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How You Can Help Bring out the Benefits of Brain Stimulation


What happens when medication or psychotherapy prove to be ineffective for those with mental illnesses such as depression? One impressive treatment being used  at CAMH is rTMS (or Repetitive  Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation), a non-invasive technique that uses magnetic impulses to stimulate centres of the brain associated with depression, providing benefits to clients without some of the side effects of other interventions.

Up until now, rTMS has only been available to those fortunate enough to participate in research studies. People like Fahad, Jane and Gail, who have shared their stories of recovery. With your help, this may be about to change. Read more

Turning Darkness into Light: The Journey of Recovery from Addiction

Teenager depressed sitting inside a dirty tunnel

By Dr. Jan Malat, Interim Chief, Addictions Division

Two years ago this December when the power outage left our city in darkness, my patient was alone with nowhere to go. Like many families of addicted patients, his family had distanced itself after many years of relapses and broken promises. He ended up spending several days with his neighbours, playing board games with their children under the candlelight. My patient experienced a level of contentment and connection he hadn’t felt in years. He was deeply moved by this experience and said very poetically, “we turned the darkness into light.”   Read more

Building Resilience


By Dr. Katy Kamkar, Clinical Psychologist, Work, Stress and Health Program, CAMH

Katy-KamkarMost if not all of us have experienced a variety of difficult and upsetting events and circumstances in our lives such as an illness, death of a loved one, financial difficulties, divorce, work related stressors. A range of emotions result from those difficult and upsetting events such as sadness, shock, anger, anxiety, feeling hopeless and feeling helpless.

How do we cope with those difficult life events? What can we do? Read more

Films at Rendezvous with Madness touch a nerve and get to the heart


By Elizabeth Scott, Toronto freelance writer and editor

This year’s Rendezvous with Madness film festival is making its mark in Toronto once again. For 23 years, this outstanding Canadian event has communicated with heart the idea of madness and addictions through the art of film.

Last year my son, Byron, and I were honoured to take part in one of the discussion panels, after the motion picture Gabriel screened. The film looked at the experience of a young man, played by Rory Culkin, as he and his family were coming to grips with the impact of his mental illness on their relationships, with each other, extended family and friends.

Our family was in the audience that night, brother Ben, stepdad David, and Byron’s fiancé Eireann. With this year’s RWM in full swing, we were reminded of public perceptions and the barriers to understanding that exist. So we decided to sit down together and talk about how artistic events, like RWM, are working to increase general insight into the impact mental illness has, on families and in the culture.

Here are a few snippets from our conversation: Read more

Celebrating Life, Remembrance and Mental Health

FlowersBy Nazila Isgandarova, Spiritual Care Provider, CAMH Spiritual Care Service

The following is a reflection taken from a recent Celebration of Life service at CAMH.

When we have had a loss of a loved one or the one we cared for, we experience different feelings including loneliness, sadness, apprehension, anxiety and depression. Nevertheless, with a high risk of mental and physical health problems for a long time afterward, the sadness or grief we experience in our lives also reminds us the significance of relationships in our lives, especially when the sun goes down for someone who we love.  We come to realization that our relationship with the person who we loved and cared for had its own special level of responsiveness, emotional attachment, quality and was unique.  Read more