Volume 1, Issue 3 April 2008
A Mental Health Perspective Mission Statement: The purpose of this newsletter is to bring faith, hope and courage
to members of the local mental health community of Kings County, Nova Scotia, as well as anyone else that's
involved with a mental, emotional or psychological condition.
This non-profit consumer –lead newsletter was created by the Kings County branch of the Canadian Mental Health
Association (CMHA) and made possible through a grant from Eastern Kings Memorial Health Foundation.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Recognizing Autism
In Canada, thousands of people are diagnosed with
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is one of autism each year. In Nova Scotia, five thousand
many anxiety disorders. OCD causes problems people are autistic. It’s believed that five percent of
with a person’s thoughts, behavior, emotions and the population may be autistic. Not all of them are
sensations. It is also a common illness. In Canada children. Many are intelligent, even highly so.
it affects 1 out of 10 people. (Canadian Mental However, except for severe cases, many autistic
Health Association) people get their special traits either overlooked as
personality quirks or misdiagnosed as something
There is no cure but recovery is truly possible. It is else. It’s not uncommon for parents to spend years
possible to be relieved from the symptoms. As a trying to get a proper diagnosis.
result of stigma many people do not seek
treatment. But if a person does seek treatment it The question, of course, can be asked: How can
would bring about a symptom free life. They can anyone recognize autism?
find happiness, meaning, purpose, and be
productive members of society. (Canadian Mental By age three, parents expect their children to
Health Association) respond to their voices, speak normally, smile, like
hugging or being hugged, socialize with other
Symptoms of OCD come under two categories: continued on page 2
obsessions and compulsions.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Concerning obsessions there are those who fear
contamination. They are afraid of getting germs 2 The Liberty Lodge Program
and infections. As a result of this they are afraid to
touch things and are continually cleaning things 3 Healthy Eat & Meet
off. (Tourette Syndrome Plus)
4 Calendar of Events
Others have the symptom of doubting. For 4 Staff & Volunteers
instance if someone checked the door to make
sure it was locked after they walked away they still 4 Donations
continued on page 3
CMHA Kings County Branch Newsletter Page 1
Recognizing Autism continued from page 1
children and otherwise act “normal.” When this
The Liberty Lodge Program doesn’t happen, autism may be suspected.
By age ten, parents and teachers expect their
The Liberty Lodge mandate “is to provide
children and students to handle the school
individuals with disabilities varying levels of
environment (bright lights, noise, crowds, etc.) take
support services that enhance quality of life and
part in class activities, be interested in other
promote independent living arrangements. This
people, adjust to change and otherwise act
mandate is achieved through the development of
“normal.” When this doesn’t happen, autism may
partnerships with the Department of Community
Services, community agencies, health
professionals and the clients themselves. Qualified
By adulthood, anyone with autism can find school,
Liberty Lodge staff, together with our partners and
work, and even day-to-day life difficult. Pressures
stakeholders, identifies the individual’s strengths,
to act “normal,” social interactions, sudden
abilities and needs. The result is a comprehensive
changes, school/work environment and a lack of
Individual Program Plan that builds on strengths, is
understanding of the person’s condition are
realistic and attainable.”
challenges. Even after a proper diagnosis, it can
There are actually two programs involved. One be difficult because most adults with autism are too
program is the Liberty Lodge Residential Care old to join specific programs for autism, which are
Facility, which has two locations, one in Berwick designed mainly for children.
and one in Morristown, each accommodating
about 25 clients. These two facilities provide 24 While not considered autistic by themselves, these
hour care for their live in clients. Employees symptoms are also common: unusual and
include one activities person for recreation and a repetitive gestures, limited interests, tics, seizures,
licensed practical nurse. Meals, cleaning and poor motor skills and coordination, hyperactivity,
laundry are provided. Medications are managed lack of energy, self-injurious behavior, problems
and distributed, as clients need them. with sleeping, toileting and/or eating, and low
tolerance to stress and pain.
The second program is the Adult Residential and
Community Support Program that provides One final note: Intelligence plays a factor in autism.
individual apartments in the community. This A person with normal to high intelligence is likely to
program offers support as needed for up to 21 be diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of
hours per week. Support is provided according to autism in which cognitive skills haven’t been
a person’s abilities. Enhancing skills for affected by autism. A person with limited
maintaining health and wellness include intelligence but with one exceptional skill is more
assistance with shopping, preparing meals and likely to be diagnosed with autism because his
providing transportation for access to the symptoms would be more recognizable.
In Canada, more information on recognizing autism
In both programs clients are provided with 100% can be found at autism.ca and aspergers.ca. In
assistance in making the transition to part-time or Kings County, Nova Scotia, the main website is
full-time employment. Even in leaving the nsnet.org/vast. If autism is suspected, one should
programs clients have all needed supports and are talk to the school counselor, psychologist or
encouraged and supported in accessing psychiatrist, as they can arrange for a proper
opportunities in education and work in the assessment.
There is no time limit on how long a person can Article written by Melinda Cadarette
stay in these facilities and, at present there is no
waiting list. Community Services determines who
is eligible for the service.
Article written by Rick Merrill
continued on page 4
CMHA Kings County Branch Newsletter Page 2
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder continued from page 1
doubt whether they truly checked it or not.
(Tourette Syndrome Plus)
Another problem is when everything has to be in
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) perfect order. People spend hours putting things in
of Kings County Branch has been actively order so they are just perfect. (Tourette Syndrome
supporting persons living with mental illnesses Plus)
with employment related issues for many years.
