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people first radio archives

_DSC0071This page displays a comprehensive list of all “People First Radio” segments archived on the Vancouver Island Mental Health Society website. Specific PFR interviews can also be located using the search box at the top of the page or by selecting one of the topics to the right.

(Image of the People First Radio team 2015: Kevin Midbo, Nancy McInnes, Ashta Cormier, and Nicholas Holt; by http://www.iconoco.cc/)
  • Mar 2017“... ...”
  • #MyBipolarFuelsMyPassion4 is the theme for this year's bipolar awareness day

    The vision of World Bipolar Day is to bring awareness to bipolar conditions and to eliminate social stigma. This year's theme is having #bipolar gives me strength to follow my passions World Bipolar Day The vision of World Bipolar ...

  • World Bipolar Day - Making connections with others who have experienced bipolar

    Steven Barnes on World Bipolar Day: "Making those connections with other people who have had lived experience with mental illness has been very important for my recovery" World Bipolar Day The vision of WBD is to bring world awareness ...

  • World Bipolar Day - Finding support from others with similar experiences

    Amir on World Bipolar Day: "I think finding support from people with similar experiences is the best thing for somebody who is newly diagnosed with bipolar disorder" World Bipolar Day The vision of WBD is to bring world awareness to b ...

  • World Bipolar Day - Getting research findings into the hands of those who need them

    Dr. Erin Michalak on World Bipolar Day: "Canada is a world leader in generating good science on bipolar disorder, and in getting these scientific findings into the hands of people who need them" World Bipolar Day The vision of WBD is ...

  • World Bipolar Day - Not someone "with bipolar" but a person first

    Natasha Kolida on World Bipolar Day: "You're not getting to know someone with bipolar, you're getting to know someone. Just think about that" World Bipolar Day The vision of WBD is to bring world awareness to bipolar disorders and eli ...

  • World Bipolar Day - It's absolutely possible to live well with bipolar disorder

    Carolyn Ziegler on World Bipolar Day: "The first time I heard people saying 'I'm living well with bipolar disorder' that changed everything for me" World Bipolar Day The vision of WBD is to bring world awareness to bipolar disorders a ...

  • World Bipolar Day - Righting the public misunderstandings about bipolar disorder

    Victoria Maxwell on World Bipolar Day: "I feel I can make my mark by righting some of the misunderstandings people have about bipolar disorder, and I do that a lot with humour" World Bipolar Day The vision of WBD is to bring world awa ...

  • World Bipolar Day - Lots of positive changes in treatment of bipolar disorder

    Dr. Greg Murray on World Bipolar Day: "Over the last 10 years there's been lots of changes on lots of fronts when it comes to bipolar disorder, all of them very, very positive" World Bipolar Day The vision of WBD is to bring world awa ...

  • World Bipolar Day - Making human stories about bipolar disorder readily accessible

    Dr. Stephen Hinshaw on World Bipolar Day: "My passion is for communication, science, treatment, and making human stories about bipolar disorder readily accessible" World Bipolar Day The vision of WBD is to bring world awareness to bip ...

  • Dignity, end-of-Life, and concerns in the LGBTQ community

    The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community is a group in society with a unique set of end-of-life concerns, but their needs remain largely unmet End-of-life concerns -- including everything from retirement t ...

  • Basic income and child benefits are the best bet to reduce poverty

    In Canada, a strong social safety net plus growth have been the factors in poverty reduction. Despite this progress, we hear repeated calls for continued poverty reduction Growing up poor does more than deprive a billion children and ...

  • Hearing others' stories, sharing experiences, can build resilience for youth in treatment

    "Our study provides a window into what young people think about the mental health services they receive and what they feel helps and hinders their well-being...feedback will lead to...services that they will find engaging, meaningful and ef ...

  • Feb 2017“... ...”
  • People who use drugs demand a say in fentanyl overdose responses

    “There’s a common public misconception that we are unable to make decisions for ourselves. Truth being we are excluded from even participating in policy decisions that determine our fates” National Day of Action on the Overdose Crisis ...

  • Nanaimo demonstration and march part of National Day of Action on overdose crisis

    Concerned citizens march in Nanaimo on February 21, 2017, in solidarity with cities across Canada struggling with effective responses to the growing opioid overdose crisis National Day of Action on the Overdose Crisis Canada is in the ...

  • Buddhist nun Yin Kit teaches mindfulness meditation to prisoners in the Fraser Valley

    "If you constantly think of it as a prison cell it’s always duhkha—suffering. But if you turn it into a meditation cell, then at least for a moment you will have a glimpse of freedom and joy, because you let go of that negativity." Tea ...

  • Exploring resilience in the practice of informal caregiving

    Despite the risk for the onset of burden, some informal caregivers manage challenges quite well and demonstrate a certain degree of resilience. What does resilience look like among those providing care to dying individuals? Friends a ...

  • A veterinarian's perspective on end-of-life care and humane euthanasia

    The modern strengthening of the human-animal bond has supported the development of a comprehensive veterinary practice that provides care for all life stages, including the end-of-life Doctors of veterinary medicine swear the "Veteri ...

  • Turning responsibly towards death: A Jewish pastoral perspective

    Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan says that while we don't know what happens on the 'other side' of death, we can prepare for it 'on this side' by letting go of attachments and grievances, and respond to death by learning to support the bereaved ...

  • Jan 2017“... ...”
  • How to help when someone you know may have an eating disorder

    You may find it difficult and stressful to approach someone you care about who has an eating disorder. You may wonder what to say, or be worried about what will happen as a result Every day, we are surrounded by different messages fr ...

  • Body image issues haunt men and boys, as well as women and girls

    Eating disorders are much more common in men than were previously thought. While men may describe their situations differently from women, their triggers for eating disorders are pretty much the same Body image, self esteem and disorde ...

  • When trauma takes its toll, a very private CBC reporter goes public with his pain

    For three decades, his radio and television reports have brought the country and the world into Canadian homes. But “Curt Petrovich, CBC News” has been silent for two years now, on medical leave while he struggles with debilitating PTSD ...

  • It's eating disorders awareness week in BC and across Canada Feb 1-7

    Are you a passionate, eager individual who wants to help others improve body image, reduce stigma of eating disorders, and spread awareness? Then the love our bodies, love ourselves movement is right for you British Columbia's Provin ...

  • Young mom confronts risks and taboos of synthetic opioid in new memoir

    Amid headlines of overdoses and galloping addiction rates, Carlyn Zwarenstein's memoir is an outspoken and provocative dispatch from the New Age of Opium North Americans are the world’s most compulsive and prolific users of legal o ...

  • Why is everyone talking about painkillers, but not about pain?

    Brock University professor Dan Malleck says that while concern about addictive painkillers is strong, concern about the broader social causes of pain should be even stronger "Prescription painkiller abuse, addiction and death are hot ...

  • Is it time to winter-proof your mental health?

    Some people say mid-winter is the most depressing time of year—when cold and dark days, holiday bills, and already-lapsed new year’s resolutions catch up with us Whether you believe that or not, it’s never a bad time to reflect o ...

  • The role of mindfulness in end of life care

    Mindfulness assists people with their end of life process by giving them and their caregivers a tool they can use in order to be fully aware of the present moment and their own physical and mental states The Venerable Yin Kit (pictur ...

  • Using art to express and heal yourself

    Mehdi Naïmi says that good art therapy empowers people, strengthens relationships, brings peace of heart, and joy to life Long before there was "art therapy," artists explained themselves with their inner images as references to real ...

  • Dec 2016“... ...”
  • Zander Sherman on schizophrenia, family, and searching for the brother he knew

    "Mom sat at the computer as I dictated words for her to Google: paranoia, delusions, rambling. The Internet returned schizophrenia, and we both scoffed" #top10 #mostlistenedto #peoplefirstradio #podcasts in #2016 #listenagain 'We ...

  • Nov 2016“... ...”
  • Keynote by Dr. Eike-Henner Kluge: Reflections on Dying

    "This talk is about death and dying. Not about dying unexpectedly or by accident, but about dying as an event that in principle is within our control" Questions regarding the end of life -- about dying, suicide, and death -- have bee ...

  • Acquired brain injury in children and youth the focus of #Nanaimo seminar

    Nanaimo Brain Injury Society hosted experts in the field of acquired brain injury assessment, diagnosis, symptom management and return to play/academics, at a public seminar The Nanaimo Brain Injury Society held a public seminar on O ...

  • Brendan McLeod's OCD journey in Brain is hilarious, heartbreaking and hopeful

    Brain is a hilarious, heartbreaking monologue about consciousness, mental illness and friendship from award-winning novelist and former Canadian SLAM poetry champion, Brendan McLeod The human brain makes 20 million billion calculatio ...

  • Annual report card on women's rights in BC informs submission to United Nations

    The 2016 report card on women's rights in British Columbia shows the province continues to lag on promises made in the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) The CEDAW convention CEDAW sta ...

  • Oct 2016“... ...”
  • Diversity: Tailored and culturally appropriate mental health services are needed

    New research conducted by the Mental Health Commission of Canada makes a powerful case for the social and economic imperative of responding to the unique needs of immigrant, refugee, ethno-cultural and racialized populations, including raci ...

  • Collaboration vital in providing mental health care for kids in northern, rural BC

    Child psychiatrist Dr. Matthew Burkey on challenges and opportunities, and lessons learned from interventions in low- and middle-income countries that can make a difference Dr. Matthew Burkey, a child, adolescent and adult psychiatri ...

  • The accessible, informative, entertaining, and educational "story of school"

    Author Zander Sherman says that "the point of institutionalized education has never been to benefit the student for his or her own sake, based on the understanding that the activity of learning is an intrinsically worthwhile endeavour" ...

  • VIU psychology students promote #Positivity at new annual event

    First annual Positivity Run on Nanaimo's Vancouver Island University campus created to celebrate all bodies--no matter the color, size, shape, or ability--as beautiful Students at Vancouver Island University were invited to join in a ...

  • Sep 2016“... ...”
  • Duncan McCue's frank, funny and evocative 'nonvella' explores identity, Cree culture

    "Months on a trapline in the wilds of James Bay promised deliverance from the self-doubts that nagged me, even if I did worry about not having a clue what I was going to be doing out there," writes Duncan McCue in his new memoir Th ...

  • Sarah’s story: Living as a ‘psychiatric refugee’ in Ontario

    "I’ve learned how to manage my depression with cognitive behavioural therapy and support from my family. I want to be able to direct my own treatment and recovery" People who are involuntarily detained under BC’s Mental Health Act – ...

  • Charter challenge of forced psychiatric treatment filed in BC Supreme Court

    People who are involuntarily detained under BC’s Mental Health Act – or released from hospital on leave – currently have no right to give or refuse consent to any psychiatric treatment Vancouver, BC – Two individuals and the Council ...

  • Mental Health First Aid brought to VIMHS, now available in Nanaimo and central Island

    Just as physical first aid is administered to an injured person before medical treatment can be obtained, mental health first aid is given until appropriate treatment is found or until the crisis is resolved Mental Health First Aid B ...

  • Overcoming barriers to accessing methamphetamine treatment

    Treatment programs have been effective in reducing and ceasing use. However, there are a range of possible barriers that have prevented these programs being widely adopted by methamphetamine users Methamphetamine use is associate ...

  • Aug 2016“... ...”
  • Annual day of remembrance also raises suicide awareness

    The 10th annual Soles Remembering Souls Walk will be held in Nanaimo on Saturday, September 10, 2016, with music, personal stories of hope, healing and support for survivors of suicide loss Suicide is one of the leading causes of death ...

  • Life of Bria creator tackles tough issues with comics, graphic art

    'Life of Bria' creator and illustrator Sabrina Symington has published five graphic novels and posts her work online, tackling everyday life, and topics like 'coming out' and 'trans sports' Sabrina Symington is a transgender graphi ...

  • People First Radio at the 2016 Nanaimo Fringe Festival

    https://twitter.com/peoplefirstrad/status/766011706329927680

  • People First Radio at the 2016 Nanaimo Fringe Festival

    https://twitter.com/peoplefirstrad/status/765956085165461504

  • People First Radio at the 2016 Nanaimo Fringe Festival

    https://twitter.com/peoplefirstrad/status/764856581263589376

  • People First Radio at the 2016 Nanaimo Fringe Festival

    https://twitter.com/peoplefirstrad/status/764847916108374017

  • People First Radio at the 2016 Nanaimo Fringe Festival

    https://twitter.com/peoplefirstrad/status/764560197264302080

  • People First Radio at the 2016 Nanaimo Fringe Festival

    https://twitter.com/peoplefirstrad/status/764491894650994688

  • People First Radio at the 2016 Nanaimo Fringe Festival

    https://twitter.com/peoplefirstrad/status/764177665196691456

  • People First Radio at the 2016 Nanaimo Fringe Festival

    https://twitter.com/peoplefirstrad/status/764144611182931969

  • New scripts, comedies and edgy material at 6th annual Nanaimo Fringe Festival

    Pacific Coast Stage Company presents the 6th annual Nanaimo Fringe Festival in the heart of downtown Nanaimo from August 11 – 21, 2016 The annual Nanaimo Fringe Festival kicks off this year in downtown Nanaimo on August 11th, 2016. T ...

  • Gabriola Theatre Festival to include intriguing human library

    'Human Library' is a global phenomenon promoting compassion, dialogue, and understanding. The Gabriola Theatre Festival is presenting its first-ever human library this month The Gabriola Theatre Festival The 8th annual Gabriola Th ...

  • Jun 2016“... ...”
  • VIMHS executive director Barnabas Walther focuses on the future at annual meeting

    Vancouver Island Mental Health Society has seen significant change over the past two years, and the organization expects new programming will be added in the near future While acknowledging that significant changes over the last two ...

  • Collaboration vital in providing mental health care for kids in northern, rural BC

    Child psychiatrist Dr. Matthew Burkey on challenges and opportunities, and lessons learned from interventions in low- and middle-income countries that can make a difference Dr. Matthew Burkey, a child, adolescent and adult psychiatri ...

  • Not about us, without us: Creating a program advisory committee for inner city youth

    A Vancouver-based Inner City Youth program, along with its Youth Advisory Committee, provides ways for young people to inform their own mental health care, in a "not about us, without us" approach The Inner City Youth (ICY) program ...

  • Koori Men's Health Day a service model for community mental health from Australia

    Koori Men’s Health Day is a community based, collaborative, culturally accepted service model for early identification of mental and physical illness among Koori men in rural Australia Health conditions such as depression, anxiety an ...

  • Web of culture: Building online mental health resources for northern youth in BC

    Valerie Ward's research with Indigenous youth living in northern B.C. explores whether existing online mental health resources are age and culturally appropriate Valerie Ward was a presenter at the 17th Canadian Collaborative Mental ...

  • Mental health collaboration with First Nations: Who is steering the canoe?

    Dr. Rod McCormick says current Aboriginal health in Canada is a direct result of previous Canadian government policies -- and that we must help communities reclaim their own healing resources Dr. Rod McCormick was a keynote speaker a ...

  • Life-long focus on Inuit culture, and art in the everyday, drives creative purpose

    A lifetime spent immersed in the art, culture and everyday lives of Canada's Inuit and east coast maritime communities has helped make John Houston into a Canadian renaissance man Born in 1954, John Houston spent his first eight year ...

  • Suffering, suicides among first responders lead to PTSD support, prevention focus

    Last year, 39 first responders across Canada took their own lives -- and one-third of those deaths by suicide occurred in British Columbia, the highest among all provinces First responders deal with traumatic events repeatedly, and ...

  • May 2016“... ...”
  • Zander Sherman on schizophrenia, family, and searching for the brother he knew

    "Mom sat at the computer as I dictated words for her to Google: paranoia, delusions, rambling. The Internet returned schizophrenia, and we both scoffed" 'We still didn't know what he had' Joshua Sherman It was the fall of 2011. I ...

  • For some, dealing with anxiety can be the work of a lifetime

    "Anxiety is a major psychological problem to which there is no easy solution." "What works for one person may not work for another, may not work for you or me." About anxiety disorders Anxiety disorders seem to be a result of a co ...

  • Local Farmers Markets launch new season, team up to better serve customers

    Island Roots Market Co-operative has partnered with Bowen Road Farmers Market and there are plans for a single indoor year-round market open 5 or 6 days each week in Nanaimo Nanaimo's only indoor winter Farmers Market, Island Roots M ...

