Smartphone apps links patients to mental health professionals

David Johnson talks about how VictoryLab's app helps people in need using in-the-moment technology

Smartphone apps links patients to mental health professionalsDavid Johnson is founder and CEO of VictoryLab. Calgary’s Business: What is VictoryLab, and what's its history on how and why it was formed? Johnson: Founded in 2015, VictoryLab is an evidence-based, affordable and convenient mental health app available to organizations. With VictoryLab, users can reach out to certified counsellors and licensed therapists from their smartphone…

Some simple relaxation techniques to achieving a stress-free life

But remember, relaxation techniques will not replace the need to solve the underlying problem

Some simple relaxation techniques to achieving a stress-free lifeIn our fast-paced world where everyone is looking for a quick fix or a speedy solution to every problem, stress and anxiety abound. Often there is no quick fix. What may be needed is a change in lifestyle, specific problem solving or at the very least an effort to stop and smell the roses or…

‘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…

There is no stigma to taking needed medication

Potential risks should be measured against the benefits of relieving symptoms of the disorder

There is no stigma to taking needed medicationMany people respond to a psychiatric diagnosis and medication recommendations by saying that they are simply “not a pill person”. It seems that the idea of having to take a pill every day is a daunting thought to some and a sign of weakness to others. In truth, there is no such thing as a…

Tent cities aren’t the problem, just a symptom

We need to address contributing factors to homelessness, including mental illness, addictions and poverty

Tent cities aren’t the problem, just a symptomTonight, an increasing number of Canadians face the prospect of sleeping in a tent – not to welcome the summer camping season but as a last resort. Unlike regulated campgrounds, tent cities are without electricity, water and often bathrooms. These makeshift encampments appear to be on the rise with Winnipeg and Nanaimo, B.C., being two…

Depression more common, and costly, than you think

A little known fact about depression is that it is a systemic disease rather than simply a mood disorder

Depression more common, and costly, than you thinkWe likely all know someone affected by clinical depression. Few of us, however, completely understand the magnitude, or severity of the condition, its chronic nature, or all of the symptoms that go along with it. Depression is more than a simple case of the blues. Everyone experiences sad days, or periods when life isn’t going…

Tackling poverty and its impact on social and emotional well-being

Reducing poverty is not just about putting food on the table or a roof over someone's head. But there are useful strategies

Tackling poverty and its impact on social and emotional well-being“Stay calm. You're in the Kootenays.” The slogan caught my eye as I waited in line with my grandchildren to order gelato. As my three-year-old grandson twirled himself repeatedly around my legs, I began to wish we'd chosen the ice cream shop down the road. No one was in a hurry here; the wait seemed interminable. When…

Suffering paranoid disorder is like living a nightmare every day

Imagine living your life in a perpetual state of belief that someone is trying to hurt you

Suffering paranoid disorder is like living a nightmare every dayImagine living your life in a perpetual state of belief that someone was trying to hurt you, or destroy your career. Or, imagine believing, despite consistent denial, that your spouse was being continuously unfaithful. For some people, this is the nightmare of everyday life. Not because someone really is trying to destroy their life, or…

Mental illness can exacerbate marital problems

Although separation and divorce are always painful, it may be the best option for some couples and their families

Mental illness can exacerbate marital problemsIn the unstable world of mental illness, it is not surprising that existing marital problems can complicate things further, or that new marital tensions can be created. Many of my patients who come to me with anxiety or depression also have significant problems in their marriages. Whether they recognize it or not, these difficulties are…

Sometimes we need to take people literally

It’s not a magic potion but setting positive goals and using visualization help – if you understand the root of the problem

Sometimes we need to take people literallyAt a recent dinner meeting, conversation surrounded weight loss and aging. One of the men said he wanted to lose weight. He admitted he didn’t feel very positive about it – he’d been sticking to a spartan diet for months, exercised regularly but just didn’t seem to be able to shift it. He was convinced…

Insecure about your body image?

Negative body image could be precursor to more serious illnesses, including anorexia, bulimia and body dysmorphic disorder

Insecure about your body image?Most people experience occasional periods of dissatisfaction with the look of a certain body part or feature. Although this is discouraging, it is normal – particularly in our culture where we are barraged daily with media images of men and women with ‘perfect’ bodies. While some self-critique is to be expected, there are instances when…

Legalized U.S. sports gambling? It’s about time

Now the trick is to put the revenue to the best use: on public fitness and activity initiatives

Legalized U.S. sports gambling? It’s about timeThe U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down a federal ban on sports gambling. My first thought was what took so long? Americans can legally bet on soybean futures, the rise and fall of stocks, horse races, dog races, state lotteries, real estate investments, church bingo games, the roll of dice and various card games. But…

Theft and speeding continue to be concerns in the community

In April, there were eight thefts under $5,000, three possession of stolen goods, three mischief crimes, two frauds and two impaired driving violations

Theft and speeding continue to be concerns in the communityKenneth Brown of The Clarion Recent crime statistics for the Town of Kindersley show traffic violations and thefts to be ongoing concerns in the community since the spring began. The Kindersley RCMP detachment prepares reports for municipal officials in the area. Crimes committed in Kindersley over a three-month period from Feb. 1 to April 30…

Warning signs someone you love is experiencing mania

The individual experiencing mania is unable to realize the impact of his or her behaviour

Warning signs someone you love is experiencing maniaHave you ever noticed a friend or family member go through what appears to be a total personality change? Perhaps he or she was slightly introverted but suddenly became the extroverted life of the party. Or maybe a quiet friend suddenly became a high speed talker. This can sometimes be the dramatic face of mania…

Perfectionism is a form of theft

Attempting to make everything perfect steals time from your clients, your employer, your family and yourself

Perfectionism is a form of theftFor her entire career, Phoebe has really struggled with how to manage her time. She has a great attitude and the quality of her work is first-rate, but it seems to take her twice as long as anyone else to bring a project to completion. Recently she moved into a new role, replacing someone who…