Children with disabilities data out of date

We lack critical information on the diverse and often unmet needs of Canadian children with disabilities, as well as the out-of-pocket costs paid by families

Children with disabilities data out of dateBy Stephanie Dunn and Jennifer Zwicker University of Calgary “The true measure of a nation’s standing is how well it attends to its children, including their health, safety, material security, education and socialization, and their sense of being loved, valued and included in the families and societies into which they are born,” according to UNICEF.…

Does getting older mean you’re wiser?

The untrained, uncontrolled mind can ruin our precious relationships and harden our hearts. Don’t listen to it

Does getting older mean you’re wiser?I attended a funeral recently where everyone felt uncomfortable. The atmosphere was thick and interactions felt totally artificial. We were acting like robots going through the motions – lips moving, hands shaking, legs walking. There was absolutely no heart communication. So do we get wiser as we age? If you think so, you probably forgot…

Block the pop-ups: think less, think better

Stop feeding your mind worthless thoughts and negative emotions. If you want peace, restrain your mind and strengthen your will power

Block the pop-ups: think less, think betterMy friend’s mom worried her entire life about her five children. Every aspect of their existence was material for her fertile imagination. Potential hazards were always on her mind – from her toddlers catching a deadly virus to her school-age boys being snatched to her children marrying the wrong person two decades down the road.…

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…

Train the mind and grow happier

A new weekly column by Nicole Bernier explores how you can overcome negativity, particularly as you age

Train the mind and grow happierHaving retired, my favourite uncle certainly didn’t expect the mental burden that accompanied his privilege of no longer having a job. “Day after day,” he said, “I have lots of free time. My mind is in a state of chaos. I can’t stop thinking too much and my past mistakes are starting to haunt me.”…

Over-medicating to manage behaviour is damaging and wasteful

It’s time to talk about the overuse of antipsychotics among adults with developmental disabilities

Over-medicating to manage behaviour is damaging and wastefulBy Yona Lunsky University of Toronto and Tara Gomes St. Michael’s Hospital Inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotic medications – drugs like Risperdal, Zyprexa and Abilify – to seniors, especially those in long-term care with conditions like dementia, has been a hot topic across Canada in recent years. We’ve also increasingly heard about the high numbers of these medications…

Do you suffer from a false sense of no confidence?

Remember, confidence is a process not a product. Allow the journey to begin

Do you suffer from a false sense of no confidence?What can you control in your life? Your health? What others think of you? How happy your lover is? The weather? Your finances? Your future? Your appearance? Your mood? Other people's moods? Can you control these things completely, or just influence them to some extent? If you’re at all like me, the words, “You can…

Why are mental health issues on the rise?

If you’ve suffer a mental health disorder, realize that you’re not alone

Why are mental health issues on the rise?According to a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the issue of mental health has never dominated our society in such a way before. Indeed, the National Health Interview Survey discovered that more than 8.3 million Americans, or approximately 3.4 per cent of the population, are suffering from serious psychological…

Taming the irrational beast called anger

When strong negative emotions kidnap the thinking brain, we become scarcely more coherent than a wild animal

Taming the irrational beast called angerYou may have seen a video recently of a man punching a fellow pedestrian who he felt took his photo without authorization. Once the video was released, the man came forward and apologized for what he called his uncharacteristic behaviour. Whether it’s a result of stress, the state of the economy or a variety of…

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.…

Swimming against the current to prevent tragedy

Kids with autism have a significantly higher risk of drowning than the general population. It’s time we had programs across Canada that did something about it

Swimming against the current to prevent tragedySummer is almost upon us, so the other day I spent $418 on 11 half-hour swimming lessons for my nine-year-old son at the local rec centre. Why so costly? Because my son has autism, the most commonly diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder in Canada. He’s not able to take regular swim classes, which cost a fraction of…

Mental health system ignores those with developmental disabilities

Almost half of those with developmental disabilities are diagnosed with mental illness or addiction and are among the most frequent visitors to ERs

Mental health system ignores those with developmental disabilitiesBy Yona Lunsky University of Toronto and Robert Balogh University of Ontario Institute of Technology With the recent federal commitment to increase mental health funding across Canada, we need to turn our attention toward a group of individuals who are invisible within Canada’s mental health system – a group that has some of the greatest…

What does your signature reveal about your personality?

Handwriting analysis requires comparing upstrokes and downstrokes, looking for patterns and discrepancies to form a profile of the writer

What does your signature reveal about your personality?As a handwriting analyst, I often speak to groups on the value of learning to interpret someone’s handwriting as a strategy for improving communications and reducing conflicts on teams. After a recent event, several people indicated how impressed they were by the accuracy of the group analyses. Aside from being entertaining, one business man declared, “This is…
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