  • Pace Anhorn has initiated a conversation about what Christianity is all about

    The founder of Calgary Queer Church, with a vision of creating inclusive safe space for the LGBTQ faith community, says "I didn’t walk away from my faith, I walked away from the church” Interfaith conference and LGBTQ inclusion Last ...

  • Friends Empowerment Society aims to address stigma, alternate therapies, human rights

    After two years of planning, a Nanaimo-based nonprofit society, managed by persons who have had or currently have mental health or addictions issues, held its public launch About Friends Empowerment The Friends Empowerment Society is ...

  • Mike Pond's story and search for answers led to new book, riveting documentary

    Wasted, a book and documentary, is a harrowing, wry, and riveting account of a therapist's struggle with alcohol and his quest to find a better way of treating addiction WASTED -- the book Psychotherapist Mike Pond built a life he ...

  • Apr 2016“... ...”
  • Nanaimo's inaugural people's poet is raising the profile of literature and poetry

    Naomi Wakan, a former psychotherapist turned author, artist and poet, has been laying the groundwork for a new generation of poets during her tenure as Nanaimo's first poet laureate On October 21, 2013, Nanaimo's city council approv ...

  • "The hardest working man in poetry" explores father's mental illness in Ignite

    "Sit-com sonnets, soundscapes of noise, videogame goombas, an Old-Testament God, teenage longing within the power chords of heavy metal, and the complicated loss of a father to schizophrenia" Ignite A finalist for the Alfred G. Bail ...

  • Tokens for meals: A simple idea that is generating business and community support

    "We can't just look at look at people who are homeless and say that is not my problem...we have a lot of homelessness here in Nanaimo and a lot of people that are hungry." Cheryl Prince and Liz Kawahara are the organizers of an initi ...

  • Supreme Court strikes down mandatory minimum sentencing for certain drug offences

    In a ground-breaking judgment, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that mandatory minimum sentencing for certain drug offences violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms Viewing sentencing through the lens of equality Fairness and ...

  • Activist Michael Redhead Champagne on Indigenous youth, the suicide crisis, and hope

    The community activist and internationally recognized youth leader says "we can take this crappy word oppression...throw it away...and we can replace it with this idea of opportunity" Michael Redhead Champagne has spent the last 19 y ...

  • Mar 2016“... ...”
  • Here's the most-listened-to People First Radio podcast in February 2016

    https://twitter.com/peoplefirstrad/status/706868614146760705

  • Does forced drug treatment actually work?

    Why can’t we just make people go to addiction treatment? This is a question some may be asking in light of recent overdose deaths and other drug-related problems Why can’t we just make people go to addiction treatment? This is a ...

  • Social media data could be goldmine for predicting mental illness, researchers say

    A team of researchers from France and Canada will explore the use of social media data to help detect and monitor individuals potentially at risk of mental health issues A team of researchers from France and Canada led by Diana I ...

  • Feb 2016“... ...”
  • Kim Goldberg's "poem of a lifetime" charts path through victory over Hepatitis C

    Award-winning poet Kim Goldberg never thought she would live to see a cure for Hepatitis C. When the cure arrived and Goldberg reaped the victory, it gave her the poem of a lifetime That poem has now become her seventh book: Unde ...

  • Point-in-Time homeless counts have been coordinated, for the first time, across Canada

    The Government of Canada, in partnership with 30 communities across Canada, is leading the first broadly coordinated Point-in-Time (PiT) Count of homelessness This year, the Government of Canada, in partnership with 30 communit ...

  • Patrick Aleck, from Stz’uminus and Penelakut First Nations, is a rising community builder

    Patrick Aleck says "I'm not supposed to be here right now," referring to cerebral palsy and life challenges, "but I am" -- and he's making a difference in the community Patrick Aleck's Vancouver Island University "about student ...

  • Coco Cafe's big impact recognized, now a finalist for Small Business B.C. Awards

    Coco Cafe has around 33 full and part-time employees, with roughly 50 per cent having some form of a developmental disability. It's "a place where everyone is welcome" COCO Cafe is owned by Cedar Opportunities Co-operative and ...

  • "We need more men to stand with women and speak up about this issue": JR LaRose

    Former BC Lions football player JR LaRose is a leader in the “Be More Than a Bystander” initiative aimed at increasing awareness and understanding about the impact of men’s violence against women About JR LaRose JR LaRose is a ...

  • Call to action concludes powerful JR LaRose anti-violence presentation

    Patrick Aleck, from Stz’uminus First Nation, shared a powerful call to action at the conclusion of former B.C. Lions' JR LaRose's "Be More Than a Bystander" event February 1st in Nanaimo 674_patrick aleck_be more than a bystand ...

  • Jan 2016“... ...”
  • Love Our Bodies campaign to raise awareness of eating disorders

    The love our bodies, love ourselves! movement, brought to you by the Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness campaign, is launched in February with activities and events taking place throughout the year Eating disorders are a group ...

  • Is it time to winter-proof your mental health?

    Some people say mid-winter is the most depressing time of year—when cold and dark days, holiday bills, and already-lapsed new year’s resolutions catch up with us Whether you believe that or not, it’s never a bad time to reflect o ...

  • JR LaRose to speak in Nanaimo about preventing violence against women

    “Be More Than a Bystander” is an initiative between the Ending Violence Association of BC and the BC Lions aimed at increasing awareness and understanding about the impact of men’s violence against women About JR LaRose JR LaR ...

  • Take-home Naloxone offered at Nanaimo hospital amid increase in opioid overdoses

    Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s emergency department is the third emergency department in the province to offer Take Home Naloxone as a life-saving antidote for clients at risk of opioid overdose The take home Naloxone kits hav ...

  • The real deal: Honouring lived experience

    A panel of individuals and family members with lived experience of mental illness and/or addiction share their experiences with collaborative mental health care. The 16th annual Canadian Collaborative Mental Health Care Conferenc ...

  • Matthew Krastel and his autistic life

    Matthew Krastel, a self-described "autism teacher", speaks about his autistic life and shares advice with others about creating a health plan and succeeding in the school system Matthew Krastel has been providing comments, support ...

  • 3 New Year's resolutions: ecological sanity, social justice, and governance for health

    Dr. Trevor Hancock takes a look at the determinants of health in the context of Canadian life in 2016, focusing on sustainability, equity and governance for health Dr. Trevor Hancock is a public health physician and a professor at ...

  • Dec 2015“... ...”
  • People First Radio's greeting card broadcast

    Join us for an on-air get-together with some of our People First Radio guests from over the past year, catch up with them, and listen to their music requests Andrea Paquette aka Bipolar Babe is the executive director of the Bipolar S ...

  • Dealing with holiday Grinches like stress, loneliness, and other challenges

    "Tis the season that provokes difficult emotions. This can be the maddest, saddest, most stressful time of the year," says family physician Dr. Davidicus Wong. The holiday season can be a particularly stressful time of year. Financ ...

  • What can men do to prevent, respond to gender violence?

    Gender violence is also a men's issue involving men of all ages and socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds. Men can be empowered bystanders who confront abusive peers. #16DaysCampaign “Orange the world: End violence against wome ...

  • Nov 2015“... ...”
  • People living with disability throughout life are now aging, with emerging needs and issues

    Nanaimo access activist Terry Wiens has grown up with disability, lived through his adult years with that disability, and is now aging into senior years. Will his needs be met? "I am one of those who retire early due to advanced decr ...

  • One in five children in B.C. lives in poverty, exceeding national average

    Coalition calls for B.C. to adopt comprehensive poverty reduction plan, legislated targets and timelines and a cabinet minister with authority and responsibility to ensure targets are achieved on time The 2015 BC Child Poverty Report ...

  • #NanaimoSpeaksOut during 16 days of activism against gender violence

    Haven Society, with key community partners, is creating awareness about gender violence with a goal to moving the community to take action on violence against women Violence silences!  Nanaimo Speaks Out! Being in a relationship d ...

  • Food bank use in B.C., across Canada remains stubbornly high

    The need for food banks spiked drastically in 2009 and has hovered at record levels ever since. Food Banks Canada says that's unacceptable Over 100,000 British Columbians were assisted by food banks last March 2015, an increase of ...

  • People First Radio marks 8 years on the air

    Vancouver Island Mental Health Society's weekly radio program is an educational partnership with Nanaimo's CHLY 101.7 FM community and campus radio station On November 22, 2007, Kevin Midbo and Jan Coleman sat in the CHLY studio in ...

  • Change of Pace brings men's mental health into a fitness gym

    Zac McHugh, founder of Change of Pace, brings his personal recovery experience to a fitness gym in Squamish, aiming to provide support and mentorship Zac McHugh, a frontline support worker at Squamish Helping Hands Society -- and an ...

  • Survivors of suicide loss the focus of international day, local event

    Every 40 seconds someone in the world dies by suicide. Every 41 seconds someone is left to make sense of it. Vancouver Island Crisis Society offers a workshop November 25, 2015 It’s astounding how many people’s lives have been touch ...

  • Report card finds that B.C. fails to make the grade in women’s equality

    While the situation for women in BC has seen minor improvements this year, unfortunately for many women, BC continues to fail to deliver on its responsibilities, West Coast LEAF says On November 2, 2015, West Coast LEAF released its ...

  • All the way home: From homelessness to healthy professional helping others

    Derek Book spent the first 20 years of his life in substantial crisis, but went on to become university-educated, and has been working in the field of social work for over 12 years Derek Book is a consultant living in Victoria, Brit ...

  • Inclusion B.C. says families supporting children with disabilities need advocates

    B.C. families who have children with special needs do not have access to information and advocacy to help connect them to vital community support systems Tragic deaths of Angie and Robert Robinson highlight needs Inclusion BC (former ...

  • Mental health education program set for B.C. Hockey League players, supporters

    Talk Today is designed for BCHL players and their supporters to learn about mental health and increase their skills in order to help support players who may be struggling or at risk of suicide On October 6, 2015, the Canadian Mental ...

  • Oct 2015“... ...”
  • The Nanaimo Women's Centre responds to a range of issues affecting families

    The Women's Centre in Nanaimo designs its core work around strengthening women and families to create healthier communities in the mid-Island region. The Nanaimo Women's Resources Society, known as the Nanaimo Women's Centre, offers ...

  • Listening to families affected by parental mental illness, addictions

    What would make a difference to parenting and family wellness when mental illness and/or addiction is present? Health organizations in Richmond asked -- and found out. In 2008, families in Richmond, B.C. with either parents with a m ...

  • Nanaimo Women's Centre reflects on busy year with big accomplishments

    The Nanaimo Women's Centre has been using a creative community model -- building pathways of social inclusion and engagement for families marginalized by trauma, poor mental health, or addictions. The Nanaimo Women's Centre mar ...

  • "We heard that Joshua was living in a tent in Nelson"

    "Five years ago, my brother had a drug-induced psychotic break. He went from being a happy and healthy 27-year-old...to someone who couldn’t tell what was real and what wasn’t." Zander Sherman (picture above, left) is a young freelan ...

  • Sep 2015“... ...”
  • Canada's Mental Health Commission offers toolkit to help mobilize caregivers

    The caregivers toolkit provides resources and guidance to help people to plan and execute education and advocacy efforts with decision makers who are in a position to enact change The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) rel ...

  • Nanaimo-based firm will offer world's first fully private social network

    "Most Internet companies don't treat users as customers, they treat them as the product," Michael Reid says, and Red Scotch Software aims to change that with Kube. It's called Kube, and its developers describe it as the world's perfe ...

  • Accessibility challenges can be found throughout Nanaimo, advocate says

    #AccessActivist Terry Wiens, a polio survivor who has maintained independence throughout his life, says Nanaimo's urban planning needs a lot of work When was the last time you tried to wheel yourself down to Tim Hortons for a ...

  • Aug 2015“... ...”
  • Aboriginal framework sees mental wellness as balance of mental, physical, spiritual, emotional

    Canada's First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework presents a shared vision for the future of First Nations mental wellness programs and services and practical steps towards achieving that vision The Assembly of First Nations ...

  • Why not make health an issue in the federal election?

    "A real federal health policy would begin by acknowledging that the health and well-being of the population is a central concern of government" Dr. Trevor Hancock is a public health physician and health promotion consultant and is ...

  • Jun 2015“... ...”
  • Local farmers work to improve, deepen connections with customers, community

    The demand on Vancouver Island for locally-grown food continues to rise -- but the challenge now is getting that food to the people who want it A new web-based farmers market has launched in Waterloo and Guelph (Ontario), hoping to c ...

  • Si’em’ nu Ts’ lhhwulmuhw marks first year on radio with award

    Si’em’ nu Ts’ lhhwulmuhw (My Honoured Fellow Native People) honoured as "a show for the communities and very important for connecting and continuing traditions in villages" (Image by Kenny Brault) The CHLY radio program Si’em’ nu T ...

  • "My name is Jean-Paul, and I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and rape"

    Jean-Paul Bedard will run a Triple Toronto Marathon to "show the resilience of sexual assault survivors." He wants to raise awareness about sexual abuse -- and recovery. Jean-Paul Bedard will be running the Toronto Waterfront Maratho ...

  • "I'm not sick, I'm transgender!"

    Marni Panas, a transgender woman from Edmonton, has discovered that by being authentic and true to herself, she has found the strength to move forward in life Marni Panas transitioned to a woman and legally adopted a female name in t ...

  • Youth with bipolar invited to work together in community research

    https://twitter.com/peoplefirstrad/status/606579843409379329 635_bipolar youth action_andrea paquette_may_28_2015_40 Left-click to listen; right-click to save. ...

  • May 2015“... ...”
  • BC Seniors Advocate calls for more help for low-income renters, homeowners

    Seniors in every corner of the province of British Columbia are frustrated and concerned about the availability, appropriateness and affordability of housing British Columbia's seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie released a report on M ...

  • yes2scs group is building community support for safer consumption services in Victoria

    Harm reduction programs, including safer consumption sites (SCS) like Vancouver's Insite program, are proven to save lives. A Victoria-based coalition is working to build community support for a SCS in their city. In the last 20 year ...

  • Antipsychotic medication use varies by home among elderly Ontario long-term care residents

    A report called Looking for Balance has provided a snapshot of the current state of antipsychotic medication use in Ontario long-term care homes and reveals there is wide variation across homes in the percentage of residents being prescribe ...

  • For one night, turn your back on comfort and not on our youth

    Over 20% of homeless youth in Canada identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer or Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2S). Egale is organizing an OUT at Night "spend a night outdoors" fundraiser on May 30th to help get kids shelter. In recent ye ...

  • Being Safe, Being Me: Results of the Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey

    A new national study shows that Canada’s transgender youth face significant challenges, but are helped by strong family, school and community connections The study was funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research and complete ...

  • The 'father of Cascadia' has mapped the woven depth and breadth of the bioregion

    Every place, as with every person, has its own story to tell. For “A place is a story that happens many times,” as the Oregon writer Kim Stafford reminds us. David McCloskey is a long-time bioregionalist and the founder of the ...

  • Mental illness often goes undetected or untreated in men due to pressures of stigma

    Canada's national Mental Health Week (May 4-10, 2015) focuses this year on men's mental health -- and the correlation between physical and mental illnesses. One in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem each year, o ...

  • Victoria's poet laureate to mark mental health & substance use wellness day

    The City of Victoria's poet laureate Yvonne Blomer will lead an event on May 7, 2015, sponsored by Island Health, marking the first annual Mental Health and Substance Use Awareness Day Island Health’s Mental Health and Substance Use ...

  • Apr 2015“... ...”
  • See "My Father and the Man in Black" on Friday May 29th

    Come join us to see this Oscar qualifying and award winning documentary on Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 7:00 p.m. in Vancouver Island University Theatre (Building 310)! Free parking in lots G & H. This is the untold story of 'bad-b ...

  • Social enterprise leader in Nanaimo to coach nonprofits

    Lee Herrin, executive director of the Fernwood NRG neighbourhood social enterprise in Victoria, was in Nanaimo recently to speak with representatives from local nonprofit organizations On March 29, 2015, representatives from some o ...

  • Grief, and dying, and the great love of life

    Stephen Jenkinson's new book is not a seven step coping strategy and not an out-clause for trauma or sorrow -- it's a manifesto for sanity and soul Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul does not offer seven steps for coping with ...

  • The bully, the bullied, and the not-so-innocent bystander

    The definitive guide to bullying prevention and intervention, by best-selling author Barbara Coloroso, provides real solutions for a problem that affects young people all over the world. Barbara Coloroso is a bestselling author and a ...

