health assess­ments, com­plex claims sup­port from men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als, and work­place facil­i­ta­tion and medi­a­tion pro­grams are all ele­ments of a com­pre­hen­sive approach.

Judith Plotkin is vice-president, strate­gic oper­a­tions, with Home­wood Human Solutions.

For a PDF from Ben­e­fits Canada, click here.

Orig­i­nal source arti­cle here.

——————————————————————————–

How can we help?

The Healthy Work­places blog is brought to you by Home­wood Human Solu­tions. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care orga­ni­za­tion with a focus on men­tal health and addic­tions, employee and fam­ily assis­tance, dis­abil­ity man­age­ment, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?

Home­wood Human Solutions

Nation­wide EFAP and Dis­abil­ity Pro­grams

Home­wood Human Solu­tions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the mar­ket: the high­est qual­ity of clin­i­cal sup­port and inter­ven­tion avail­able within the EFAP indus­try, and an unmatched con­tin­uum of ser­vices — span­ning health pro­mo­tion, men­tal health and addic­tions treat­ment, and prevention-focused work-life coun­selling services.

Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Program

Effec­tive dis­abil­ity man­age­ment for men­tal ill­ness must go beyond “man­ag­ing” dis­abil­ity to include both inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment. Treat­ment goals must incor­po­rate strate­gies for suc­cess­ful work rein­te­gra­tion to min­i­mize recur­rence and relapse.

The Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Pro­gram (HDTP) com­bines the ser­vices avail­able through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre – a nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre with the best national net­work of skilled men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment pro­fes­sion­als through Home­wood Human Solu­tionsTM.

Home­wood Health Centre

Nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion facil­i­ties

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is Canada’s unsur­passed med­ical leader in addic­tion and men­tal health treat­ment, pro­vid­ing highly spe­cial­ized psy­chi­atric ser­vices to all Cana­di­ans. We are a 312-bed, Sched­ule 1 facil­ity under the Ontario Men­tal Health Act. We oper­ate nine pro­grams treat­ing a range of men­tal health and addic­tion issues.

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is located in Guelph, Ontario.

Schlegel Vil­lages

Con­tin­uum of care facil­i­ties for older adults (long-term care and retire­ment homes)

Schlegel Vil­lages are designed, built and man­aged by the Schlegel fam­ily of Kitch­ener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Vil­lage to Care” lives on.

Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

Have you vis­ited our Pin­ter­est site? We have many, many more info­graph­ics to peruse. Have a look here!

We’re on Google Plus!

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Human Solu­tions, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.

 

Do you have our Healthy Workplaces Kit?

Healthy Workplace KitFor Canada’s Healthy Work­place month, Home­wood Human Solu­tions is sup­port­ing employ­ers by offer­ing a free Healthy Work­place Kit.

The goals of Healthy Work­place Month are to increase aware­ness of a com­pre­hen­sive approach to work­place health in Canada. The weekly themes for this year are:

Week 1: Safe Work­places
Week 2: Healthy Bod­ies
Week 3: Sup­port­ive Work­place Cul­tures
Week 4: Hav­ing Fun at Home and Work

A healthy work­place is mul­ti­di­men­sional. Under­stand­ing the impor­tance of per­sonal health (ade­quate sleep and rec­og­niz­ing stress, for exam­ple), prac­tic­ing fit­ness at work, hav­ing open com­mu­ni­ca­tion and doing things that con­tribute to a pos­i­tive work envi­ron­ment are impor­tant to achiev­ing well­ness and for keep­ing Canada’s work­places healthy.

To obtain your com­pli­men­tary, no strings attached kit (not even an email address required!), click here.

——————————————————————————–

How can we help?

The Healthy Work­places blog is brought to you by Home­wood Human Solu­tions. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care orga­ni­za­tion with a focus on men­tal health and addic­tions, employee and fam­ily assis­tance, dis­abil­ity man­age­ment, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?

Home­wood Human Solutions

Nation­wide EFAP and Dis­abil­ity Pro­grams

Home­wood Human Solu­tions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the mar­ket: the high­est qual­ity of clin­i­cal sup­port and inter­ven­tion avail­able within the EFAP indus­try, and an unmatched con­tin­uum of ser­vices — span­ning health pro­mo­tion, men­tal health and addic­tions treat­ment, and prevention-focused work-life coun­selling services.

Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Program

Effec­tive dis­abil­ity man­age­ment for men­tal ill­ness must go beyond “man­ag­ing” dis­abil­ity to include both inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment. Treat­ment goals must incor­po­rate strate­gies for suc­cess­ful work rein­te­gra­tion to min­i­mize recur­rence and relapse.

The Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Pro­gram (HDTP) com­bines the ser­vices avail­able through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre – a nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre with the best national net­work of skilled men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment pro­fes­sion­als through Home­wood Human Solu­tionsTM.

Home­wood Health Centre

Nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion facil­i­ties

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is Canada’s unsur­passed med­ical leader in addic­tion and men­tal health treat­ment, pro­vid­ing highly spe­cial­ized psy­chi­atric ser­vices to all Cana­di­ans. We are a 312-bed, Sched­ule 1 facil­ity under the Ontario Men­tal Health Act. We oper­ate nine pro­grams treat­ing a range of men­tal health and addic­tion issues.

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is located in Guelph, Ontario.

Schlegel Vil­lages

Con­tin­uum of care facil­i­ties for older adults (long-term care and retire­ment homes)

Schlegel Vil­lages are designed, built and man­aged by the Schlegel fam­ily of Kitch­ener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Vil­lage to Care” lives on.

Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

Have you vis­ited our Pin­ter­est site? We have many, many more info­graph­ics to peruse. Have a look here!

We’re on Google Plus!

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Human Solu­tions, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.

 

It’s Healthy Workplace Month!

Octo­ber is Canada’s Healthy Work­place Month.

Take action now to raise aware­ness about men­tal health in the work­place. Together, we can all help to elim­i­nate the stigma asso­ci­ated with men­tal ill­ness. We can work to cre­ate a safer, more sup­port­ive envi­ron­ment to pre­vent psy­cho­log­i­cal harm and to enable the return to work of those who are recov­er­ing from an ill­ness. (Source: Canada’s healthy work­place month)

This month we are going to be keep­ing you informed of issues affect­ing men­tal health, ways to stay men­tally healthy, and var­i­ous other top­ics with link­age to men­tal health in the workplace.

Stay tuned! And con­sider sign­ing up for our reg­u­lar update emails. Use the sub­scribe func­tion on Healthy Workplaces.

——————————————————————————

How can we help?

The Healthy Work­places blog is brought to you by Home­wood Human Solu­tions. We are part of Schlegel Health Care, a family-owned health care orga­ni­za­tion with a focus on men­tal health and addic­tions, employee and fam­ily assis­tance, dis­abil­ity man­age­ment, and long-term care for older adults. How can we help?

Home­wood Human Solutions

Nation­wide EFAP and Dis­abil­ity Pro­grams

Home­wood Human Solu­tions™ offers a one-of-a-kind approach to the mar­ket: the high­est qual­ity of clin­i­cal sup­port and inter­ven­tion avail­able within the EFAP indus­try, and an unmatched con­tin­uum of ser­vices — span­ning health pro­mo­tion, men­tal health and addic­tions treat­ment, and prevention-focused work-life coun­selling services.

Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Program

Effec­tive dis­abil­ity man­age­ment for men­tal ill­ness must go beyond “man­ag­ing” dis­abil­ity to include both inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment. Treat­ment goals must incor­po­rate strate­gies for suc­cess­ful work rein­te­gra­tion to min­i­mize recur­rence and relapse.

The Home­wood Dis­abil­ity Treat­ment Pro­gram (HDTP) com­bines the ser­vices avail­able through the Home­wood Health Cen­tre – a nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre with the best national net­work of skilled men­tal health and addic­tion treat­ment pro­fes­sion­als through Home­wood Human Solu­tionsTM.

Home­wood Health Centre

Nation­ally rec­og­nized men­tal health and addic­tion facil­i­ties

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is Canada’s unsur­passed med­ical leader in addic­tion and men­tal health treat­ment, pro­vid­ing highly spe­cial­ized psy­chi­atric ser­vices to all Cana­di­ans. We are a 312-bed, Sched­ule 1 facil­ity under the Ontario Men­tal Health Act. We oper­ate nine pro­grams treat­ing a range of men­tal health and addic­tion issues.

Home­wood Health Cen­tre is located in Guelph, Ontario.

Schlegel Vil­lages

Con­tin­uum of care facil­i­ties for older adults (long-term care and retire­ment homes)

Schlegel Vil­lages are designed, built and man­aged by the Schlegel fam­ily of Kitch­ener, Ontario. Our motto: “It Takes a Vil­lage to Care” lives on.

Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

Have you vis­ited our Pin­ter­est site? We have many, many more info­graph­ics to peruse. Have a look here!

We’re on Google Plus!

NOTE: The con­tent and opin­ions offered in Healthy Work­places blog posts do not nec­es­sar­ily reflect the for­mal stance of Home­wood Human Solu­tions, unless oth­er­wise iden­ti­fied. We bring this infor­ma­tion for­ward in the inter­ests of openly shar­ing val­ued infor­ma­tion in this time of fast-growing online con­ver­sa­tions and knowledge.

 

Latest mental health and addictions news

Men­tal Ill­ness Patients Strain Canada’s Police Forces

CBC News — Aug 21, 2013

Too many peo­ple who live with men­tal ill­ness are being released from provin­cial insti­tu­tions before they’re ready, then going on to com­mit crimes, say Canada’s police chiefs.

The can­did com­ments were made Wednes­day in Win­nipeg, on the final day of the Cana­dian Asso­ci­a­tion of Chiefs of Police (CACP) annual gen­eral meeting.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/08/21/mb-police-chiefs-mentally-ill.html

Youth Men­tal Health

Ottawa Cit­i­zen — August 23, 2013

There is a trou­bling new report on youth men­tal health to which the Ontario gov­ern­ment should pay par­tic­u­lar attention.

Accord­ing to the report by the Children?s Hos­pi­tal of East­ern Ontario and the Royal Men­tal Health Cen­tre, young peo­ple in the Ottawa region are wait­ing up to a year for men­tal health care, when the Cana­dian Psy­chi­atric Asso­ci­a­tion says it should be two weeks.

It is the human toll that it takes. Six to 12 months to see a psy­chi­a­trist for a youth and fam­ily in cri­sis is just too long“noted CHEO pres­i­dent Alex Munter. “It is an entire school year. For a youth to be able to learn and develop, and to have a suc­cess­ful school year, is very hard.”

The fig­ures really make dis­turb­ing read­ing: Since 2009, the num­ber of chil­dren and youth seek­ing CHEO’s help for men­tal ill­ness has shot up 64 per cent, while out­pa­tient refer­rals have gone up 76 per cent. The num­ber of patients admit­ted to CHEO with sui­cide risks has increased 33 per cent, and the num­ber with self-injury has gone up 61 per cent.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/editorials/Youth+mental+health/8826494/story.html

Agen­cies Pre­pare For Flood?s Effects on Men­tal Health

Cal­gary Her­ald — August 25, 2013

The flood waters have long receded, but a sec­ondary wave of disaster-driven men­tal health prob­lems may be only start­ing to crest.

Social ser­vice agen­cies in south­ern Alberta are prepar­ing for what they say could be a sig­nif­i­cant and long-term increase in cri­sis calls, as flood vic­tims begin to come to terms with the real­i­ties of lost homes and livelihoods.

I’m not an alarmist at all … I think it?s just some­thing we need to be aware of it,” said Stacey Petersen, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Fresh Start Recov­ery Cen­tre, a res­i­den­tial alco­hol and drug addic­tion treat­ment cen­tre in Cal­gary. “From our stand­point, we’d rather be well-prepared and not needed, than ill-prepared and in trouble”.

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Agencies+prepare+flood+effects+mental+health/8831626/story.html

Change of Prac­tice Key to Improv­ing Patients’ Access to Psychiatrists

CMAJ — August 28, 2013

With 1 in 5 Cana­di­ans expected to expe­ri­ence a men­tal ill­ness in their life­time and a dwin­dling num­ber of psy­chi­a­trists, is the sup­ply of men­tal health ser­vices on track to meet demand?

The quick answer is prob­a­bly not. The more com­plex answer is that this is the wrong question.

There will never be enough psy­chi­a­trists to address all the men­tal health needs of Cana­di­ans, nor should there be,” says Dr. David Gold­bloom, chair of the Men­tal Health Com­mis­sion of Canada. While the num­ber of psy­chi­a­trists may be one aspect to the access prob­lem, Gold­bloom thinks this argu­ment has gone stale.

