Monthly Meetings

Meetings have been suspended until further notice. Watch for a new schedule this fall.

Generally held the second Tuesday of each month, these meetings are a combination of information/education, planning, and sharing experiences with others who understand. Meetings are open to any family member or other caregiver of an adult living with mental illness, and are usually held at the CMHA-ER office, 3rd floor, 10010 105 Street in downtown Edmonton from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Some meetings feature speakers on a specific topic of interest.

Please note that sometimes the location and/or day is changed, so sign up for our monthly e-newsletter or join our Facebook group to get up-to-date information. Usually the most recent newsletter has information about upcoming meetings – you can access that on our newsletter archive page. Alternatively, contact us to confirm the time and location.

 

Alberta Summit on Mental Illness

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have postponed this event until May 14, 2021. Registration fees have been refunded. We expect to have the same or similar program. Watch for more news later this year.

 

Overview

May 14, 2021 – The Edmonton Inn & Conference Centre, 11834 Kingsway Ave, Edmonton AB  T5G 3J5

The first annual Alberta Summit on Mental Illness, on Friday May 22nd at the Edmonton Inn, will be an opportunity for mental health professionals and family members to learn together and network with one another. The day will address serious mental illness, how it’s treated and how improvements can be made. The summit will provide information for families and clinicians from around Alberta, and offer opportunities to express and hear diverse viewpoints.

Program

7:45 Registration and continental breakfast
8:30 Greetings and Introductions
9:00 First Episode Psychosis and the first Ten Years After  – Dr. William Honer
10:00 Table Discussion
10:15 Break
10:30 NCR beyond the headlines – Dr. Patrick Baillie
11:30 Family Friendly Mental Health Act – is it possible? – Dr. John Gray
12:30 Lunch
1:15 Musical Chairs: Stopping the game and preventing discharge to homelessness – Dr. Cheryl Forchuk
2:30 Table discussion
2:45 Break
3:00 Making Progress from Pain: How Grief can Transform Lives and Laws – Dr. Lori Triano-Antidormi
4:15 Closing remarks and evaluations
4:30 Summit ends

(subject to change without notice)

The summit will be held at the Edmonton Inn and Conference Centre, 11834 Kingsway Ave, Edmonton AB  T5G 3J5. Summit attendees qualify for a special  room rate of $119 if reserved by May 22.

Registration rates:

Family members and students: $40 for registrations received by April 30; $60 after April 30

Mental Health Professionals: $150 for registrations received by April 30; $200 after April 30

Registration includes continental breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks.

 

Topics and Speaker Information

Room Bookings and Venue Information

Questions? Contact us.

 

The 2020 Alberta Summit on Mental Illness is made possible with the generous support of:

             

 

The Summit organizing committee includes representatives from:

Families supporting Adults with Mental Illness – Alberta Canadian Mental Health Association – Edmonton Region Alberta Alliance for Mental Health
 University of Alberta Department of Psychiatry Alberta Health Services –   Addiction and Mental Health, Edmonton Zone Covenant Health – Addiction & Mental Health

 

Alberta Summit on Mental Illness

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have postponed this event until May 14, 2021. Registration fees have been refunded. We expect to have the same or similar program. Watch for more news later this year.

 

Topics and Speakers

First Episode Psychosis and the first Ten Years After – Dr. William G. Honer

Dr. Honer will review the importance of an accurate diagnosis at the onset of psychosis, and the need for antipsychotic medication to both reduce symptom severity and prevent relapse. He will describe a study looking at the long term (10-year) outcomes of first episode psychosis, and the risks for developing a treatment resistant form of illness. Guidelines for treatment, and new research plans will also be discussed.

Dr. Honer is Professor, and holds the Jack Bell Chair in Schizophrenia, at the UBC Department of Psychiatry, and is a consultant psychiatrist. He is also an Honorary Professor in the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Hong Kong, and a Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry in Columbia University in New York. His groundbreaking research into treatment of first episode psychosis and relapse rates demonstrates the importance of early treatment. 

 

NCR beyond the Headlines – Dr. Patrick Baillie

Most Canadians hear about the Not Criminally Responsible designation (NCR) only when a serious crime is committed and covered by journalists. Dr. Baillie will outline the history of NCR and explain its wide-reaching scope.

As a psychologist and lawyer, Dr. Baillie has worked in a forensic outpatient program in Calgary, and has also been a consulting psychologist with the Calgary Police Service for the past 24 years. He appears frequently before the courts as an expert witness. In 2007, Dr. Baillie was named to the Mental Health and the Law Advisory Committee of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and later served as Chair of the Committee.

 

A Family-Friendly Mental Health Act: is it possible? – Dr. John Gray

This session will present the Alberta Mental Health Act from the perspective of families’ hopes and involvement in admission, treatment, review, community treatment orders and communications with clinicians. Examples from other Canadian provinces will also be cited that might enhance family-friendly legislation.

Dr. Gray, a psychologist, is the lead author of ‘Canadian Mental Health Law and Policy’ with Edmonton lawyer Margaret Shone and psychiatrist Dr. Peter Liddle. He has over 25 publications in this area and has been involved in mental health law reform in numerous Canadian jurisdictions, most recently in Nunavut. His mental health work in Saskatchewan and British Columbia has included clinical, management and policy positions. Dr. Gray is a past president of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada.

 

Musical Chairs: Stopping the game and preventing discharge to homelessness – Dr. Cheryl Forchuk

People who have had the experience of mental illness, including addiction, are consistently over-represented among the homeless population. Homelessness can be understood through the analogy of musical chairs and the disconnect of policies related to housing, income support and mental health services. In London, ON, a program to reconnect these policies and sectors has had a significant effect on preventing discharge to homelessness. The details of the program and the results will be discussed.

Dr. Cheryl Forchuk is the Beryl and Richard Ivey Research Chair in Aging, Mental Health, Rehabilitation and Recovery; a Distinguished University Professor at Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing (Western University); and Scientist and Assistant Director at Lawson Health Research Institute. She has published on many topics including transitional discharge, technology in mental health care, and poverty, housing and homelessness. She has been honoured with numerous awards including the Order of Ontario, an honorary life membership in the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario and the Canadian Association of Advanced Practice Nursing, and a Research Pioneer Award from Psychosocial Rehabilitation Canada.

 

Making Progress from Pain: How Grief can Transform Lives and Laws – Dr. Lori Triano-Antidormi

Dr. Triano-Antidormi will share her journey from a place of heartache to healing. She will speak of her interactions with a mentally ill neighbour and her experiences with the criminal justice system, and highlight some important changes that came from a coroner’s inquest. She will speak of the grief experience and how she was moved by her experience to work to reduce stigma and to advocate for improved access to mental health care. She will also address the grief experienced by family members of those impacted by mental illness. This inspirational story of overcoming tragedy with compassion puts a human face to the complexities of mental illness and our society’s response to it. It offers both hope and understanding.

A Registered Psychologist, Dr. Triano-Antidormi has expertise in the area of grief and trauma, providing treatment to individuals who have been impacted by a violent crime or traumatic incident. A former Board Member of Niagara Victim Services, Dr. Triano-Antidormi currently sits on the Hamilton Chief of Police Committee for Police Interactions with People in Crisis. She was the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award presented by the Schizophrenia Society of Canada in 2013. She is currently president of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada.

Summit Overview

Room Bookings and Venue Information

Questions? Contact us

The 2020 Alberta Summit on Mental Illness is made possible with the generous support of:

             

 

The Summit organizing committee includes representatives from:

Families supporting Adults with Mental Illness – Alberta

Canadian Mental Health Association – Edmonton Region

Alberta Alliance for Mental Health

 University of Alberta Department of Psychiatry

Alberta Health Services –   Addiction and Mental Health, Edmonton Zone

Covenant Health – Addiction & Mental Health

 

Alberta Summit on Mental Illness

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have postponed this event until May 14, 2021. Registration fees have been refunded. We expect to have the same or similar program. Watch for more news later this year.

 

Room bookings and venue information

The First Annual Alberta Summit on Mental Illness will be held on May 22, 2020 at the Edmonton Inn and Conference Centre, 11834 Kingsway Ave, Edmonton AB  T5G 3J5.

