The Value of Mental Health Awareness

Social Health

In recent years, the concept of mental health has gained traction, helping to reduce the stigma. As Canada observes Mental Health Awareness Week, I want to contribute to the conversation by considering why awareness is so important. After all, what does awareness get us? Does simply having everyone aware of something solve real problems? I want to address the “so what” question, when it comes to mental health awareness.

So what is awareness good for? Think of the days before we were aware of things like anxiety, depression, OCD, BPD, Schizophrenia, addiction, and PTSD. It’s not that these problems didn’t exist; we just didn’t have insight into why people were engaging in apparently self-destructive or anti-social behaviors, nor did we have the language to talk about it. Rather than viewing them as suffering from an illness, we attributed their behavior to either moral failings or insanity.

During the…

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Evolution of Eve | Group Therapy: Outsider’s Ask Why? Insiders Know.

The concerned ones asked: Why? How come? What triggered it?

(Originally written by Eve Hinson on 10.30.12 in creative writing journal at Blue Sky Wellness Center)

It was like they were asking questions that didn’t apply to my mental breakdown.

I haven’t heard anyone ask someone why they had a cardiac arrest, doubt their condition, think it’s over-exaggerated or confusing. Same thing with diabetes and other physical health conditions. They wait to see what the doctor has to say.

So, and for the most part I know it’s out of love — at least for me, what makes family and friends assume I can tell them why I have mental illness? I know why I showed up at the door of the behavioral center: suicide ideation. Continue reading Evolution of Eve | Group Therapy: Outsider’s Ask Why? Insiders Know.

‘Breakthrough’ Leukemia Drug Also Portends ‘Quantum Leap’ In Cost

cahealth daily

When doctors talk about a new leukemia drug from Novartis, they ooze enthusiasm, using words like “breakthrough,” “revolutionary” and “a watershed moment.”

But when they think about how much the therapy is likely to cost, their tone turns alarmist.

“It’s going to cost a fortune,” said Dr. Ivan Borrello at Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore. Continue reading ‘Breakthrough’ Leukemia Drug Also Portends ‘Quantum Leap’ In Cost

Dying At Home In An Opioid Crisis: Hospices Grapple With Stolen Meds

cahealth daily

Nothing seemed to help the patient — and hospice staff didn’t know why.

They sent home more painkillers for weeks. But the elderly woman, who had severe dementia and incurable breast cancer, kept calling out in pain.

The answer came when the woman’s daughter, who was taking care of her at home, showed up in the emergency room with a life-threatening overdose of morphine and oxycodone. It turned out she was high on her mother’s medications, stolen from the hospice-issued stash. Continue reading Dying At Home In An Opioid Crisis: Hospices Grapple With Stolen Meds

Evolution of Eve | Hope Lost

Its ok. I know its my fault. Be better if I had died.

(Written as an email by Eve Hinson on 10/2/12)

no, i’m not being knee-jerk here. lets get real. i’m the one fucking up the equation.

you all would be stable it it weren’t for me and my moods. my kids are being raised by someone like *. i shouldn’t be here.
i knew i shouldn’t have bought the jeep. i kept thinking you were thinking it was wrong.
You explained things to me. We don’t have a marriage. We have a crazy woman and a guy who says, “yes.”
forget portland. sorry seattle was a bad idea. i’m not lookkign for yes — i’m asking for your  true opinion. I rely on it. So it’s is on you too. I asked. I wasn’t sure. Now i hate it. and this. and my fucking life.

Continue reading Evolution of Eve | Hope Lost

Home Visits Help New Parents Overcome Tough Histories, Raise Healthy Children

cahealth daily

EL CENTRO, Calif. — Seated at a kitchen table in a cramped apartment, Rosendo Gil asked the young parents sitting across from him what they should do if their daughter caught a cold.

Blas Lopez, 29, and his fiancée, Lluvia Padilla, 28, quickly answered: Check her temperature and call the doctor if she has a fever they can’t control. Continue reading Home Visits Help New Parents Overcome Tough Histories, Raise Healthy Children

Despite Advance Directive, Dementia Patient Denied Last Wish, Says Spouse

cahealth daily

MEDFORD, Ore. — Bill Harris is blunt: For more than a year, he has been trying to help his wife die.

The 75-year-old retired tech worker says it’s his duty to Nora Harris, his spouse of nearly four decades, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2009.

“Let me be honest: Yes. It’s what she wanted,” he said. “I want her to pass. I want her to end her suffering.”

Nora Harris, 64, a former librarian, signed an advance directive after her diagnosis to prevent her life from being prolonged when her disease got worse. Now, her husband said, she’s being kept alive with assisted eating and drinking against her stated wishes. Continue reading Despite Advance Directive, Dementia Patient Denied Last Wish, Says Spouse

Mental health and criminal justice | Crystal Dieleman | TEDxMoncton

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences.

The news media focuses on tragic and violent events involving people with mental illnesses and, as a result, the public has an exaggerated view of the relationship between mental illness and violence, as well as their own personal risk of being harmed by someone who has a mental illness.

But what is the reality for people with mental illnesses who become involved with the criminal justice system? If this is both a public health and public safety concern, what role do we, the general public, have in promoting mental health and preventing or reducing crime?

Crystal Dieleman is an occupational therapist and assistant professor at Dalhousie University. Her passion is mental health and criminal justice. She started her career as an occupational therapist in the psychiatric treatment centers of the Correctional Service of Canada, working with men who have mental illnesses as they prepared to re-enter the community.

She holds a PhD in Rehabilitation Science and works to understand the different factors that contribute to the criminalization of people with mental health problems and how to prevent or reduce their involvement in the criminal justice system as they transition from prison or forensic hospital back to community life.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

My Friend Coffee

Neurodivergent Rebel

I love coffee, we’ve grown old together. Our relationship is a long one. I started drinking coffee at the age of twelve but my first taste was much earlier.

At my great grandmother’s house, I toddled around with a plastic cup of milk. From the kitchen, I heard a happy voice, “Coffee’s ready! Come and get it!” I moved with the adults into the kitchen, tiny yellow cup in hand, waiting to get my coffee.

When it was my turn the adults hesitated, but after my firm insistence, a few drops of coffee were poured into my milk cup. “She’s not going to like it” a voice from above me boomed. “I didn’t put enough in there for her to taste anything” another whispered.

The first voice was right. My face puckered as the milk hit my taste buds. Repulsed by the bitterness, I passed my tainted cup up into…

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Only connect

Counting the Ways

Recently Laina posted about her Jukebox App which is firmly installed in her brain. I, too, have a Jukebox App. Sadly, I have very little control over it. Something is playing most of the time, but not because I have requested it. It gets triggered by something I read, or something I hear. Sometimes the connection is obvious, like when a song is mentioned it will play that song, or when an artist is mentioned, it will play something by that artist. Sometimes the connection is extremely tangential. The song will probably play repeatedly, starting up again and again, even hours, sometimes days, after that first trigger. Annoyingly, the Jukebox will also play songs I don’t like, and I can’t stop it from doing so. More annoyingly, it mostly only plays snatches of songs, never one song all the way through. It plays all genres of music. Often it will…

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