The key to address­ing prob­lems with access to men­tal health ser­vices in Canada is to change how psy­chi­a­trists prac­tice. But until we do so, Gold­bloom is quick to acknowl­edge that “We’re cur­rently not doing too well.”

Accord­ing to the National Physi­cian Sur­vey, the aver­age wait time for non-urgent cases across Canada in 2010 was 11 weeks in urban areas and up to 20 weeks in rural areas. In addi­tion, only 16% of urgent patients were seen within the day. Not sur­pris­ingly, 55% of fam­ily physi­cians rated access to psy­chi­atric care as fair or poor.

http://www.cmaj.ca/site/earlyreleases/28aug13_change-of-practice-key-to-improving-patients-access-to-psychiatrists.xhtml

For Uni­ver­si­ties, Approach To Men­tal Health Ser­vices Grow­ing Slowly

Vic­to­ria Times Colonist ? Sep­tem­ber 2, 2013

As men­tal health issues have received more media atten­tion, uni­ver­si­ties have honed their approach to on-campus ser­vices, invest­ing already lim­ited dol­lars and col­lab­o­rat­ing with other insti­tu­tions. Still, progress remains slow.

http://www.timescolonist.com/life/for-universities-approach-to-mental-health-services-growing-slowly-but-steadily-1.609507

First Nations Men­tal Health Focus Of Aid Project

Jew­ish human­i­tar­ian asso­ci­a­tion Vi’ahavta will send send health experts into communities

CBC News — Sep 6, 2013

A Jew­ish human­i­tar­ian asso­ci­a­tion plans to send men­tal health experts to seven First Nations com­mu­ni­ties in north­west­ern Ontario to help.

The move is part of Ve’ahavta’s first Cana­dian project. The orga­ni­za­tion has pre­vi­ously advised health care work­ers in Guyana and Kenya.

Vi’ahavta pres­i­dent Avrum Rosensweig said this is the first time the orga­ni­za­tion will oper­ate in Canada.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/story/2013/09/06/tby-first-nations-mental-health-project.html

Spe­cial­ists in Treat­ing Eat­ing Dis­or­ders Not Immune to Fat Bias, Study Suggests

Canada.com ? Sep­tem­ber 10, 2013

Peo­ple who spe­cial­ize in treat­ing eat­ing dis­or­ders can carry some of the same anti-fat atti­tudes and “fat pho­bia” towards obese peo­ple as the rest of soci­ety, new research suggests.

In what is being described as the first look at weight bias specif­i­cally among psy­chol­o­gists, ther­a­pists, social work­ers and other men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als spe­cial­iz­ing in eat­ing dis­or­ders, Yale Uni­ver­sity researchers found a con­sid­er­able per­cent­age believe obese patients have poor self-control, no willpower, and are self-indulgent, unat­trac­tive and insecure.

http://o.canada.com/2013/09/10/specialists-in-treating-eating-disorders-not-immune-to-fat-bias-study-suggests/

ADDICTION

Phar­ma­cies, Doc­tors Fail To Stop Nar­cotic Shop­ping Spree

CBC.ca  Sep­tem­ber 2, 2013

Two sis­ters in B.C. are going pub­lic to expose what they see as a big hole in the health sys­tem after a drug addict was able use their iden­ti­ties to get thou­sands of taxpayer-funded pre­scrip­tion nar­cotic pills.

San­dra Adam­son, a cook from Sur­rey who works for the RCMP, con­tacted CBC’s Go Pub­lic because she believes the sys­tems meant to detect and stop pre­scrip­tion abuse aren’t working.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/pharmacies-doctors-fail-to-stop-narcotic-shopping-spree-1.1367684

US Hos­pi­tal to Launch 1st In-Patient Inter­net Addic­tion Program

CBC.ca  Sep­tem­ber 4, 2013

A psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal in Penn­syl­va­nia will soon open a new in-patient inter­net addic­tion pro­gram — the first of its kind in the United States or Canada.