  • Parents, politicos rally in Nanaimo, across B.C. against further cuts to public education

    Rallies were held in Nanaimo and in other cities across British Columbia on Sunday April 12th to protest against plans by the B.C. government to further cut public education funding. Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May and oth ...

  • Cascadia festival will celebrate deep connections, draw hundreds to Nanaimo

    The Cascadia Poetry Festival is an international event which seeks to bioregionally animate and culturally construct Cascadia by gathering writers, artists, scientists and activists to collaborate, discover and foster deeper connection be ...

  • Best-selling author brings bullying awareness to Nanaimo April 14, 2015

    Barbara Coloroso is an international bestselling author and for the past 38 years an internationally recognized speaker and consultant on parenting, teaching, school discipline, positive school climate, bullying, grieving, nonviolent confl ...

  • Jiu-jitsu athlete wins big while helping out local men's centre

    Jimmy Lapointe achieved a big win  at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation's Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship in March 2015. His efforts were accompanied by fundraising for Nanaimo's Men's Centre -- and the programs Jimmy says have ...

  • Mar 2015“... ...”
  • Dialogue promotes recovery-oriented mental health care

    The World Health Organization, along with the Mental Health Commission of Canada, has endorsed the transformation of mental health care based on a recovery model that promotes consumer empowerment and involvement in service delivery ...

  • Nanaimo Fringe is prepping for another great summer festival

    This year's Nanaimo Fringe Festival runs from August 13-23, 2015 -- and guess what? The performing groups were selected by lottery earlier this month. We speak with festival producer Chelsee Damen. Nanaimo's annual Fringe theatre f ...

  • Social enterprise could be your nonprofit funding solution

    As government funding for nonprofits is reduced and competition for limited funding increases, organizations are being pushed to become more self-sufficient and sustainable According to the B.C. Centre for Social Enterprise, "social ...

  • Coalitions call for local control of Nanaimo's regional watershed

    The Vancouver Island Water Watch Coalition and the mid-Island chapter of The Council of Canadians are calling on the City of Nanaimo, and the Nanaimo Regional District, to take greater steps to protect local drinking water A rare " ...

  • #Nanaimo marathoner to raise funds for mental health programs

    Vancouver Island Mental Health Society (formerly Columbian Centre Society) board member (and Vancouver Island University professor) Mark Blackell will head to this year's Boston Marathon and he hopes to raise some much-needed funds for ment ...

  • Terrorist groups are using cult tactics to recruit, expert says

    "In psychology we call this 'cognitive openings,' when you peel away your old ideas and you’re in a fragile frame of mind; you’re looking for some guidance and leadership." Lorne Dawson (pictured left) is co-director of the Canadian ...

  • Feb 2015“... ...”
  • How about a little decrease in consumerism to go with your spring cleaning?

    A former professional organizer, Alison Roberts has helped thousands of people discover a new way of living (hint...less is more) What lies buried beneath your stuff? When people take the time to systematically sort through their stu ...

  • Vancouver Island communities are working to address the risks associated with hoarding

    Hoarding is increasingly recognized as a significant problem within the Island Health region. An estimated 1 in 25 people have some level of hoarding behaviour, and about 11,000 homes may have a hoarding problem in the Greater Victoria area ...

  • #Nanaimo anti-poverty coalition prepares action plans

    Local coalitions are taking on advocacy and planning work to help decrease poverty in Nanaimo, while also promoting the concept of a living wage Joanne Bevis and Lynn Burrows are members of a Nanaimo coalition called Ending Poverty T ...

  • Workers earning minimum wage cannot make ends meet in B.C.

    The B.C. Federation of Labour is calling on British Columbia's government to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour In British Columbia, 6.4 per cent of workers -- 120,400 working people -- earn only the minimum wage. B.C.’s minim ...

  • Bipolar Youth Action is a research project run for youth, by youth

    Youth will consult with other youth with bipolar disorder from across the region about their personal strategies for wellness and engage in mutual learning and knowledge exchange The Bipolar Youth Action Project (BYAP) is a research ...

  • How to walk away from civilization

    Miles Olson built a ‘feral homestead’ as a squatter, foraging, hunting, gardening and scavenging among a group of like-minded individuals dedicated to living close to the land, in alignment with their values What separates us from th ...

  • Asian youth and men to become mental health ambassadors in research project

    Strength in Unity is the first comprehensive anti-stigma intervention project among Asian communities in Canada Strength in Unity is a community-based research project that will build capacity among youth and men from Asian Communiti ...

  • Will has never been outside, at least not since he can remember.

    Michael Christie's first novel explores the new worlds created when a son grows out of his agoraphobic mother's safety net And Will has certainly never gotten to know anyone other than his mother, a fiercely loving yet wildly eccentr ...

  • What exactly IS "agoraphobia" and is there a "cure"?

    Agoraphobia is the most common phobic disorder, and is also the most disabling What Is Agoraphobia? Agoraphobia means “fear of open spaces” but it is often a behavioural response to panic attacks. Agoraphobia is the most common ph ...

  • Jan 2015“... ...”
  • Your weight is not your worth: Love our bodies, love ourselves

    British Columbia's annual provincial eating disorders awareness campaign begins February 1, 2015 -- on Facebook here -- on Twitter here Recovery from eating disorders is possible -- but it's a journey Amy Pezzente's (pictured above) ...

  • On best intentions, quitting quitting, and how-tos for quitting smoking

    Quitting smoking is among the top ten in most lists of new year’s resolutions, but nicotine, the drug in cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, is one of the most addictive substances known. It is considered to be as addictive as cocaine or hero ...

  • Minority Media breaks new ground with empathic video games

    With Papo & Yo and Spirits of Spring, Montreal's Minority Media is riding the wave of a new trend -- producing video games that focus on empathy The New York Times singled out an unlikely video game created by Montreal's Minority ...

  • Bev Sellars, chief of Xat’sull First Nation in Williams Lake, and her remarkable memoir

    Chief Bev Sellars is winner of the 2014 George Ryga Award for Social Awareness for her book "They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School" At age five, Bev Sellars was isolated for two years at the ...

  • Nanaimo DVU to be introduced early this year

    Haven Society and key team members introduced plans for a dedicated Domestic Violence Unit (DVU) in Nanaimo at the society’s annual general meeting in September 2014 ...

  • Men, mental health, and moving discussion out of the shadows

    "We have inculcated a culture in our society that men have to be tough, men have to be strong. Our society is very good at punishing gender deviation in men. Weakness is not considered to be masculine.” -- Dr. Don McCreary (Toronto Men's He ...

  • Managing anxiety involves tools, strategies, practical supports

    EFT (emotional freedom techniques) practitioner Helena Green specializes in anxiety treatment and says you have the ability to take back control of your life Everyone feels anxiety from time to time. Few people get through a week wit ...

  • Dec 2014“... ...”
  • Season's greetings from People First Radio

    https://twitter.com/peoplefirstrad/status/545723862269190145

  • Preparing for a lower-stress holiday season

    It’s not about the kitsch, it is about the connection Christmas is traditionally a season of joy, family reunions, friendship and generosity. So why do so many people get so tied up in knots about it all? For some, Christmastime ...

  • Hamperville Nanaimo draws attention to ongoing need for food security

    Hamperville Nanaimo project is launched for Christmas 2014, and asks for much-needed volunteer assistance and food donations as it continues to make a difference in the community Christmas Hampers Nanaimo -- known as Hamperville Na ...

  • Canada World Youth exchangers engaged in Nanaimo projects, will soon leave for Indonesia

    Youth Leaders in Action spend half of their program in a Canadian community and the other half in one of 13 international partner countries 18 youth between the ages of 18 and 25 are in Nanaimo from October 11 to January 2 as part of the ...

  • Nov 2014“... ...”
  • People First Radio marks 7 years on-air

    https://twitter.com/iconoco/status/538077067372679168 598_pfr 7 years on air_november_27_2014_40 Left-click to listen; right-click to save. Kevin Midbo, Ashta Cormier, Nancy McInnes, and Nic Holt talk about community, radio, and Peop ...

  • 'Soles remembering souls' Sunday November 23 at 2 p.m.

    https://twitter.com/peoplefirstrad/status/535571280158683136

  • 'Black Diamond Dust' a personal journey for curator Jesse Birch

    "I grew up in what was originally a miner's house on Jingle Pot Road, across the street from the Miners Park subdivision where, in the 1980's, I delivered newspapers on Coal Tyee Trail and Black Diamond Drive" Black Diamond Dust is a ...

  • Soles remembering souls helps survivors remember, heal

    Soles Remembering Souls ‐ Connecting Survivors will be held at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo on Sunday November 23, 2014 to support those left behind after deaths by suicide Every year, many people lose their lives to suicide, leaving ...

  • UBC and Tilray partner for Canada’s first PTSD cannabis study

    Research into medicinal cannabis use will examine the potential medical benefits for veterans, first responders and sexual assault survivors with PTSD The University of British Columbia Okanagan and Nanaimo-based Tilray, a Health C ...

  • Street artist makes her mark in Nanaimo's Wisteria Lane

    A street artist from Saskatchewan is creating murals for Nanaimo's Wisteria Lane as locals work to improve the neighbourhood Alyssa Glassford, aka Humanity, has been doing street art for the past twelve years. She has traveled around ...

  • Journey of self-awareness takes TJ Dawe deep into the Enneagram

    The Enneagram system suggests that there are nine basic personality types of human nature, and subtypes and variations within the fundamental categories In a thousand ways, writes author/performer T.J. Dawe, our culture directs us to be ...

  • How many youth will be living on the streets in Canada this winter?

    Family conflict often underlies youth homelessness, and many homeless youth are fleeing abuse or leaving the care of child welfare services Many different terms are used to describe young people who are homeless, including including ...

  • New team set to improve response to domestic violence in Nanaimo

    Haven Society and key team members introduced plans for a dedicated Domestic Violence Unit (DVU) in Nanaimo at the society’s annual general meeting in September Local community partners, working with the RCMP, will make herstory ...

  • Oct 2014“... ...”
  • What women really want: West Coast LEAF releases report card on women's rights

    Annual report card grades the B.C. government on its compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), ratified by Canada in December 1981 VANCOUVER -- On October 16, 2014, West Coast ...

  • Memoir aims to help people understand mental illness without judging or stereotyping

    “What had happened to our beautiful happy life? Could it really be over for us? I just wasn’t sure if our love was strong enough to keep us together. I probably believed it wasn’t.” It was an idyllic marriage. John and Marion were high s ...

  • CHLY focuses on "heart and soul" during its fall fund drive

    Escape the corporate media desert and make community radio your oasis for local, alternative, grassroots, and accessible music and information Community radio is about volunteerism, social engagement, independent music, learning by d ...

  • Local and urban agriculture grows food, business, and community

    Christopher Brown -- aka "Farmer Brown" -- participates in a locally owned and operated growers co-operative that delivers food to Nanaimo's Farmer's Markets A little over a year ago a group of local farmers just south of Nanaimo formed ...

  • Men's panel takes a look at current men's issues

    From men's rights to domestic violence, we convene a men's panel to focus on current issues When a men's rights group working against "bigotry that is routinely practiced against men and boys in this culture" planned its first major conf ...

  • Sep 2014“... ...”
  • Paul Manly on El Salvador's struggle with a Canadian-Australian mining giant

    Nanaimo filmmaker Paul Manly has been visiting communities and hearing from individuals affected by mining projects in El Salvador and the tactics of Investor State Dispute Settlements (ISDS) used by mining companies On September 10, ...

  • Mount Polley disaster may portend more of the same as mining activity is on the rise

    B.C. New Democrats say citizens living near the Mount Polley disaster are facing fall rains and winter setting in without even knowing what the plans are for the massive cleanup effort that is needed "The scale is hard to imagine," wrote ...

  • HeroWork is a community movement that shows Victoria at its finest

    The HeroWork Society helps non-profits renovate community infrastructure at a fraction of the normal cost and time---with modern-day versions of an old-fashioned barn-raising When Victoria's Threshold Housing Society received the don ...

  • Amanda Reaume discovers there are few options available for her depressed friend

    "For people like Jessica, who don't have employee benefits and don't have extra money to pay for treatment, there are few options" When Amanda's friend Jessica (not her real name) lost her job and spent a year desperately seeking---b ...

  • Canadian vets marching for PTSD awareness reach a goal

    Three veterans who served Canada in the former Yugoslavia—Steve Hartwig, Jason McKenzie, and Scott McIntyre McFarlane—have marched across the country to raise awareness of PTSD When Steve Hartwig, Jason McKenzie and Scott McFarlane arriv ...

  • Island Top Team to hold a second women's self-defense workshop in Nanaimo

    A women's self-defense workshop held in late August was attended by over 20 women, prompting organizers to plan for another in September Vancouver Island Jiu Jitsu instructor ("professor") Robert Biernacki and colleague Cathal Walsh offe ...

  • Nob Hill neighbours have made progress in push to improve laneway

    A recent Wisteria Lane walk-through for city officials, politicians, the media and the public gave neighbours a chance to show the progress they've made Nob Hill-area residents in Nanaimo, who live along a laneway they've named Wisteria ...

  • "Hockey Night in Canada" commentator and daughter speak out about youth mental illness

    Kelly Hrudy and his daughter Kaitlin share the story of Kaitlin's struggle with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, focusing on awareness and recovery Nearly one in five Canadian children and adolescents will be touched by a menta ...

  • SirReal's 'Not Like Me' a culmination of personal experiences brought to music, video

    Nanaimo hip hop artist dedicates his latest video to the uniqueness present in all who have seen hardships and have the compassion to know that we are all human Vancouver Island hip hop artist Matt Dunae---aka SirReal---has released the ...

  • You'll see yourself and others in Mike Pond's riveting account of addiction and recovery

    Michael Pond's harrowing two-year journey to sobriety takes stops in abandoned sheds, dumpsters, ditches, emergency wards, intensive care and, finally, prison After two decades of helping clients battle addiction, Mike Pond, a successful ...

  • Aug 2014“... ...”
  • First-person Bakersfield story explores racial prejudices using comedy

    Les Kurkendaal takes Nanaimo Fringe audiences to Bakersfield, California, where his lover’s family lives in all-white isolation What happens when a man brings his male lover home to his family in Bakersfield, California, for the holidays ...

  • Erotic comedy explores gender and sexual stereotypes, late twenties angst

    Adult-rated show at Nanaimo Fringe takes the audience into 'jock boy' and 'square girl' stereotypes, challenging everyone with questions about objectification and relationships SQUARE: A Stage Pornography is an erotic comedy that explore ...

  • Guilty secrets, forbidden escapes, and all in the mind, at Nanaimo Fringe

    New Nanaimo theatre company uses 'devised production' technique to create a tale of two women---one institutionalized and the other a nurse, trying to help Feeling a little normal? Come a-muse yourself inside Grace’s head for an hour. Sh ...

  • Young Nanaimo actors take the plunge, shine in very challenging roles

    An explosive, deeply affecting study of alienation and the redemptive power of love, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea was written in 1983 but retains its funny, frightening, and hypnotic appeal At a rundown bar in the Bronx two of society ...

  • Seasoned writer-actor marks ten years on the fringe circuit

    Brent Hirose brings "The Sucker Punch" to Nanaimo, new shows to Vancouver, continues living and learning on the fringe circuit A new technology allows you go to back in time... for five seconds. Just long enough to take back a misplace ...

  • Stars line up for debut from local writer-director at Nanaimo Fringe

    Quiet debut of theatre gem part of the fringe experience as Nanaimo writer-director William Anderson introduces an exploration of life and relationships in "When the Stars are Right" Ellen, a successful novelist, is content with her wo ...

  • Self-defense workshop for women will offer jiu jitsu approaches

    Dynamic workshop on the psychology, theory and practical realities of self-defense for women will be hosted by Robert Biernacki and Cathal Walsh on August 24, 2014 On February 25, 2013, Statistics Canada released an updated version of t ...

  • Is watching the news turning us into bad news bears?

    Research shows that certain types of news coverage can produce emotional responses associated with stress and that the biggest effect comes from traumatic events covered in a sensational way* A recent survey of more than 2,500 Americans ...

  • It isn't mainstream theatre, and that's the idea behind fringe festivals

    The 4th annual Nanaimo Fringe Festival will run August 14th – 24th, 2014 and 8 companies will perform for live audiences that might love, hate, be transfixed or even startled...it's perfect for developing, emerging and experimenting artists ...

  • Ross Lockwood returns to 'earth' after 120 days in Mars simulation

    Can you imagine experiencing a long-duration mission on Mars---while here on Earth? Ross Lockwood grew up in the small Canadian town of Winfield, British Columbia, where he developed a passion for science, engineering, and space explorat ...

