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Early Intervention

Research has discovered that the sooner an intervention begins (in other words, the earlier identification, assessment and treatment start), the better the results. Once a psychotic episode is identified, the professionals who make up a treatment team can organize medications, education and support for the individual, as well as friends and family.
We refer to this as early psychosis intervention or EPI. EPI has been found to be so effective that the seriousness of a psychotic episode can be greatly reduced, and possibly even avoided, if treatment is started quickly and appropriately.
EPI reduces the impact of psychosis on a person’s activities, relationships and self-esteem. It reduces the risk of depression, suicide, substance use problems, hospitalization and relapses as well as helps with a faster, more complete recovery. All in all, EPI assists individuals in maintaining the life they have planned for themselves and reducing the effects of the illness.

January 1, 2009 Out of the Shadows Forever: Annual Report 2008-2009

The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) was created by the federal government in its budget of March 2007. The goal of the MHCC is to help bring into being an integrated mental health system that places people living with mental illness at its centre. To this end, the Commission encourages cooperation and collaboration among governments, mental health service providers, employers, the scientific and research communities, as well as Canadians living with mental illness, their families and caregivers. In this, the MHCC’s inaugural Annual Report, we are eager to share with Canadians the progress that has been made towards accomplishing our mandate.

May 3, 2006 Out of the Shadows at Last: Transforming Mental Health, Mental Illness and Addiction Services in Canada

Over the past year, the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology has received more than two thousand submissions from all across Canada on the subject of mental health, mental illness and addiction. Hundreds of Canadians shared heartbreaking stories that revealed to the Committee the true state of Canada’s mental health, mental illness and addiction “system.” The members of the Committee have come to recognize the reality that profound change is essential if persons living with mental illness are to receive the help they need and to which they are entitled. We trust that readers of this report will reach the same conclusion.

May 1, 2006 Out of the Shadows at Last: Transforming Mental Health, Mental Illness and Addiction Services in Canada (Part II)

Over the past year, the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology has received more than two thousand submissions from all across Canada on the subject of mental health, mental illness and addiction. Hundreds of Canadians shared heartbreaking stories that revealed to the Committee the true state of Canada’s mental health, mental illness and addiction “system.” The members of the Committee have come to recognize the reality that profound change is essential if persons living with mental illness are to receive the help they need and to which they are entitled. We trust that readers of this report will reach the same conclusion.

January 1, 2005 Improving the Health of Young Canadians

Just as early childhood experiences can have an important impact on health throughout a person’s life, teens’ experiences are also linked to health status many years later. Improving the Health of Young Canadians explores links between adolescents’ social environments (families, schools, peers and communities) and their health. Our focus is on the health of Canadian youth aged 12 to 19 years.

April 1, 2004 A Framework for Strategic Planning

A Framework for Strategic Planning offers background information and relevant examples to provide policy direction for early intervention in psychosis. It describes key elements that should be considered by policy makers, providers and other stakeholders.

March 15, 2003 Social Capital as a Health Determinant

This report is a summary of social capital research commissioned by the Policy Research Division, Strategic Policy Directorate, Population and Public Health Branch, Health Canada. The work attempts to clarify the place of social capital among the social determinants of health.

March 15, 2003 Addressing the Social Determinants of Health in Canada: Bridging the Gap Between Research Findings and Public Policy

In spite of an accumulated body of evidence and Canada’s own expertise on the topic, there is currently a policy vacuum on social determinants of health, as the costs and delivery of health care services have come to dominate the public debate. Whereas Canada was a leader in the 1970s and 1980s, it has now fallen behind countries such as the United Kingdom, Finland and Sweden. If we continue to ignore these broader policy issues, promoting healthy lifestyles and increasing spending on medical care are unlikely to succeed in maintaining and improving the health of Canadians. Establishing a social determinants of health task force to consider the findings and implement their implications would be a valuable first step in this direction.

February 15, 2003 Social Determinants of Health: The Solid Facts

This publication by the World Health Organization examines this social gradient in health, and explains how psychological and social influences affect physical health and longevity. It then looks at what is known about the most important social determinants of health today, and the role that public policy can play in shaping a social environment that is more conducive to better health.

February 8, 2003 Report on the Workshop on Suicide-Related Research in Canada

The purpose of the Workshop on Suicide-Related Research in Canada, held in Montreal February 7-8, 2003, was to develop a national, collaborative agenda on research related to suicide in Canada. This workshop brought together 43 practitioners, researchers and representatives of non-governmental organizations, Aboriginal communities, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Health Canada for an exploratory consultation focused on the development of a national agenda on research focused on both suicide and suicide-related behaviour.

December 15, 2002 The Social Determinants of Health: An Overview of the Implications for Policy and the Role of the Health Sector

In late 2002, 400 social and health policy experts, community representatives, and health researchers met at York University at a conference entitled “Social Determinants of Health Across the Life-Span”. The purpose of the conference was to consider the state of key social determinants of health (SDOH) across Canada, explore the implications for the health of Canadians, and discuss policy directions to strengthen these social determinants of health. This overview is based on the papers and presentations from the conference, including an overview presentation by Dennis Raphael.