Set to launch on Sept. 9 at the Brad­ford Regional Med­ical Cen­ter in Cen­tral Penn­syl­va­nia, the 10-day vol­un­tary pro­gram will see up to four adult patients at a time liv­ing within the hospital’s walls while work­ing to recover from what they say is a debil­i­tat­ing depen­dence on the web.

http://www.cbc.ca/newsblogs/yourcommunity/2013/09/us-hospital-to-launch-1st-in-patient-internet-addiction-program.html

Links Made Between Prob­lem Gam­bling and Sub­stance Abuse, And Lack of Treat­ment Options

Sci­ence Daily — Sep­tem­ber 4, 2013

Sep. 4, 2013 ? Prob­lem gam­blers are a hid­den pop­u­la­tion among peo­ple with men­tal health or sub­stance abuse issues who often don’t get the treat­ment they need, a new study shows. Any­where from 10 to 20 per cent of peo­ple with sub­stance abuse prob­lems also have sig­nif­i­cant gam­bling prob­lem, yet few pro­grams are tar­geted at them and most social ser­vice agen­cies don’t have funds to treat them, the study’s main author says.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130904105353.htm

B.C. Doc­tors Want To Pre­scribe Heroin for Selected Patients

Globe and Mail — Sep­tem­ber 8, 2013

Doc­tors in British Colum­bia are call­ing on Health Canada to per­mit pre­scrip­tion heroin for severely addicted patients exit­ing a ground­break­ing clin­i­cal trial, insist­ing a promis­ing alter­na­tive is not yet sup­ported by sci­en­tific evidence.

The calls come as the first par­tic­i­pants exit the SALOME trial, a three-year project launched by researchers from Prov­i­dence Health Care and the Uni­ver­sity of B.C. in late 2011 to deter­mine whether hydro­mor­phone, a pow­er­ful but legal opi­ate, is as effec­tive as diacetyl­mor­phine (pre­scrip­tion heroin) in help­ing severely addicted heroin users.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-doctors-want-to-prescribe-heroin-for-selected-patients/article14182339/

Seniors Health­care Should Be a Fed­eral Priority

The Globe and Mail — Aug. 19 2013

Cana­di­ans have lit­tle con­fi­dence in the abil­ity of the health-care sys­tem to meet the needs of a bur­geon­ing num­ber of seniors and they are look­ing to gov­ern­ment to shift their pri­or­i­ties and come up with a coher­ent plan.

That?s the mes­sage that emerges from a new poll com­mis­sioned by the Cana­dian Med­ical Association.

The anx­i­ety Cana­di­ans have about health care in their so-called golden years is both real and well-founded,” said Anna Reid, out­go­ing pres­i­dent of the CMA.

Nation­wide, three in five respon­dents said they believed there would not be suf­fi­cient hos­pi­tal beds, long-term care and home-care ser­vices to meet demand in their golden years.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/seniors-healthcare-should-be-a-federal-priority/article13836147/

Canada ‘Way Behind’ On Home-Care Help, Patient Advo­cates Say

Already har­ried sys­tem not ready for ris­ing home-care demand

CBC News — Aug 27, 2013

When patient advo­cate Donna Davis helped a friend nav­i­gate the tran­si­tion from hos­pi­tal to home care, she encoun­tered a vex­ing problem.

Hos­pi­tal and home-care work­ers “just tell you what to do,” Davis recalls. “It’s that pater­nal­is­tic: ?We will make the deci­sion for you. We will tell you when to go home. We will tell you how to go home.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/08/26/f-community-home-care.html

Alter­na­tive Level of Care: Canada’s Hos­pi­tal Beds, the Evi­dence and Options      

Health­care Pol­icy, 9(1) August 2013

Abstract

Patients des­ig­nated as alter­na­tive level of care (ALC) are an ongo­ing con­cern for health­care pol­icy mak­ers across Canada. These patients occupy valu­able hos­pi­tal beds and limit access to acute care ser­vices. The objec­tive of this paper is to present pol­icy alter­na­tives to address under­ly­ing fac­tors asso­ci­ated with ALC bed use. Three alter­na­tives, and their respec­tive lim­i­ta­tions and struc­tural chal­lenges, are dis­cussed. Poten­tial solu­tions may require a mix of pol­icy options pro­posed here.

RESEARCH / HEALTH

Alco­hol Depen­dence, Eat­ing Dis­or­ders Asso­ci­ated With Com­mon Genes

Med­ical News Today — August 23, 2013

Peo­ple with alco­hol depen­dence may be more genet­i­cally sus­cep­ti­ble to cer­tain types of eat­ing dis­or­ders, and vice-versa, accord­ing to a study in the Sep­tem­ber issue of the Jour­nal of Stud­ies on Alco­hol and Drugs.

