Peer Support 101: Peer Support Strategies for Surviving College & University

Admission into college, or university, can present opportunities and challenges. Access to education can be a privilege, which can provide a series of life long opportunities and rewards.  However, the years leading up to graduation (and sometimes afterwards) can be filled with a series of emotional and financial stressors. These stressors can be compounded by … Continue reading Peer Support 101: Peer Support Strategies for Surviving College & University

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Peer Support 101: Engaging Outside Your Support Group

Peer support groups provide individuals with a space to address issues and gain support from others who have experienced a similar issue/s (i.e. addictions, depression, diabetes, grief, etc.). However, chance encounters with other peer support members, outside the support group setting, can sometimes create unnecessary discomfort. Outside of the group environment, most members are not always sure … Continue reading Peer Support 101: Engaging Outside Your Support Group

Homelessness Among Indigenous Peoples in Canada: Why Social Workers Should Adopt A Micro & Macro Approach to Care

WHO ARE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES? Baskins (2010) defines Indigenous Peoples as “the original inhabitants of what the Haudenosaunee Nations call Turtle Island or what is also referred to as North America” (p.2). And, the Canadian Constitution recognizes three groups of Indigenous Peoples: Indians, Metis, and Inuit (Baskins, 2010, p.2). Also, it is often common to hear … Continue reading Homelessness Among Indigenous Peoples in Canada: Why Social Workers Should Adopt A Micro & Macro Approach to Care

Distress Centres Support Social and Mental Health in Ontario

Today is International Day of Happiness, which is a day that promotes awareness about the social determinants that support happiness and or general well-being.The United Nations celebrates  International Day of Happiness “as a way to recognize the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. In 2015 the UN launched 17 Sustainable … Continue reading Distress Centres Support Social and Mental Health in Ontario

New Government Report Looks At Precarious Work

"Work plays a very important role in our quality of life, and is often defined as a social determinant of health." The Wold Health Organization (2017) defines the social determinants of health as the “conditions in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age. These conditions influence a person’s opportunity to be healthy, … Continue reading New Government Report Looks At Precarious Work

Retiring on a Low Income: Plain Language Advice

A growing cohort of seniors are working well past the retirement age, and not because they want to, but because they have to. With this, early retirement has become somewhat of a unicorn. Many Canadian seniors are retiring in poverty, or with a barely livable income. There are many reasons for this, including but not … Continue reading Retiring on a Low Income: Plain Language Advice

Making Time For Art: Two Artists Worth Knowing About

I am often disheartened by the history and politics attached to the defining , and ownership of “art” (i.e. who gets to own and preserve cultural artifacts/art). With this being so, I have often shied away from frequenting (and by default promoting) the larger galleries (and museums) , choosing instead to seek out the smaller, … Continue reading Making Time For Art: Two Artists Worth Knowing About

Election Day is Approaching: Are You Ready To Vote Canada?

Voting matters! And, just as important as voting is “understanding” who - and what - you are voting for. Before you vote, take some time to find out about all the registered political parties  (i.e. visit their websites, research their political track records, research what causes or policies they are supporting, etc.). Elections Canada tries to make … Continue reading Election Day is Approaching: Are You Ready To Vote Canada?

A History of Labour Day in Canada

For "most" people, Labour Day is a public holiday, which affords us some  downtime to rest and to see our friends/loved ones. And, this is great. However, in addition to the former, it might also benefit us to think of Labour Day as a time to pause and to remember the reason for, and or history … Continue reading A History of Labour Day in Canada

Making Friends in Adulthood

“Living a long life, the conventional wisdom at the time said, depended to a great extent on who we were—that is, our genes. It depended on the decisions we made—on what we chose to eat, and how much we chose to exercise, and how effectively we were treated by the medical system. No one was … Continue reading Making Friends in Adulthood

Recession & Depression: 10 Tips For Supporting Good Mental Health

Global News just reported that the Bank of Canada has cut their key interest rates, as the “economy falls into recession” (July 15, 2015). For those working in mental health (and other helping professions), this is sobering news. Mental health service providers know that this kind of news – and reality – can be devastating to individuals and their families. Quite frequently, … Continue reading Recession & Depression: 10 Tips For Supporting Good Mental Health

They Left Us Everything: A Memoir (Plum Johnson Book Reading)

“EVERYONE IS INTERESTING, AS LONG AS YOU ASK THEM THE RIGHT QUESTIONS.”–PLUM JOHNSON Author Plum Johnson won the 2015 RBC Taylor Prize, for her book They Left Us Everything: A Memoir. As the winner of this annual award, which celebrates excellence in Canadian literary non-fiction, she received $25,000. Since receiving this award, Johnson has been … Continue reading They Left Us Everything: A Memoir (Plum Johnson Book Reading)

2015 AIDS Candlelight Vigil: Getting To Zero

The 2015 AIDS Candlelight Vigil: Getting to Zero event was held at The 519 yesterday.  This annual community memorial honours, remembers and celebrates the lives of people who have died of AIDS. It is an event that also recognizes and honours those affected by and living with HIV/AIDS. Last night I attended this event. While … Continue reading 2015 AIDS Candlelight Vigil: Getting To Zero

Cultural Competency Training & Service User Support

Culture is a term that is often overused, that is politically charged, and whose definition can be hard to pin down. Fellows (2013) describes culture as “an all-pervading construct of human existence but its conceptualization is contested. As such, it is problematic to define or measure culture as different paradigms adopt radically different approaches”. Also, Critical Race Theorists … Continue reading Cultural Competency Training & Service User Support

It’s Okay to Be Lonely and Alone (Sometimes)!

In our competition obsessed culture (in all its forms) it’s becoming harder for anyone to be content — alone or with others. We now consume the perfectly manufactured scenes of happy people on T.V. (which captures fantasy), and on social media (which captures a moment in time). We then assume that life should be comprised of a … Continue reading It’s Okay to Be Lonely and Alone (Sometimes)!

The Value of Community Hubs: Why I Went Back to the Library

According to the government of Ontario (2010), community hubs "make it easier for local residents to access the health, social, cultural, recreational and other resources they need together in one spot. It can be located in a physical building or accessed through a digital service...whether in a high-density urban neighbourhood or an isolated rural community, each hub … Continue reading The Value of Community Hubs: Why I Went Back to the Library