Tag Archives: Ontario

Published: “Invisible Barriers, Invisible Disabilities, Invisible People”

My article “Invisible Barriers, Invisible Disabilities, Invisible People”   is now available to read in the

Special Issue on Ecopsychology and Environmental Sensitivities:
Chemical, Electrical, and Beyond

All the articles in the entire special issue will be available for free until Sept. 5  2017, which is unprecedented access!

Please check them out and share as widely as possible!

 

Table of Contents:

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Ontario Reported on MCS/ES in 1985, Yet…

MCS/ES is not new. Over 30 years ago, the Province of Ontario created the “Committee on Environmental Hypersensitivity” and appointed George Thomson, a former provincial court judge, as chairman, with a mandate to study and “advise the Ministry of Health on the occurrence of environmental hypersensitivity in Ontario and on current methods of diagnosis and treatment. Further, the committee was to make recommendations to the ministry concerning future approaches to treatment and research that should be taken”

1985-ontario-report-cover-with-logo

From the the Legislative Assembly of Ontario Official Records for 17 December 1985:

Hon. Mr. Elston: Members of this House may also recall a six-member committee which was appointed in November 1984 to study a disorder which is known as environmental hypersensitivity, or 20th-century disease. The condition has been described as multiple sensitivities or allergies to a wide range of foods, chemicals and environmental substances.

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Ontario Announces the Task Force on Environmental Health

The Government of the Province of Ontario, specifically the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) finally announced the establishment of a Task Force on Environmental Health.

Let’s hope this new project creates the long overdue and effective changes and access to basic services that are needed by people with environmentally linked, disabling,  chronic health conditions like MCS/ES, unlike the 1985 project which created a  600+ page report with recommendations that were largely ignored (see links below), which allowed these and other problems to fester and increase in severity and magnitude.

Ontario Task Force 2016

The news release about the new task force follows:

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Optional “Inconvenience”

Guest post and images by Laura J Mac

What always strikes me during conversations about how to persuade service providers to accommodate our disability is how much extra work we have to do just to participate in simple survival stuff. I mean, “simply” tracking down professionals who are willing to accommodate is a chore and a half. The luxury of “having a good relationship” with a service provider falls way down on the list because it’s usually one or the other.

Laura J Mac 1

Nobody would think twice about someone who uses a mobility device asking if there are ramps and elevators but it seems that our need for fragrance-free and reduced chemical exposure is perceived as a “preference” rather than a medical necessity. That perception leads to the idea that accommodation of our disability is an “option” (and generally it’s an “option” that service providers aren’t willing to make available.) It’s not that we don’t “like” fragrance, these chemical exposures cause neurological and physiological problems that interfere with our ability to function on a daily basis.

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Support the Ontario Centre of Excellence in Environmental Health (OCEEH)

The Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Association of Ontario (MEAO), along with others, has been working on a plan to get proper health care and supports established for the hundreds of thousands of people in Ontario who are affected by the “often overlapping, commonly disabling and sometimes life-threatening conditions of ES/MCS (Environmental Sensitivities/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity), ME/CFS (Myalgic Encepahlomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and FM (Fibromyalgia).”

A quick, easy summary document of the features and benefits of the OCEEH  business case proposal for a comprehensive network of care and support has been sent to every MPP in Ontario. Here it is for you too (copied from the PDF 2014 OCEEH IN A NUTSHELL), so you can encourage your local elected representatives to support it in Ontario, and to support similar plans everywhere else in the world:

ONTARIO CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE IN ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH (OCEEH)
‘IN A NUTSHELL’

“Five percent of Ontario’s population is affected by the often overlapping, commonly disabling and sometimes life-threatening conditions of ES/MCS (Environmental Sensitivities/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity), ME/CFS (Myalgic Encepahlomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and FM (Fibromyalgia).

As of 2010, over 568,000 Ontarians had been diagnosed with one or more of these conditions. This number grew from 439,000 in 2005, as reported in Statistics Canada’s Canadian Community Health Survey. It demonstrates prevalence comparable to diabetes, heart disease, cancer and effects of a stroke. These are very widespread conditions, and the 2010 figures are likely underestimates.

Recognition, diagnosis and treatment of these serious conditions are absent from Ontario’s health care system at present. Even though a commission of enquiry recommended services be put into place for ES/MCS as long ago as 1985, exclusion, discrimination and stigmatization of those living with these conditions have been the rule; and Ontario has lost physicians seeking to help these groups.

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Big News for Ontario

From the News Release:

“The province is providing nearly $560,000 to support two new annual fellowships over three years for a total of six new fellowships. They will allow family medicine graduates to complete an extra year of focused training in environmental health, and will help primary care providers like family doctors offer the right care to assess, diagnose and treat environmentally-linked health issues.”

 

“Environmental health is an emerging public health field that examines the relationship between the environment and human health. This includes the role of the environment in contributing to serious health conditions that can be disabling and even life threatening, such as environmental sensitivities, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and other chronic, complex disorders. ”

 

“There is a growing recognition that our environment and our health are connected. Through these new fellowships, we can develop greater understanding of the links between health and the environment in order to provide better care to those suffering from complex chronic illnesses.”

~
~ Deb Matthews
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

 

“The study of the environment’s effects on human health is an important emerging field of research. Support for investigating environmental impacts on health is emblematic of our government’s commitment to strengthen healthy communities.”

~
~ Jim Bradley
Minister of Environment

Full News Release:

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Report: RECOGNITION, INCLUSION AND EQUITY – THE TIME IS NOW

Many of us have been waiting for action for decades, let’s hope that this is the project that finally makes it happen. It has been a long time coming…

‘RECOGNITION, INCLUSION AND EQUITY – THE TIME IS NOW: PERSPECTIVES OF ONTARIANS LIVING WITH ES/MCS, ME/CFS AND FM’

Recognition Inclusion and Equity the Time is Now

From Varda Burstyn:

At long last, I am writing to let you know about four new groundbreaking reports – products of a 5-year initiative that I and colleagues began in 2008 – that present exciting new research on the three environmentally linked conditions of ES/MCS, ME/CFS and FM, and that develop a wonderful new model of care and support for those living with the conditions in Ontario.

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