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OPSEU Diablogue: One helluva story

Glenn French has a helluva story to tell. The President and CEO of the Canadian Initiative on Workplace violence provided the keynote speech after two days of meetings by OPSEU’s Mental Health Division. He spoke about a cleaner in a … Continue reading →

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Following up on this morning’s post, George Monbiot discusses the need for a progressive movement which goes beyond pointing out dangers to offer the promise of better things to come: Twenty years of research, comprehensively ignored by these parties, reveals that shifts such as privatisation and cutting essential public services strongly promote people’s extrinsic values (an attraction to power, prestige, image and status) while suppressing intrinsic values (intimacy, kindness, self-acceptance, independent thought and action). As extrinsic values are powerfully linked to conservative politics, pursuing policies that reinforce them is blatantly self-destructive.

(Read more…) Where have I been?

Where have I been the last few months? I’ve been depressed. I still am, but I’m doing better now than I was. It was bad. It started in December and peaked in February I think. Between crazy workload issues and packing and moving and selling the house and renovations and migraines and awful migraine prevention meds and Duncan dying and other stuff I just got overwhelmed and anxious and then I couldn’t sleep and I would wake up in the middle of the night and worry for hours. And you know how that goes, it’s always catastrophizing, imagining the worst (Read more…)

My journey with AIDS...and more!: Blog CPR

Facebook and Twitter have become my primary means of internet communication as of late but there is within me a desire to give my writer’s block the angioplasty treatment it may need. In the meantime, evidence that I have continued my love of photography:

My journey with AIDS...and more!: Blog CPR

Facebook and Twitter have become my primary means of internet communication as of late but there is within me a desire to give my writer’s block the angioplasty treatment it may need. In the meantime, evidence that I have continued my love of photography:

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the distance Canada has yet to travel in meeting even the basic needs of our fellow citizens – as well as the promise that Housing First and other new models may help to bridge that gap.

For further reading…- Michael Green commented on the Social Progress Index here, while Canada’s results can be found here. – By way of comparison to the Social Progress Index, see my earlier post and linked column on other means of going beyond GDP in measuring development, with particular emphasis on the Canadian Index of Wellbeing. – And CTV reported (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupying Homelessness?

Homelessness isn’t a policy thing regarding random people. It’s a thing for actual people. It’s not abstract, it’s in our face, yet we live in denial.

Clearly, I’m no brain surgeon. But if there are homeless people, a civilized culture would find a way to use a progressive tax system to house them. Simple.

Homelessness, however, is a magnet for reprobate poor bashers who are too greedy to part with their wealth [massive or otherwise] to solve a problem.

But guess what. Research shows it’s actually cheaper to simply house the homeless. Unless you secretly hate them, or are a (Read more…)

cmkl: Laurie Kingston: That could have been me

The courageous, honest and brilliant Laurie Kingston writes about her experience with depression and anxiety in response to the obituary Andy Jones and Mary-Lynn Bernard’s wrote for their son. My point in sharing all this is to let go of a bit of the shame and chip away a little at the stigma. Andy Jones […]

My journey with AIDS...and more!: Another important day for self-acceptance

    If I have learned nothing else about my bipolar II today, it is that I am certainly not the only one in similar circumstances who has found photography to be a healing past-time. Facebook is teeming today with some of the creative works of the bipolar support community. Scrolling through various blogs and […]

My journey with AIDS...and more!: Another important day for self-acceptance

    If I have learned nothing else about my bipolar II today, it is that I am certainly not the only one in similar circumstances who has found photography to be a healing past-time. Facebook is teeming today with some of the creative works of the bipolar support community. Scrolling through various blogs and […]

A Puff of Absurdity: Clara Hughes’ Mental Health Tour


Our school had the honour of hosting a visit from Clara Hughes yesterday – six time Olympic winner for cycling and speed skating.  She’s biking around Canada – ALL around Canada – talking about mental health.  She biked through a snow storm in Woodstock on her way to K-W.  Very hard core!

She had a rough childhood but then turned her energy from delinquency to sports in her late teens.  She didn’t start speed skating until 27, and the kids were surprised to find out she’s 41 – practically ancient!    Her dad was an alcoholic and had (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: Dear Translink… Rob did a good job

I know we don’t agree often. We have a love/hate relationship dependent on my mood and whether or not it’s cold and rainy outside. To be fair, you are consistently late and often leave me standing out in the rain.

You have just been voted 3rd best public transit in Canada, which is not saying much considering that there are only 3 big cities in Canada anybody wants to ever live in. So, in other words, you placed last- or as we like to joke about bronze medalists- you are “The Best Loser”.

However, on Tuesday, March 18th, you made (Read more…)

wmtc: not a funny story: ned vizzini, youth fiction, and suicide

It’s so hard to talk when you want to kill yourself.

That’s the first line of Ned Vizzini’s excellent 2006 youth novel, It’s Kind of a Funny Story. By the time I read the book this year, the author was already dead. Vizzini committed suicide last December; he was only 32 years old.

Those facts alone are tragic. But now that I’ve read this book, I find Vizzini’s death even sadder. On some level, I chide myself for that: every person’s life is of equal value, and every early death is a loss. But we feel the way we feel, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Lupita Nyong’o On Validation, For International Women’s Day

A sublime meditation on validation. Bravo!

