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“Find your lonely road and follow it…follow it through everything to the end of the road and then let go of that road…put it behind you…”

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In the past three years, 50 recognized Canadian Forces veterans have committed suicide directly related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of their tours in Afghanistan. Put into perspective, there were 158 Canadian Soldiers killed in combat in Afghanistan over the 12 year campaign. If the current rate of suicides continues, then 200 Veterans of the Afghanistan war will die by their own hand in Canada in the same time frame.

PTSD has been wounding people in the Canadian Forces, and veterans, for some time—but it seems to be taking an ever-increasing toll as Canadian veterans die by suicide and family members raise questions about the supports needed but not offered or available.

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Montreal’s Radio-UP in its third broadcast year

July 22nd, 2014 | Posted by ccsadmin in people first radio - (Comments Off)

Inspiration for the clubhouse-based program came from Radio La Colifata of Buenos Aires, Argentina, which broadcast their shows from a psychiatric hospital

Rap-Podcast-Pic-reduced-2Radio-UP is an important part of Donald Berman UP House—a “clubhouse” affiliated with the international mental health clubhouse movement. The emergence of these clubhouses around the world demonstrates that people with mental illness can successfully participate in society through education, employment and other social activities.

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As helpers, we need to ensure that we are not falling into a vicious circle of helping others but draining ourselves, says author Debbie Holmes

picture 561The helping profession is filled with people who are selfless and giving. If you are a helper, you are probably well-acquainted with the intrinsic rewards of helping others, as well as the draining effect helping can have on you.

Burnout is a common side-effect of working in a helping role and occurs when we, as helpers, give more of ourselves than is healthy for us. In short: we lose our boundaries, we lose ourselves and we lose what is really important to us.

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“If I get therapy can I get off these meds?”

July 1st, 2014 | Posted by ccsadmin in people first radio - (Comments Off)

Therapist Michael Pond has been captivated by rigorous and extensive research that argues millions of people who are prescribed psychotropic drugs derive no benefit from them and, in fact, may be making their illness worse by taking them

picture 558Vancouver therapist Michael Pond says that at least once a week a client asks him, “If I get therapy can I get off this medication?” Michael’s typical response, he writes in the Vancouver Sun, is: “We’ll need to consult with your physician. If you’ve been diagnosed with a mental disorder and you’ve been taking your meds for a significant period of time you need to continue to keep your brain chemistry balanced. Psychotherapy will help for sure, but you will most likely need some type of psychotropic medication for an indefinite time.”

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New research network will develop strategies to ensure that more young people are connected to the mental health services they need

picture 557In Canada, one-in-five people experience a mental illness in their lifetime. However, it is young Canadians that suffer the most, with 75% of mental health problems and illnesses beginning prior to the age of 25, and more than 50% beginning between the ages of 11 and 25.

An estimated 1.2 million Canadian children and youth are affected by mental illness—yet less than 20 per cent will receive appropriate treatment. With more than two-thirds of adults living with a mental health problem reporting that symptoms first appeared during their youth, establishing the foundation for healthy emotional and social development is vital to ensuring the mental well-being of all Canadians as they progress from childhood to adulthood.  [Mental Health Commission of Canada]

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Society’s wait-and-see inactivity—until something horrible happens—in effect criminalizes mental illness, says Austin Mardon

picture 551Austin Mardon is an academic, author, and community leader who has participated in community based volunteerism and is an advocate for the disabled.  He has also struggled with schizophrenia for much of his adult life. In 2006, Austin became the first Canadian with schizophrenia to be awarded the Order of Canada. In a full commentary published on June 14, 2014 in the Edmonton Journal, Austin argues that mental illness should be treated as aggressively as cancer. “Our inactivity as a society until something horrible happens,” he writes, “in effect criminalizes mental illness, which is first and foremost an illness and a medical issue.” Austin believes that tragedies such as the murders of three Moncton, New Brunswick RCMP officers on June 4, will continue to happen until we learn to diagnose and treat mental illnesses quickly and aggressively.

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