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Posts by Lori Spadorcia

National Aboriginal Day: Making progress through respectful relationships

National Aboriginal Day has me thinking about the importance of the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada, my own life experiences and the responsibility that we all have in making this country a better place for all those who live here.

Having grown up in Brantford on the traditional territory of the Six Nations of the Grand River, I was well attuned to the cultural divide and broken communications between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.

Being just a few kilometers away from a First Nations community did nothing to enhance my knowledge of the rich history and geography – it just wasn’t taught in school.

I didn’t get properly educated until I had the remarkable opportunity in my adult life to work with First Nations communities first-hand.

It was during this time that I learned of the extraordinary impact that relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people have had on the lives of citizens and on the progress of our communities.

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Vote for mental health #Vote4MHA

I always get a little emotional during elections. As a student of political science, I have always taken my duty to participate seriously.

As a citizen, I have always felt proud and grateful to live in a free and democratic country. And, I love placing that ballot into the box!

I am equally passionate about CAMH’s promise to drive social change. We are improving the lives of people with mental illness and addictions by building awareness and understanding, promoting healthy public policies, and collaborating to improve our system of care.

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The media is the message: The role of journalism in mental health advocacy

Last week, Cliff Lonsdale of the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma introduced Mindset, a toolkit for journalists on reporting on mental health.

It was a good step forward in improving our collective understanding of mental illness, changing attitudes and eliminating the stigma and discrimination that prevent people from seeking the help they need.

The toolkit addresses the use of language, the engagement of people with lived experience, the complexities of mental disorders and the intersection of mental illness and the criminal justice system.

In today’s 24/7 news cycle it’s far too tempting to look for the easy way out, to write the quick story and to promote the sensationalized headline to captivate audiences. This poses a dilemma for a complex health issue.

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The view from the other side of the table

It’s that time of year when governments across the country are presenting budgets for the upcoming year. As someone who once worked for a Minister of Finance, I can attest to the lengthy process that precedes Budget Day. Read more

Mental illness and the law: a revealing look at the NCR process

This past weekend I found myself in a sold-out theatre taking in John Kastner’s film NCR: Not Criminally Responsible at the Hot Docs Film fest. The documentary tells the story of a man, Sean Clifton, who is found NCR after stabbing a woman in a mall parking lot. The timing of its release is perfect. We couldn’t be at a more critical time in history given the federal government’s proposed changes to the NCR defense. Read more

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