  • The rise of Ebola is pushing us to prepare for future outbreaks

    West Africa's Ebola crisis is a harbinger of future outbreaks and a test of how well Canada will do against worse infections, says The Tyee's Crawford Kilian The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) recommended July 31, 2014 that Canadi ...

  • Jul 2014“... ...”
  • Creating defensible urban community space

    Nanaimo's Wisteria Lane neighbours look to the structure of physical spaces to reduce crime, increase stability During the recent past, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, there has been an increasing interest in the effects ...

  • Q&A with T. J. Dawe at Nanaimo's Harbour City Theatre

    The "Lord of the Fringe" was in Nanaimo to present his latest monologue Marathon as a fundraiser for the Nanaimo Fringe Festival Acclaimed fringe theatre veteran TJ Dawe performed his latest show, Marathon, in mid-July in Nanaimo as a ...

  • The story of a young Indigenous woman coming of age in Canada in the 1980s

    Creative nonfiction story Tilly: a Story of Hope and Resilience captures spirit of hope, recovery Monique Gray Smith, an accomplished consultant, writer and speaker, was at the Gabriola Island Public Library earlier this year discussing ...

  • Suicide awareness for everyone

    The importance of recognizing the signs, communicating with the person at risk and getting help or resources for the person at risk safeTALK, a workshop about three hours in duration, is a training that prepares anyone over the age of 15 ...

  • Veterans march to raise PTSD awareness, pay tribute to the PTSD fallen

    "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..." In the past three years, 50 recognized Canadian Forces veterans have committed suicide di ...

  • Montreal's Radio-UP in its third broadcast year

    Inspiration for the clubhouse-based program came from Radio La Colifata of Buenos Aires, Argentina, which broadcast their shows from a psychiatric hospital Radio-UP is an important part of Donald Berman UP House---a "clubhouse" affiliat ...

  • Do you know what's in your food?

    Food security includes access to healthy, affordable food; it also includes knowing what is in the food we eat New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Murray Rankin (Victoria) recently put forward a motion in the House of Commons calli ...

  • Farmers' markets get it right, soar in popularity

    The benefits of local and organic food production are huge---providing significant environmental and social benefits "There’s no doubt people are becoming increasingly passionate about buying local, in-season food and locally produced go ...

  • Helping others while not losing yourself in the process

    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 The helping profession is filled with people who are selfless and giving. If you are a help ...

  • Aging artists exhibit their existential process at Nanaimo Art Gallery

    16 British Columbia artists, men and women, senior both in years and professional stature, share their personal take on life, the human condition, aging, the passage of time, and the search for meaning and purpose in life Aging is a ...

  • COCO Cafe serves up inclusion from its community hub in Cedar

    Employment and socialization are important to everyone. Experiencing them can be challenging for people living with a developmental disability Since opening in June of 2011, COCO Cafe has become a bustling community hub that truly is “Wh ...

  • The federal government's prostitution bill is immoral, faith groups say

    34 clergy and faith groups from Victoria and across Canada have signed a statement of concern about the proposed federal bill that makes buying and advertising sex illegal Faith leaders in Victoria and across the country are speaking ...

  • "If I get therapy can I get off these meds?"

    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 ...

  • Poverty is a health issue, and it affects well-being

    Income is the strongest determinant of health---and living in poverty is not just an economic and political issue, but fundamentally an issue of human health How much money you make is more important than what you eat, how much you exerc ...

  • Jun 2014“... ...”
  • Not enough Canadian youth are getting the mental health care they need

    New research network will develop strategies to ensure that more young people are connected to the mental health services they need In Canada, one-in-five people experience a mental illness in their lifetime. However, it is young Canadia ...

  • New supportive housing is on the way in Nanaimo

    Project involves a partnership between three nonprofits and will offer 41 individual units, 24/7 support presence Construction will begin this summer on a supportive housing project in Nanaimo to be jointly operated by Columbian Centre, ...

  • B.C.'s poverty reduction projects aren't reducing poverty

    Advocate Adrienne Montani says that some good work was done assisting families with crisis situations, but there is no evidence that they are no longer living in poverty In April 2012 the government of British Columbia announced that sev ...

  • 'Roboethics' isn't science fiction anymore

    Robotics experts are investigating the ethical implications inherent to firsthand interactions between humans and robots More than 20 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates have endorsed a joint statement calling for a ban on weapons that would ...

  • Teacher wars: Where has respect for education gone?

    British Columbia's education conflicts reveal the competition for funds between public and independent schools, and the political conflict between two visions of society In British Columbia---and also in Alberta and Ontario---teachers se ...

  • Church and state: Deciding who can or should teach law

    What happens when religious beliefs clash with human rights in the teaching of law British Columbia lawyers voted overwhelmingly on June 10, 2014 in favour of a motion directing the Benchers of the Law Society of BC to declare that Trini ...

  • Front page tragedies: Mentally ill people are being criminalized

    Society's wait-and-see inactivity---until something horrible happens---in effect criminalizes mental illness, says Austin Mardon Austin Mardon is an academic, author, and community leader who has participated in community based volunteer ...

  • Manjit Virk, his daughter's death, and teaching for all

    The Reena Virk tragedy has become teaching for all of us In the years since their daughter, Reena Virk, was murdered in Victoria B.C., Suman and Manjit Virk have made their work against bullying a top priority. In November 2009 British C ...

  • Gabor Mate on the hungry ghosts of addiction

    In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction takes a panoramic yet highly intimate look at the widespread and perplexing human ailment of addiction From street-dwelling drug addicts to high-functioning workaholics, ...

  • Mark McLaughlin and his campaign against meth

    It has been described as a ‘hideously destructive substance’…and ‘the most addictive drug in the world’. Methamphetamine is a drug with high potential for widespread abuse—due to the portability of its manufacture. Canada’s meth problem ...

  • May 2014“... ...”
  • Centre helps men and their families

    Theo Boere, Executive Director of the Men's Centre in Nanaimo will be with us to discuss the general social attitudes which still restrict men in so many ways, some examples of which are: the Equal Parenting Bill C-560, currently before ...

  • Nanaimo's Alzheimer Resouce Centre

    Alzheimer’s disease is the second most feared disease for Canadians as they age.  With many Nanaimo residents 50 years of age or older, dementia is becoming a pressing health issue locally (Source: Nanaimo Bulletin May 6, 2014). The Alzh ...

  • Employing those with disabilities

    Community Living BC’s vision for inclusive employment is “Every person with a disability who wants a job is employed”. More and more people with developmental disabilities want to work at jobs they enjoy, earn their own wages and feel value ...

  • Kim Goldberg's Ride Backwards on Dragon

    Kim Goldberg is an award-winning poet, journalist and author of six books. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies around the world. She has lived in Nanaimo for more than thirty years. Latest titles: RED ZONE (poems of ...

  • National initiative Partners for Mental Health

    Every year, one in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness, at a cost of over $50 billion to our economy. Partners for Mental Health, is a national organization that works to toward a new vision of mental health.  ...

  • Crisis lines help

    Crisis Line Awareness Week: March 23-29, 2014 Provincial funding has been assured through March 31, 2015, for the 1800SUICIDE (1.800.748.2433) and 310Mental Health Support (310.6789) phone lines. These are networks that enhance access to ...

  • Apr 2014“... ...”
  • Brain injury info

    The Nanaimo Brain Injury Society stands for an inspired world where the importance of neurological health and excellent care is a priority: where the removal of barriers to participation is imperative; and where all preventable brain in ...

  • Physio expert on cycling

    May is Physiotherapy Month and also Bike to Work Month. Kari Watson, is a physiotherapist at the Outpatient Clinic of the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. Tune in to People First Radio on CHLY 101.7FM this Thursday at noon, for a co ...

  • Help for victims

    NANAIMO RCMP VICTIM SERVICES: WHO THEY ARE, WHAT THEY DO AND HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED AS A VOLUNTEER. Nanaimo RCMP Victim Services provides a variety of services to victims of crime and other personal tragedies.  They work from a client ...

  • Local food bank helps youth

    Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank is hoping a student-only food depot at John Barsby Secondary School will serve as a blueprint for depots in other schools.  The food depot program at the Nanaimo school supplies hampers that provide foo ...

  • New location for Nanaimo Community Hospice

    The Nanaimo Community Hospice provides counseling and support to people with serious progressive illnesses where a cure is not expected and to their families and caregivers. Support is provided during the end of life and for family members ...

  • Programs and events at the Mid Island CMHA branch

    Gwen Vonarx is the Program and Event Coordinator for the Mid-Island Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.  On Thursday, April 10th, she will join People First Radio live in studio to introduce the Mid-Island Branch: what they ar ...

  • Dying With Dignity: Expanding end-of-life choices

    A 2012 Angus Reid poll showed that 80% of Canadians support the right of terminally ill patients to have medical assistance to die.  Similarly, an Environics Institute poll released December 2013 found Quebec residents are more likely than ...

  • NFLA's new Beyond Blame workshop

    In the tradition of pioneers such as Jackson Katz (Violence against women: it’s a men’s issue) and Tony Porter (co-founder of A call to men: The national association of men and women committed to ending violence against women), Nanaimo Fami ...

  • Feb 2014“... ...”
  • Dissolve: A play about drug-facilitated sexual assault

    This is actually happening in our community!  And it is happening much more frequently than we would like to think.  Survivors rarely step forward with a report to the police- the reasons for this are many and are understandable- she wonder ...

  • Society offers successful temporary housing

    On our February 6, 2014 People First Radio broadcast, we will be talking about the Victoria Human Exchange Society and their two houses in Nanaimo.  Mary Gordon House was just opened in December of 2013.  The name of the society is take ...

  • Jan 2014“... ...”
  • Trixie Hennessey: BC's eating disorders awareness week

    The beginning of February marks the start of the Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness (PEDAW) campaign. On this week’s People First Radio broadcast on January 30,2014, we feature interviews with people from different aspects of this import ...

  • Deborah Grimm: BC's eating disorders awareness week

    The beginning of February marks the start of the Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness (PEDAW) campaign. On this week’s People First Radio broadcast on January 30,2014, we feature interviews with people from different aspects of this import ...

  • Amy Pezzente: BC's eating disorders awareness week

    The beginning of February marks the start of the Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness (PEDAW) campaign. On this week’s People First Radio broadcast on January 30,2014, we feature interviews with people from different aspects of this import ...

  • Blake Woodside: BC's eating disorders awareness week

    The beginning of February marks the start of the Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness (PEDAW) campaign. On this week’s People First Radio broadcast on January 30,2014, we feature interviews with people from different aspects of this import ...

  • Mining company empowers First Nations

    Largest private sector employer of Aboriginal men and women invests in education and training BC Aboriginal Mine Training Association is a large organization with locations in Vancouver, Kamloops, Williams Lake, Cranbrook, New Aiyansh and ...

  • Testing housing first for chronic alcoholics

    A new study shows that non-abstinence based housing does not enable alcohol use, but actually decreases it. A controversial project using a housing-first approach with chronically alcoholic homeless people in Seattle has been shown to decr ...

  • PFR catches up with Bipolar Babe

    Returning guest Andrea will update listeners on her efforts to educate others on the effects of Bipolar Disorder On January 23rd, Nancy and Ashta will speak with Andrea Paquette, AKA the Bipolar Babe.  Andrea is the executive director of ...

  • VIU Prof speaks about constructed images of indigenous peoples

    What are the policy and cultural relations implications of inaccurate and constructed images? On Friday February 4th 2011, Vancouver Island University professor Keith Smith gave a talk called “On Black Hawks, Pontiacs, and Crazy Horse ...

  • Verbatim theatre explores homelessness in Victoria

     Home is a Beautiful Word is the title of Joel Bernbaum’s new play on homelessness. Joel has a Masters in Journalism from Carleton University. His thesis topic was “Verbatim Theatre as a form of journalism”. This play is entirely made ...

  • Island Crisis Society Speaks with People First Radio

    Thursday January 9th and Monday January 13th on People First Radio...  Samaritan House Launches Campaign Nanaimo’s Samaritan House in is operated by the Island Crisis Care Society. It has been in operation since 1989 and is badly in n ...

  • Dec 2013“... ...”
  • Peers and Burghers offered a night of themed performances

    Bobbi Schram and Joan Wallace + The Martys played at a fundraiser held Friday November 15th to benefit Columbian Centre Society. Kevin and Ashta hosted the night of performances which focused on issues related to health and wellness. On ...

  • Meeting the need for basic housing literacy

    Some renters are in real need of help to face systemic barriers that make finding housing difficult Ready to Rent B.C. was established when a group of housing and service-related agencies came together to find ways of helping families ...

  • Nov 2013“... ...”
  • AIDS Vancouver Island shares its stories to break stigma

    HIV and AIDS have been with us for thirty years but stigma and its effects continue to create harm VICTORIA, BC---While this year’s UNAIDS World AIDS Day theme, ‘Getting to Zero’, aims to achieve zero new HIV infections and zero AIDS d ...

  • Scandals involving politicos may point to a wider problem

    Columnist Mitchell Anderson writes that along with Rob Ford, Canada's political leadership has hit rock bottom while 'dumbing down democracy' Fresh from the reality TV spectacle of the Senate scandals, Canadians have been offered a new s ...

  • Overcoming weight bias in health care

    Weight bias among health professionals influences quality of health care for people with obesity, finds University of Alberta obesity researcher EDMONTON---Five days after undergoing gastric bypass surgery to reduce the size of her stoma ...

  • People in addiction recovery gather to educate the public

    'Recovery Speaks', a series of free interactive learning sessions, is being offered to the public in Victoria and Nanaimo by the Cedars at Cobble Hill Society Addiction is a chronic and progressive health issue affecting the body, mind a ...

  • 'The explainer' looks at life in a highly mediated society

    Michael Wesch says the power of today's technology to change our relationships and culture is unprecedented Kansas State University professor Michael Wesch starts with a simple premise, according to his bio at National Geographic: all hu ...

  • What is the 'real' crisis in Canadian justice?

    John Howard Society executive director says Ottawa’s proposed victims’ rights bill distracts from the real crisis in Canadian justice, and promises yet further regress Catherine Latimer of the national John Howard Society, has written an ...

  • Oct 2013“... ...”
  • Human rights for women is under an international spotlight in British Columbia

    West coast legal group releases report card on women's rights in B.C. as international groups hear testimony about the disappearances of indigenous women and girls West Coast LEAF has released its 5th annual report card on women’s rights ...

  • Pharma and medical research industries have routinely exploited poor, powerless

    The truly shocking aspect of revelations concerning the use of native children as research subjects is that we were shocked by the revelation, says author Tom Koch Demonstrations were held across the country Thursday July 25, 2013 as a g ...

  • Canada needs to be a leader in dealing with Indigenous issues, former PM says

    Former prime minister Paul Martin says that the only way in which the vow of 'never again' can have any substance is if people have a full awareness of what happened Food, health and nutrition historian Ian Mosby, in what he called the m ...

  • Conflict of interest policies at Canadian medical schools are under observation

    Researchers say that the education of medical students should be based on the best clinical information available, rather than on commercial interests A first-of-its kind study has analyzed the conflict-of-interest policies at the 17 med ...

  • Solidarity witness shares observations about protests from around the globe

    "The failure of electoral politics to address what's really at stake means an increasing number of...issues are destined to be resolved through various forms of protest and civil disobedience" Before photographer and essayist Christo ...

  • Mad Pride marks a milestone 20th year in Toronto

    Mad Pride is an arts, culture, and heritage festival created by psychiatric survivors, consumers, mad people, and folks the world has labelled “mentally ill” Mad Pride Toronto holds "a Celebration of Madness" from July 8th to July 14th,2 ...

  • Poet calls men to action to prevent violence against women

    Jeremy Loveday's YouTube message implores men to speak up and act against sexual violence, generating thousands of views, links from political leaders, and some controversy Performance poet, community builder, change agent. Those are the ...

  • The call for men's centres and programs resumes

    Men's centres on campuses are needed, advocates say, but so are programs designed to support men in other communities In a visit that was probably destined to create controversy, Miles Groth, an educator and activist in the men's rights ...

  • Sep 2013“... ...”
  • Abused child was 'out of sight' but survived her horrific ordeal

    Report by the British Columbia Representative for Children and Youth prompts immediate reaction from governments in British Columbia and Saskatchewan, along with pledges to improve child safety The tragic case of a young Aboriginal girl ...

