Resources & Publications
The Implementation of the 2012 Mental Health Strategy for Canada Through the Lens of FASD — Abstract: It is the current authors’ perspective that the successful implementation of Changing Directions, Changing Lives, which seeks to improve mental health and well-being in Canada, cannot be realized effectively without considering FASD. Given that 94% of individuals with FASD also have mental disorders, practitioners in the mental health system are encountering these individuals every day. Most mental health professionals have not been trained to identify or diagnose FASD, and therefore it goes largely “unseen,” and individual treatment plans lack efficacy. Implementation of FASD-informed recommendations, such as those of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2015), can provide a more effective approach to mental health services and improve mental health outcomes.
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD): A beginner’s guide for mental health professionals — FASD can feature a diverse range of impairments in cognitive, social, and adaptive functioning. These impairments are often accompanied by co-occurring mental illness, behavioral disorders, substance use, traumatic brain injuries, and developmental disabilities. The presence of these co-occurring conditions creates significant challenges for mental health professionals in terms of screening, assessment, differential diagnosis, and treatment. The key to maximizing the effectiveness of care for clients requires treating each individual’s unique risks and needs in an integrated service delivery framework. Unfortunately, there is typically a lack of expertise in FASD among mental health professionals, which can only be resolved by the increased availability of advanced education and training programs on FASD. To increase awareness of these needs and FASD in general, this article provides general information on the definition and symptoms of FASD, the screening and assessment of FASD, adaptive functioning and memory-related considerations of FASD, and the treatment of FASD.
Toward Quality Mental Health Services in Canada: A Comparison of Performance Indicators Across 5 Provinces — In 2015, the Graham Boeckh Foundation (GBF), in collaboration with the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH), initiated a project to test the feasibility of creating and reporting on a small number of mental health and addictions services performance indicators that could be compared across provinces. A team of mental health and addictions scientists from ve provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Québec) developed and generated the measures, where possible for ages 10 years and up, using data already available from the healthcare systems. This is the Summary Report. A full Technical Report is available at https://www.sfu.ca/carmha/publications/prov_indic_2017.html
Addiction and Mental Health Care: Resources to Support Collaboration — The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA), the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Executive Council on Addictions have collected a list of examples and resources to support collaboration between addictions and mental health systems and service delivery in Canada.