A Holistic Way to Think About Our Health and Reframe Disability

No one likes to be defined by an illness, disorder or disability – even when we are a patient. Our ‘health’ is not only based on our biology, but also by our relationships with friends and family and our ability to do the things we enjoy. Researchers Drs. Peter Rosenbaum and Jan-Willem Gorter from our cerebral palsy research program (CP-NET) wrote a concept paper[1] explaining how holistic thinking towards health can create a better framework to approach childhood disability. This framework helps to identify the ability and potential in persons with disabilities like cerebral palsy so people can work with them the same way we should with anyone else.

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Connecting Research Back to the Community

Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) believes connecting its research programs with patients and their advocates is critical to having relevant and high impact programs.

OBI has worked with each of its Integrated Discovery Programs (ID) to form five separate Patient Advisory Committees (PACs) that consist of advisors from various neurological health charities (e.g., Alzheimer Society of Ontario or Autism Ontario), researchers, caregivers, and patients. The purpose of these committees is to bring the patient voice to our ID Programs, promote knowledge exchange between patients, advocates, caregivers and researchers, discuss key issues for patients, and connect the research back to their communities faster. Continue reading “Connecting Research Back to the Community”

Building Networks Fundamental to Improving Health Impacts

Since the inception of Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) in 2010, we have been forging ahead with a singular mission – improve the lives of the over one million Ontarians living with a brain disorder.

OBI’s work focuses on three key areas: engaging patients in research; catalyzing evidence into practice and promoting a culture of evaluation. Through these efforts we are working alongside with communities and organizations to achieve a greater health impact than we could drive independently. Impact stories from each of the three areas help understand the rationale behind our approach and the results it has achieved thus far. Continue reading “Building Networks Fundamental to Improving Health Impacts”

Enhancing the Neuroscience Research System through Strategic Collaborations

Brain disorders affect one in three Ontarians and the direct cost to the province exceeds $4 billion each year. The indirect costs from work missed and the emotional costs for families are incalculable and create an urgency to address brain health by means of innovation and translational research that can improve the quality of life for people living with brain disorders. Continue reading “Enhancing the Neuroscience Research System through Strategic Collaborations”

Searching for signs of depression and suicide

By Shaalee Sone, Outreach Intern, Ontario Brain Institute

Individuals who have attempted suicide often say that if one person had taken a minute to ask them how they were feeling it could have prevented them from engaging in suicidal behaviour. While it’s healthy to regularly discuss feelings with loved ones, and we want to support those in need, how can we tell when someone is contemplating suicide and if we should talk about it with them? Beyond individual help, it can also be challenging to find systemic help. A recent ICES report found that mental health and addictions care for youth is poor in five provinces, including Ontario.

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Reducing the stigma of overdose and increasing awareness

By: Shaalee Sone, Outreach Intern, Ontario Brain Institute

There is a tendency to categorize people who have died or been injured by overdose as “others,” but overdose can affect anyone – our friends, our parents, our siblings, our children and even ourselves. The impact of overdose extends beyond each individual, onto their family, their friends and the people who care about them which is why we need to address the stigma around overdose collectively.

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