  • 'You Should Have Stayed Home' tells a story of G20 violence and detentions

    Award-winning play is based on one citizen's experience after being swept up by the Toronto police response to G20 protests---which constituted the largest peacetime mass arrest in Canadian history You Should Have Stayed Home (aka #G20Ro ...

  • 'Mind Your Mind' is focused on an anti-stigma message

    Unique resources-focused project recognizes the appeal of visual content---as well as formal and informal sources of information sought by youth who need help The province of Ontario is supporting an innovative program that helps youth w ...

  • Campaign for the reform of cannabis policy is underway

    If the Sensible B.C. campaign collects over 400,000 signatures from across the province, the group says there will be a referendum in British Columbia to decriminalize marijuana possession in 2014 A group called Sensible BC is working to ...

  • 'Rape culture' on display during university frosh events

    Pro-rape chants at St. Mary's University and University of British Columbia lead to national attention and backlash Photo by Michael Courier, www.michaelcourier.com A chant promoting non-consensual sex with underage girls has created ...

  • Poverty reduces brainpower needed for navigating other areas of life

    "The lack of financial resources itself can lead to impaired cognitive function. The very condition of not having enough can actually be a cause of poverty." Poverty and all its related concerns require so much mental energy that the poo ...

  • Poverty is linked to multiple health problems in new mothers

    New mothers living on very low incomes are more than 20 times more likely to experience multiple health problems than new mothers living on high incomes The Centre for Research on Inner City Health analyzed health survey data representat ...

  • Aug 2013“... ...”
  • Adventures to be had when you’re over 60

    Stories and reflections encourage and support readers in living vibrantly through wholeheartedly embracing life's challenges Gail Boulanger is a coach and counselor for “vibrant living” in Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island. She says that v ...

  • Rampant ageism is fueled by common, yet largely inaccurate, social beliefs

    Our culture promotes the belief that aging means decline, dependence and dementia, or at best isolation and depression---yet most elders are healthier, better educated and productive both economically and socially, than they were earlier in ...

  • The cost of keeping people poor is high

    Governments say they can’t afford poverty reduction policies but fail to consider the cost paid for consequences of poverty Poverty is a hardship for those who experience it; it’s also costly to society. Governments say they can’t afford ...

  • Canada gets a “B” on its Society report card for 2012

    Despite solid performance, high rates of poverty and a large gap in income between the rich and everyone else put stress on a society and on the economy The Conference Board of Canda is an independent, not-for-profit applied research org ...

  • 'Frequent flyers' get specific help

    The Edmonton Homelessness Commission reports that a chronically homeless person costs taxpayers $100,000 annually -- but one night's accommodation in an emergency shelter costs only $42 Some of Canada's homeless people are being descri ...

  • Early recognition, timely intervention key to treating eating disorders

    The medical consequences of eating disorders can go unrecognized, even by experienced clinicians Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses with significant, life-threatening medical and psychiatric morbidity and mortality, regardless ...

  • Approaching wellness in drumming circles

    Drum circles provide support, improving emotions and feelings in people struggling with eating disorders A drum circle is a rhythm-based event where people gather in a circle to express themselves with African drums and percussion instru ...

  • A story of recovery

    Amy Candido lives in recovery from eating disorders The beginning of February each year marks the launch of the Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness (PEDAW) campaign and National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. PEDAW coordinator Amy ...

  • Canada needs to be a leader in dealing with Indigenous issues, former PM says

    Former prime minister Paul Martin says that the only way in which the vow of 'never again' can have any substance is if people have a full awareness of what happened Food, health and nutrition historian Ian Mosby, in what he called the m ...

  • Pharma and medical research industries have routinely exploited poor, powerless

    The truly shocking aspect of revelations concerning the use of native children as research subjects is that we were shocked by the revelation, says author Tom Koch Demonstrations were held across the country Thursday July 25, 2013 as a g ...

  • Jul 2013“... ...”
  • "The Five Stages of Collapse" provides a survivor's toolkit

    Author Dmitry Orlov says that if financial, commercial, and political collapse are met with appropriate responses, the more extreme aspects of social and cultural collapse could be prevented  The City of Detroit's bankruptcy filing made ...

  • The gap in the gender gap: Violence against women in Canada

    Study shows how Canada lacks a coherent response to end violence against women---and says costs related to that violence rival those related to the use of illegal drugs Progress on ending violence against women in Canada is stalled by ...

  • "Let's Talk" leader sets a personal and corporate example

    Mary Deacon has faced and dealt with mental health issues---in her own life and the lives of those close to her---and has become a high-profile corporate advocate for mental illness education and awareness When Mary Deacon, the chair of ...

  • Mad Pride marks a milestone 20th year in Toronto

    Mad Pride is an arts, culture, and heritage festival created by psychiatric survivors, consumers, mad people, and folks the world has labelled “mentally ill” Mad Pride Toronto holds "a Celebration of Madness" from July 8th to July 14th,2 ...

  • Conflict of interest policies at Canadian medical schools are under observation

    Researchers say that the education of medical students should be based on the best clinical information available, rather than on commercial interests A first-of-its kind study has analyzed the conflict-of-interest policies at the 17 med ...

  • Solidarity witness shares observations about protests from around the globe

    "The failure of electoral politics to address what's really at stake means an increasing number of...issues are destined to be resolved through various forms of protest and civil disobedience" Before photographer and essayist Christo ...

  • Health authority pulls funding from west coast mental health groups

    Vancouver Coastal Health will no longer fund a range of community-based mental health groups, in a decision that was reportedly based on VCH's imperative to focus on "core health services" Five community-based nonprofit groups on the wes ...

  • Despite their effectiveness, peer support programs receive very little funding

    Canada's national mental health strategy says peer support is an essential component of mental health services---but also recognizes it's not yet seen as a core part of the recovery process The Mental Health Strategy for Canada promotes ...

  • Jun 2013“... ...”
  • Psychiatrist Joris Wiggers shares his observations in new documentary film

    On the Road...to Find Out includes the stories of three people who relocated to Nanaimo for mental health services, comments from service providers, and the observations of Nanaimo psychiatrist Dr. Joris Wiggers A new documentary film, O ...

  • Bike riders support mental health in women and families

    People will be riding their way across British Columbia Sunday June 23, 2013 to support programs for women and families experiencing mental health challenges Ride Don’t Hide is a community bike ride hosted by the Canadian Mental Health A ...

  • Right to housing Charter challenge is opposed by governments

    Lawyers for homeless and inadequately housed Ontarians have appeared in Ontario Superior Court of Justice to argue against a government motion to strike their landmark legal challenge In the spring of 2010, several individuals and the Ce ...

  • Growing numbers of elderly people are homeless in Victoria

    Seniors homelessness is on the rise in Greater Victoria---prompting a call for more age-appropriate housing A change is being seen among homeless people in Victoria, British Columbia. Alan Rycroft, a spokesperson for the Victoria Cool Ai ...

  • May 2013“... ...”
  • Youth hold first LGBTQ pride parade in 'Bible belt' city

    More than 500 people, including newly elected MLA Darryl Plecas and Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman, show support for an expanded "Walk Away From Homophobia" event More than 500 people took part in the Fraser Valley's first Pride parade on ...

  • LGBTQ youth face significant challenges

    LGBTQ youth experience health inequities, mostly attributable to societal stigma and marginalization and its related risks of rejection and violence, as well as lower social supports Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two-Spirit, queer ...

  • Psychiatry, the DSM, and human rights

    Law Project for Psychiatric Rights is one of several activist groups charging that the American Psychiatric Association is committing serious human rights abuses The 2013 annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) was h ...

  • Subjected to shock therapy as a child, survivor went on to champion human rights

    "It made me want to die ... I remember that they would stick a rag in my mouth so I wouldn't bite through my tongue and that it took three attendants to hold me down" Ted Chabasinski is an American psychiatric survivor, human rights acti ...

  • The Salvation Army marks a major milestone

    The 'Sally Ann' has been serving and working in Nanaimo, and Vancouver Island, for 125 years The Salvation Army is the largest provider of social services across Canada, outside of government. But for many ordinary Canadians, the closest ...

  • Wi-Fi exiles signal a coming plague

    Where do you go when an invisible matrix spanning the globe is making you sick? Author Kim Goldberg has been awarded a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to write a book about people who are physically sickened by their exposure ...

  • Civil Rights Now is working to improve the lives of people with disabilities

    Civil Rights Now and its Think Twice campaign is building toward the ultimate goal of a "British Columbians with Disability Act" "When your civil rights have been violated you don’t need a good hug---you need a good lawyer." That's what ...

  • A twisty tale of transformation

    Martha Carter shares a multimedia performance reflecting her own 'twisted' journey of living with a crooked spine while pursuing a career in dance THE STRAIGHT (Vancouver)---Martha Carter empties a little black bag onto the dance-studio ...

  • Rampant ageism is fueled by common, yet largely inaccurate, social beliefs

    Our culture promotes the belief that aging means decline, dependence and dementia, or at best isolation and depression---yet most elders are healthier, better educated and productive both economically and socially, than they were earlier in ...

  • Apr 2013“... ...”
  • Alone and isolated by language and living space

    Pulling back the curtain on the widely felt, seldom-discussed discrimination that Chinese seniors face every day In Vancouver’s Chinatown, seniors who speak only Cantonese or Mandarin face discrimination, marginalization, and a lack of a ...

  • Work remains to be done in HIV prevention and treatment

    New research finds implications for two groups affected by HIV and AIDS---women and gay men New research presented at conferences in Victoria and Vancouver this month have highlighted several challenges related to HIV/AIDS prevention a ...

  • Mar 2013“... ...”
  • Is the shelter 'emergency', 'extreme weather', 'cold wet weather' or 'winter'?

    It seems words can indicate pivotal differences among shelters for homeless people during British Columbia winters British Columbia's Extreme Weather Response program enables communities to temporarily increase emergency shelter capacity ...

  • At Home/Chez Soi project nears its end

    Housing first makes better use of public dollars---especially for those who are high service users In 2008 the federal government invested $110 million for a five year demonstration project aimed at providing evidence about what services ...

  • From the streets to a home and a new life

    Housing First approaches prove to be effective and can change lives A three-year-long intensive multi-city study looking into the effectiveness of Housing First approaches is due to end on March 31, 2013. The federal government funded th ...

  • B.C. overhauls its family laws, winning praise from advocates

    But no funding has been committed to address increased demands on mediators, arbitrators and family justice counsellors The Province of British Columbia's new Family Law Act took effect on March 18, 2013, replacing the Family Relations A ...

  • Over-representation of Aboriginal people in federal prisons is pervasive and growing

    Canada's correctional investigator says stronger leadership and improved implementation of mandated Aboriginal initiatives are needed to address a growing crisis in our prisons More than twenty years after Parliament enacted the Correcti ...

  • Aboriginal prisoners often shut out of healing lodges

    Report on Aboriginal prisoners in Canada finds limited understanding of Aboriginal people, culture and approaches to healing within federal corrections, especially among front line staff in facilities A report by Canada's Correctional In ...

  • Canada is moving backward on Aboriginal corrections

    The scandal of Aboriginal incarceration in Canada is getting worse as "tough on crime" policy changes stamp out rehabilitative intent A report by Howard Sapers, Canada's Correctional Investigator, has found that over-representation of Ab ...

  • Black fathers can face challenging issues

    But there's next-to-no Canadian data on black fathers. The founder of the Black Daddies Club support group intends to change that with a research project. The Black Daddies Club was founded in 2007 by Brandon Hay in response to the lack ...

  • Accusations of gentrification accompany new restaurant opening in Vancouver

    The Pidgin Restaurant struggle is part of a larger problem--lack of affordable housing and fear of being priced out of the neighbourhood By the time the mainstream media began to focus its attention on the protests being held at the Pi ...

  • 30 deaths among homeless people in Victoria raise questions

    Law students and members of the University of Victoria’s Poverty Law Club have asked the regional coroner to conduct an investigation Members of the University of Victoria's Poverty Law Club have drawn public and media attention to thirt ...

  • Feb 2013“... ...”
  • A family working hard to make sense of mental illness

    Calen Pick, his mother Jessie Close, and his aunt, Glenn Close, are working to alter public perception of mental illness through their stigma-fighting campaign Bring Change 2 Mind Calen Pick's famous aunt, Glenn Close, was a keynote spea ...

  • Canada gets a “B” on its Society report card for 2012

    Despite solid performance, high rates of poverty and a large gap in income between the rich and everyone else put stress on a society and on the economy The Conference Board of Canda is an independent, not-for-profit applied research org ...

  • "No justification" for tobacco

    Errol Povah's long struggle for a tobacco-free world Several years ago, Errol Povah crossed Canada on a "journey for a tobacco-free world"--which he also described as a "cross-Canada shore-to-shore ‘run, walk or crawl’ awareness and fund ...

  • "Those Who Take Us Away"

    Human Rights Watch alleges in an explosive report that members of the R.C.M.P. in northern British Columbia failed to protect indigenous women and girls from violence--and physically and sexually abused some of them The Royal Canadian Mo ...

  • High profile visit shines a spotlight on youth issues

    Laureen Harper, wife of Canada's prime minister, and Ottawa city councillor Allan Hubley praise the programs of Ottawa’s Youth Services Bureau downtown drop-in centre METRO NEWS OTTAWA, February 11, 2013 After years of neglect, youth ment ...

  • 'Frequent flyers' get specific help

    The Edmonton Homelessness Commission reports that a chronically homeless person costs taxpayers $100,000 annually -- but one night's accommodation in an emergency shelter costs only $42 Some of Canada's homeless people are being descri ...

  • The ghosts of our street names

    A Victoria-based campaign seeks to discard the street name reminders of British Columbia's troubled history  'Taking the Names Down from the Hill' is a new campaign being launched by SocialCoast.org. It's designed to bring attention to p ...

  • It might be time to winterproof your mental health

    Some people say mid-winter is the most depressing time of year—when cold and dark days, holiday bills, and already-lapsed new year’s resolutions catch up with us Whether you believe that or not, it’s never a bad time to reflect on how ti ...

  • Expanding the reach of hockey

    Nanaimo Eagles team offers the hockey experience to people with developmental challenges The puck moves quickly up the ice, from the rock-steady defence to the winger flying up the boards on the left side. He skates the puck deep into th ...

  • A mother’s story of her son’s addiction

    June Ariano-Jakes shares a search for answers and the lengths she went to in trying to help her drug-addicted son June Ariano-Jakes is the mother of five adult children and the grandmother of four. While she worked by day as a Licensed C ...

  • Early recognition, timely intervention key to treating eating disorders

    The medical consequences of eating disorders can go unrecognized, even by experienced clinicians Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses with significant, life-threatening medical and psychiatric morbidity and mortality, regardless ...

  • Jan 2013“... ...”
  • A story of recovery

    Amy Candido lives in recovery from eating disorders The beginning of February marks the launch of the Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness (PEDAW) campaign and National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (Feb. 3-9, 2013). PEDAW coordinat ...

  • A passion for prevention

    Loving our bodies and ourselves is the focus of eating disorders prevention efforts The Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness (PEDAW) campaign is launched the first full week in February with activities and events taking place throughout ...

  • Approaching wellness in drumming circles

    Drum circles provide support, improving emotions and feelings in people struggling with eating disorders A drum circle is a rhythm-based event where people gather in a circle to express themselves with African drums and percussion instru ...

  • A national standard for workplace mental health

    Workplace managers say that they're informed about mental health issues, but would benefit from training to help employees with mental health problems stay at work or return to work successfully and healthily The Canadian Standards Assoc ...

  • Quebec considers 'dying with dignity' law

    Quebec could be the first Canadian province to allow terminally ill patients to end their lives A landmark report to the Quebec legislature in March 2012 suggested the province legalize doctor-assisted euthanasia. It recommended the Que ...

  • Grieving in an online world

    Online grieving, whether on Facebook or other social media, is becoming the new normal...but does it actually help? After the campus shootings in the U.S. at Virginia Tech in 2007 and Northern Illinois University in 2008, hundreds of aff ...

  • Dec 2012“... ...”
  • Violence against women is a men’s issue too

    Men and women attending a workshop about gender-based violence emerge with a focus on working together for change Jackson Katz is a social theorist, educator, anti-sexism activist and a major advocate of the ‘bystander approach’ to gende ...

  • Nov 2012“... ...”
  • Expanding the heart of Hospice in Nanaimo

    Dying, caregiving and grieving are three of life’s greatest challenges, and the Community Hospice is ready to help Nanaimo Community Hospice has been serving the community for over 30 years, and was Canada's first community-based nonprof ...

