Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act


The Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act came into effect on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007.

Fact sheets and links to other important information on the Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act are available from the Nova Scotia Department of Health. To view, click here.


I have serious concerns about the accuracy of some of the Nova Scotia Department of Health Fact Sheets, as well as the accuracy of the webpage itself.

For example, the criteria for involuntary admission are, in fact:

Section 17
Where a psychiatrist has conducted an involuntary psychiatric assessment and is of the opinion that

(a) the person has a mental disorder;

(b) the person is in need of the psychiatric treatment provided in a psychiatric facility;

(c) the person, as a result of the mental disorder,

    (i) is threatening or attempting to cause serious harm to himself or herself or has recently done so, has recently caused serious harm to himself or herself, is seriously harming or is threatening serious harm towards another person or has recently done so, or

    (ii) is likely to suffer serious physical impairment or serious mental deterioration, or both;

(d) the person requires psychiatric treatment in a psychiatric facility and is not suitable for inpatient admission as a voluntary patient; and

(e) as a result of the mental disorder, the person does not have the capacity to make admission and treatment decisions,

the psychiatrist may admit the person as an involuntary patient by completing and filing with the chief executive officer a declaration of involuntary admission in the form prescribed by the regulations.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Maternal Effects on Schizophrenia Risk: Placental Status

Local environmental factors impinging on the fetal brain can tip the balance toward mental illness.

From the October 26th, 2007 edition of Science (Vol. 318. no. 5850, pp. 576-577:
By Paul H. Patterson, Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA. E-mail: php@caltech.edu

Understandably, there is great enthusiasm surrounding the search for candidate genes that increase the risk for devastating mental disorders such as schizophrenia. Progress is being made on several fronts, such as identifying genes that regulate potential molecular pathways underlying brain development. Genetic variants are also being associated with brain functions during particular cognitive tasks. What is equally important, though, and at risk of being lost in this gene fervor, is a balanced view of the variety of risk factors for mental illness. Many mental disorders are now referred to as "genetic diseases" as if they were autosomal dominant, like Huntington's disease, in which inheriting a genetic mutation causes the disorder in every person. In the case of schizophrenia, recent epidemiological and animal studies are taking understanding of environmental influences to the molecular level.

Much of the emphasis on the genetics of schizophrenia comes from twin studies, where the incidence of the disorder in genetically identical (monozygotic) twins is 50%. This 50% concordance leaves considerable room for nongenetic influences. However, even that figure may be an overestimate of the role of genetic influence (1). Several lines of evidence point to a key role for maternal environment.

Not widely appreciated in deducing the importance of genes from twin studies is the fact that two-thirds of monozygotic twins share a placenta, which is a key environmental factor. Individual placentas vary with respect to the transport of various nutrients and hormones (2), which affects normal development. Interestingly, X-chromosome inactivation is affected by placental status (3) and, in the largest study of its kind, so is IQ (4). It is therefore possible that the placental environment can influence the expression of genes that are linked to neurodevelopment and schizophrenia. Moreover, indirect evidence suggests that monozygotic twins sharing a placenta have a higher concordance for schizophrenia than monozygotic twins with separate placentas (5, 6). It would be extremely informative to directly assess placental status in twin studies of schizophrenia, and there are twin registries where this could be done (7).

Placental status could also influence fetal responses to infectious agents in the mother. For instance, twins sharing a placenta are bathed in the identical blood supply of cytokines that are induced by maternal infection. Moreover, sharing a placenta increases the risk for infection in twins (8). Birth in winter or spring months, when respiratory infections are frequent, is a well-established risk factor for schizophrenia, and most ecological studies of influenza report an increased incidence among offspring born to mothers who were in the second trimester of pregnancy during an epidemic (9). Most importantly, a recent prospective study found that maternal respiratory infection increases the risk for schizophrenia in the offspring three-to sevenfold. Because of the high prevalence of influenza infection, Brown et al. estimate that 14 to 21% of schizophrenia cases would have been prevented if maternal infection had not occurred (9). Moreover, there is an association between elevated concentrations of cytokines or antibodies to influenza antigens in maternal serum and the incidence of schizophrenia in offspring (9). Maternal infection may also play a role in the pathogenesis of autism (10), although more epidemiology is needed here. Such links are remarkable, considering that elevated risk may only be in genetically susceptible individuals. If so, the risk associated with maternal infection in that subgroup would be considerably greater than three-to sevenfold.

