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Revealing connections: The link between preventable injury and mental health

Preventable injuries are placing a growing burden on health-care systems, individual lives and communities every day. Preventable injuries cost the Canadian economy $20 billion every year in direct and indirect costs. The human and personal costs resulting from an injury cannot be calculated. Likewise, mental health is a growing concern and area of focus for the health-care community, practitioners and the public alike. Few however have yet to recognize the strong link between injury and mental health, with injury predicting and relating to mental health issues and vice versa.

The presentation will provide an introduction to the concepts of preventable injury, intentional and unintentional injuries, and demonstrate the strong bidirectional connection between injury and mental health. The evidence demonstrates that this link is particularly pronounced in certain settings and among specific vulnerable populations. Furthermore, the link between preventable injuries and mental health, self-harming and suicide in particular, has been connected to such risk-taking behaviours as alcohol misuse and others. Despite the strong connection between the two, injuries and mental health have tended to be examined and treated in isolation, which should be remedied through strong partnership development and program and treatment integration.

Speaker: Amy Padro is the Manager of Government Relations for Parachute, the national voice for injury prevention in Canada. In her role, she manages all aspects of government relations initiatives, including influencing public policy and legislation, public awareness campaigns, and interacting with federal, provincial and municipal governments and decision-makers. Amy holds a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies from York University. Amy is an instructor in Ryerson’s University’s Chang School of Continuing Education where she teaches advocacy and government relations within its Non-Profit Management program.