Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act Will Help Alleviate Animal Suffering In Canada

Monday is World Day for Laboratory Animals, and over the last few months, the media have helped to expose the terrible plight of lab animals in Canada. A recent W5 Investigative report revealed the abysmal conditions under which animals undergo cruel research activities to bring new products and drugs to market. The investigation further revealed that animals used in these tests are not only subject to severe pain and distress (as a result of deliberate chemical poisoning without pain relief), but are often also the victims of abuse and mistreatment, unrelated to the tests themselves.

People across the country were shocked and horrified to see such suffering happening right here at home. For us here at Humane Society International/Canada, it just reinforced an all too familiar malaise; it was also a stark reminder of the countless hurdles we still need to overcome to bring Canadian standards in line with the dozens of other countries that have already made strides in confronting cruelty in laboratories around the world. Dogs thrown and slammed into cages, macaques suspended by their limbs — these are just a few of the images that made it into the highlight reel of the aforementioned investigation, fittingly taken from hours of torturous footage that didn’t make the cut.

And while we are making progress every day to achieve real results for lab animals across the country, the unfortunate reality is that the animal testing industry in Canada remains largely unregulated.

A year ago, we were successful in convincing the Canadian government to join the ranks of other nations, such as the United States, to drop the one-year dog pesticides test, which has been proven to be scientifically unnecessary. In these tests, beagles are taken from their mothers at just six months old to be fed pesticides every …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada

Prince Harry’s Trauma Revelations Ignore Reality Of Mental Illness

prince harry

Along with everyone else, I have to admire Prince Harry for opening up about the impact that his mother’s sudden and tragic death had on him, but I fear that his talk about mental-health issues and trauma will have a negative rather than a positive impact on our views of mental illness.

Prince Harry revealed he sought counselling after two years of ‘total chaos’ having spent nearly 20 years of ‘not thinking’ about the death of his mother. (Photo: PA Wire/PA Images)

Losing a parent at an early age is traumatic and I can fully understand what he went through, as I lost my own father when I was but 10 years old. Like Prince Harry, it had a profound effect on me that lasted for years. No breakdown, but to this day I still harbour hostility to a certain hospital in Toronto. When I tried to visit my father after he suffered a heart attack, I was thrown out because visitors had to be over 16. I was forced to stand on the median strip of University Avenue to try to spot him waving to me from his window.

And while losing a parent in the public eye as a royal with the Queen for your grandmother may be doubly difficult, it is just as difficult when your family is poor, your mom has to go work as a school crossing guard and you become a sales clerk in the local Kresge store. I prepared supper every night from an early age.

Many children lose parents early, and that is always tragic, but it does not result in a mental illness. I differentiate mental-health issues from mental illness. I’m not sure if those who read and/or heard of Harry’s issues make that differentiation, but it is an important …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada

Our Mental-Health System Can’t See Canadians With Developmental Disabilities

invisible people

By Yona Lunsky and Rob Balogh

With the recent federal commitment to increase mental health funding across Canada, we need to turn our attention toward a group of individuals who are currently invisible within Canada’s mental health system — a group that has some of the greatest needs for mental health services and supports, yet is rarely acknowledged or targeted in mental health efforts.

Those with developmental disabilities, which includes Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome and autism are rarely recognized in mental health statistics, policy priorities, education and training or even clinical practice.

Their health needs are often not adequately addressed — and our inability to “see” this population is costing the health system enormously.

There was a time when this population was not “seen” within mainstream mental health initiatives because they received their care in a separate system, primarily through institutional care. But with the closure of institutions and an emphasis on community inclusion over the last several decades, those with developmental disabilities are expected to access physical and mental health care, like everyone else, in their home communities.

Unfortunately, their health needs are often not adequately addressed — and our inability to “see” this population is costing the health system enormously.

In August of 2016, the Ontario Ombudsman released “Nowhere to Turn,” a disturbing report following a four-year investigation about the care and treatment of adults with developmental disabilities. The report found frequent emergency department use and lengthy hospitalizations as well as homelessness, incarceration, family burnout and cases of abuse and neglect.

Although mental health was not the focus of the investigation, it was clear that poorly addressed mental health issues led to many of the social and health problems highlighted in the report.

Entrance to CAMH, or Centre …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada