March 17, 2022 – 7:00 to 8:00pm ET

Topic 1 – 7:00 to 7:30pm ET

COVID-19 sparks need for access to evidence based palliative care in mental health settings

Webinar Description:
The literature indicates that individuals with mental health illnesses face significantly higher morbidity and mortality rates compared to individuals without mental health illness, however mental health patients have limited access to adequate palliative care. (Evenblij et al, 2016). The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the imminent need to integrate palliative care into complex care planning for patients with a diagnosis of COVID-19 as they can become rapidly and terminally ill (Wentlandt et al, 2021). Patients in long-term tertiary mental health settings are more prone to rapid and unpredictable physical health decline, due to underlying mental health diagnoses, which can make it difficult for them to follow COVID-19 related precautions and articulate physiological symptoms when exposed to COVID-19. This underscores the importance of early identification of symptoms and initiation of palliative care services by interprofessional teams in these mental health settings.

Learning objectives:

  1. Outline the best practice palliative care guidelines in mental health settings
  2. Identify clinical considerations for the care of palliative patients diagnosed with COVID19

Jennifer Anderson RN, MScN, CPMHN(C)
Advanced Practice Clinical Leader – Nursing – Centre for Addiction & Mental Health
Jennifer is an Advanced Practice Clinical Leader in Nursing at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), supporting Unit 3-1: Structured Observation and Treatment Unit (SOTU), Forensic Women’s Secure Unit (WMSFU), Forensic Brief Assessment Unit (BAU) and the Sexual Behaviour Clinic (SBC). Jennifer also works as a Casual Shift Nurse Manager at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care. She is a Clinical Teacher within the Practical Nursing and Bachelor of Nursing Programs at Humber College and the University of New Brunswick. Furthermore, she maintains a casual position as a front-line Mental Health Nurse within a Provincial Correctional Facility.
Jennifer values the integration of best practice and research into clinical practice. She successfully defended her thesis as part of her Master of Science in Nursing at York University in the spring of 2020: Inpatient mental health: what helps/hinders the transition into communities?

Satinder Kaur RN, MSc(N), MEd(HPE), PhD(N), CPMHN(C)
Advanced Practice Clinical Leader – Nursing – Centre for Addiction & Mental Health
Satinder works as an Advanced Practice Clinical Leader (Nursing) in Forensic Mental Health program at Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto. Satinder is a Doctoral prepared and Certified Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse and has over 16 years of work experience in professional practice, education and research in mental health and addictions. At CAMH, Satinder has steered quality improvement initiatives related to palliative care, family psychoeducation groups, restraints minimization. In her Adjunct Lecturer position at University of Toronto, Satinder teaches interprofessional education courses and provides preceptorship to Nursing Graduate students. Her research focus is in areas of alcohol use, co-occurring physical and mental health conditions and adolescent health.

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Topic 2 – 7:30pm to 8:00pm ET

The Perspectives of Mental Health Professionals on Palliative Care

Webinar description:
In Canada, one in five people experience a mental illness in their life, despite age, education, and culture. Chronic and persistent mental illnesses (CPMI) cause substantial functional impairment and impede daily activities. This can expose people to barriers such as stigmatization and prevent a person from accessing health services, including palliative care. Stigma can lead to diagnostic overshadowing where the misattribution of symptoms can lead to inadequate care, misdiagnoses, and result in the progression of undiagnosed comorbidities. There is limited collaboration between mental health care, palliative care, and the lived experiences of people with a CPMI. To improve, it is necessary to understand the perspectives of mental health care professionals on caring for people with a CPMI and an advanced illness. This study adds to existing knowledge on this important topic.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To understand the perspectives and experiences of mental health care professionals
  2. To highlight the experiences patients have in mental health care that show inequities
  3. To generate discussion on possible solutions for the inequities patients face when trying to receive palliative care

Hello, my name is Lydia Mutoni, and I, along with Ramya Sridhar were the research assistants to this research study under Dr. Tanya Park. This research has allowed me to learn more about how intertwined mental health is in everyone’s daily life, and I look forward to integrating what I’ve researched into future practice. Our research took place between my third and fourth year of my Bachelor of Science in honours nursing program at the University of Alberta, which I have graduated from this year.

My name is Ramya Sridhar and I recently graduated from the University of Alberta Nursing Honours program as of May 2021. I am passionate about working with vulnerable populations, while learning about how to effectively implement health equity and improve access to resources. During the last two years of my degree, I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Tanya Park on this research project. This process has been filled with many learning opportunities which continue to positively impact my current nursing practice. I hope to continue contributing to mental health research in the future.