The maternal environment. Alterations in fetal brain development, and their associated behavioral changes, have been linked to the placental environment in human and animal studies.

Although epidemiological studies cannot establish causality, recent work with animals provides experimental evidence that maternal respiratory infection can influence the physiology, behavior, and neuropathology of adult offspring. For instance, maternal influenza infection in rodents causes abnormal behaviors in adult offspring that are consistent with those seen in schizophrenia and autism. These include deficits in social interaction, working memory, prepulse inhibition, and latent inhibition. The latter deficits display postpubertal onset and are normalized by antipsychotic drug treatment. Maternal infection in rodents is also associated with elevated anxiety and neuropathology in offspring that is consistent with that observed in schizophrenia (11, 12).

Changes in the behavior and neuropathology of the rodent offspring are also elicited by injection of synthetic double-stranded RNA into the mother, which evokes an antiviral-like inflammatory response (12-14). Molecular manipulation in this model shows that behavior of the adult offspring results from the balance of pro-versus anti-inflammatory cytokines produced by the mother. That is, blocking pro-inflammatory interleukin-6 or increasing the concentration of anti-inflammatory interleukin-10 strongly attenuates the effects of maternal immune activation on fetal brain development (15, 16). Similar findings have been reported for a model in which maternal bacterial infection is mimicked in rodents by injection of lipopolysaccharide, an immunogenic bacterial component (17).

Although a genetic element clearly contributes to schizophrenia and other mental disorders, the maternal-fetal environment must also be taken into account. Environment can alter genetic outcomes and vice versa, and future research must both tease the two influences apart and consider them together to better understand the onset, progression, and treatment of mental disorders.

References
  1. E.F. Torrey, Schizophr. Bull. 18, 159 (1992).
  2. B.C. Ryan, J.G. Vandenbergh, Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 26, 665 (2002).
  3. J. Monteiro et al., Am. J. Hum. Genet. 63, 339 (1998).
  4. N. Jacobs et al., Behav. Genet. 31, 209 (2001).
  5. J.O. Davis, J.A. Phelps, H.S. Bracha, Schizophr. Bull. 21, 357 (1995).
  6. A. Rosa et al., Schizophr. Bull. 28, 697 (2006).
  7. C.A. Derom et al., Twin Res. Hum. Gen. 9, 733 (2006).
  8. D. T. Phung et al., Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 186, 1041 (2002).
  9. A.S. Brown, Schizophr. Bull. 32, 200 (2006).
  10. S.L. Hyman, T.L. Arndt, P.M. Rodier, Int. Rev. Res. Ment. Retard. 30, 171 (2006).
  11. S.H. Fatemi et al., Cell. Mol. Neurobiol. 22, 25 (2002).
  12. L. Shi, S.H. Fatemi, R.W. Sidwell, P.H. Patterson, J. Neurosci. 23, 297 (2003).
  13. L. Zuckerman, M. Rehavi, R. Nachman, I. Weiner, Neuropsychopharmacology 28, 1778 (2003).
  14. U. Meyer, B.K. Yee, J. Feldon, Neuroscientist 13, 241 (2007).
  15. S. E. P. Smith, J. Li, K. Garbett, K. Mirnics, P. H. Patterson, J. Neurosci. 27, 10695 (2007).
  16. U. Meyer et al., Mol. Psychiatry, 10.1038/sj.mp.4002042 (2007).
  17. S.A. Robertson, R.J. Skinner, A.S. Care, J. Immunol. 177, 4888 (2006).

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Correlates and Long-Term Consequences of Poor Insight in Patients With Schizophrenia. A Systematic Review


The abstract of an article published by Tania M. Lincoln, Eva L├╝llmann and Winfried Rief in the November 2007 edition of Schizophrenia Digest:

Between 50 and 80% of the patients diagnosed with schizophrenia have been shown to be partially or totally lacking insight into the presence of their mental disorder. Although a causal chain connecting poor insight with poor treatment adherence and thus with poorer outcome and functioning is straight forward, numerous studies investigating correlates and long-term impact of insight have provided differing results. In addition, higher levels of insight in schizophrenia have been associated with depression and hopelessness, but the causal direction of the relationship is unclear and the data are inconclusive.

The current study provides a critical review of 88 studies on the assessment of insight and its impact on symptoms and functioning. Studies published by June 2006 were selected using a keyword search for English peer-reviewed articles in the databases PsycINFO and MEDLINE.

The majority of studies support the assumption that insight is associated with adherence during treatment phase, but the association with long-term adherence remains unclear. Insight correlates with better long-term functioning, but this might be explained by its association with symptoms. There is a positive cross-sectional and longitudinal relationship between insight and depression, but the underlying processes need further clarification.

In the concluding discussion, the problems relating to definition and study designs are considered responsible for many of the inconclusive findings. Suggestions for further research are derived.
Reference:
Schizophrenia Bulletin 2007 33(6):1324-1342; doi:10.1093/schbul/sbm002

The cover art (above, right) on the November 2007 issue of Schizophrenia Digest is entitled Another Face by an anonymous author. “Many times, I draw faces as a way to tell of my feelings about being so separated from myself and others. I am confused how to find my way back.”

Friday, October 26, 2007

Video - Health Matters: The Genetics of Schizophrenia and other Human Disorders


Dr. David Braff (pictured, right), Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD, discusses schizophrenia with an emphasis on the role genetics play in this disease. Schizophrenia is thought to result from a complex interplay of genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors. Understanding the genetic components of schizophrenia is crucial to finding out about the risk factors, and heritability of this illness. This may lend itself to the creation of more effective treatments.

To view the video (29 minutes), click here.

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Friend Makes a Difference

Anti-Stigma Campaign Encourages Support

New materials are now available as part of SAMHSA’s Mental Health Anti-Stigma Campaign launched in 2006.

The campaign’s new brochure, What a Difference a Friend Makes, is designed to provide young adults with the tools to help support a friend who is living with a mental illness in the recovery process.

To download a PDF of the brochure, click here.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Are you A-OK with AOT?

From The Trouble with Spikol:
There ain't no controversy like the one surrounding Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT). Right now Pennsylvania is considering Senate Bill 226, which amends the act of July 9, 1976 (P.L.817, No.143), entitled "An act relating to mental health procedures; providing for the treatment and rights of mentally disabled persons, for voluntary and involuntary examination and treatment and for determinations affecting those charged with crime or under sentence," adding provisions relating to assisted outpatient treatment programs. For the full text of the bill, click here. And please do read the entire text of the bill before making any judgments, pro or con. I think people don't do that enough.
To read the entire post, click here.

Photograph of Liz Spikol courtesy of The Trouble with Spikol.

Painkillers Pass Pot as Drug of Choice

Eve Bender writes in the October 19th issue of Psychiatric News:
Government officials express concern at the rising use of prescription painkillers among young adults, especially since the drugs are easily obtained through friends and family.

The use of illicit drugs is down among the nation's youth, according to the results of a government survey released last month, but officials cautioned that they must remain vigilant about continuing to pursue drug-prevention efforts due to rising rates of prescription drug use among young adults.


To read the entire article, click here.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Schizophrenia: A Journey to Recovery


New Resource Offers Plain-Language Information on Assessment and Treatment

The Schizophrenia Society of Canada (SSC) is pleased to announce a new resource that provides consumers and family members with plain-language information on the clinical treatment of schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia: A Journey to Recovery -- A Consumer and Family Guide to Assessment and Treatment was produced through a partnership between the SSC and the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA). The project adapted the CPA's Clinical Guidelines for the Treatment of Schizophrenia into a user-friendly format to assist consumers and families as they navigate their way through assessment and treatment of the illness.

For a copy of Schizophrenia: A Journey to Recovery -- A Consumer and Family Guide to Assessment and Treatment, click here (downloads a PDF).

Published booklets are available from the Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia by calling 465-2601 or 1-800-465-2601 (toll free in Nova Scotia), or by sending an email to ssns@ns.sympatico.ca.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Survey Shows Families More Optimistic on Treatment Outcomes in Schizophrenia (Europe)


New Survey Conveys Fundamental Shift in the Perceptions of Treatment Outcomes in Schizophrenia

For the full story from Schizophrenia.com, click here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Stuart Baker-Brown


Mount Everest, by Stuart Baker-Brown, represents his struggles in life.

Stuart Baker-Brown, 43, a photographer and writer based in Dorset, was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1996. On World Mental Health Day, he delivered a unique personal insight into how his condition has nurtured his artistic expression.

To read the entire story, posted by BBC News, click here.

Thank go to John Devlin for bringing this article to my attention.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

New medication for the treatment of schizophrenia significantly reduces symptoms and improves patients’ daily lives (1,2)

A press release from Janssen-Ortho Inc.:

INVEGA* controls symptoms around the clock and may reduce the risk of some drug interactions, which can be a problem in the treatment of schizophrenia

TORONTO, ON, October 1, 2007 – Health Canada has approved INVEGA* (paliperidone, molecular structure shown on right) for the treatment of schizophrenia (1). INVEGA is the only once-daily oral treatment for schizophrenia that uses a unique OROS* technology designed to deliver and sustain a controlled level of medication throughout the day (1). Moreover, INVEGA is not extensively metabolized in the liver, which may mean fewer drug interactions for patients (1,3).

People with schizophrenia are often on more than one medication (called polypharmacy) for conditions including anxiety disorders, depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV and hepatitis C(3). In fact, studies have shown that 43 per cent of patients on an atypical antipsychotic are on five or more other medications (4). Taking several drugs along with antipsychotic medication can alter the potency of the medication and may lead to serious and potentially life-threatening adverse events (3). Thus, reducing the risk of drug interactions in the treatment of schizophrenia is an important consideration.

“People with schizophrenia are an extremely difficult population to treat and finding the right therapy can be a challenge,” said Dr. Roger McIntyre, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, University of Toronto and psychiatrist at Toronto Western Hospital. “The approval of INVEGA is good news because not only will it consistently control symptoms around the clock, but it’s also an effective option that may help in managing some of the risks associated with polypharmacy - something that is an unfortunate reality when treating people with schizophrenia.”

In placebo-controlled clinical trials, INVEGA was shown to significantly improve the symptoms of schizophrenia and the overall severity of patients’ illness (1). In these trials efficacy was measured using two clinically validated tools commonly used in schizophrenia research: the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), a tool used to measure the severity of symptoms and the Clinical Global Impression Severity Scale (CGI-S), a tool that measures the overall severity of patients’ illness (1).

Schizophrenia is a chronic and debilitating psychiatric disorder that affects over 325,000 Canadians (5,6). Without consistent and effective medication, relapse is common, and with each relapse the illness may worsen (7,8). People with schizophrenia occupy over 30,000 hospital beds every year in Canada (9). In 2004, the direct and indirect costs of the disease amounted to more than $6 billion, with hospitalization as the biggest contributor to the direct costs at $1.2 billion (10).

“People with schizophrenia require life-long management of their disease,” said Dr. Hani Iskandar, Medical Director, Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, McGill University. “When not properly managed, it can have a profound effect not only on the individual’s wellbeing, but also on the health care system. With more treatment options, clinicians have a better chance of finding a therapy that works and that patients will stay on.”

Preventing relapse is closely related to effective antipsychotic medication and adherence to that treatment. Non-adherence to medication is common in people with schizophrenia and is associated with denial of illness, distressing side effects and complicated dosing schedules (11). In fact, a study of over 1,400 patients with schizophrenia on oral atypical antipsychotic medications showed that 74 per cent of patients discontinued the study medication before 18 months (12). These results demonstrate the high discontinuation rates among this patient population, and the need for multiple treatment options.

About INVEGA
INVEGA is indicated for the treatment of schizophrenia (1). INVEGA is the only oral treatment for schizophrenia that uses a unique OROS technology designed to deliver a controlled flow of medication over a 24-hour period.

The efficacy of INVEGA was demonstrated in clinical studies involving more than 1,300 patients with schizophrenia (1). The studies demonstrated statistically significant improvement. In three short-term six-week trials, all doses of INVEGA demonstrated significant improvements in the mean total score of the PANSS versus placebo (1). Statistically significant improvements were seen in severity of illness of patients as measured by the CGI-S (1). In a longer-term trial, INVEGA was shown to effectively maintain symptom control and significantly delay time to symptom recurrence versus placebo (13).

Most adverse events were comparable to placebo at 3 mg and 6 mg doses, including extrapyramidal side effects and weight gain. Changes in lipid levels, including total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides, were low and comparable with placebo across the dose range. Discontinuation rates due to adverse events were comparable to placebo for all doses of INVEGA (1).