  • West coast poets and authors get their close-up

    A new book capturing the images of some of the west coast’s most admired authors and poets has been launched A new book called 111 West Coast Literary Portraits features rare portraits of emerging, mid-career and well-known writers who h ...

  • The great house concert tour of 2013 on its way

    If you’d like to invite Eric Harper to bring his award-winning music into your home, you can join his house concert tour Award-winning guitarist Eric Harper has plans for 2013—and you could be a part of those plans. He says: “I’d love to ...

  • Anti-sexism activist to speak in Nanaimo

    Author and educator Jackson Katz advocates the ‘bystander approach’ to sexual and domestic violence prevention Jackson Katz is a social theorist, educator, and anti-sexism activist who says that gendered understandings and behaviour are ...

  • Adventures to be had when you’re over 60

    Stories and reflections encourage and support readers in living vibrantly through wholeheartedly embracing life's challenges Gail Boulanger is a coach and counselor for “vibrant living” in Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island. She says that v ...

  • A closer look at citizen concerns about social housing

    The City of Nanaimo has had emails and Facebook posts with concerns about supportive housing projects studied and summarized The planning for social housing in Nanaimo—as in cities and towns in many parts of Canada—has been accompanied b ...

  • Story about ‘nobody’s dog’ looks at a child’s grief

    Ria Voros’ debut novel uses a special relationship to explore the grief of a child whose parents were killed in an accident For thirteen-year-old Jakob, the summer is looking pretty bleak. A few months before, he was in a car accident th ...

  • Voluntouring trekkers help villagers in Nepal

    Lea Ross and Bev Cole have been working to help people in a Nepalese village to obtain water for its schools After organizing several treks to Nepal after her first visit there twenty years ago, Lea Ross has “fallen in love” with the cou ...

  • Gaza mission, and arrests, raise awareness

    Jim Manly’s participation in a recent mission attempting to deliver aid to Gaza helps raise awareness of needs, issues On October 16, 2012, a tall ship called The Estelle began its voyage from Greece to Gaza, carrying citizens from a num ...

  • Oct 2012“... ...”
  • Has tragic death led to a bullying tipping point?

    Amanda Todd’s death by suicide—after her video disclosing bullying and harassment —creates a media tsunami The death by suicide of Amanda Todd, who disclosed in a YouTube video the bullying and harassment she had been experiencing, creat ...

  • A national strategy to deal with bullying?

    Dany Morin, Member of Parliament, asks for a response to bullying and harassment of children and youth in Canada Calling the bullying of children and youth “a nation-wide problem,” N.D.P. Member of Parliament Dany Morin has been asking C ...

  • Linking bullying, depression, and suicide

    Chaplain Diane Weber Bederman says Amanda Todd’s death was more about mental health than bullying In the aftermath of the death by suicide of Amanda Todd, an avalanche of news reports, opinion articles, and social media postings focused ...

  • Are you lost in a corporate radio desert?

    Make community radio your oasis for local, alternative, grassroots, and accessible music and information Community radio is about volunteerism, social engagement, independent music, learning by doing, community capacity building, citizen ...

  • Defending your right to die as you choose

    ‘Dying with dignity’ has been supported by many members of Unitarian Fellowships across Canada—for over thirty years It’s your life and it should be your choice as to how and when you die. That’s what British Columbia resident Gloria Tay ...

  • Artist explores motherhood and her 'double life'

    Sara Robichaud’s exploration is shaped and informed by objects of personal and symbolic significance in her life Nanaimo artist Sara Robichaud’s latest collection, Double Life, is a series of large-scale acrylic paintings that explore th ...

  • Pastor defies Abbotsford’s harm reduction ban

    Pastor Ward Draper is “bringing the church back to where it should be”—and that includes providing clean needles and pipes Pastor Ward Draper is ministering to addicts in Abbotsford, in defiance of the municipality’s ban on harm reductio ...

  • Cycling cooperative settles into community role

    Nanaimo’s Hub City Cycles promotes the cycling way of life, while bringing people together and building community In the fall of 2011 a group of passionate bike riders became passionate about the idea of starting and working in a communi ...

  • Bullies get their close-up

    As the much-hyped documentary film ‘Bully’ began to roll out across North America, we took a look at local experiences The Bully Project is the much-anticipated documentary film that follows stories of several kids who are being bullied ...

  • Sep 2012“... ...”
  • The real cost of homelessness

    What happens if we shift our energies from managing the problem to actually trying to end homelessness? It may seem counterintuitive to suggest that it is cheaper and more cost effective to provide people who experience homelessness with ...

  • Ecstasy deaths lead to calls for new approaches

    The federal government reinforces criminalization, parents call for education, and doctors and others encourage accurate knowledge about MDMA 22 British Columbians have died in the last 18 months after using the popular party drug Ecstas ...

  • Prostitution case can proceed, Supreme Court decides

    The federal government had argued that the individuals and non-profit groups involved had no right to bring the case to court A court case was launched in British Columbia in 2008 by an organization of sex workers and one former sex work ...

  • Hoarding horrors lead to task force

    Hoarding is primarily an issue of mental health, but its effects can be very dangerous to safety as well Hoarding is defined by the Mayo Clinic as the excessive collection of items, along with the inability to discard them. Hoarding ofte ...

  • Can empathy be taught?

    Empathy, compassion, understanding, awareness—what happens when we try to put ourselves into others’ shoes? Empathy is a relatively common word, but it’s also a concept that is poorly understood. It’s sometimes confused with sympathy, pi ...

  • From global imperatives to local realities

    The work of community-based organizations in HIV prevention can be linked with the development of democracy The 19th International AIDS Conference was held in Washington D.C. in July 2012, with a focus on how global and decisive commitme ...

  • Criminalization and rights of people with HIV

    Canada may have gone farther than most countries in harsh treatment of HIV non-disclosure. What will the Supreme Court say? Under Canadian law, a person living with HIV may be guilty of a crime for not disclosing his or her HIV-positive ...

  • War on drugs is implicated in the spread of HIV

    International experts, activists, and health professionals agree that ‘we cannot end AIDS until we end the war on drugs’ The 18th International AIDS Conference, held in Vienna in 2010, included a high-profile statement called The Vienna ...

  • Master sax man brings inspiring message

    Juno award-winning master musician and composer Phil Dwyer has battled with addiction and mental illness Phil Dwyer’s 2012 Juno award for the incredibly ambitious Changing Seasons is the latest in a “resume full of examples of his genuin ...

  • Master sax man brings inspiring message

    Juno award-winning master musician and composer Phil Dwyer has battled with addiction and mental illness Phil Dwyer’s 2012 Juno award for the incredibly ambitious Changing Seasons is the latest in a “resume full of examples of his genuin ...

  • Nanaimo shelter changes raise concerns

    Homeless shelter was overwhelmed by demand last winter, so now it will only be open during extreme weather conditions The First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo has decided to scale back its shelter operations this year, after being overw ...

  • Aug 2012“... ...”
  • Long, hot summer of senseless gun violence

    Doctors, health experts set minds to making meaning of the senseless and speak of gun violence as a social disease Public health experts now speak of guns in the same way they speak about viruses, cars, tobacco, and alcohol. After the mo ...

  • A world without hate

    Rais Bhuiyan forgave the man who tried to kill him in a hate crime, then campaigned to save him from the death penalty Ten days after the September 11th attacks in the U.S., Texan Mark Stroman entered the gas station where Rais Bhuiyan w ...

  • Jul 2012“... ...”
  • BC Ideas wants to get your vote

    A legacy of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games is working with partners across the province to create social innovation 2010 Legacies Now was created in June 2000 by the British Columbia government and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Bid Corporati ...

  • Inside William Kurelek’s surrealistic world of art

    Extraordinary film looks into artist’s mind, fears, and his questions about whether he was really even human William Kurelek’s The Maze is a documentary about the life of celebrated Canadian artist William Kurelek, dramatically told thro ...

  • From personal experience to helping others

    Karen Liberman believes thousands of workers affected by mental illness are trying to hide it, unable to talk about it Karen Liberman was once so ill with clinical depression that she would sometimes spend 24 hours at a time crying. Thou ...

  • Housing project promotes inclusive employment

    Toronto’s Houselink is working to hire “people with lived experience”—including former clients—at all levels Houselink Community Homes is a non-profit, charitable agency based in Toronto that provides a range of supportive housing option ...

  • Jun 2012“... ...”
  • First Nations children, and poor children, revisit E.R. for mental health crises

    Study finds more return visits to emergency departments for mental health crises among Aboriginal and poor children First Nations children and those from families receiving government subsidies had more return visits to emergency departm ...

  • Facilitating real conversations to build community

    Facilitators’ purpose is to invite possibilities to emerge and manifest through engaging people in “real conversations” A group of facilitators, consultants, coaches and health practitioners who are passionate and committed to promoting ...

  • Right-to-die ruling seen as a civil liberties victory

    Gloria Taylor is given the right to physician-assisted suicide but observers expect the federal Conservative government will challenge the ruling A recent British Columbia court ruling has struck down the law that makes physician-assiste ...

  • Brain injuries lead to permanent life changes

    It is estimated that thousands of Canadians incur a traumatic brain injury each year—the majority being young adults Brain injury occurs suddenly, without warning. In an instant life is changed, forever. Every day we participate in activ ...

  • A cross-border partnership to end stigma

    NoStigmas raises awareness to erase the stigmas of suicide and mental illness by sharing stories of hope and inspiration A cross-border partnership to end the stigmas associated with suicide and mental illness has been created under the ...

  • B.C. makes changes to social assistance programs

    Government surprises many with a host of changes that are designed to support vulnerable families The British Columbia government surprised many on June 11, 2012 when it announced a long list of changes to welfare assistance in the provi ...

  • A series of victories for transgender Canadians

    Transgender Canadians have won a few significant victories in the ongoing struggle for acceptance and recognition Canada's transgender community, after lengthy struggles with discrimination and bureaucratic obstacles, is now celebrating ...

  • A social model for sexuality and disability

    Cory Silverberg is committed to the work of having thoughtful, accessible, and open conversations about sexuality A reality TV series called “Push Girls” is bringing an unfettered, uncensored glimpse at what it means to be sexy, ambitiou ...

  • May 2012“... ...”
  • Wayne Cho brings his message to the world

    After running across Canada, Wayne Cho brings his stigma-busting and awareness-raising message to a world audience Wayne Cho developed anxiety and bipolar disorders which he says resulted from neglect and abuses he experienced throughout ...

  • Is there a need for more men’s centres?

    A proposal to establish the first-ever men’s centre at Simon Fraser University brings attention, discussion, and analysis The Simon Fraser University Student Society has approved $30,000 to start a men's centre at SFU's Burnaby campus. T ...

  • Mental illness can affect the entire family

    What are the challenges—and what does Canada’s new mental health strategy have to say about it? Canada’s first-ever national mental health strategy was released on May 8, 2012, after five years of extensive consultations across the count ...

  • An overview of the new Canadian mental health strategy

    After five years of extensive consultation, the Mental Health Commission of Canada presents a first for the country Changing Directions, Changing Lives is the first mental health strategy for Canada. Its purpose is to help improve mental ...

  • Women and girls invited to create herArt

    Art project for women builds community spirit while raising awareness about women’s issues Nanaimo Women’s Centre, with the help of artists from the community, offered women and girls the opportunity to create art in a project called her ...

  • Senate committee studies cyber bullying

    The Senate’s human rights committee has launched a study into cyber bullying, and it needs and invites youth input The traditional archetype associated to bullying is becoming outdated. The face of bullying is changing—it’s moving from c ...

  • Teach and learn how to ‘live life to the full’

    Program utilizing a series of facilitated classes was created by psychiatrist frustrated by the limited time he had for patients A course called Living Life To The Full was created by Glasgow psychiatrist Dr. Chris Williams, when he want ...

  • Two questions to ask about kids’ anxiety

    Shyness, anxiety, and worry in Kindergarten-aged children can be indicators for potential anxiety disorders A University of British Columbia research team has developed a simple two-question test to screen Kindergarten-aged children for ...

  • Apr 2012“... ...”
  • Analysis and the grail of the unconscious

    A form of psychotherapy, Jungian analysis is an interpersonal process of coming to terms with the unconscious Carl Gustav Jung was a psychiatrist and the founder of analytical psychology. He is considered the first modern psychiatrist to ...

  • Daughter of chaos takes to the stage

    Helani Davison is sharing her compelling autobiographical story of riches to rags—and the struggle to come back Saltspring Island artist and performer Helani Davison has created an autobiographical performance—including narrative, poetry ...

  • Youth stand up, speak out against hate

    A community dialogue in Nanaimo provides opportunities tor youth to listen, be heard, and make change Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society will present an opportunity for youth to speak openly about experiences and concerns rel ...

  • Bullies are about to get their close-up

    As the much-hyped documentary film ‘Bully’ begins to roll out across North America, we take a look at local experiences The Bully Project is the much-anticipated documentary film that follows stories of several kids who are being bullied ...

  • Mar 2012“... ...”
  • A mother’s story of her son’s addiction

    June Ariano-Jakes shares a search for answers and the lengths she went to in trying to help her drug-addicted son June Ariano-Jakes is the mother of five adult children and the grandmother of four. While she worked by day as a Licensed C ...

  • Ever heard of a book club in a prison?

    Organizer and Anglican priest Rev. Carol Finlay is pioneering the Canadian version of a successful U.K.-based model In 2009 Carol Finlay visited a medium security penitentiary in Kingston, Ontario, and told a small gathering of inmates t ...

  • Reconciliation is a personal journey

    Columnist reflects on the generational impact of Canada’s residential schools and coming to terms with the after effects The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) has been making its way across the country, collecting more ...

  • The cost of keeping people poor is high

    Governments say they can’t afford poverty reduction policies but fail to consider the cost paid for consequences of poverty Poverty is a hardship for those who experience it; it’s also costly to society. Governments say they can’t afford ...

  • The social costs of policing Victoria’s poor

    A peer research project confirms that police have become the de facto first responders for drug and mental health issues Cuts to health services and income supports for people living in poverty, including those with disabilities involvin ...

  • Urban agriculture’s seedlings are growing: Community challenges

    Interest in local agriculture is surging—whether it’s urban, rural, roof-top, or front-yard—and the benefits may be huge Urban agriculture is surging in British Columbia and across North America, resulting in a growing network of small-s ...

  • Urban agriculture’s seedlings are growing: SPIN farming

    Interest in local agriculture is surging—whether it’s urban, rural, roof-top, or front-yard—and the benefits may be huge Urban agriculture is surging in British Columbia and across North America, resulting in a growing network of small-s ...

  • Urban agriculture’s seedlings are growing: Permaculture

    Interest in local agriculture is surging—whether it’s urban, rural, roof-top, or front-yard—and the benefits may be huge Urban agriculture is surging in British Columbia and across North America, resulting in a growing network of small-s ...

  • Feb 2012“... ...”
  • Daniel Griffin explores the troubled family

    Stories about artists, lovers, brothers and strangers probe love, loss, and the family ties that bind people Daniel Griffin’s debut collection of short stories, “Stopping for Strangers”, covers birth, death and all the big moments in bet ...

  • Bearing witness to the evil of Auschwitz

    Sei-in Remy Jordan experienced an interfaith retreat ‘bearing witness’ to the horrors of Auschwitz and Birkenau More than six million Jewish people were killed in the atrocities of the Holocaust. Others were also targeted, including Gyps ...

  • Calls for B.C. to deal with homophobia, transphobia in schools

    Advocates challenge the government to move farther in the attempt to protect young people from bullying violence The West Coast Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund is calling on the British Columbia government to implement a province ...

  • Matt Dunae on how hip hop saved him

    Dedicated, passionate hip-hop artist learned to conquer his demons of addiction and poverty and shine through with music Hip-hop artist Matt Dunae—who performs as SirReal—has credited his involvement with music for helping him to overcom ...

  • Learning about therapeutic communities

    People live in organized and structured environments to promote change, support a drug-free life in outside society Therapeutic communities are drug-free environments in which people with addictions and other problems can live together i ...

  • Testing housing first for chronic alcoholics

    A study shows that nonabstinence-based housing does not enable alcohol use, but actually decreases it A controversial project using a housing-first approach with chronically alcoholic homeless people in Seattle has been shown to decrease ...

  • Not a choice, not a phase, it’s a disease

    Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses, and there isn’t enough care, treatment, and support available to help A province-wide advocacy group working on behalf of adults with eating disorders recently met with the British Columbia ...

