Human Rights and Mental Healthcare Services--What Family Caregivers Should Know
September 29, 2014
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Barbara Hall is Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en. She explains why the Commission created its ‘Policy on preventing discrimination based on mental health disabilities and addictions’. She gives examples of human rights issues that could arise for young people living with addictions, adults and seniors living with mental illnesses, and their families and family caregivers. She explains the Commission’s support for individuals who are living with mental health disabilities or addictions and who become involved in privacy concerns, the criminal justice system, and detention centres. She explains the Commission’s help for organizations and people in general to understand their responsibilities to respect the human rights of persons living with mental health disabilities and addictions. She shares her message to family caregivers about the human rights of their family members who are living with mental health disabilities and addictions.
Family Caregivers Unite!
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Family caregivers are the people who provide care to partners, parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors and even co-workers. They are the people who provide care when everyone else has gone home. They are the people who organize the functioning of the home for the person with special needs, and for the family as a whole. They are the coordinators of care, the managers of appointments, the preventers of loneliness, and the makers of decisions even to the point of Power of Attorney. And they are so often people who themselves are burdened with their own health challenges and who may be in only marginally better health than the persons to whom they are providing family caregiving.
Dr. Gordon Atherley
Dr Gordon Atherley holds the British equivalent of the Canadian PhD and MD degrees, and LLD, Honoris Causa, from Canada’s Simon Fraser University. His awards include Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. His medical specialties are occupational medicine and public health.
As first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Canadian equivalent of the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, he led the creation of Canada’s electronic information service in occupational health and safety, now used in more than 40 countries.
In academia, he held senior, tenured, full-time positions, including departmental chair, in university faculties of physics, engineering, and medicine. He is the author of a textbook and numerous articles and publications.
Since retiring from medical practice, he’s built up Greyhead Associates, which critically researches the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health services for persons with special needs.
Through Virtual Care International, a company of which he’s President, he’s involved in providing sensible technology to family caregivers to help them with their responsibilities, workloads, and concerns.
Now an activist, he urges family caregivers to unite because, more and more, it’s not just their families who depend on them, it’s also the healthcare system as a whole, as it struggles to meet more and more needs of more and more people.