Toronto is playing host to the
Invictus Games, an international competition for military veterans from 15
countries, including Canada, who have been wounded in body or in mind. It
is the brainchild of Prince Harry, himself a veteran who flew Apache
helicopters for the British Army and did a tour of Afghanistan in 2008.
Raising the flag for veteran's mental health
CAMH's President and CEO Dr. Catherine Zahn had the honour of being one of 150 flagbearers to participate in the Invictus Games National Flag Tour, which began its journey on August 16th in Victora, BC, and concluded in Toronto on September 22nd.
Dr. Zahn brought the Invictus
Games flag from Queen’s Park to the Sunnybrook Hospital Veteran’s Centre, where
she met Canadian veterans who served in World War 2 and the Korean War.
In advance of the Invictus Games opening ceremonies on Saturday, September 23, Prince Harry made a stopover at CAMH to learn about the CAMH programs, and to briefly meet and greet staff, clients and members of the community.
Prince Harry has expressed a keen enthusiasm for many
aspects of CAMH's work, with a special interest in the mental health of young people and
how advances in technology are being used to support this.
CAMH and the Spirit of Invictus
The spirit of the Invictus Games is
something CAMH has been a strong supporter of for many years. In
collaboration with Veterans Affairs Canada, CAMH has produced an education tutorial as
part of the hospital’s suite of Mental Health 101 tutorials called ‘Veterans
and Mental Health.' The tutorial is aimed at helping military veterans assess
their state of mental health and see if they may need professional help with
PTSD or other mental health issues arising from their service.
Veteran Natacha Dupuis after winning one of her two gold medals in Track and Field during the 2016 edition of the Invictus Games, in Orlando, Florida.
READ: Healing the invisible scars: Natacha Dupuis' story
CAMH has adapted this online tutorial into a module to lead the training of volunteers working at the Invictus Games. The training module is focused on ensuring mental and physical safety for everyone at the Games and building the competence and confidence of volunteers to manage challenging interactions and stressful encounters during the event.
CAMH provides a range of treatment for patients with complex mental illness in Ontario, including patients with co-occurring physical and psychiatric disorders and concurrent disorders. In particular, its Work, Stress and Health Program has several staff psychologists who are leading experts in the treatment of PTSD. One
of those psychologists is Dr. Katy Kamkar, who is also acting
as a Medical Practitioner at the Invictus Games.
READ: Dr. Kamkar's blog on moral injury and the military
CAMH will be proudly promoting the Invictus Games in our community, along with the efforts of the wounded veterans and all the staff and volunteers working to make this third incarnation of the Games as successful as the first two.
Please join us in cheering on our brave men and women as they prepare to host and compete with fellow veterans from around the world.
2017 Accessibility Innovation Showcase
Ontario’s Accessibility Innovation Showcase (September 25-26, 2017) will profile innovative accessibility technologies and assistive devices that with help improve the lives of people with disabilities.
The showcase will also feature motivational and other expert speakers, including CAMH’s Senior Medical Advisor Dr. David Goldbloom. Dr. Goldbloom will speak about the toll of mental illness on individuals and societies, as well as about promising and innovative models of care at CAMH – Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital and one of the world's leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health.
This year’s showcase is an official Invictus Games event.
Tickets for the Invictus Game events
are still available on the website, and a handful of free events are also
planned over the course of the week. The full schedule of events is available