Mental health therapies should be fully funded by medicare

Publicly funding comprehensive treatment for depression is cost-effective

Mental health therapies should be fully funded by medicareHeadlines tell us in detail about the mental health struggles of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain before their deaths by suicide. But what too often goes untold are the stories of thousands of people who die by suicide every year in Canada – our friends, relatives, colleagues and neighbours. What’s also not well documented is…

The high cost of pathological gambling

Are the profits from government sponsored gambling worth the cost in human lives, broken relationships and misery?

The high cost of pathological gamblingSince the early 1990s permanent casinos have been springing up in communities all across Canada. Our government has relaxed its views on gambling and made it much more accessible to adults everywhere. In more recent years this has expanded to include government-run online gambling portals as well. With this increase in availability has come an…

Council approves construction firm for fire hall

Quorex Construction Ltd. of Saskatoon to handle the nearly $2.82-million project

Council approves construction firm for fire hallKenneth Brown of The Clarion The town’s elected officials have awarded the construction tender for the new fire hall to a construction firm after an exhaustive search. It took two separate request for proposals (RFP) processes to find a builder for the fire hall. The most recent efforts by the town have resulted in a…

‘Happy’ New Zealand has a teenage suicide problem

Indigenous teenagers around the world face problems they think are insurmountable. But there are solutions

‘Happy’ New Zealand has a teenage suicide problemThe United Nations consistently includes New Zealand in its list of the happiest countries on the planet. Yet  in the midst of all this happiness there’s very deep unhappiness: New Zealand’s teenage suicide rate is now the worst in the world. How can this profoundly unsettling anomaly be explained? The answer becomes apparent when the…

Early intervention important when fighting depression

If you are depressed you should not procrastinate and you should not settle for partial treatment

Early intervention important when fighting depressionIn the fight against depression, time is the enemy. Early intervention is critical when treating this chronic disorder and it often determines the success of treatment. What many people are unaware of is that depression can be a progressive disorder that gets worse as time goes on. Not only does the person experience more severe…

Death’s tug of war with mystery and science

If you want technology as a friend, learn its values, side effects and track record. Particularly when discussing issues like medical aid in dying

Death’s tug of war with mystery and science“An obsession with ‘present mindedness’ wipes out concerns about past or future.” – Harold Innis I count myself lucky to have been born when death was still pretty much a mystery, more the prerogative of poets and other artists, philosophers and religious teachers than of scientists and doctors. I grew up surrounded by death. I…

Three years after Robin Williams death, reporting on suicide still contentious

By choosing not to report on mental health or suicide, journalists only perpetuate the stigma for those living with a mental illness

Three years after Robin Williams death, reporting on suicide still contentiousThree years ago, comic icon Robin Williams was found dead. His death was subsequently confirmed by California police as a suicide. The coverage was overwhelming: articles, blog posts, live coverage, television segments and an outpouring of emotion over social media. There have been similar public responses more recently with the deaths of Chris Cornell, frontman for bands…

How Alberta can deal with the ‘silver tsunami’ health-care crisis

If the NDP is going to lose the next election, the government should just fall on its sword and introduce a sales tax

How Alberta can deal with the ‘silver tsunami’ health-care crisisAs a baby boomer, I’m very concerned about my future dignity in Alberta. For the past two months, my 85-year-old mother-in-law, who suffers from dementia, has lived in Foothills Hospital because there are no long-term care facilities that can accept her. Her days (and nights) are spent locked in a chair because she wanders and…

Life, not death, the path that leads to the feast

The claim that suicide makes life meaningful is bizarre and wrong. Suicide is foremost an evacuation of all meaning and potential

Life, not death, the path that leads to the feastSeveral months ago, I left the classroom under a dark cloud. Suicide was on my mind. It came up in a class discussion. How we got to suicide, I can’t remember. What I do remember is the student who said that the person who commits suicide deserves respect, if not praise, for showing courage and assertiveness.…

We can’t be afraid to look into the dark corners of history

We need to learn from the lessons of history when considering assisted dying for those with disabilities – no matter how unsettling that history may be

We can’t be afraid to look into the dark corners of historyHistory has a role in the national conversation about medically-assisted death, despite protests to the contrary. A respected physician and scholar recently stepped down as chair of the expert working group appointed to study the issue of advanced directives for medically-assisted death. Named to this position only two weeks earlier by the Council of Canadian…

Tying up the loose ends of life

The first anniversary of legal doctor-assisted suicide muddies the discussion-of-death waters. Preparing for death needs to focus on the completion of living

Tying up the loose ends of life“Death is inevitable. A bad death is not,” blares the headline of the April 29 edition of The Economist. The feature repeats the arguments why more palliative care is needed and why “honest and open conversations about dying should be as much a part of modern medicine as prescribing drugs or fixing broken bones.” The…