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Posts from the ‘Social Change’ Category

Changing Attitudes Since Tobacco Free Policy Launch

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By Lilian Riad-Allen, Project Manager, Tobacco Free Initiative

In my role leading the charge to go tobacco free, I am frequently asking people to share their tobacco free stories – for some this story is celebratory, for some this story is reflective and for others, this story can be nostalgic.

I was recently asked to share my own tobacco free story, and it dawned on me that I, too, had been on that transformational journey. As an undergraduate student, I completed a co-op placement at an Alzheimer’s day treatment program. As part of my role in that program, I was responsible for taking out one of the clients for a cigarette after meals. I recall that on some particularly cold days she would ask me “why are we going outside?” After raising this to my supervisors, they responded by telling me that if we failed to take her outside, she would be in withdrawal and would be difficult to manage. Read more

Standing Together in Pink

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By Olivia Heffernan, NYAC Co-Facilitator, and Maree Rodriguez, NYAC member

The idea for Pink Shirt Day started when a student came to school wearing a pink shirt and was made fun of for wearing it. Two students in the school heard about this incident and decided to do something about it. They went to their local discount store and bought fifty pink shirts and asked other students to wear pink in support of the student who was bullied. NYAC’s Olivia and Maree share their experiences with bullying, to raise awareness about this ongoing issue and important awareness day. Read more

The Maple Leafs Shoot… And Score with Mental Health Awareness

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By Dr. Donna Ferguson, Psychologist with the WSIB Psychological Trauma Program

Mental health advocacy initiatives are important in spreading awareness so that people feel more comfortable talking about mental illness. It’s important for people to be able to come out and admitting they have a mental health issue, so they can reach out to attain appropriate help and resources.

Earlier this week, I was fortunate to be involved in one such initiative – the NHL’s Hockey Talks campaign. I was invited by the Toronto Maple Leafs to speak about mental health, stigma, stress, and awareness at the Air Canada Centre during the TML Talk segment in the morning. While I’ve done media interviews before, my experience doing this media interview today has been a powerful one, particularly to help raise awareness and stop the stigma around mental illness within a demographic who may not be aware of its prevalence in society or who may feel uncomfortable raising the issue. Read more

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Ending Homelessness in Ontario: Addressing the Mental Health and Functional Needs of the Most Vulnerable Amongst Us

HomelessnessBy Dr. Sylvain Roy, Neuropsychologist and the Lead Clinician at the CAMH’s Psychosocial Rehabilitation Assessment Service.

Today is #BellLetsTalk – a day where thousands of Canadians speak up in support of mental health and come together to address the issues associated with stigma. It’s a day when, as a society, we say no one should feel guilty or shameful when asking for help. It’s a day to imagine an Ontario in which mental healthcare is readily available to everyone when needed. We are not there yet. We are still living in a reality in which the most vulnerable amongst us, arguably the homeless, are not able to access timely mental health services, sometimes with tragic consequences. Read more

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