In a study of nearly 6,000 adult twins, researchers found that com­mon genetic fac­tors seemed to under­lie both alco­holism and cer­tain eat­ing dis­or­der symp­toms — namely, binge eat­ing and purg­ing habits, such as self-induced vom­it­ing or lax­a­tive abuse. Genes appeared to explain 38 per­cent to 53 per­cent of the risk of devel­op­ing those disorders.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/265107.php

How the Brain Remem­bers Plea­sure: Impli­ca­tions for Addiction

Sci­ence Daily — August 25, 2013

Aug. 25, 2013 — Key details of the way nerve cells in the brain remem­ber plea­sure are revealed in a study by Uni­ver­sity of Alabama at Birm­ing­ham (UAB) researchers pub­lished today in the jour­nal Nature Neu­ro­science. The mol­e­c­u­lar events that form such “reward mem­o­ries” appear to dif­fer from those cre­ated by drug addic­tion, despite the pop­u­lar the­ory that addic­tion hijacks nor­mal reward pathways.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130825171530.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News%29

Psy­chother­apy via the Internet

eHealthNews.eu — 19 August 2013

Does psy­chother­apy via the Inter­net work? For the first time, clin­i­cal researchers from the Uni­ver­sity of Zurich have stud­ied whether online psy­chother­apy and con­ven­tional face-to-face ther­apy are equally effec­tive in exper­i­ments. Based on ear­lier stud­ies, the Zurich team assumed that the two forms of ther­apy were on a par. Not only was their the­ory con­firmed, the results for online ther­apy even exceeded their expectations.

Six ther­a­pists treated 62 patients, the major­ity of whom were suf­fer­ing from mod­er­ate depres­sion. The patients were divided into two equal groups at ran­dom and assigned to one of the ther­a­peu­tic forms. The treat­ment con­sisted of eight ses­sions with dif­fer­ent estab­lished tech­niques that stem from cog­ni­tive behav­ior ther­apy and could be car­ried out both orally and in writ­ing. Patients treated online had to per­form one pre­de­ter­mined writ­ten task per ther­apy unit — such as query­ing their own neg­a­tive self-image. They were known to the ther­a­pist by name.

Online ther­apy even more effec­tive in the medium term

In both groups, the depres­sion val­ues fell sig­nif­i­cantly,” says Pro­fes­sor Andreas Maer­cker, sum­ming up the results of the study. At the end of the treat­ment, no more depres­sion could be diag­nosed in 53 per­cent of the patients who under­went online ther­apy — com­pared to 50 per­cent for face-to-face ther­apy. Three months after com­plet­ing the treat­ment, the depres­sion in patients treated online even decreased whereas those treated con­ven­tion­ally only dis­played a min­i­mal decline: no more depres­sion could be detected in 57 per­cent of patients from online ther­apy com­pared to 42 per­cent with con­ven­tional therapy.

For both patient groups, the degree of sat­is­fac­tion with the treat­ment and ther­a­pists was more or less equally high. 96 per­cent of the patients given online ther­apy and 91 per­cent of the recip­i­ents of con­ven­tional treat­ment rated the con­tact with their ther­a­pist as “per­sonal”. In the case of online ther­apy, the patients tended to use the ther­apy con­tacts and sub­se­quent home­work very inten­sively to progress per­son­ally. For instance, they indi­cated that they had re-read the cor­re­spon­dence with their ther­a­pist from time to time. “In the medium term, online psy­chother­apy even yields bet­ter results. Our study is evi­dence that psy­chother­a­peu­tic ser­vices on the inter­net are an effec­tive sup­ple­ment to ther­a­peu­tic care,” con­cludes Maercker.

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Cana­dian owned and oper­ated, our Vil­lages ben­e­fit from the Schlegel fam­ily hav­ing over 40 years of direct expe­ri­ence co-owning, man­ag­ing and oper­at­ing Long Term Care and Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties in Ontario. There are eleven Schlegel Vil­lages hous­ing approx­i­mately 2500 seniors. Each Vil­lage has a Long Term Care com­po­nent, with Full Ser­vice Retire­ment Liv­ing, Assisted Care, Mem­ory Care and Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing options being added in stages. The first Schlegel Vil­lage opened in 1998 in Guelph.

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