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Posts from the ‘Global Health’ Category

Raising the Voices of South Asians in the Mental Health Community


By Gursharan Virdee, Research Analyst, Schizophrenia Division, Complex Mental Illness Program at CAMH

Mrs. Singh is a 45 year old South Asian woman. As a child, she would hear her parents tell her, “You are lazy” or “possessed”, and nobody in her community was able to identify or obtain much-needed support for her. Nobody understood that her paranoid thoughts may be a sign of a mental illness. And while Mrs. Singh always knew that she was not ‘paagal’ (‘crazy’ in Punjabi), she had been labelled so by her own family, as well as her husband’s.

It was only five years ago, with the support of her husband, that she was able to identify her experience as a mental illness and begin working with a psychiatrist. Read more

A Primer on Cross-Cultural Issues in Mental Health


By Dr. Donna Ferguson, Psychologist with the WSIB Psychological Trauma Program

Attitudes toward mental illness vary among individuals, families, ethnicities, cultures, and countries. Cultural backgrounds can often influence individual’s beliefs about mental illness and shape their attitudes toward being mentally ill or their view of individuals suffering with mental illness. It can also be an influencing factor in how people experience stigma related beliefs about mental illness. It is therefore important to understand individual and cultural beliefs related to mental illness in order to implement effective approaches to overall assessment and care. Read more

Using Creative Arts to Train Haitian Spiritual Leaders on Therapy for “Crooked” Thoughts


By Michael-Jane Levitan, Special Advisor, Office of Transformative Global Health

Kwochi, the Creole word for “crooked,” can be used to describe problematic thinking; an underlying principle of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This expression was heard many times during a recent research-based CBT training in Haiti and perfectly captures how this therapy can help to “straighten” unhealthy thought patterns. Read more

International Beer Day: Some cold, bracing facts


Today is International Beer Day – a day when people can get together to share in their appreciation for beer. And let’s face it – Canadians love beer. It’s a perception ingrained in our culture, proudly displayed in advertisements, and supported by statistics. We also happen to be pretty good at brewing it too.

However, statistics also indicate that Canadians are exposed to higher levels of alcohol-related harm, thanks to consumption rates that are about 50% more than the global average. In fact, 1/3 of Ontarians experience harm due to someone else’s drinking.

So as we celebrate the summer, we hope you can help ensure that people are celebrating safely and responsibly. Share the facts, know your limits, check out some of these tools, and stay safe! Read more

Traditional healers using apps to treat psychosis

SnapshotofBlogBy Sireesha Bobbili, Special Advisor/Project Coordinator, Office of Transformative Global Health, Social & Epidemiological Research, CAMH
Infographic by Erin Lee, Communications Intern, Office of Transformative Global Health, CAMH

Here’s a recap of our project:

The Office of Transformative Global Health at CAMH is piloting a project in rural Tanzania. It targets traditional healers who treat psychosis, a condition that affects approximately 3.9% of the population.

Cultural beliefs and accessibility to services are two reasons why Tanzanians go to traditional healers for their health care needs. However, without proper attention to biological symptoms, a condition like psychosis can worsen and reach chronic stages leading to severe long-term disability. Read more