I have volunteered with the Self-Help Resource Centre (SHRC) for many years. And, I have admired the SHRC’s 29 year history of using the peer support (or self-help) model to empower individuals and communities across Ontario. With this, I was quite sad when I heard the news that the SHRC will be closing their doors … Continue reading Self-Help Resource Centre Closes Doors After 29 Years
Today is International Day of Happiness. And, this usually begs the following question: What is International Day of Happiness? Beyond being a day about being happy, it 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 … Continue reading Happy International Day of Happiness: Learn How the Distress Centres Promote Happiness Through Mental Health Support in Ontario
The Wold Health Organization (WHO) 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, his/her risk of illness and life expectancy. Social inequities in health – the unfair and avoidable differences in health status across … Continue reading New Government Report Looks At Precarious Work
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
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
Voting matters! And, just as important as voting is “understanding” what you are voting for. Take some time to find out about each federal party (i.e. visit their websites, research their political track records, etc.). While October 19, 2015 is Election Day, this is not the only day that you have to vote. Elections Canada tries … Continue reading October 19th Is Election Day! Are You Ready To Vote 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 Happy Labour Day!
August 30, 2015 is International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances . The United Nations (2015) provides the following information about International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances: Enforced disappearance has frequently been used as a strategy to spread terror within the society. The feeling of insecurity generated by this practice is not limited to … Continue reading International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances
The Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life is an national awareness and fundraising event that takes place every year in communities all across Canada. Local events are hosted by AIDS Service Organizations in your community. And, all Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life proceeds remain in the community and provide necessary funds for support services and programs for … Continue reading AIDS Walk Toronto – Sunday, September 13 2015
Youth civic engagement matters! “In this landmark year, as leaders prepare to adopt a bold new vision for sustainable development, the engagement of youth is more valuable than ever. At this critical moment in history, I call on young people to demand and foster the dramatic progress so urgently needed in our world”. - Secretary-General … Continue reading 2015 International Youth Day: Youth Civic Engagement
“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
Cuba and the United States severed diplomatic ties over 54 years ago. Today they will officially resume diplomatic relations, and reopen their embassies (albeit amidst concerns from political activists). Also, in a spirit of goodwill, prior to officially re-establishing ties, Obama noted that Cuba and the United States 'can disagree with a spirit of respect and … Continue reading July 30th is International Day of Friendship!
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
HAPPY CANADA DAY! Happy Canada Day, All! And, what a beautiful day it is. On a day like today, it feels good to pause and to take in the sights and sounds of Toronto (see my YouTube video below)! HAPPY SUMMERLICIOUS WEEK! One of the many great things about Canada is its people. And, another … Continue reading Happy Canada Day & Summerlicious Week!
“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)
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
In Ontario, June is all about seniors. Each year Ontario celebrates seniors, and the contributions that they make within our communities. This year is the 31st annual senior’s month, and the theme is Vibrant Seniors, Vibrant Communities. Events are hosted all month long to celebrate and recognize seniors. One such event is the 50+ Festival, … Continue reading Senior’s Month 2015: Vibrant Seniors, Vibrant Communities
Health, social service, and social justice workers now have additional support, in their quest to continually improve and provide more inclusive mental health and addiction programs. For those in helping professions, the new book Journey to Healing Aboriginal People with Addiction and Mental Health Issues What health, social service and justice and workers need to … Continue reading Journey to Healing: Aboriginal People with Addiction and Mental Health Issues
Cultural competency training is now commonplace in most health and social service organizations. However, some critics have noted that while the model can be useful in certain contexts, it can also inadvertently lead to discriminatory, and or unhelpful, practices in others. As an example, according to Arthur Kleinmanand Peter Benson (Anthropology in the Clinic: The Problem … Continue reading Does cultural competency inadvertently create a new form of discrimination?
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 Facebook (which captures a moment in time). We then assume that life should be comprised of a continuous … Continue reading It’s okay to be lonely and alone (sometimes)!
As a child, going to the library provided me with my first real taste of autonomy. It was free and I was allowed to go there on my own. Also, the librarian treated me like an adult. He recommended books based on my preferences. And, unlike my parents, he never questioned my reading choices (i.e. … Continue reading I went back to the library!