A publication that caters to public health professionals interested in mental health
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Themes and Files

Qualaxia makes access to information easily accessible

Our primary goal is making a selection of public mental health documents readily accessible. We believe that accessing tools and quality publications is essential for clinicians, decision-makers and researchers to contribute to the improvement of public mental health.

The selected themes include projects containing documents that are at the cutting edge of knowledge. A selection of documents, news, publications and tools is accessible within each project.

Perinatal period and early childhood

Mental health promotion and mental disorder prevention among parents and their children are important issues to consider during perinatal periods and early childhood.

In the short term, the well-being of parents and their children can be threatened when parents suffer from anxiety and depressive disorders during those years.

On the other hand, these periods are often crucial for the future development of children’s mental health during childhood, adolescence and adulthood.

Qualaxia members present their work, which focuses on various interventions that target both parents and their children during these periods.

Mental health in schools

Schools represent an important cognitive and relational learning environment for young people. Children five to 12 years old develop new skills to solve problems, manage conflicts and interact with peers.

Once they reach adolescence, youth claim their independence and high school friends become a second family whose influence plays a role, especially in the development of their identity.

Some live new experiences that strengthen their core competencies, while others face their first major mental disorder manifestations such as anxiety or depression.

Stress factors are particularly prominent among young people who pursue education after high school and there is an obvious connection between mental health and academic achievement. Several programs implemented in primary and secondary schools have demonstrated their effectiveness, thereby making schools the best place to promote health and well-being.

Without knowing why, very little has been done in colleges and universities, yet young adults are more at risk of developing a mental disorder. Qualaxia presents the most essential and up-to-date knowledge on these issues.

Mental health in the workplace

For most people, the workplace represents full days focused on production, with or without colleagues, under various degrees of supervision from immediate superiors.

The management styles used vary from controlling to participatory and have diverse effects on the well-being of employees.

In recent decades, we have noticed a surge in job performance where tasks are increasing and being redefined, and employees are expected to complete their responsibilities faster with fewer staff. As a result, employees are under more pressure to perform more complex jobs with less down time.

Furthermore, studies show that absenteeism from work is increasing at an alarming rate due to mental health problems among a growing number of workers. Research is making clearer connections between these observations and we believe it is important to share current knowledge on this subject.

The elderly

The Canadian population is aging significantly, and at rate that will only accelerate over the coming decades. Nearly a quarter of older adults suffer from common mental disorders (mood, anxiety, cognitive and psychotic disorders). The prevalence of these mental disorders is higher among older adults living in long-term care facilities than among those who live in the community.

As older adults often suffer from physical health problems, they have different mental health care and service needs than their younger counterparts.

Mental health promotion

What factors protect mental health? Which ones harm it? How can we prevent mental disorders? Can people suffering from a mental disorder enjoy good mental health? These questions are key concerns regarding mental health promotion and mental disorder prevention.

Mental health is an essential part of well-being and overall health. It is also associated to a society's economic, social and human development. However, mental health problems continue to increase, which results in significant costs. Therefore, the need to implement populational means for improving quality of life and intervening before problems occur has become the subject of an international consensus.

The files relating to this theme will focus primarily on conceptualizing promotion and prevention as they relate to mental health, as well as effective or promising interventions to promote mental health and prevent mental disorders.

First Nations, Métis and Inuit

When examining the impact of social determinants on the health and well-being of a population, no area presents a clearer relationship than that of Aboriginals' physical and mental health.

Indeed, many Aboriginals have a holistic view of health and well-being (encompassing community, spirituality and land) that parallels the psycho-ecological model of understanding the social determinants affecting health and well-being advocated in several Western circles.

The cultural disruptions experienced by Aboriginal groups across the globe, the ongoing unequal social structures affecting these people and the disparities in health indicators seen in most Aboriginal communities require initiatives that aim to assist individuals, families, community groups and entire communities in their healing, empowerment and active participation in society.

This will help achieve the goal of health and well-being. Also, in no other setting is the impact of social policy on the health of individuals (through the singling out, marginalization or assimilation and regimentation of their group) more evident than in Aboriginal communities. However, these settings are often overlooked or cast aside in the “too hard” basket.

This reality adds to the complexity of the task and isolation of the people working at the coalface. Hence, this thematic file aims to offer a guide towards making mental health interventions with Aboriginal people more culturally adapted and locally relevant.

Policies and key issues

Maintaining and improving the public's mental health and well-being is a complex task involving countless decisions made at a variety of levels by a wide range of stakeholders.

At the highest level are our governments, who play an important role in shaping systems and influencing health through the development and implementation of policies. Indeed, public policies play an essential role in defining which issues must be addressed and what objectives should be pursued. They clarify the roles that various stakeholders in the system should play and define how the system's services and activities should be organized, coordinated and funded in order to meet these objectives.

Most importantly, they can provide a vision that mobilizes different stakeholders and encourages them to move in a common direction and achieve shared goals. The theme "Policies and key issues" aims to highlight the important policies and issues that shape our systems and can have significant consequences on public mental health. The files in this theme suggest examining different approaches at the international, national and provincial levels.

Quality primary care

Primary care services are becoming the very cornerstone of health care systems. Moreover, people suffering from the most common mental disorders (anxiety and depression) immediately resort to primary care in search of treatment, which is often administered by general practitioners.

However, studies show that primary care services do not always meet the standard of quality we should expect. It is proven that changes are often necessary in the way services are organized and in professional practices.

Through the work of its members, Qualaxia wants to inform primary care providers who are dedicated to offering optimal quality care to these patients. Scientific knowledge on the management of people with anxiety and depressive disorders is evolving rapidly. Regularly consult our projects related to this theme to be updated on the latest developments.

Mental health and immigration

Nearly a fifth of the Canadian population consists of immigrants and refugees. Despite often being physically healthier than the average Canadian upon arrival, these individuals face many problems after settling in their new country. Various social, economic and environmental determinants can influence their mental health. Also, when experiencing physical or mental health problems, a multitude of barriers limit their access to health care and services.
Mental health is an essential part of a population's well-being and overall health. It is therefore vital to understand the factors affecting immigrant and refugee mental health. Only then will it be possible to implement measures that will improve this population's quality of life.

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