Sunday, 24 February 2008

Bursaries, Lectures, Medication Choice News

We Want to Hear From You! Take Our Quick Survey on Mental Health Care
A recent report by the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) called "Lost in Transition" details how the lack of capacity in the mental health system is failing people with mental illness in Vancouver draining police resources. Our experience tells us this isn't just a Vancouver issue; tell us if we're right or not. Our quick 10 question survey is anonymous and confidential and takes just a few minutes to fill out. Your responses will guide CMHA policy work moving forward. We'll post initial findings by the end of February. Take the survey now.

Lorne Fraser Educational Fund Accepting Applications - Due April 25
Each year, the Lorne Fraser Educational Fund is awarded to people with a mental illness to help further their pursuit of post-secondary education. There are 7 bursaries for $700 which are based on the annual interest of the fund and are awarded for the fall term of each year. Lorne Fraser is committed to increasing opportunities for people with a mental illness. He has had bipolar disorder for many years and is aware of the difficulties associated with mental illness. He continues to raise the capital to build the fund and recognizes the importance of education to the personal well-being of a contributing member of society. Since 1982, the Lorne Fraser Fund has helped more than 100 British Columbians pursue their educational dreams. The program is currently accepting applications until April 25, 2008. To learn more about the fund and download an application form, visit www.cmha.bc.ca/services/lornefraser

The Bounce Back: Reclaim Your Health Project
The Bounce Back: Reclaim Your Health project offers mental health support to patients coping with chronic health conditions. Through psychoeducation and guided self-help, Bounce Back can help primary health care practitioners to help patients improve their quality of life. This project is led by CMHA BC Division and funded by the BC Ministry of Health. For more information visit www.cmha.bc.ca/services/bounceback.

Read the Latest Visions Magazine on Medications
Medications are often a double-edged sword. They can lift symptoms of mental illness or addiction so that people can feel well enough to do all the other hard work needed for recovery. But they also present a host of complex challenges from side effects and interactions, to affordability and access. This issue of Visions: BC's Mental Health and Addictions Journal aims to help consumers feel more like partners in their care and tries to present a helpful guide into the complex world of pharmaceutical treatment of mental or substance use disorders. Visions is produced by CMHA BC Division on behalf of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information. Read it online at www.heretohelp.bc.ca.
>> Now Visions can be delivered straight to your inbox a week before it hits the press!
To subscribe or unsubscribe to e-Visions, simply use the sign up form at www.heretohelp.bc.ca. It's a free subscription!
>> Visions looking for reactions to recent issue! Read something in the Medications issue that made you think? We'd like to hear your reactions to any article or articles in the last issue. We'll print them in our next issue. Email your letters to the editor to bcpartners@heretohelp.bc.ca

North Shore Health Lecture Series
The weekly Health Lecture Series organized by CMHA North and West Vancouver Branch meets on the 2nd floor of the John Braithwaite Community Centre at 145 West 1st Street in North Vancouver (between Chesterfield and Lonsdale Avenue). All lectures start at 7pm. Admission by donation. For more information please phone 604-987-6959 or visit www.northwestvancouver.cmha.bc.ca.
Feburary 27 - Unlocking the mystery with choice therapy
March 5 - The Power of Gratitude


New Online Clubhouse for Persons with Mood Disorders
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, a consumer-directed mental health organization in the US, launched FacingUs.org on December 3, 2007. The new website offers support and information for those living with depression and bipolar disorder. It allows visitors to use and customize personal journals, wellness plans and books. It also offers meditation and yoga presentations online, and provides other recovery tools and inspirational messages. To visit the website, go to to www.facingus.org.

Making Informed Choices about Psychiatric Medications
The achievement of autonomy in managing psychiatric medications is the subject of a recent special issue of the Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health (CJCMH). The issue focuses on the degree of choice people have when taking medications and the challenges they face in making informed decisions about medications. The issue also includes a handbook called My Self-Management Guide to Psychiatric Medication which includes facts about medications, their therapeutic and side-effects and how to ask questions about psychiatric treatment in order to make informed choices. See "Medication and Mental Health: Promoting Autonomy," available at cjcmh.metapress.com. To order My Self-Management Guide to Psychiatric Medication, contact one of the guide's co-creators, a Quebec coalition of alternative mental health resources (RRASMQ), by e-mailing rrasmq@rrasmq.com.

UBC Study Seeks Consumers with Unipolar or Bipolar Diagnosis
Early studies suggest that disturbance of the stress hormone system may cause problems in cognitive function and make the symptoms of unipolar and bipolar disorders worse. Dr. Allan Young from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia is recruiting subjects for a study on stress hormone levels in patients with mood disorders. The study looks at levels of cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone and their connection to thinking and memory. If you have a diagnosis of unipolar or bipolar disorder and are interested in participating in this study, please contact Sean McIsaac at 604-827-3352 or smcisaac@interchange.ubc.ca for further details.

Help Shape the Future of Bipolar Disorder Research - March 13
Dr. Erin Michalak from the Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, and members of CREST.BD (The Collaborative Research Team to study psychosocial issues in Bipolar Disorder) are holding a consultation event entitled: Psychosocial issues in bipolar disorder: setting the CREST.BD agenda. The day aims to identify ways of supporting a meaningful collaboration between CREST.BD and the consumer sector, and to help shape CREST.BD's future research agenda. The event takes place at Cecil Green Park on UBC campus in Vancouver. If you experience bipolar disorder, or are associated with a relevant consumer or community group and would like to attend, please contact Erica Amari for further details at 604 822 7247 or erica.amari@ubc.ca.