3. News, Health, Rights, Advocacy
Bulletin: When does language cause stigma? Discrimination? Hate? Job loss. Employment barriers?
NOW Toronto – David Reville August 26: Where does Bell and its Let’s Talk campaign fit in with premier’s description of mental health patients as “nutcases” and “animals”?
In mid-July, after a patient in CAMH’s forensic unit went out on a pass and didn’t return, the premier was angry about it. He telephoned Newstalk Radio 1010 to vent. He called the man a “nutcase.” He was criticized for using that language, but refused to apologize. For Ford, it’s all irrelevant like the Canadian media, so much cheese falling off crackers.
The premier wants mentally ill people put in jail. He wants the jailer to provide mental health services. He wants the jailer to throw away the key.
There are a number of problems with that idea.
Jails are very bad places to get treatment for mental illness. In fact, a person leaving jail is five or six times more likely to re-offend than a person who receives treatment for their mental illness.
The premier talked about people with “true” mental illness. He has sympathy for them. He has no sympathy for those with “fake” mental illness. History suggests otherwise.
But to be very serious, we hear words like “animal,” “nutcase,” and “crazy” and some of us will apply those words to everybody who has or is thought to have a mental illness. And that’s wrong.
It’s unfortunate the mental health establishment failed to rise up with one voice to condemn Ford’s hateful language.
There was a letter or two, a press release or two, but they talked about the ins and outs of forensic psychiatry and didn’t mention “animals” and “nutcases” at all. …
Words matter. But I don’t like the word “stigma.” I prefer “discrimination.” The premier’s trash talk is hate talk.
The Federal election is talking about jobs and housing for the middle class, which excludes all survivors living on ODSP. Do we need to raise these issues?
You might care about the Federal Election on October 21st if:
- You have questions about ongoing safe consumption sites, drug and food safety, pharmacare
- CPP disability and rights or ever plan on receiving it,
- Housing, Wages, unions and Employment Insurance.
- Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples
And there are jobs for the eletion //elections.ca/jobs.
Also check out CBC Vote Compass – Vote Compass is a tool developed by political scientists for exploring how your views align with those of the parties. Compare your ideas with what each party promises to do.
Should federal party leaders support life-saving harm reduction services
Sign the petition here to send a message to each partie: aidslaw.nationbuilder.com/scs_petition2019
We’re facing a crisis. And our response will determine life or death for some of our friends, family, colleagues and community members.
Sen to the leaders of the federal parties.
Please commit to saving lives with a response to the opioid overdose crisis that is compassionate, evidence-based and rooted in health and human rights, by:
- preserving current supervised consumption sites
- scaling up the number of supervised consumption sites
- committing to provide adequate funding for these services
This is a health issue that affects many people with mental health / substance use issues. You might want to learn more. Over 100 organizations have signed. Article about the Petition by the Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights.
Sign the Solidarity Statement for Sex Workers’ Rights
Leading up to October 21st Election
The Canadian Vote Coalition.
Run a Vote PopUp (VPU) in your community.
VPU is a fun program proven to help demystify the voting process. All the info you need to run a VPU is on the Exchange’s website.
Jobs and Training
The Service & Benefit Finder can give you a personalized list of benefits for child care, employment, housing and living expenses.
Assistance for Job Seekers
Newcomer Job Seekers
Youth Job Seekers
Employment & Career-Related Events
Volunteering can be great, exploitative, a path to work or a path to non-stop-internship-hell. For some people, volunteering can help your mental health stuff and give a sense of purpose. Volunteer Toronto has a lot of listings and tips on finding a meaningful place. Also check out Charity Village.
Of course the Toronto Public Library can help with job searches! And it has books and resources for careers, education, planning, starting your own business and more.
Access more info with a library card. Bring whatever ID and mail that you have to a library branch. Sometimes downtown libraries will be more understanding with readers who don’t have a fixed address.
- Free wireless internet (Wi-Fi) at all branches
- Business information librarians at the Toronto Reference and North York Central Libraries to help you use research tools. Book a free appointment with a librarian for assistance
Sample: from the “Choosing to Disclose” workshop
To become a YES client, call 416-504-5516 or www.yes.on.ca/ It’s FREE!
[Bulletin: note that these are very individual services rather than efforts for structural change. The focus is on how to fit in and fight stigma.]
Are you interested in self-employment? Do you have a business idea? Get going. Get support to overcome the barriers you face(d) like credit, education, connections, mental health or substance use history etc.
They will work with you if you have ideas, questions and need support for the application and beyond. To be eligible you must self-identify as having a mental health or addiction issue.
The next Peer Supported StartUp Program starts in September 2019. There will probably be one in early 2020 as well.
* Housing *
Is Housing an issue in this election? Yes. Have you heard anything about the Right to Housing in Canadian Law
We still need to advocate and reach politicians to make sure they know that we have a Right to Housing (R2H). Get on the email/phone/post office! Interesting Background Document on the R2H