During this time the staff recognized a significant Some of the common compulsions include washing
need for support and programming beyond and hygiene rituals. A lot of time is spent on this.
employment. The consistent requests for social (Tourette Syndrome Plus)
interaction in a safe and stigma free environment,
the lack of understanding around specific topics, Another symptom is excessive checking and re-
the sad reality that many persons living with checking. Some people spend hours checking the
mental illnesses cannot afford to purchase food door to see if it is locked, checking the stove to see
recommended by the Canada Food Guide, and if it is off, and other checking rituals. (Tourette
the lack of understanding and/or access to the Syndrome Plus)
Internet made way for the Healthy Eat & Meet.
Many people need to seek assurance. For
The Healthy Eat & Meet is a weekly social activity example, if your boss at work gives you instructions
that gives persons living with mental illnesses the you’ll need to ask them a few times what it was to
opportunity to socialize in a stigma free be assured that you heard them right.
environment. It also offers its participants
The two main types of treatment are medical
important resources including the Internet,
(medications) and psychological. (C Health)
nutritious snacks, and the opportunity to obtain
valuable information from guest speakers.
Antidepressants are a common medication used to
Since its conception two years ago we have been treat symptoms. They affect the serotonin
able to maintain the program though donations neurotransmitters in the brain and as a result
from businesses, and grants from likeminded symptoms are relieved. It takes roughly four to six
organizations and foundations. weeks for these medications to work. (C Health)
Cognitive behaviour therapy is another effective
Recently, through a grant from the Eastern Kings treatment. The purpose here is to make you face
Memorial Health Foundation we were able to your obsessions. For example when you leave your
expand the Monday morning Healthy Eat & Meet house you check the door once instead of twenty
to include a Tuesday morning Coffee House, times and force yourself to walk away despite the
which gives participants an opportunity to enjoy powerful anxiety you will experience. (C Health)
weekly activities in a safe and stigma free setting.
If a person is determined, motivated, and
The success of the program is measured by the disciplined to follow their treatment plan perfectly
number of new participants, the number of return without cheating recovery is truly possible. They
visits, and participant satisfaction. To date the can live a new life completely symptom free.
program has been a huge success and we hope References:
to continue to find the financial supports that are Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Canadian Mental Health Association.
needed to keep the program going and growing. Retrieved 10 March 2008 From the World Wide Web
http:// www. Cmha.ca/bins/content_page.asp?cid=3-94-95
For more details on how you can become involved Leslie E. Packer PHD. About Obsessive-compulsive Disorder Tourette Syndrome Plus
Retrieved 10 March 2008 From the World Wide Web
in the Healthy Eat & Meet or Coffee House as a http:// www. Tourettesyndrome.net/ocd_overview.htm#COMMONOBSESSIONS
participant, volunteer, or through financial support Obsessive Compulsive Disorder C Health
feel free to phone 679-7464 or stop into the CMHA Retrieved 10 March 2008 From the World Wide Web
office. See our Calendar of Events on page 4 for chealth.canoe.ca/channel_condition_info_details.asp?channel_id=11&relation_id=1929
Article by Tony Legere
Submitted by Joyce Nimmo
CMHA Kings County Branch Newsletter Page 3
CMHA Theater Games Calendar of Events
Workshop • Healthy Eat & Meet is designed for people with mental health
issues to enjoy a healthy snack, chat and get free Internet
Theatrical ? access. Monday mornings, 9:30-11:30. For more information,
call (902) 679 - 7464.
Enjoy interaction ? • Coffee House is designed for people with mental health
issues to enjoy weekly activities that involve entertainment,
games, crafts, fitness, chat, coffee and a snack. Tuesday
Looking for an evening of fun ? mornings, 9:30-11:30. For more information, call (902) 679-
Facilitator Allyson Higgins will • Depression Anxiety Self-Help (DASH) Group meets every
lead the CMHA Theater Games Thursday evening from 7:00-8:00. at the CMHA office. For
workshop in a light hearted evening more information, call Joyce at (902) 679-7464.
of fun filled activities, skits, and
laughter. • The Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (SSNS) monthly
meeting on the second Wednesday of each month at St.
Space is limited Joseph's Hall, Belcher Street, Kentville. For more information,
Sign up today * 679-7464 call Pat MacLean at (902) 678-8458. Friday April 11th at
7:30 pm In Concert At the Wolfville Baptist Church
Location: CMHA Office 49 Corner of Highland & Main John Sands Silent Auction
Cornwallis St, Suite 109, Kentville opens at 7:00 pm Admission: $10.00 For tickets and
Six weeks - Starting April 15th 6pm
information call (902) 678-8458
If you have a program or event that would be of interest to the
Refreshments provided local mental health community, e-mail Melinda. See contact
Staff & Volunteers
Melinda Cadarette, email@example.com
Tony Legere, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick Merrill, email@example.com
We also like to thank Michelle Ferdinand, Joyce Nimmo, and Laurel Taylor for their help and contribution.
If you wish to make a comment, ask a question or give a suggestion by phone,
please call (902) 679-7464.
To receive a free copy of the CMHA Newsletter contact
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (902) 678-2515 to make arrangements for delivery.
Need more than one copy? Let us know how many.
Donations can be made to:
CMHA - Kings County Branch
49 Cornwallis Street Suite 109, PO Box 894, Kentville, NS, B4N 4H8
(Cheque or money order will be accepted – Official Income Tax Receipts available upon request)
CMHA Kings County Branch Newsletter Page 4