  • What lies beyond the macho man?

    The all-powerful protector and provider stereotype pressures men to conform, powerless to face modern social challenges From first-ever university courses to academic conferences,an increasing interest in the concept of “men’s studies” i ...

  • My faith, my community—a dialogue

    While various religions may hold differing attitudes toward worldliness, they still have obligations to their neighbours The Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society will host an  interfaith bridging dialogue called “My Faith, My C ...

  • Mr. Anderson goes to City Hall

    George Anderson, in his first election, became the second African Canadian currently elected to municipal office in B.C. George Anderson made history in Nanaimo last November after he was elected to City Council following a gra ...

  • It’s Black History Month across Canada

    A Vancouver Island take on black history, identity, and the community celebrations that will mark the month Black History Month is an observance of the history of the African diaspora in a number of countries outside of Africa. Each year ...

  • Jan 2012“... ...”
  • Justice system struggles with FASD

    Estimates of people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in the adult prison population are as high as 50 to 80 per cent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range of disabilities that result fr ...

  • Lone MLA takes up 'welfare challenge'

    Jagrup Brar, nearing the end of his money, and living in SRO on the Downtown Eastside, is learning about poverty On May 25, 2011, Jagrup Brar, MLA for Surrey-Fleetwood, B.C., received a letter from a group called Raise the Rates entitled ...

  • Dream analysis for the everyday dreamer

    C.G. Jung viewed dreams as offering a snapshot of our current mental condition, alerting us to problem areas Carl Gustav Jung was a psychiatrist and the founder of analytical psychology. He is considered the first modern psychiatrist to ...

  • Psych meds heavily used on BC elders

    Government report says that over half of the elders in British Columbia care homes are given anti-psychotic medications The B.C. ministry of health released a report in December which revealed that just over half of all elders in reside ...

  • Getting connected to make a difference

    187 members and 11 campaigns later, SocialCoast.org has grown and is beginning to make its impact felt SocialCoast.org was established in spring 2011 to provide the Victoria region with an online hub—a social network—for community activi ...

  • Who benefits from prostitution laws?

    John Lowman challenges government to cut hypocrisy and determine what prostitution law and policy should accomplish Prostitution is legal in Canada, while soliciting is not, exemplifying the hypocrisy present in our society’s responses t ...

  • Dec 2011“... ...”
  • Social housing providers in place

    Non-profit groups are named as operators for two new social housing projects in Nanaimo, but will controversy fade? Pacifica Housing and Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society, in partnership with Columbian Centre Society and Haven Society, ...

  • An award for mental health activism

    Ruth Ruth Stackhouse, a Mad Pride pioneer, is recognized by the City of Toronto for her outstanding work Ruth Ruth Stackhouse is a proud member of the psychiatric survivor community and a long-standing social and health activist. Her ext ...

  • HIV test a part of routine healthcare

    ‘It’s different now,” a new social marketing campaign says, as warnings to ‘high-risk groups’ become yesterday’s news This year’s 2011 World AIDS Day campaign is about “getting to zero”—zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, zero ...

  • Fighting homelessness on many fronts

    Judy Graves’ next fight will be to ensure that homeless people actually get into the housing that is built for them The City of Vancouver’s advocate for homeless people, Judy Graves, recently warned the provincial government of the conse ...

  • Nov 2011“... ...”
  • Bible school child abuse alleged

    Linda Fossen says that she, and over eighty other children, suffered extreme abuse at Canada’s oldest Bible school Linda Fossen, a former student at the Prairie Bible Institute near Three Hills, Alberta, has alleged that she and dozens o ...

  • Bleak future for children in poverty

    A generation’s future could include more crime, drug use, teen pregnancies, poor health and failure at school and work Could British Columbia be the very last province to enact a plan to fight poverty? That’s the question asked by BC Cam ...

  • What do men need from counseling?

    Women are more likely to request counseling, but when men do seek help, they tend to have difficulty with the process Dr. Wray Pascoe, a family therapist and human systems consultant from Manitoba, says research has found that women requ ...

  • What now for small-city Occupiers?

    Occupy Nanaimo is staying put at its downtown location for now, as members hold talks with the city and police While big-city mayors and police are engaged in various stages of trying to remove Occupy protesters from their public spaces, ...

  • Rebroadcast: Struggle for inclusion continues

    David Weekley’s “journey in from the wilderness” continues as he and others face institutional efforts to exclude them Rev. David Weekley stepped into the pulpit of the Epworth United Methodist Church in Portland, Oregon in 2009 to share ...

  • Out of mind and into creativity

    Art and mental health symposium tackles the deep-seated social ignorance and stigma accompanying mental illness Out of Mind—Into Creativity is a symposium co-sponsored by Artbeat, a Winnipeg gallery focused on mental health and art, and ...

  • Stories from the frontlines

    Michael Christie’s powerful debut collection is inspired by his experiences working with people on the DTES The Beggar’s Garden, Michael Christie’s debut collection of nine linked stories, is dazzling, writes reviewer Candace Fertile in ...

  • Can empathy be taught?

    Empathy, compassion, understanding, awareness—what happens when we try to put ourselves into others’ shoes? Empathy is a relatively common word, but it’s also a concept that is poorly understood. It’s sometimes confused with sympathy, pi ...

  • Radio-UP premieres in Montreal

    Clubhouse members are working toward realizing their full potential, and now that includes broadcasting to a wider world Donald Berman UP (Urban Pardes) House is a clubhouse that helps adults living with a mental illness achieve greater ...

  • Oct 2011“... ...”
  • On living deeply and dying well

    What if grief is a skill, in the same way that love is a skill, something that must be learned and cultivated and taught? With counseling and ceremony, Stephen Jenkinson has for a quarter century been guiding individuals, couples, families ...

  • After the ruling, what's next?

    The Insite decision could signal a fundamental change in the way Canadian society approaches and deals with addiction The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision of September 30, 2011 regarding the continuation of the Insite supervised inject ...

  • Sep 2011“... ...”
  • Saying yes in my backyard

    An online YIMBY toolkit from Vancouver’s Pivot Legal Society may be coming soon to a neighbourhood near you NIMBY is an acronym for “not in my backyard” used to describe a person who objects to something they perceive as unpleasant or po ...

  • Preserving restorative justice

    Advocates fear the federal government’s strong emphasis on incarceration and punishment will push healing to the side The federal government’s emphasis on incarceration and punishment in response to crime has created concern that restora ...

  • Advocates praise sex trade strategy

    PACE Society is pleased that the City of Vancouver has finally taken a position and steps toward a sex trade policy A new strategy on the sex trade developed by the City of Vancouver is intended to provide a comprehensive framework and ...

  • Is new housing a ‘nightmare’?

    Opponents to a new housing project for teenage girls say it must exist outside the DTES, away from pimps, predators Atira Women’s Resource Society has opened an 18-unit single room accommodation facility for young women in the Downtown E ...

  • A unique invitation goes out

    As Nanaimo social housing projects experience predictable, continuing opposition, citizens are invited down to the 7-10 The City of Nanaimo’s 2008 homelessness action plan estimated there were anywhere from two to three hundred individu ...

  • Author makes third Great Lake Walk

    Andy Sibbald will walk to benefit Columbian Centre Society and its mental health programs on Saturday September 17 Andy Sibbald is a Nanaimo author with an interest in the Canadian arctic, mental health, addictions and satire. He’s been ...

  • Too many patients are restrained

    A recent study confirms that one in four psychiatric patients in Ontario was restrained or isolated while in treatment The use of control interventions, including physical and mechanical restraints, acute control medications and seclusio ...

  • Walking at VIU for the AIDS cause

    National event raises funds to provide support and services for Canadians living with HIV/AIDS in their communities The Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life is a national awareness and fundraising event that takes place every year in communitie ...

  • Nontoxic approach to treating cancer

    Fighting Cancer presents overview of the ‘Gorter model’, the research behind it, and ways to strengthen natural immunity The Gorter Model is described as an integrative, nontoxic approach to cancer treatment that mobilizes the immune sys ...

  • Soles remembering souls

    Nanaimo hip hop artist SirReal will rap about loss this Sunday September 11th as he pays tribute to his brother, Nick The subject of suicide is no longer something that people keep hidden in the dark, ashamed to talk about. There are man ...

  • Suppressing schizophrenia

    Mental health advocate Susan Inman says schizophrenia is invisible in Canada’s new mental health strategy In 2007, the Government of Canada established a group called the Mental Health Commission of Canada to develop a national mental he ...

  • Grassroots group set to open houses

    Nanaimo Transitional Housing group opens two houses for homeless people in Nanaimo this week The Victoria Human Exchange Society has been successfully assisting people in need of housing for 19 years—and now the organization’s Nanaimo br ...

  • Aug 2011“... ...”
  • A world without hate

    Rais Bhuiyan forgave the man who tried to kill him in a hate crime, then campaigned to save him from the death penalty Ten days after the September 11th attacks in the U.S., Texan Mark Stroman entered the gas station where Rais Bhuiyan w ...

  • Jul 2011“... ...”
  • Grieving in an online world

    Online grieving, whether on Facebook or other social media, is becoming the new normal...but does it actually help? After the campus shootings in the U.S. at Virginia Tech in 2007 and Northern Illinois University in 2008, hundreds of aff ...

  • Living a self-propelled lifestyle

    As bicycling moves into the mainstream, it provides transportation, exercise, and recreation. But is it an identity? The bike lifestyle seems to have moved into the mainstream. Whether the surge in interest is related to the economy, the ...

  • Arctic history makes waves in China

    The history of the Arctic is retold, from an Inuit perspective, and the project creates interest at an international conference A University of British Columbia research study was presented at a recent international conference in Shangha ...

  • Death with dignity back in focus

    Russel Ogden—and the Farewell Foundation—prepare plans for Canada’s first facility to offer legal assisted suicide Last November, sociology professor Russel Ogden offered to accompany a small group of Canadians to Switzerland's Dignitas ...

  • Social enterprises hold promise

    Small social enterprises exist—and even thrive—but do they really help to prevent the highs and lows of unstable funding? Social enterprises are business ventures operated by non-profit societies, charities, or co-operatives. The busines ...

  • "A country full of opportunities"

    Aden Ahmed settles into life in Nanaimo, far away from his Somalian origins, in a “country full of opportunities” Aden Ahmed is the second student brought to Nanaimo through the World University Service of Canada Student Refugee Program, ...

  • "The walls are alive" in Toronto

    A patient-built wall in Toronto stands as a monument and an emotional manuscript, and stars in a play In 1860, patients at an Ontario psychiatric hospital helped to build a brick wall that would conceal them and their lives from the surr ...

  • Unique, soul-stirring, entrancing

    Eric Harper’s musical journey began in Portugal, continued in Europe and L.A. and then led to Vancouver Island Award-winning musician and performer Eric Harper’s musical education began in Portugal and then continued in Europe and the U. ...

  • The enjoyment of 'doing art'

    Anne Turner’s journey with art continues, as she opens a show at Studio 366 and turns herself ‘inside out’ Anne Turner became involved with art therapy in 2003 at Other Hand Studio in Parksville, B.C. Anne is an artist because she says s ...

  • Using art to express and heal yourself

    Mehdi Naïmi says that good art therapy empowers people, strengthens relationships, brings peace of heart, and joy to life Long before there was “art therapy,“ artists explained themselves with their inner images as references to reality ...

  • Jun 2011“... ...”
  • Musician traveller back on the road

    Simon Walls has resumed his cross-Canada pilgrimage, a journey focused on music, meditation, and meaning After a winter’s pause, singer-songwriter Simon Walls has resumed his cross-Canada walk, setting out from Toronto at the end of May, ...

  • A network for community activism

    Eric Nordal launches SocialCoast.org to create an activist alliance that could help social, anti-poverty groups connect Eric Nordal has launched a Victoria-based online gathering place for community groups and organizations to share idea ...

  • Healing through expression

    Marika Swan’s work with Redwire Native Youth Media has shown her the importance of healing through expression Marika Swan is a Tla-o-qui-aht woman who was born out in the wilds of the west coast. Marika says she believes in a deeply prof ...

  • The social construction of mental illness

    "Mental illness", diagnoses, and associated concepts are all social constructions, but the professions haven't yet recognized it, psychologist says Michael Walker is a psychologist working to implement the recovery model within the L ...

  • In the mental health holding cell

    Multiple fingers point to a ‘debacle’ unfolding at the psychiatric emergency service in Victoria, British Columbia The Archie Courtnall Centre , also known as the Psychiatric Emergency Service (PES), is connected to the ER at Victoria’s ...

  • Writing for the health of it

    From the two-minute miracle to writing your memoirs—expressive writing holds the promise of health benefits Life Writing is an organic process—living and vital—with interrelated functions. In simple terms, it’s anything you write about y ...

  • From old school to new school

    Consensus about the value of recovery-based health systems and programs grows, but how are they best implemented? The goal of many mental health services and treatments is now recovery. This wasn’t always the case. In the past, mental he ...

  • B.C. MLAs challenged to live on $610

    Raise the Rates says MLAs accepting the challenge would be engaging in real action research and gain understanding Anti-poverty activists are challenging British Columbia’s elected provincial MLAs to take a challenge and live on $610 a m ...

  • Mental health, citizenship, and inclusion II

    Austin Mardon, Order of Canada recipient, is about to receive an honourary degree for his mental health awareness work In 1986, 24-year-old Austin Mardon was a junior field member with an international meteorite recovery expedition 170 m ...

  • Stigma awareness, art to travel

    Nanaimo artist and activist Wallace Malay will present about art, mental illness, and stigma at New York conference A conference for organizing resistance against psychiatry will be held June 20-21, 2011 at the City University of New Yor ...

  • Homophobia is rampant in schools

    Verbal, physical, and sexual harassment is reported by gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, and queer school students The terms “homophobia” and “transphobia” signify a great deal of unnecessary misery in the lives of Canadian students. ...

  • Mental health, citizenship, and inclusion

    A group of people diagnosed with schizophrenia conducted research about housing and its impacts on mental health The struggle for housing stability is among the many challenges faced by people with schizophrenia. That struggle was the fo ...

  • Campaign to connect the dots

    Jean Oliver is working to highlight the gaps in mental health services by organizing an event that will ‘connect the dots’ Victoria resident Jean Oliver is planning an awareness event that will see 1,200 volunteers stand on white dots th ...

  • May 2011“... ...”
  • On smoking and mental illness

    A look at the ethics of smoking bans in psychiatric facilities and the dynamics of a consumer-driven stop-smoking program  According to the World Health Report 2001, people with psychiatric illnesses are about twice as likely to smoke as ...

  • Medical marijuana laws struck down

    Judge notes overwhelming, undermining refusal of doctors to participate in Canada’s medical marijuana program On April 11, 2011, a ruling by an Ontario judge struck down Canada’s medical marijuana laws and the laws dealing with cannabis ...

  • Journey in from the wilderness

    A candid account of one person’s transgender experience, grounded in faith, pilgrimage, and hope “In from the Wilderness” is the story of a transgender man who has been an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church since 1984 and has ...

  • On busting Nanaimo's buskers

    As the City works to revise its busking bylaw, buskers challenge perceptions and stereotypes about their craft “The City of Nanaimo is reviewing its street entertainer bylaws and considering changes to how and where buskers can perform. ...

  • Apr 2011“... ...”
  • Spotlight is on Nanaimo bullying

    A violent incident in Nanaimo has refocused attention on bullying, schools, parents and social media A Nanaimo woman has established a Facebook page called Bullying Awareness in Nanaimo in the aftermath of a high-profile incident involvi ...

  • Permaculture sustainability in demand

    Working in harmony with natural principles, method maximizes effect while minimizing the work involved “Permaculture is about creating a world where we can live indefinitely,” writes Javan Kerby Bernakevitch. The term was coined as a com ...

  • Dentists to volunteer at new clinic

    Community dental clinic in Nanaimo will provide dental care for people with low incomes A group called Community Organized Dental Clinic, working with Volunteer Nanaimo, is about to open a dental clinic for people in the city who aren’t ...

  • Mar 2011“... ...”
  • Elder abuse more common than you think

    U.S. disclosure and a shocking Ontario abuse case bring new attention to a disturbingly common problem Recent high-profile cases of elder abuse have brought public attention to a problem that advocates say is disturbingly common—and unde ...

  • Legal aid an essential public service

    Report confirms that B.C. isn’t providing the most basic legal aid needs and calls for increased funding In June 2010, after years of government cutbacks to legal aid services in British Columbia and concerns about those most impacted, a ...

