Mental Health

Covid-19 response fund announced

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced 11 March that the federal government is “pulling out all the stops” by setting up a $1-billion fund to address the potential continued spread of Covid-19. The total includes $275 million for more research, including vaccine development and, among other things, the one-week waiting period for employment insurance is being waived. [node:read-more:link]

COVID-19: MP joins lockdown protest

Toronto Conservative MP David Sweet, first elected in 2005 and not planning to run again, has joined a dissident Ontario provincial politician’s campaign against COVID-19 lockdowns. Announcing his decision at a March 3 news conference with Roman Baber, an Independent first elected to the legislature in 2016, Sweet said that “lockdowns, by their nature, are a threat to mental health.” [node:read-more:link]

Assisted dying bill supported

The House of Commons was able to pass revised draft legislation designed to expand access to medical assistance in dying when the minority Liberal government was supported by the Bloc Québécois in a March 11 vote. The Conservatives, New Democrats and two of three Green MPs voted against Bill C-7, which the Senate approved last month with major amendments to the government’s original draft. [node:read-more:link]

Assisted dying bill now law

Federal legislation governing eligibility for medically assisted death, eliminating a requirement for final consent before the procedure, has received Royal Assent. Now anyone who is suffering but not facing imminent death, can apply for medical assistance after assessment and counseling. [node:read-more:link]

No anonymity for violent offenders?

The Alberta government has introduced draft legislation in an unprecedented move to prevent some violent offenders from legally changing their names. The president of the Canadian Prison Law Association said March 21 that Bill 61 “probably” intrudes on federal criminal law jurisdiction and does not consider individuals’ rehabilitation. [node:read-more:link]

Fredericton shooter not criminally responsible

A New Brunswick man who killed two police officers and two civilians in Fredericton in August 2018 has been found not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder. The 11-member’s jury’s decision was reached after several days of deliberation. Matthew Raymond’s defence counsel has said the admitted shooter would be institutionalized indefinitely and subject to regular assessments. [node:read-more:link]

VCU to study chronic effects of brain injury

Virginia Commonwealth University has been awarded a $50-million grant by the U.S. Defense and Veterans Affairs departments to study the long-term effects of concussions during combat. It builds on a $62 million grant to VCU in 2012 to lead a consortium of 30 universities and 27 medical facilities to study the chronic effects of brain injuries. [node:read-more:link]

Veterans at high risk of mental illness

Military veterans, especially those who had been deployed overseas, are at greater risk of mental health problems, according to Rand Corp. research. The California-based think-tank warns of long-lasting consequences if the problems are not addressed. [node:read-more:link]


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