Speak the truth and the truth shall set you free

Mental health professionals offer a public service to help us recognize the danger signs and risks of having a tyrant in office and how to disarm them

Speak the truth and the truth shall set you freeTyrannical leaders share certain qualities. In essence, they live under a tremendous fear of being overthrown. Through their actions, almost without exception, they inadvertently make this fear a reality. I know how fortunate I am to live in a free country. I will never forget my first experience of no longer having the freedom to…

Canada needs a comprehensive child and youth mental health strategy

Mental illnesses can often be prevented from developing, or becoming more severe and difficult to treat, by offering help to young people

Canada needs a comprehensive child and youth mental health strategyBy Mariette Chartier and Marni Brownell University of Manitoba Mental illness is the most common illness found in Canada's children and teens. We all know a young person who struggles with depression, anxiety, an addiction or a behavioural disorder. Mental illness causes high levels of distress in children and can significantly interfere with their lives. But mental illnesses can…

Community-based programs can help reduce male suicide

In Canada, men account for three out of every four suicides – with seven men dying by suicide every day – but our support programs fall short

Community-based programs can help reduce male suicideBy John Oliffe and Britney Dennison Men’s Health Research University of British Columbia Jason was in Grade 5 when he started having feelings for other boys. Because of those feelings, he was called names, beaten up in school and sexually assaulted. Since high school, Jason has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder and post-traumatic…

The power of the placebo effect

A patient sometimes perceives a positive result, even from a fake drug

The power of the placebo effectMedical knowledge and treatments have advanced more quickly in the last 50 years than ever before, but the powerful effects of placebo treatments are still reported and are not fully understood. Simply put, a placebo is a medicine or medical treatment that has no active pharmacological ingredient. The term often refers to the inactive treatments…

When a new mom has disturbing thoughts about hurting her baby

Postpartum OCD is frequently misdiagnosed and misunderstood – but it is treatable, help is available

When a new mom has disturbing thoughts about hurting her babyBy Gina Wong Athabasca University and Nicole Letourneau University of Calgary In January of 2018, a new mother in California became part of a viral Facebook post that described her baby’s four-month postpartum checkup. As a result of the thoughts she shared with her health-care providers, the police were called and she was escorted to…

Effects of delirium on ICU patients a growing concern

Delirium is a serious and common outcome of treatment in intensive care units, affecting from 30 to 80 per cent of patients

Effects of delirium on ICU patients a growing concernSince intensive care units (ICU) were created in hospitals more than a half a century ago, there’s been a steady decline in death rates for individuals who are critically ill and require life support. That’s significant and meaningful progress, and it’s thanks to the pioneering work of doctors, nurses and researchers who have discovered better ways to…

Defenceless in the face of possible sexual victimization

Why we need quality sex education for our students with developmental disabilities, too

Defenceless in the face of possible sexual victimizationWhen my sister, who has a developmental disability, and I were growing up in the 1970s and ’80s, neither of us received very much formalized education on sexual health. I eventually learned what I needed to, through friends, the media and books, but she had access to none of that. As a result, she and…

Child abuse linked to depression, anxiety in later life

Childhood abuse or neglect can permanently alter an individual’s physiology

Child abuse linked to depression, anxiety in later lifeIn a previous column, I pointed out that nature and nurture should not be regarded as enemies or polar opposites. Rather, they are two intertwined realities that work together to make up the human experience. Nature was designed for nurture. Many studies in recent years have documented the effects that early childhood experience can have…

How Sesame Place is helping children with autism 

The organization has always been strongly committed to the growth, development and education of children from all walks of life

How Sesame Place is helping children with autism If you and your children enjoy watching Sesame Street, the long-running educational children’s television series, here’s some exciting news. SeaWorld Entertainment announced on Oct. 22 that it will be opening a second Sesame Place theme park in San Diego, Calif., in spring 2021. The 17-acre facility will be built adjacent to SeaWorld San Diego and…

Cool the hype around genetics and health care

We are a long way from identifying definitive biomarkers to illness and personalized gene therapies are likely generations away

Cool the hype around genetics and health careBy Nicole Letourneau and Suzanne Tough University of Calgary Genetics will save the day – that’s the message you see constantly in the media and even in academic literature. But it's a message that can distract us from providing quality care now. Newspapers herald breakthroughs in finding genetic biomarkers for autism. Magazines trumpet finding a…

Body image issues begin early

How we can help our children be comfortable and happy in their own skin

Body image issues begin earlyMy five-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter has an eye for fashion. She has her favourite outfits and she is fond of accessories. She likes to wear beads like Granny and my earrings are a source of great interest. It’s all very cute and sweet, but I wonder if I should compliment her less frequently on her attire. I…

Diabetes may double risk of developing depression

Two of the primary risk factors for the disease are obesity and lack of exercise

Diabetes may double risk of developing depressionDiabetes is one of the leading health problems affecting North America today and is rapidly on the rise. It is also well known that this disease can cause serious health complications such as vision loss and amputation as well as life-threatening problems like stroke, heart disease and kidney failure. Indeed, diabetes, which affects the body’s…

Using tech to connect with patients

Chris Nedelmann of Copeman Healthcare Centre talks about bridging the gap between practitioners and patients with a virtual care app

Using tech to connect with patientsChris Nedelmann is CEO of Copeman Healthcare Centre. What is Copeman and its history? Nedelmann: We started in Vancouver 14 years ago. We operate four advanced primary care facilities in Western Canada – two of those are in Vancouver, one on the North Shore and one downtown. We have a new facility in Calgary but the…

The war on drugs must be fought at addiction’s social roots

The answer to addiction will not be found in the industries of incarceration and prescription

The war on drugs must be fought at addiction’s social rootsOn Oct. 21, pharmaceutical opioid distributors McKesson Corp., AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health, and drug manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals agreed to a US$260-million settlement just hours before opening arguments were scheduled to begin in the first opioid-era federal lawsuit in Ohio. This is the first of hundreds of similar lawsuits filed by cities, counties, Native American tribes…

Giving people the tools they need to overcome challenges

Shelly Qualtieri talks about her business as a counsellor, coach and facilitator

Giving people the tools they need to overcome challengesShelly Qualtieri is a counsellor, coach and facilitator with Shelly Qualtieri – Counselling & Coaching  Tell me what you do and what your business is about? Qualtieri: I’m the entrepreneur and heart and soul behind Shelly Qualtieri – Counselling & Coaching. I’m a counsellor and a registered social worker (RSW). The core of my business…
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