According to the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec, between March and June 2020, overdose-related deaths were up 51% compared to the same period the year before. This is some of the disturbing data presented in a text by Quebec Science, for which Dr. Jutras-Aswad was interviewed, which exposes the ravages of the pandemic on people with concurrent disorders. As in all sectors of society, COVID-19 has altered professionals’ practices of working in the field of mental health, allowing spectacular advances in telemedicine and making patient follow-up more flexible. However, the sanitary crisis persists and its harmful effects, such as increased delays before treatment, are not about to be resolved. To read here.
As part of the reform of the Police Law, the Ministère de la Sécurité publique is currently conducting public hearings on police reality. Since many people with mental health and / or drug addiction seek police assistance when they are in crisis, police officers must adjust to their vulnerability. It is with enthusiasm that Dr. Jutras-Aswad shared his expertise in concurrent disorders during these hearings in order to better equip police officers. He particularly welcomes their innovative approaches such as mixed patrols including social workers (e.g. psychosocial emergency support team) and maintains that continuing education in mental health is crucial for the professional development of police officers in order to reflect the changing reality of the most vulnerable people. You can watch his presentation here or read our report by clicking this link.