Title: Table of Contents
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
File: TOC
Title: Editorial – Call for a Canadian Public Mental Health System: Transformative Change amid a Global Pandemic
Volume:  2
Issue: 1
Pages: 1-2
Authors: Nazilla Khanlou
File: Editorial_Public Mental Health_Khanlou
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54127/GREA8751
Title: Effects of therapeutic cannabis on simulated driving: A pilot study
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Abstract: Although medical cannabis has been available to Canadians since 2001, there is little research on the effects of cannabis on driving in individuals who use cannabis medically. This pilot study sought to determine the effects of therapeutic cannabis use on simulated driving. Methods: Eligible participants reported daily use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes, with a medical authorization. Prior to the test session, participants were asked not to smoke their regular dose. Participants (n=14) completed self-report questionnaires, including subjective effects questionnaires (visual analog scales), the Addiction Research Centre Inventory (ARCI), and Profile of Mood States (POMS), and provided blood (for determination of THC and metabolites). They also drove a simulator both before and after smoking their usual daily dose of cannabis. Outcome measures on simulated driving consisted of overall mean speed, straightaway mean speed, straightaway lateral control, and brake latency. Speed and lateral control were also measured under cognitive load. Results: After smoking cannabis, overall mean speed was reduced. No effects of therapeutic cannabis were found on straightaway mean speed or straightaway lateral control for either condition (standard or cognitive load) or on brake latency. After smoking therapeutic cannabis in the lab, changes in speed and lateral control were negatively correlated with the amount of cannabis smoked per day. Prior to smoking therapeutic cannabis in the lab, under baseline conditions, speed and lateral control under cognitive load were also correlated with the amount of cannabis used per day. Therapeutic cannabis use increased subjective reports and blood levels of THC and metabolites. Conclusions: The present study suggests that, even with repeated daily use, cannabis consumption among therapeutic users may alter driving behavior. This has implications for road safety and use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.
Keywords: cannabis; driving; medicinal cannabis; weaving; speed
Pages: 3-13
Authors: Patricia Di Ciano, Ana Matamoros, Justin Matheson, Andrew Fares, Hayley A. Hamilton, Christine M. Wickens, Tara Marie Watson, Robert E. Mann, Bernard Le Foll, Patrick A. Byrne, & Bruna Brands
File: Effects of therapeutic cannabis on simulated driving_Di Ciano
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54127/DKWR5604
Title: Mental health of Irish students: Self-criticism as a complete mediator in mental health attitudes and caregiver identity
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Abstract: Mental health is a concern in the Republic of Ireland, and in particular the mental health of higher education students is challenging. Further, their poor mental health may be negatively impacted by their negative mental health attitudes and caregiver identity, which can yield high self-criticism and low self-reassurance. Accordingly, this study aimed to (i) elucidate the relationships among these five constructs, and (ii) assess the impact of self-criticism and self-reassurance in the relationship between (a) mental health attitudes and mental health, and (b) between caregiver identity and mental health. One-hundred and twenty-nine Irish undergraduate students completed self-report measures regarding these constructs. Correlation and path analyses were conducted. Overall, all variables were related to each other, and in particular family-related shame subscales were strongly related to mental health problems. In path analysis, self-criticism completely mediated the relationship between mental health attitudes and mental health, while self-reassurance did not. Likewise, self-criticism also completely mediated the relationship between caregiver identity and mental health, while self-reassurance did not. The findings suggest the importance of self-criticism to students’ mental health. While current literature highlights the importance of mental health attitudes such as stigma and caregiver identity (a strong sense of identity as someone who offers care), our results indicated that it was their self-criticism that predicted poor mental health. As such, their mental health may be more effectively improved by targeting self-criticism. Compassion training, peer-support groups, and reframing were recommended to counter self-criticism. Our findings will help educators and researchers identify alternative and more effective means of improving mental health in Irish students.
Pages: 14-26
Keywords: Student, mental health, caregiver, identity
Authors: Yasuhiro Kotera & Geraldine Maughan
File: Mental health of Irish students_Kotera
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54127/BHNM9453
Title: A Case Report of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for a Japanese Female Patient Suffering from Migraine
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Abstract: Despite its prevalence, migraine was not regarded as a problematic disease until 2000. This third most common disease in the world is also common in Japan. While effective treatment and interventions are introduced in manuals and guidelines in the West, helpful information to treat migraine targeting Japanese patients is still scarce. Accordingly, this clinical note reports a Japanese female who suffered from long-term migraine. Similar to many Western cases, approaches based on cognitive behavioural therapy were deemed effective in this client’s case as well. Empirical evaluation was recommended.