Summit attendees can book hotel rooms for the special rate of $119/night (plus taxes). To book a room call 1-888-747-4114 and say you’re attending the Alberta Summit on Mental Illness. You must reserve by May 7 to get this rate.

Included with your room:

• Complimentary High Speed Wireless Internet
• Complimentary Local Calls
• Complimentary Parking
• 24 Hour Business Centre
• 24 Hour Fitness Centre
• Microwave and Mini-Fridge available upon request
• RV or Truck Parking
• Access to On-Site Laundry (2 Washers, 2 Dryers)

 

Summit Overview

Topics and Speaker Information

Questions? Contact us.

The 2020 Alberta Summit on Mental Illness is made possible with the generous support of:

             

 

The Summit organizing committee includes representatives from:

Families supporting Adults with Mental Illness – Alberta Canadian Mental Health Association – Edmonton Region Alberta Alliance for Mental Health
 University of Alberta Department of Psychiatry Alberta Health Services –   Addiction and Mental Health, Edmonton Zone Covenant Health – Addiction & Mental Health

 

 

Love You Forever workshops

Love You Forever workshops, held twice a year (spring and fall), are designed to provide practical, relevant information for parents and other caregivers of adults living with mental illness – as well as an opportunity to meet others in similar situations. These can be described as a “boot camp” as they provide plenty of basic information about mental illness and navigating the mental health system.

These workshops are meant for parents and other caregivers who are supporting an adult with a diagnosed mental illness. These are provided free of cost for families and caregivers, thanks to the financial support from Canadian Mental Health Association-Edmonton Region. The workshops are organized entirely by volunteer family members and draw on expertise from local experts.

To get news about future Love You Forever workshops, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.

Facebook Group

Our Facebook group is a private group; only approved members can see the posts. It offers a safe space to ask questions, share concerns and read recent articles of interest. Access the group here.

Monthly newsletter

Newsletters are sent monthly (unless there’s some time-sensitive information that requires a special issue).

Read past issues at the newsletter archive.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter here.

 

Housing

This initiative is still in its infancy. There is a core group looking into sustainable solutions for housing options for those living with serious mental illness. Watch for more information in the future, or contact us if you’d like to be involved.

In the meantime, there is some information on short-term housing in our Support section.

Advocacy

FAMI-Alberta collaborates with policy makers and care providers wherever possible to provide families’ perspectives and improve services. We’ve worked closely with the Addiction and Mental Health branch of the AHS Edmonton Zone. We’ve also worked with governments and other organizations.

Recently, we’ve been participating in public engagement regarding the government review of parts of the Mental Health Act. We publicized the government survey in December and January, polled our members and submitted a response. We’ve also been closely following the debate about Bill 17, the Mental Health Amendment Act  introduced by Health Minister Tyler Shandro in the Alberta Legislature on June 4, 2020.

The review was prompted by the JH v. AHS court ruling in July 2019 that determined that parts of the Act dealing with involuntary admission and treatment are unconstitutional. The Mental Health Act is the main piece of legislation in Alberta that deals with the assessment, treatment and rights of people with a serious mental disorder (illness) in certain situations. The Act describes how a person with a mental disorder can be apprehended, detained and/or given treatment in a hospital or in the community under specified conditions. It also explains people’s rights in these circumstances.

If you want to personally share any comments, here’s how to contact your government representatives:

Contact the Minister of Health

Contact the Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addiction

Find and contact your MLA

 


Our work with the Edmonton zone of Alberta Health Services – Addiction and Mental Health has provided families’ perspectives to our health care providers. In the short time we’ve been around (since late 2016), we’ve been involved with these activities:

  • participation in zone-wide strategic planning sessions,
  • participation in a family presence working group,
  • development of family resources regarding the Health Information Act and sharing of information,
  • participation in staff development opportunities to share the family perspective,
  • providing input into the development of housing information sessions for families,
  • participation in working groups planning the Access 24/7 Mental Health Hub
  • participation in working groups planning the Edmonton Recovery College
  • Love You Forever workshops, which are attended by AHS staff as well as families.