Though dismissed by some as a cynical marketing ploy, Bell’s Let’s Talk campaign not only succeeded in raising $4.8 million for mental health initiatives, but also provided a forum for canadians to share their stories, reach out for help, and address the stigma associated with mental illness. That conversation, seeing people I know and respect … Continue reading →
The formal recommendations around addressing the challenges of mental health always seem to get it right. So why is it that we never get beyond the nice words from politicians who claim to understand? This Friday mental health professionals and … Continue reading →
This morning on CTV’s Canada AM Kevin Newman, of Question Period fame, was promoting a very important segment on this weekend’s W5 program (Saturday at 7 p.m. ET) and, in the accompanying online article he wrote, “Coming out is toward the end of the process for our gay children” – when learning to accept it … … Continue reading →
The hallmark of schizophrenia is perceiving things that are not there. Auditory hallucinations, including “hearing voices”, is particularly common.
What if this clinically distinguishing feature of schizophrenia differs from the cognitively distinguishing feature? What if, cognitively speaking, what distinguishes schizophrenia is not the presence of voices, but rather how one interprets them?
WHAT IF WE ALL HEAR VOICES?
Have you ever tried to engage in mindfulness meditation?
If not, try this: Pay attention to your breathe. Attend to the sensations of your lower stomach as you inhale and exhale. That’s it. Don’t think of anything else. Do this for five
. . . → Read More: Death By Trolley: Don’t We All Hear Voices? A Mindfulness-Informed View of Schizophrenia and the “Normal” Mind
The Grad School Gospels is a series of posts inspired by Dirk Hayhurst‘s The Bullpen Gospels. In the Bullpen Gospels, Hayhurst tells stories from his struggle to self-actualize through professional baseball. Inspired by Hayhurst and the many commonalities I noticed between the minor league track to the Majors, as he described it, and my experience in the grad school track to cognitive science professorship, I began the Grad School Gospels series.
As with Part 2 – Passion, Fear and Indifference – the present installment was inspired by a set of quotes from Hayhurst. After a few disappointing seasons Dirk
. . . → Read More: Death By Trolley: The Grad School Gospels – Part 3: Academe Can’t Be Your Everything
Many wisdom traditions encourage a path or process orientation rather than a destination or product orientation to living well.
Happiness makes for a poor goal.
It’s not particularly well-defined. What is happiness? How much happiness is enough to be happy with – to not eventually be let down by?
The steps to achieving it are not particularly well understood. Common paths attempted to achieve happiness include religiosity, conventional success, and family living.
Religiosity and piety offer no assurance of happiness. While religious people en masse tend to present as being happier than nonreligious people, there are plenty of religious people
. . . → Read More: Death By Trolley: This New Year’s, Resolve to Stop Chasing Happiness
In The Grad School Gospels: On Professional Baseball, Academia, and My Shared Experience with Dirk Hayhurst, I juxtaposed Hayhurst‘s pro baseball journey – which he recounts in his first book, The Bullpen Gospels – with my journey through academic psychology.
Several factors conspired to make our situations alike. We both laid most of our eggs in one basket, deriving identity, strength, purpose, livelihood and self-esteem from a single source. We were accustomed to success, praise and the ability to live indefinitely off of success in our chosen field. For a while this worked out swimmingly. Intrinsic passion and
. . . → Read More: Death By Trolley: The Grad School Gospels – Part 2: Passion, Fear and Indifference
Last night I attended a free session at our local mental health facility. It was called Getting the Low Down on Substance Use, and was presented by Michael Coughlin, a registered nurse with the Royal’s Substance Use and Concurrent Disorders program.
I was interested because I have a young friend who uses heroin. He was kicked out of the 28-day program last year for using drugs but he speaks highly of the program and its staff, and says he’ll be back someday. I consider this a very high endorsement.