In clinical trials, the most frequently reported side effects for all studied doses included: headache, tachycardia (rapid beating of the heart), akathisia (extreme restlessness), extrapyramidal disorders (e.g., involuntary movements, tremors and rigidity), somnolence, dizziness, sedation, orthostatic hypotension and dry mouth (1 ).

In Canada, INVEGA is marketed by Janssen-Ortho Inc.

Janssen-Ortho Inc.
Janssen-Ortho Inc. is a brand-name pharmaceutical company headquartered in Toronto with a broad range of medications used in psychiatry, neurology, dementia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, pain management, women’s health, infectious disease, gastroenterology, and urology.

*All trademark rights used under license.

For more information please contact:

Environics Communications Inc.
Jennifer Casey
(416) 969-2724
jcasey@environicspr.com

Janssen-Ortho Inc.
Suzanne Frost
(416) 449-9444
sfrost@gpcca.jnj.com

References:

1. INVEGA* Product Monograph, Janssen-Ortho Inc., 2007.

2. Davidson M., et al. Efficacy, safety and effect on function of Paliperidone extended-release tablets in schizophrenia: an international 6-week placebo-controlled study. Schizophr. Res.2007, doi:10.1016/j.schres.2007.03.003.

3. Conley R, et al. Drug-Drug Interactions Associated with Second-Generation Antipsychotics: Considerations for Clinicians and Patients. Psychopharmacology Bulletin. 40:1:77-97.

4. Brogan ODB Data, December 2006.

5. NIH Publication No. 06-3517.

6. According to Statistics Canada the Canadian population is 32,852,849 (accessed August 15, 2007 at: www.statcan.ca/menu-en.htm), one per cent of the population is 328,528.

7. Cernansky J, Mahmoud R, Brenner R. A Comparison of risperidone and haloperidol for the prevention of relapse in patients with schizophrenia. N Engl J Med. 2002:346(1):16-22.

8. Health Canada: A Report on Mental Illness in Canada, 2002. (Last accessed July 30, 2007.)

9. Statistics Canada: Hospitalizations for mental disorders, by cause. Available by clicking here. (Last updated accessed March 30, 2004; accessed August 7, 2007).

10. Goeree R, et al. The Economic Burden of Schizophrenia in Canada in 2004, Current Medical Research and Opinion. 2005:21(12):2017-2028.

11. Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Schizophrenia. Cnd J Psychiatry. Available at by clicking here. (Last accessed August 14, 2007).

12. Lieberman, J., et al. Effectiveness of antipsychotic drugs in patients with chronic schizophrenia. N Engl J Med. 2005:353(12):09-23.

13. Kramer M., et al. Paliperidone extended-release tablets for prevention of symptom recurrence in patients with schizophrenia – a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Clin Psychopharmacology. 2007:27(1):6-14.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

News from the Lunenburg County Chapter of the SSNS (LCC-SSNS)

April 2007

Our Iris sales in April were a great success. Thanks to South Shore Regional Hospital, Fisherman's Memorial Hospital, and the Bridgewater Walmart for being our hosts, and to all of our volunteers!




Jean Covert (pictured below), vice-president of the LCC-SSNS and a CMHA Community Facilitator, made a video presentation about mental illness to the Grade 9 students at the Bridgewater High School on Wednesday, April 18th, as part of Diversity Day.


May 2007
Walk Nova Scotia
May 6th, 2007



Walk Nova Scotia Challenge Reception (above), Girl Guides Cabin, Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.


Linda Dagley (above right) thanks Stephen Ayer, Executive Director of the Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia, for his participation in the Walk Nova Scotia Award Presentations.


Walk Nova Scotia Raffle



Congratulations to winners of the raffle:

1st Prize
Four (4) VIA Rail Tickets - Halifax/Moncton
Three-day use of an automobile from Budget Rent-A-Car
WINNER: Dr. Michael Fowler (pictured above)

2nd Prize
Wood Heron carving donated by local artist Jim Smith
WINNER: Pauline Crouse

3rd Prize
Painting donated by Nothin Fancy Furniture Warehouse
WINNER: Ruth Henderson


Annual Conference
Denton Conrad, Kay Joudrey, and Linda Dagley represented the LCC-SSNS at the Annual Conference in Halifax by setting up an information booth about our chapter which included a raffle of a watercolour of an Iris painted by Judith Orr, an artist living in Bridgewater. The proceeds of the raffle were used as a bursary to assist one of our consumers, Richard Balser, enabling him to enroll in art lessons this Fall.