Keywords: cognitive behavioural therapy; migraine; comorbid; psychiatric
Pages: 27-34
Authors: Kenichi Asano & Yasuhiro Kotera
File: A Case Report of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for a Japanese Female Patient Suffering from Migraine
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54127/LISU6746
Title: “Maybe once I find a good job, I will be better”: Seeking Mental Healthcare in Little Bangladesh, Toronto, Canada
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Abstract: In order to inform the development of culturally safe models of mental healthcare and promotion, this concurrent mixed methods study explored the following research questions: 1) What are the characteristics of community members with positive attitudes toward seeking mental health services and 2) What are the barriers and promoters of mental health service access for Bangladeshi immigrants living in the “Little Bangladesh” locale in Toronto, Canada which has one of the highest rates of people seeking mental health care in the city. Method: Participants were surveyed in the quantitative phase (n = 47) using a sociodemographic questionnaire and the Inventory of Attitudes Toward Seeking Mental Health Services (IASMHS) and interviewed during the qualitative phase (n = 20). Results: The quantitative phase found that male gender, attending school in Canada, and being employed in one’s field of study/work were associated with more positive attitudes toward seeking mental healthcare. Lack of economic integration, mental health awareness and education, mental health literacy, and the presence of community mental health stigma were identified as the major barriers toward seeking care in the qualitative phase. Conclusion and Implication: After merging phases, the common factor that emerged from both legs of the study was the stressor of economic insecurity during the migration and resettlement process and how that acts as a barrier to seeking mental healthcare. Participants recommended a multi-pronged, targeted mental health outreach campaign to facilitate economic integration for new immigrants, address mental health stigma, promote available mental health resources, and develop new models of care.
Pages: 35-55
Keywords: Mental health service access, immigrant, Bangladeshi diaspora, acculturative stress, financial insecurity, stress
Authors: Farah Islam, Nazilla Khanlou, & Hala Tamim
File: Seeking Mental Healthcare in Little Bangladesh
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54127/BWCG2369
Title: Beyond Simulation – Therapeutic Cannabis and Driving
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Pages: 56-57
Authors: Richard Isralowitz
File: Letter-to-the-Editor.-Therapeutic-Cannabis-on-Simulated-Driving
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54127/ODGG6023
Title: The fear of COVID-19 and its role in preventive behaviours
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Abstract: The economic and psychosocial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have been far-reaching and unprecedented around the world. These circumstances appear to have had profound psychological effects on all individuals worldwide. One psychological aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic is fear. This brief paper argues that assessing fear is important and is the key reason we co-developed the ‘Fear of COVID-19 Scale’ (FCV-19S). It is argued that without knowing the level of fear about COVID-19 among different groups by specific socio-demographic variables (e.g., gender, age, education, ethnicity, religiosity, etc.) and/or different psychological factors (e.g., personality type) it is difficult to know whether education and prevention programs are needed, and if they are needed which groups to target and where. The collation and application of such data could be used to devise targeted education and/or prevention programs to help overcome fear of COVID-19 and help such individuals to engage in preventative behaviors.
Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus 2019; fear; Fear of COVID-19 Scale; psychology of fear; fear prevention
Pages: 58-63
Authors: Amir H. Pakpour & Mark D. Griffiths
File: COVID-19 Fear_Pakpour
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54127/WCIC8036
Title: Psychological Torture, Coronavirus, and Julian Assange
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Abstract: Psychological and psychiatric understanding of human functioning is socially, culturally, and politically situated. Changes in the disciplines’ academic and practical emphasis over time, including construal of normality, often follow advocacy and awareness-raising in the public domain. The present commentary argues that in recent months the issue of psychological torture has undergone just such a transformation, driven by developments in the case of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. On May 31, 2019, the UN Rapporteur on torture reported that Julian Assange showed all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture. Since that time, efforts to end Julian Assange’s persecution and torture, along with parallel developments in the human rights field, have brought increasing coherence and clarity to conceptual and applied issues regarding psychological torture. Specifically, sharper focus has been brought to bear on the key components or techniques of psychological torture, the psychological processes targeted for abuse, and the mechanisms of harm. Due in part to Julian Assange’s exposure to such torture techniques, and the medical vulnerabilities caused, his life is currently at imminent risk from coronavirus infection in prison, where he is being held as an un-sentenced prisoner on remand. The present paper argues that the paucity of coherent psychological and psychiatric frameworks within which to understand and communicate about psychological torture has facilitated this very development. Accordingly, it is past time for psychological and psychiatric bodies to end their silence on the psychological torture of Julian Assange.
