CAMH mobile lab studies provide insight into mental health, substance use in Sudbury area

Research suggests high PTSD levels, particularly among people with depression and harmful drinking patterns

SUDBURY, Oct. 7, 2015 – A snapshot of mental health, substance use, violence and service use experiences in the Sudbury area was presented today in a mobile research laboratory run by Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), where the data was originally collected.

The first project was a survey of nearly 700 local residents on these issues. Nearly 15 per cent of Sudbury area residents who completed the survey met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, this figure jumped to about 67 per cent for people who also had depression, and 44 per cent for people who reported harmful or hazardous drinking. More than 1 in 10 (12 per cent) reported physical aggression with a partner or spouse.

In the second project, data were collected on people’s experiences getting help for mental health, substance use and violence problems, as well as service provider perspectives on how the system could be improved.

Among these 79 participants, clients on average had contact with six or seven different types of services. They were most likely to have contact with the following: psychiatrist (60 per cent), counsellor/psychologist/social worker (57 per cent), hospital (other than emergency department) (57 per cent), police (55 per cent), emergency department (45 per cent), family doctor (42 per cent) detox or addiction program (40 per cent), and crisis centre/crisis line (38 per cent).

Results were presented out of CAMH’s mobile lab, which was based in downtown Sudbury and Chelmsford for several months in 2013-2014 to conduct these two research projects.

“We worked closely with local partner agencies to develop the study so that the findings could be used by the community,” said CAMH Scientist Dr. Samantha Wells. “We hope the data can be used by communities to improve local services.”

The lab has been used to collect data in other communities, including Port Colborne, Welland, Windsor, Leamington, Kettle & Stony Point First Nation and Aamjiwnaang First Nation.

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The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital and a world leading research centre in this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental illness and addiction. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, home to the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please visit or follow @CAMHnews on Twitter.

Media Contact:

Kate Richards
Media Relations
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
(416) 595-6015


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