Richard Balser's winning entry in the Nova Scotia Department of Health Calendar Contest was on display at our booth. Congratulations to Richard (pictured below with his winning entry)!



Linda Dagley displayed her Personal Journey Living with Schizophrenia answering questions from many who visited our booth.

June 2007

We had our closing support meeting at the Bowl More Lanes in Bridgewater followed by refreshments and pizza at Pizza Delight. Richard Balser was presented with a educational bursary from the proceeds of the Annual SSNS Conference Raffle.


Some of our bowlers, from left to right, Matthew, Ellen, and Ruth.

September 2007

On September 3rd, LCC-SSNS held a barbecue. A total of thirty three members and friends attended. Clarence Herman, and Al & Bob Patterson provided the entertainment (pictured below).




The first support meeting of the fall took place on Tuesday, September 17th, at 7 pm. We showed the film, Cracking Up, a documentary that follows eleven courageous people who signed up for a pioneering course that teaches stand-up comedy to people living with mental illness.

On September 22nd, thirteen volunteers made 200 chicken pot pies for our first fundraiser of the season.

October 2007

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Jean Covert and Linda Dagley made a presentation about Schizophrenia to Nova Scotia Community College's Licenced Practical Nursing and Continuing Care programs during Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Thursday, October 4th and Friday, October 5th
LCC-SSNS sold Raffle tickets at Walmart (October 4th) and at Bridgewater Mall (October 5th).
  • 1st Prize: Counter Top Roaster donated by Gow's Home Hardware
  • 2nd Prize: Watercolour of an Iris by Judith Orr - a local artist
  • 3rd Prize: A set of red lacquered bamboo bowls donated by Details/Creative Decor in Bridgewater

Friday, October 12th
Gail Corkum (below, right) presenting a bursary to Verge House's Transition Program on behalf of the LCC-SSNS.


Tuesday, October 16th

October support meeting and Halloween party.

November 2007

Tuesday, November 20th, 7:00 pm

November support meeting - preparing for Christmas Bake Sale.

Thursday, November 29th, 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Christmas Bake Sale at the Bridgewater Mall.

December 2007

December support meeting - Christmas Dinner/Party.
Date and time to be announced.

New Location for the Nova Scotia Early Psychosis Program (NSEPP)


A September 30th email received by the SSNS from the Nova Scotia Early Psychosis Program:
We are very pleased to advise you that in October, the Nova Scotia Early Psychosis Program will move to our new location on the 3rd and 4th floors of Abbie J. Lane Building at the Halifax Infirmary. The program offices will be closed on October 10, 11, 12 and 15 for the move and beginning Tuesday, October 16, 2007, our clinic will be re-opened at this new location.

This move was expected as part of the restructuring plan for the CDHA Mental Health Program. However, due to the declining condition of Simpson Hall, the strategic process for NSEPP to move was pushed forward earlier than anticipated.

The NSEPP will re-locate with all of its staff and programs with "business as usual". Our referral intake procedures remain the same as will the list of educational programs we offer to our patients and families.

Our work to provide clinical care, research and education to our early psychosis patients will continue to expand as new opportunities for collaboration with other mental health programs and community partners will be available. Our new location will also make it easier for us to be closer and to connect with the acute care services projected with the expansion of the emergency department at the Halifax Infirmary.

If you have any questions, please contact us at earlypsychosis@cdha.nshealth.ca or visit our website at www.e-earlypsychosis.ca. Until October 9, you can call 464-5997 but effective October 16, you can reach us at our new phone number 473-2976.

We will be having an open house at our new location in the Fall so we hope to see you there!

September SSNS blog poll results

Do you believe that the Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act (IPTA) is being implemented appropriately?

Total votes: 22

Yes: 5 votes (22%)
No: 6 votes (27%)
I don't know: 10 (45%)
What is the IPTA?: 1 (4%)
I don't support the use of the IPTA: 0 (0%)


Fact sheets and links to other important information on the Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act are available from the Nova Scotia Department of Health. To view, click here.

The Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act came into effect on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

SSNS members receive MICA recognition


Today the Mental Health Branch of the Nova Scotia Department of Health, in partnership with the Consumer Involvement Working Group, awarded Meaningful Involvement of Consumer Awards (MICA) to Patricia MacLean and Harold Porter. Congratulations!