Pages: 64-73
Keywords: Psychological torture; Covid-19; Coronavirus; Julian Assange
Authors: Lissa Johnson
File: Psychological torture coronavirus and Julian Assange
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54127/ALYY8377
Title: Nurses Respond to COVID-19 Pandemic: Mental Health Support for Frontline Nurses
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Pages: 74-76
Keywords: COVID-19, mental health, addiction, gender-based violence, Latin America
Authors: Nazilla Khanlou & Brenda E. Orazietti
File: Nurses Mental Health_Khanlou_Orazietti
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54127/AEOP2997
Title: The COVID-19 Crisis: Latin America and Mental Health Today and Afterwards
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Abstract: A recent statement of the Puebla Group highlighted the need for improving public health care and scientific research on health in Latin America due to COVID-19 pandemic. In this commentary, we will discuss the implications for mental health and addictions, and emphasize the need for a health system prepared for the care of mental health problems that may increase beyond COVID-19 pandemic.
Pages: 77-79
Keywords: COVID-19, mental health, addiction, gender-based violence, Latin America
Authors: Karina Conde, Paula Victoria Gimenez, & Tomas Salomon
File: The COVID-19 Crisis- Latin America and Mental Health Today and Afterward
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54127/JIBB7618
Title: The Perfectionism Pandemic Meets COVID-19: Understanding the Stress, Distress, and Problems in Living For Perfectionists During the Global Health Crisis
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health crisis that is challenging for everyone. Concerns are being expressed about a pending mental health crisis as people try to cope with their fears, stressors, and life disruptions. In the current commentary and analysis, we examine what we refer to as “the perfectionism pandemic” (i.e. the widespread and growing prevalence of perfectionism) and what it means to be highly perfectionistic and driven during this period of great stress and uncertainty around the world. We present the argument that the nature and experiences associated with the global health crisis are exacerbating the already high levels of stress and distress and complex psychological problems found among vulnerable perfectionists. One key point of emphasis in this article is the enormous burnout and potential trauma experienced by frontline medical personnel who are driven to be perfect and who feel compelled to live up to prescribed expectations and demands to be perfect. We also discuss the impact of periods of social and physical isolation on perfectionistic people who have been already experiencing loneliness and who may have pre-existing difficulties in their interpersonal relationships. We conclude with a series of recommendations for perfectionists in order to help them cope with the pandemic and find better ways of living through the pandemic. Key themes include the humanistic focus on being rather than doing in daily life and the need for an improved life balance that is rooted in interpersonal connections and acceptance of self and others.
Pages: 80-105
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, perfectionism, Work, Burnout
Authors: Gordon L. Flett & Paul L. Hewitt
File: perfectionism.pandemic
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54127/AXGJ8297
Title: Mattering as a Vital Support for People During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Benefits of Feeling and Knowing That Someone Cares During Times of Crisis
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health crisis that continues to grow. It is a source of mounting stress and anxiety that is exacting an overwhelming toll on individual people. It is during times like these that psychological resources are just as important as the tangible resources available to people. We focus in this commentary on the key psychological resource of feelings of mattering to other people. Mattering is a core element of the self and identity that is especially relevant during transitions. We present the argument that mattering is a key resource when faced with a broad public health crisis such as the current pandemic. In this commentary, we briefly review the concept of mattering and how it is distinguished from related concepts such as belongingness and social support. We also discuss the vital role of mattering in combating feelings of loneliness and safeguarding the health and mental health of people of all ages at all times but especially when in crisis situations. A substantial focus in our commentary is on the need to promote a sense of mattering in the community and the benefits derived from actions and programs that leave people with a core sense that their community cares about them. More generally, we discuss the public health implications of promoting this sense of mattering and steps that can be taken by individuals, organizations, and governments to mobilize mattering as an essential resource for all people, but especially for those individuals who have felt marginalized and perhaps forgotten. When viewed through a mattering lens, exceptional acts of selflessness, volunteerism, and altruism are reframed as acts of mattering that underscore the importance of both having value and giving value to others during times of crisis.
Pages: 106-123
Keywords: Mattering; pandemic; covid-19; crisis
Authors: Gordon L. Flett & Masood Zangeneh
File: mattering.pandemic
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54127/ALMC5515