THE SHIFT TOWARDS A MORE RISK AWARE SECTOR I started managing volunteer programs in 2001. Since that time I have seen some sweeping changes in the voluntary sector. One key change is the move towards a more risk aware approach to volunteer management. The voluntary sector now recognizes – and heeds the fact - that … Continue reading Volunteer Management 101: Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement
"The life histories obtained from this method can often help to situate the overall data in an emotional context, and aid attempts to affect legislation by providing a clear narrative example for service user support/ program funding". THE VALUE OF RESEARCH: Research and its analysis (and also the methodology, and the theory that it is … Continue reading Community-Based Research and Service User Support
DECONSTRUCTING CULTURE: Culture is a term that is used - in various ways, by different disciplines - to describe the knowledge, arts, languages, beliefs, customs, rules and collective identities and memories held by an individual or community. Culture is also a term that is often overused, that is politically charged, and whose definition can be … Continue reading Cultural Competency Training & Service User Support
The success and relevance of any business almost entirely depends on their ability to cultivate customer loyalty. And, ensuring customer satisfaction at each “organizational touchpoint” (in-person, phone, email, website, and external media) can lead to customer loyalty; where the customer returns and also tells others about their great customer experience. For-profit organizations invest heavily in the development … Continue reading Creating Organizations that Foster Volunteer Loyalty
“The definitive factors in determining whether someone is in good health extend significantly beyond access to care and include the conditions in their life and the conditions of their neighborhoods and communities.” — John Auerbach DECONSTRUCTING SELF-CARE ADVICE: When I speak with my friends – and others – about self-care it often feels like a privileged … Continue reading Social Determinants of Health: Connecting Self-Care to Access
COMMUNITY HUBS SUPPORT COMMUNITY HEALTH: Do you know what a community hub is? You should. Community hubs promote healthy communities. 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 … Continue reading The Value of Community Hubs: Four Reasons to Love Your Local Library
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 poor … Continue reading Peer Support 101: Peer Support Strategies for Surviving College & University
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
According to the World Health Organization, “an overwhelming majority of people with mental and psycho-social disabilities are living in poverty, poor physical health, and are subject to human rights violations". Also, to add pain to injury, Canada's health care system is extremely hard to navigate; and often times access to appropriate therapy is cost prohibitive. With … Continue reading The Toronto Distress Centres Support Social and Mental Health in Ontario
All work and no play makes for a very unbalanced life! So, this summer, after work, I spent my evenings enjoying local art shows, and visiting the ROM and AGO. This made for a very rejuvenating summer. And, according to the Department of Health and Arts Council England publication, 'A Prospectus for Arts and Health' … Continue reading Making Time For Art: Two Artists Worth Knowing About
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?
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
“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
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
“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 … Continue reading They Left Us Everything: A Memoir (Plum Johnson Book Reading)
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)!