Accessibility News Health Related Articles

Mental Illness is Another Pandemic in the Making

Cachelle Colquhoun, mother of four from Collingwood, Ont., is frustrated with the state of mental-health supports available to her children.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Colquhoun has struggled to meet the needs of her nine-year-old with general anxiety disorder and attention deficit disorder and her six-year-old who has challenges with neurodiversity, including sensory disorder.


People With Disabilities Feel Impact of Crisis in LTC Homes

Nursing home outbreaks renew calls for community housing options for younger adults Moira Welsh
Toronto Star, Dec. 28, 2020

As the pandemic continues to kill elderly long-term-care residents, the virus is harming another vulnerable but overlooked group inside the same homes.

Thousands of people with developmental delays or serious mental health conditions live in Ontario nursing homes, many arriving under the age of 65 because there was nowhere else to go.

As of Nov. 30, 382 of the estimated 3,500 younger residents were infected with COVID-19, said the Ministry of Long-Term Care.

Forty-one died, the ministry said. Thirty of those who succumbed to the virus had a mental health condition such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia and 11 had a developmental delay, such as Down syndrome.

Telehealth May Worsen Digital Divide for People With Disabilities(PWDs)

Much has been made of telehealth’s potential to bridge the accessibility gap for those who may be otherwise underserved by the healthcare systems.

But, experts said in a new paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association this past week, telehealth may also exacerbate inequities faced by the disability community.


Government of Ontario COVID-19 Recovery Must Address Mental Health and Addiction Crisis Warn Experts

NEWS PROVIDED BY Addictions and Mental Health Ontario

TORONTO, Oct. 6, 2020 /CNW/ – Everything is not all right, warned Ontario’s leading mental health and addiction organizations including, Addictions and Mental Health Ontario, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Children’s Mental Health Ontario, The Royal, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, and Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care in a meeting with Deputy Premier and Health Minister Christine Elliott and Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo.

The group discussed the critical importance of embedding mental health and addiction as part of recovery efforts for the impact of COVID-19.

ODSP Recipients Calling for Help, Exploring Assisted Dying

by Cynthia Mulligan and Mahnoor Yawar
City News, Sept. 2, 2020

COVID-19 has proven itself as not an equal opportunity crisis, revealing cracks in the system that leave the most vulnerable exposed.

Low income and racialized communities have been hit the hardest, but there is another group that feels abandoned and ignored – people with disabilities.

There are fears some with disabilities are considering assisted dying as a last resort.

Kim is a recipient of Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and says her life has been “pure hell” during the pandemic. CityNews has honoured Kim’s request not to use her last name.

“It’s like I’m being punished for being born disabled, like I committed some kind of crime,” said Kim.

Medical Practice Sued for Discriminatory Policy That Jeopardizes Patients with Disabilities

Yesterday, following the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), Disability Rights Advocates filed a putative class action lawsuit against First Urology, challenging the medical practice’s illegal policy of refusing to help patients with disabilities transfer from wheelchairs or other mobility devices to examination tables and diagnostic equipment, in violation of the ADA and other disability rights laws.


Advocates Push for Changes to Mental Health Act

A week after giving birth to her daughter, Shareen Nimmo was forced to enter a psychiatric facility without being informed of her rights or having access to independent legal advice.


Group Homes Need to Rethink Visiting Rules During COVID-19

by Rabia Khedr
Mississauga News, Jul 13,2020

People with intellectual disabilities and their elderly parents are silently falling victim to COVID-19 in Peel and throughout Ontario. It is not the virus, but rather inequitable policies adopted by agencies operating group homes backed by ill-informed provincial guidelines. Families are afraid to speak up, fearing reprisal.

Agencies imposed visitation bans, which prevented all except “essential visitors” from entering homes of their children. Initially, we understood the necessity of such restrictions. However, as public services and businesses open up, the strict guidelines on family visits are having a discriminatory impact and taking an emotional toll on persons with disabilities who have been isolated from their loved ones for four months.

Global Mental Health Crisis Looming Due to coronavirus Pandemic, UN Warns

While countries around the world continue to mobilize to contain the spread of COVID-19, mental health experts say we can’t lose sight of an equally alarming issue: The long-term mental health impact the coronavirus pandemic is going to leave on society.


‘You Just Spiral’: UBC President Who Overcame Mental Health Crisis Determined to Help Canadian Students

University of British Columbia president Santa J. Ono understands the immense pressures students face, having dealt with his own mental health crisis as a student.