…in which a young woman shares her adolescent anxieties and blossoms into a role model for us all.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Enjoy the whole clip here:


July 15, 2013 Fearing Kate MacEachern: The Latest Canadian Military Blunder (40) November 22, 2010 A Paradigm Shift is Happening! (0) October 15, 2013 BC’s Child Support Clawback Hurts Kids (2) December 26, 2013 Ending Homelessness: Easy If You Simply Care (0)

A. Picazo: Ending The Stigma

This op-ed appeared in the Ottawa Citizen on January 28, 2014.   On Dec. 29, Christopher Peloso, the 40-year-old husband of former Ontario deputy premier George Smitherman, was reported missing. “Freedom from depression has been elusive for Christopher,” Smitherman tweeted on the eve of the 29th. “We fear for his safety.” A followup tweet issued just hours later linked … Continue reading →

Bill Longstaff: Crime—a criminal justice problem or a health problem?

Place your finger on your forehead, just above the eyebrows toward the right side. It is now within centimetres of your conscience. Our conscience is not, as long thought, a theological abstraction, but is in fact an organ resident in our skulls. Furthermore, it can be measured and observed in action through brain-scanning techniques.

Our moral compass lies in our orbitofrontal cortex and in

Politics, Re-Spun: The NHL Gladiator Pimps

Risking player’s brain trauma for profit makes the NHL a gladiator pimp organization.

At some point, as estimates continue to roll in, the NHL accountants and lawyers will realize that reducing concussion risk in the NHL will make the league more profitable. The NHLPA needs to do a better job advocating for the health of its membership.

That will get me watching again, and my kids.

And that may be the only thing, aggravated by class action lawsuits, that get the game safer for players. Oh and the CBC getting rid of Don Cherry.

Here’s information from a recent study (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: On Fear of the Worst Thing and First-World Anxiety

I just successfully transferred four years of family photos onto albums on-line that got shipped to my home as big colourful books. Then I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I was ever anxious about anything happening to my laptop because I’d be devastated to lose all my photos, and my dropbox is full.  Now I just have to fear a house fire.

Apple’s dealing with it!

I used iPhoto albums, even though the company uses slave labour. I struggle to rectify my political beliefs and current practices sometimes. There are a lot of things I do well, but I (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: On Our Continued Sexual Repression

Sherlock & John

I watched the first episode of the new season of Sherlock last night.  There’s a sub-plot with no spoilers here:  John Watson gets engaged to Mary.  Mrs. Hudson, the landlady, is shocked that he’s engaged to a woman since he and Sherlock were obviously so close – and so soon after his passing and all.   John vehemently objects to the insinuation that he is now, or ever was, gay.  

In class before the break I read a bit about Montaigne’s affection for La Boétie, and the very first comment I got from a pretty enlightened group (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Ending Homelessness: Easy If You Simply Care

If we are a caring society. If we acknowledge that there are a myriad of reasons why a community’s homeless population is homeless. If we thought we should invest our tax dollars and take advantage of good research, good experience, good pilot projects and professionals to address homelessness and other problems. If we were interested in treating people as people instead of the poorn or poor bashing of dehumanizing people. If all this…we could fix homlessness and address many or all of the things that lead to homelessness and preventable human suffering. Here’s how.

Give homeless people homes.

There, that (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: BC’s Child Support Clawback Hurts Kids

British Columbia’s Child Support Clawback for Children of Parents on Government Assistance Hurts Kids

When I bring up the issue of the child support clawback in British Columbia affecting single parents on temporary or disability assistance through the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation, most people are completely unaware of this mean-spirited policy. It requires that all single parents receiving assistance report the child support they bring in on a monthly basis so the Ministry can then deduct it, 100%, dollar-for-dollar, off of their next monthly cheque.

This is problematic for so many reasons. The most obvious is (Read more…)

A Puff of Absurdity: Margaret Trudeau on Mental Health

There’s a crack in everything.  That’s how the light gets in.  - Leonard Cohen   From CBC Books

I had the fortune of seeing Margaret Trudeau speak on mental health a few days ago.  She told her life story in exactly an hour with great intensity and humour.  She peppered her speech on mental illness with snippets of the stuff I remembered as a child – the hippie skirts then later dancing at Studio 54.  I’m of the age to have wanted to emulated her audacity.  She was the Prime Minister’s wife, yet she didn’t let that box her into (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Andrew Coyne sees the disproportionate influence wielded by the representatives elected by a minority of voters in Canada and the U.S. as evidence that both countries should move toward proportional representation: Two systems, both dysfunctional, in opposing ways. Is there nevertheless a common thread between the two? I think there is. Both have become hostage to small groups of voters, the objects of vastly disproportionate amounts of the parties’ time and attention. In both, the parties are sharply divided on regional lines. And in both, politics has become increasingly, corrosively nasty. I (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: We Support The Veterans Transition Program

Submitted by Robin and Stewart on Mon, 10/07/2013 – 12:59

1999 saw the rise of the Veteran Transition Network (VTN) through the sponsorship of BC/Yukon Legion Branches and the University of British Columbia.

Its mission is to help Canadian Veterans across the nation re-integrate into society, local communities, and with family. To date Veteran Transition Programs have helped close to 400 Veterans rebuild relationships with partners, spouses, and children, while supporting the creation of meaningful career paths. And it’s totally free due to generous partners and donors, such as you!

Doctors Marv Westwood, David Kuhl, and Timothy Black are the (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: PTSD Update!

Updates from Kate and Robin and Stewart are below, as they approach the end of their campaigns! Kate’s Long Way Home has passed 1,000 kilometres on her way to Ottawa.

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Post by The Long Way Home. Robin and Stewart’s Marathon for Veterans is closing in on its fundraising target.

There is still time to donate.

1. During WWI more than 300 British soldiers, many suffering from “Shell Shock”, were executed for cowardice.

2. The Canadian government does not measure the suicide rates of its veterans. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs does and a report released early this (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: PTSD Update!