For a number of reasons, I’m very thankful that we have turned the page on February and entered the month of March.
Yes, one reason for my excitement is the hope of warmer temperatures and, ultimately, the end of winter. Another reason for my excitement is what March means for everyone involved in Research and Academics at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores).
On Friday, March 21 Ontario Shores will host our third annual Research Day, the equilavent of the Super Bowl for us researchers.
This year’s theme is ‘Recovery in Mental Health: Research Informed Approaches and Outcomes’, which bring nurses, psychologists, researchers, social workers, psychiatrists, family physicians, counsellors, therapists, and mental health professionals to Ontario Shores from the province.
If you have ever volunteered before, you will, no doubt, be aware that April and May are the key months when volunteers are recognized, either formally or informally for their “gift of time.”
According to Volunteer Canada, over 13.3 million Canadians “answer the call” each year by volunteering at organizations they care about. The study also outlines why we take time out of our busy life to donate a few hours a week. The desire to help people and give back to the community are the key reasons why volunteers are willing to donate their time. Volunteering is a great way to help stay connected to community and in turn, promotes self-worth. I’d say that is a “win-win” situation for all.
I recently had the great opportunity to interact with an inspiring health care leader from the United Kingdom.
The conversation sparked many points of reflection for me, in particular, around the current role of service-users in the mental health care system. From research we have noted many benefits in having service-users as active participants in their care, as I discussed in my previous blog. In addition, over the past couple of decades, there has been a complex jigsaw of consumer activities mainly either working within the system to advocate for quality of care and promote culture change, as well as, outside the system in independent consumer organizations advocating for system change and at times role modeling alternative services.