London Police Services Board votes to relocate funds to create crisis outreach support team – Global News – 2020-09-18

The London Police Services Board (LPSB) has voted in favour of creating a crisis outreach and support team to minimize police use of force during mental health calls on Thursday. The motion from Police Chief Steve Williams would see four specialized officers team up with local mental health workers to respond to some of the … Read more

ODSP rules leave Rockland man with ‘impossible decision’ – CBC News – 2020-09-13

A Rockland, Ont., man says Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) rules are forcing him to choose between taking care of his daughter and being financially independent. “I have to make an impossible decision that doesn’t have a humane outcome at all,” said Jay Woodruff. Woodruff lives with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition that causes severe … Read more

Toronto police officer wearing ‘Punisher’ skull patch on uniform faces disciplinary action – Global News – 2020-09-08

A Toronto police officer wearing a controversial patch on their uniform while at a traffic safety news conference is facing discipline by the service, prompting community members to speak out online in response to the image. The patch was seen on the officer’s vest by Toronto Star reporter Ben Spurr Tuesday morning and a picture … Read more

Unprecedented co-ordination helping to attack homelessness in Niagara – Niagara This Week – 2020-08-31

It’s a Thursday morning in a parking lot tucked away against the side of a church near Centennial Gardens Park in St. Catharines, next to a ravine cluttered with pop cans and other debris, with an infestation of wasps in the ground. Cheryl sits by her shopping cart containing a sleeping bag and coat, next … Read more

This Toronto Crisis Team Has Handled Mental Health Calls Without Cops for 30 Years – Vice.com – 2020-08-19

At her lowest point, Kaola Baird felt like she was living two lives. Things probably seemed fine from the outside: She had a circle of friends, an apartment, and was holding down a job in retail and as a fitness instructor. But she was also wrestling severe depression and anxiety that stemmed from the trauma … Read more

Ontario has failed to keep mentally ill people out of segregation in jail: human rights commission – CBC News – 2020-08-25

Ontario has failed to keep inmates with mental health disabilities out of segregation, the province’s human rights commission alleges. The Ontario Human Rights Commission filed a motion with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario seeking an order to hold the province accountable for violating a two-year-old agreement on the use of solitary confinement in the … Read more

Pregnant inmates are getting prenatal care far below health standards, study shows – CBC News – 2020-08-23

Prenatal car for pregnant women in Ontario jails falls far short of international standards, says a new study from McMaster University. A team led by Dr. Dustin Costescu, an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, pored over correctional and health administrative data and found that incarcerated women — and even women who … Read more

Police chiefs embrace health-led response to dealing with people in mental crisis – CBC News – 2020-08-14

Police chiefs say they support closer collaboration with crisis workers to help prevent tragedies when their officers confront people dealing with mental-health issues. Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah says sending two police officers to such calls allows only the option of transporting the person in need to a hospital. He told MPs on the … Read more

Dozens of organizations condemn OPP for no charges laid in the death of a mentally ill man – CBC News – 2020-08-14

More than 60 groups including legal, mental health advocacy and faith-based organizations across Canada have issued statements condemning the Ontario Provincial Police’s decision this month not to lay charges in the death of Soleiman Faqiri. Faqiri, 30, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, was found shackled, face-down on a jail cell floor in handcuffs with a … Read more

Social circles of 10 people will likely last until 2021, Ontario premier says – CTV News – 2020-08-04

Social circles of up to 10 people will likely be sticking around until at least the new year, Ontario Premier Doug Ford says. “This pandemic is not over,” Ford warned residents during his afternoon news conference on Tuesday. “It’s going to continue going and in my opinion – I could be wrong, I’m no medical … Read more

Man remains stuck in a forensic mental health system some say is biased against Black people – CBC News – 2020-07-27

Five years ago, 20-year-old Mark Waweru, then a student at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., and a budding hip hop artist, had his first psychotic episode. It’s a night that changed the course of his life and left him locked in the forensic mental health system in Ontario for more than four years — … Read more

Transgender minister dismissed from position at Mississauga church after coming out – Global News – 2020-07-22

More than a month after coming out as a transgender woman during a sermon, Junia Joplin has been dismissed from her position at a Mississauga church in a close vote by the congregation. “This has been an emotional week. There has been a variety of emotions. I’m sad. I don’t feel great putting an end … Read more