Coughlin started out by saying that this session was about the
. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: The lowdown on substance use
What is it about being a CEO of a psychiatric hospital in Ontario that warrants much greater compensation than executives of similar-sized general hospitals? Last month we took a look at who was making more than double the Premier’s salary. … Continue reading →
Women with mental illness are disproportionately more likely to find jail than health care help according to the associate chief of psychiatry at the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group. Speaking to the Ottawa Citizen editorial board, Dr. AG Ahmed says … Continue reading →
by Amelia Wood Whether you identify yourself as a conservative, liberal or something in between, there’s no denying the fact that you or someone you know has likely been affected by the tragic epidemic that is suicide. Recognized as one of the biggest issues plaguing modern Canada today, suicide is a result of a culmination of things, including poor mental health, lack of awareness and loss of hope. With a per capita suicide ratethree times that of the United States, Canada no doubt places much importance on this worldwide event. It’s said that suicide is the leading cause of death
. . . → Read More: Canadian Progressive: Canadians Put Politics Aside for Suicide Prevention Day
…this! It’s certainly not too early to think about Mental Illness Awareness Week When I read the Ottawa Citizen article (linked above) I immediately thought, “Mom will have read that yesterday,” and what an opening it would give me to discuss my own mental health history with her. Not long after sobering up five+ years [...]
I’m delighted to be at the top of the list, perhaps it’s random, of 16 Five Star Rated AIDS Information Sites & Blogs – and I’ve found a few fellow travelers in the process!
On Saturday the Ottawa Citizen ran a story called Pleas to help mentally ill son ignored, mother says. It was in Hugh Adami’s column, The Public Citizen.
Complete with names and a photograph, this article provides detailed personal information about a 22-year-old man who lives in Ottawa’s shelter system. The information was supplied by his mother.
The young man was quoted by Adami as saying he didn’t want his story in the paper. And yet there it is: his suicide attempts, his drug use, his paranoid schizophrenia, his bipolar disorder, his behaviour problems as a child, his anger management problems,
. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: Ottawa Citizen outs mentally ill man
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- John Conway discusses the Cons’ project of destroying Canada’s social safety net.
- But the good news is that Stephen Harper is running into a few roadblocks along the way. For example, the rule of law – as a Federal Court judge has concluded that the Cons’ attempt to impose an arbitrator with connections to both their own party and Air Canada to rule on a collective agreement for Air Canada’s workers.
- And Thomas Walkom writes that there are limits to what the Cons can impose on the general public in trying
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links
Yesterday, I wrote about those disaster scenarios that have a way of poisoning our imaginations. Today, I’ve been thinking about some strategies that I use to keep the demons at bay, especially now, when an trip to the emergency room with Nicholas is fresh in my mind. Nick is 23 now and he’s had lots of close calls, each one fodder for nighttime or daytime flights of fancy to the dark side. When I begin to feel fear and dread taking over from confidence and optimism, here is what I do.
I dance. And dance for me is perfect because
. . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM – A Blog by Donna Thomson: Keeping the Demons at Bay
The brutal and tragic killing of 12 people in a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado has raised the thorny issue of gun control in an election year. Not surprisingly both Obama and Romney, fearful of being targeted the politically powerful National Rifle Association have dodged the issue and stated that they are committed to defending the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees
I’ve been wrestling all day – less with what to write than how to write it – so I thought I’d begin with an absurd fruit-plate. Leading with humour is something I’ve done for as long as I can remember. Regardless of what was going on inside, my outside presentation was most often light if [...]
“I feel morally compelled to remain on the side of other uprooted men and women everywhere. Today, as yesterday, a nation is judged by its attitude towards refugees.”
The sobering words of Jewish-American political activist, Nobel laureate, writer, professor, Elie Wiesel. The Holocaust survivor’s response to the Harper Conservative governments’ draconian changes to Canada’s refugee system, to be implemented through Bill C-31, ”Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act.”
The Romania-born Wiesel has joined with the Toronto Board of Rabbis to express concern about the bill, which amends Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Balanced Refugee Reform Act. The . . . → Read More: CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE WORLD: Immigration Bill C31: Auschwitz Survivor Wiesel Confronts Harper
What is regret? Regret is a verb defined as: to feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, esp. a loss or missed opportunity). Synonyms for regret: verb: repent, mourn, be sorry, lament, and rue. Noun synonyms: repentance, remorse, sorrow, grief, and contrition. How does regret feel? The feeling of [...]
Not one to scan this blog’s activity logs too often, much less understand them, I was quite chuffed to be contacted by Michelle Lamont, representative of Ashley Berges – author, life coach and radio host in Dallas. She/they apparently find me inspiring! That being Ashley’s stock-and-trade, we are in discussions to do a bit of [...]
In the hours following the conviction of their once-revered Jerry Sandusky, Penn State is most anxious to move on. After my exclamation on Facebook of “Yes! Yes! Yes!”, attached to a media account of the guilty verdicts on Friday, I wondered how the victim-survivors were feeling. Having invested my emotions, and my own survival story, [...]