“I am a man with Down syndrome and my life is worth living”

History is full of policies established to determine which human lives were valuable and which were not. Are we comfortable going down that path again?

“I am a man with Down syndrome and my life is worth living”By observing history without judgment, we can learn from our mistakes. By examining primary documents – artifacts from a particular era – we can begin to understand the thinking of the people of that time. In an effort to create a more objective perspective, I tell my students to imagine that they’re living in the…

Not every mental health concern requires a doctor

Perhaps the elixir of good feeling is available at a friend’s house, at the next desk in the office, or from a partner or spouse

Not every mental health concern requires a doctorBy David Zitner and Dominic Covvey Contributors Troy Media Canadians suffer when important mental health services are unavailable or wait times are too long. Fortunately, many of us – including children, parents, other relatives and friends – may find and implement worthwhile solutions to important problems while people wait. However, some people are afraid to try.…

When a kiss is just a kiss

Fairy tales impart pro-social values and are full of lessons for the young. We do our children no favours when we read lust and sexual assault into them

When a kiss is just a kissIn Casablanca, the greatest movie ever made, Dooley Wilson (as Sam) sings: “You must remember this/ A kiss is just a kiss/ A sigh is just a sigh.” Sarah Hall of North Shields, England, would disagree. For her, a kiss, such as that bestowed by the handsome prince on Sleeping Beauty, teaches impressionable youngsters that…

Passion is at the heart of an energetic, fulfilled life

Strive to incorporate more of what you love into your life. Seek new paths. Stop making excuses and go for it!

Passion is at the heart of an energetic, fulfilled life“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof,” says author Barbara Kingsolver. Have you ever stopped to wonder what you want…

Making peace with past mistakes

The more we dwell on a past mistake, the more we identify with it. We have become that mistake or bad choice

Making peace with past mistakesDid you ever wake up from a nightmare still in distress? Were you awake but still experiencing the trouble you got yourself into while dreaming? One of the most horrible nightmare experiences I ever heard of was that of a young mother who, in her dream, had oven-roasted and eaten her baby girl. She was…

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

Having 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.”…