  • On keeping dads in their kids' lives

    Support programs and peer networking help dads to become better fathers and stay in their kids’ lives At the age of 24, Brandon Hay discovered he was about to become a dad for the first time. He’d been raised by a single mother without t ...

  • Moonkissed series tackles FASD

    Evalena Schwartz is a quirky, endearing character who brings a unique perspective on life, love, and art Evalena is a teenager who excels at art, dislikes math, wants to fall in love, has a mom and dad, a baby brother and a best friend, ...

  • Gambling addiction is a health issue

    Dr. Shao-Hua Lu on increased gambling exposure and how it could cause a spike in gambling addictions Gambling problems share many similarities with other addictive disorders. However, there are no visible signs or physical changes that w ...

  • Investigating BD and creativity

    Bipolar disorder is often characterized by periods of highly creative thoughts and behaviours Bipolar disorder (which was once called “manic depression”) is a condition characterized by repeated episodes of depression and abnormally elev ...

  • On surviving anti-gay bullying

    Jordan Rada and Frank Figueroa survived anti-gay bullying in school and now speak out to help others Pink Shirt Day was recently observed at schools in Nanaimo and across Canada. The now-annual event was inspired by Nova Scotia high scho ...

  • SWAN collective keeps art accessible

    Local gallery appeals for funds so its programs for all people, including those with disabilities, are available Start With Art Nanaimo (SWAN) opened a studio across from the Nanaimo train station in 2009 called Studio 366. In the past y ...

  • Feb 2011“... ...”
  • Spotlight on food, urban farming

    Urban food production and sustainability challenge notions of private property and home ownership Dirk Becker’s Vancouver Island urban farm was ordered shut down last year by the District of Lantzville after a neighbour complained about ...

  • Just 7,000 miles away from home

    Patricia and Renato share cross-cultural experiences from Nanaimo in an online blog Patrícia Melo and Renato Coelho left Brazil for Nanaimo a few months ago to attend Vancouver Island University. The couple, who are former journalists, a ...

  • Nanaimo's St. Paul's marks 150 years

    Church says it is part of the community—and it has been part of the community for a very long time Nanaimo’s St. Paul’s Anglican church hosted a special service of thanksgiving on January 23rd 2011, the first event of several planned for ...

  • Youth focus on addiction prevention

    Nanaimo Addiction Foundation works with youth to create a forum for learning, raising awareness Substance abuse among Canadian youth is a significant issue and can result in serious harm—including injury, overdose, car crashes and sexual ...

  • Psychiatric meds and health problems

    People using psychiatric medications can experience greater physical health problems Linda Chamberlain knows eight people with mental illness who have recently died and she says that medications and nutritional issues are to blame. “Some ...

  • Leadership hopefuls challenged

    Faith groups ask that Liberal and NDP leadership candidates explain homelessness, housing positions The Vancouver Interfaith Alliance to End Homelessness is calling on leadership candidates from B.C.’s NDP and Liberal parties to declare ...

  • Churches oppose Harper justice

    Christian faith leaders endorse and sign letter to PM opposing plan to send more Canadians to prison Christian churches across Canada are being asked by an advocacy group to tell the federal Conservative government that they don’t want t ...

  • On madness, myths and stereotypes

    Mental illness hardly ever leads to violence, contrary to media distortions and general misunderstanding  Mental illnesses can take many forms, just as physical illnesses do—and are common—but mental illnesses are still feared and misund ...

  • On Indigenous images and imaginings

    What are the policy and cultural relations implications of inaccurate and constructed images? On Friday February 4th Vancouver Island University professor Keith Smith will give a talk called “On Black Hawks, Pontiacs, and Crazy Horse Mal ...

  • Jan 2011“... ...”
  • Electroshock redux raises alarm

    Anti-psychiatry activists respond to reports that use of ECT therapy is increasing U.S. regulators are meeting this week, considering whether to “downgrade the risk classification of electroshock devices, reinforcing what many psychiatri ...

  • Not your everyday books

    Multicultural Society holds ‘living library’ of spirituality and faith to battle prejudice, promote understanding Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society is set to host a series of events it calls a Living Library at libraries in ...

  • Now, more than ever

    Treatment as prevention is a new—but underutilized— approach to preventing HIV/AIDS in B.C. Leading international HIV/AIDS expert and researcher Dr. Julio Montaner will be in Nanaimo next week to speak about the “Treatment as Prevention” ...

  • Homeless shelter gets a rethink

    Nanaimo’s Unitarian Fellowship considers opening its extreme weather shelter every night to end of winter The extreme weather shelter for homeless people in Nanaimo may be open every night for the rest of the winter, after city council a ...

  • Dec 2010“... ...”
  • On best intentions, quitting quitting, and how-tos for quitting smoking

    Quitting smoking is among the top ten in most lists of new year’s resolutions, but nicotine, the drug in cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, is one of the most addictive substances known. It is considered to be as addictive as cocaine or hero ...

  • Dealing with holiday Grinches like stress, loneliness, and other challenges

    “‘Tis the season that provokes difficult emotions. This can be the maddest, saddest, most stressful time of the year. On the streets and in the malls, you can tell the holidays are approaching not only by the music and the decorations, but ...

  • Kitchen sink drama endures

    Coronation Street brought working class lives to telly and became an international phenomenon December 9th marks the 50th anniversary of the enduring TV program Coronation Street, one of the early examples of “kitchen sink drama” that em ...

  • Shelter strategy criticized

    Nanaimo’s shelter and homelessness strategies need improvement, critics say Extreme weather shelters in B.C. provide extra emergency shelter space during periods of winter weather when the health and safety of homeless individuals is thr ...

  • AVI 25 years and counting

    Vancouver Island’s regional AIDS organization continues its work amid change and challenge On September 17, 1985, five men sat around a kitchen table and decided it was time to meet the challenge posed by the AIDS epidemic on Vancouver I ...

  • Poverty knows no seasons

    But the weeks leading up to Christmas are vital for food banks, charities seeking public help The public believes that homelessness and poverty are two of the most pressing issues in Canada today. Nearly two-thirds of Canadians ranked po ...

  • Nov 2010“... ...”
  • Not criminally responsible

    Society’s response to those found not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder A number of Canadians have recently been found not criminally responsible for their crimes due to mental disorder. Recent high-profile—and shock ...

  • Over the edge and back

    How a father became delusional, killed his son, and now fights for awareness of the side effects of medications “David Carmichael lives with loss, sorrow and stigma like no other. In 2004, he strangled his 11-year-old son, Ian. While sev ...

  • Call for transgender rights

    Vancouver throws its support behind a federal bill that would protect transgendered Canadians Vancouver city councillor Ellen Woodsworth introduced a motion at the Tuesday November 16th Vancouver city council meeting, asking that the Cit ...

  • It takes a province

    Why calls for British Columbia to take action to help its own kids are growing stronger BC has had the worst child poverty record of any province for seven consecutive years from 2002 through 2008—and advocates have been pushing the BC g ...

  • A dream come true

    Donna Lynch visited 50 countries in 50 weeks, asking 50-something women about their lives Victoria author Donna Lynch has just written an account of her recent extensive travels in 50ish: A Journey to 50 Countries in 50 Weeks Interviewin ...

  • Canadian traveller takes long road

    Reconnecting with Simon Walls—now in Montreal—about his walk across Canada Singer-songwriter Simon Walls’ travels began shortly after the loss of a friend to suicide. He spent seven months in the Katimavik program and then walked across ...

  • Fear and othering

    Is a ‘tea party’ brewing against Nanaimo’s progressive homelessness solution? A group of residents living in the Townsite Road area of Nanaimo are reportedly still fuming about plans to build units of housing to house homeless people in ...

  • Oct 2010“... ...”
  • Anne Frank's tree grows in Montreal

    A sapling from Amsterdam embodies symbol of nature, continuity, hope in times of hate While Anne Frank, her family, and others hid from Nazis in a secret annex in Amsterdam, the view of a giant chestnut tree near the building gave her no ...

  • The Native perspective

    On youth, education, and the Canadian future with Tchadas Leo A recent national survey has found that aboriginal teens aged 15-19 generally share the same life goals as other Canadian adolescents, such as good jobs, homes and families. B ...

  • 'One in Five' set to raise awareness

    Victoria art exhibition to include Parksville and Nanaimo artists inspired by struggles, recovery A juried art exhibition called One in Five opens friday October 15th in Victoria. It features works by a diverse group of artists from Vanc ...

  • Random acts of poetry for youth

    Annual event highlights the importance of youth literacy with in-person poem-ing Poets across Canada will visit juvenile detention centres, alternative schools and youth centres October 4th to 9th, 2010, during the seventh annual Random ...

  • Hatred, homophobia, and bullying

    Tragedy at Rutgers University turns attention to privacy, homophobia, bullying issues The death by suicide last week of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi—which occurred after the online posting of private information—has been lin ...

  • My schizophrenic life

    Sandra Yuen MacKay’s book is a true story about her journey of recovery Sandra Yuen MacKay has written a book about her recovery from what she describes as an invisible disability—schizoaffective disorder—which includes a combination of ...

  • Sep 2010“... ...”
  • One man’s courage to come back

    Don Fraser credits family, doctors, and medications for helping him with schizophrenia Donald Fraser was once enrolled in Surrey’s program for gifted students, active in sports, musically inclined, and popular. Years later, while at Univ ...

  • Taking back the night

    A protest that refuses to be silent about sexual violence--and reflects on what has happened “Take Back the Night” is an action created to enable large numbers of women to publicly express our anger at the sexual violence that goes on an ...

  • On the psychiatric experience

    A roundtable discussion with three people who have experienced the system, first-hand Anti-psychiatry and mad pride movements have been questioning and assessing the role of psychiatry in health care and society—from the “patient’s” pers ...

  • Challenges of Alzheimer's

    Burden grows for individuals, families, and governments as agencies raise warning The recent World Alzheimer Report for 2010 says that the societal cost of dementia is not only already enormous, but that dementia is also significantly a ...

  • Party assaults create shock waves

    Social networking’s involvement in sexual assaults reveals dark side of technology Pictures of the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl at a weekend party east of Vancouver were circulated on the Internet via Facebook, police told reporters l ...

  • Suicide prevention is back in class

    Vancouver Island Crisis Society works in local schools to bolster awareness, prevention The Vancouver Island Crisis Society has been “taking suicide prevention to the heart of Nanaimo-Ladysmith district secondary schools, showing student ...

  • Unpacking the housing numbers

    Study looks at data to see where the B.C. government has increased social housing A new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has found that over the past five years British Columbia has seen an increase of about 1,500 uni ...

  • Parents plan café opportunities

    Idea for a café to give their children greater opportunities takes off in Cedar The Cedar Opportunities Cooperative was created four years ago, as a result of discussions among five families, to give their children with developmental dis ...

  • Partnership takes ‘Aunti’ to YouTube

    Short films for kids share values of taking care of mind, body, and the earth Devyn Brugge, a Nanaimo-based filmmaker, has teamed up with Bobbi (‘Aunti Bobbi’ the clown) Kurtz, a local performer, to create a series of YouTube films for k ...

  • Survivor advocates for 'mad studies'

    Phebe Wolframe’s research into connections among madness, gender, and academia PhebeAnn Wolframe is a proud psychiatric survivor and an advocate for mad studies who is currently completing a PhD degree in English and Cultural Studies. Ph ...

  • World suicide prevention day

    Nanaimo events include the annual “Soles Remembering Souls” gathering for those bereaved by suicide In recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day 2010, The Central Vancouver Island Crisis Society is hosting its fifth annual community ga ...

  • Bipolar Babe’s cause goes on

    Second annual fundraiser for BD and her stigma-stomping work will sell out fast The newly-formed Bipolar Disorder Society of B.C., a Victoria-based nonprofit dedicated to reducing the stigma of mental illness, will host its second annual ...

  • Helping men and men's organizations

    A look at the need for men’s groups and some upcoming programs for men on Vancouver Island Cowichan Men’s Centre works to “provide resources and support groups for men to better improve their relationship with themselves, their families, ...

  • Aug 2010“... ...”
  • StEps for students nears a goal

    Tulani Ackerman’s cross-B.C. trek nears a destination point, but will Victoria listen? On July 1st, 2010, the StEps movement hit the road to walk and bike throughout British Columbia in an effort to gather stories and ideas about challen ...

  • A personal exploration of generosity

    Lawrence Scanlan spent a year exploring big questions about doing good Can one person make a difference? When we write a cheque to a charity or volunteer at a food bank, we’re part of the solution—aren’t we? Author Lawrence Scanlan went ...

  • Jul 2010“... ...”
  • A gleaning and gardens check-up

    Gleaning is facing some challenges but new projects are moving the work forward Nanaimo has an abundance of fruit, nuts and vegetables growing in backyards and farmers fields throughout the region. Often gardeners and farmers grow more t ...

  • Native youth, in their own voices

    Jacqueline Windh’s quest to let First Nations kids speak about their lives A series of articles called “Native Youth Speak Out” is being presented at The Tyee.ca. A year in the making, the series was written by Jacqueline Windh, a writer ...

  • Back to the basics—human rights

    International AIDS conference calls for a focus on the human rights of people affected by HIV AIDS 2010, the international conference on HIV/AIDS occurring this week in Vienna, Austria, highlights the critical connection between human ri ...

  • Yoga helps in cancer recovery

    Nicole Culos-Reed’s research shows that yoga is helpful to the survivors of breast cancer Recent research has found that the practice of hatha yoga has had a positive impact on the psychological health of women who have survived breast c ...

  • Summer camps create opportunities

    Harewood students take computer animation, job skills training in week-long camps From computer animation skills development for ages 11-15 to week-long job certification training for high school students, Harewood youth have been attend ...

  • Global hopes for Vienna Declaration

    International declaration calls on governments to base policing of illicit drugs on facts The Vienna Declaration is the official declaration of the 18th International AIDS Conference taking place in Vienna, Austria from July 18 to 23. T ...

  • Canada has not done enough

    Amnesty International report states Canada has not adequately protected Aboriginal rights Amnesty International’s recent report on The State of the World’s Human Rights  mentions, among several issues, the prevalence of violence against ...

  • Electroshock redux raises alarm

    Anti-psychiatry activists respond to media reports that use of ECT is increasing The Canadian Psychiatric Association recently issued its first position paper on electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) since 1992, saying that ECT “should remain ...

  • A history of mistreatment

    Robert Whitaker updates Mad in America, the revealing history of psychiatric treatment In Robert Whitaker’s Mad In America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill, “one lone author bears moral witness ...

  • You can't measure your heart

    Simon Walls’ continues his cross-Canada pilgrimage of self-discovery and sharing Singer-songwriter Simon Walls’ travels began shortly after the loss of a friend to suicide. He spent seven months in the Katimavik program and then walked a ...

  • StEps for students

    Tulani Ackerman increases discussion about the needs of children, youth, and education On July 1st, 2010, the StEps movement will hit the road to walk and bike throughout British Columbia in an effort to gather stories and ideas about ch ...

  • Jun 2010“... ...”
  • Yoga for youth at risk

    Yoga approach provides alternative tools for physical, emotional and mental wellness to at-risk youth A ‘Yoga Connect Project,’ offered at Nanaimo District Secondary School, has offered teens in an alternate program the opportunity to us ...

  • When the story becomes the therapy

    Autoethnography a powerful way to investigate personal & cultural issues, including trauma & illness Autoethnography is “research, writing, story, and method that connect the autobiographical and personal to the cultural, social, ...

  • Farming therapy and skills

    The Farm at Cedar Woods offers farm worker and food preparation training, along with therapeutic horticulture Cedar Woods Farm—located in Cedar, B.C.—describes itself as a 28 acre healing environment; it offers horticultural therapy and ...

  • A study in sense-making

    Looking at obsessive compulsive disorder: From arbitrariness of diagnosis to roles of recovering patient, the use of creative nonfiction in research Louise Tam attended PsychOUT: A Conference for Organizing Resistance Against Psychia ...

  • Compassion clubs targeted

    Police raids on compassion clubs providing medicinal marijuana are a reminder just how challenging change is going to be Police launched a major marijuana crackdown in Quebec last week, targeting 35 people in raids on marijuana compassio ...

  • Alcoholics Anonymous turns 75

    A June 10th, 1935 meeting between two alcoholic men revolutionized treatment for a malady that had puzzled for centuries What eventually became known as Alcoholics Anonymous began in Akron, Ohio, on June 10th, 1935, as a former New York ...

  • Who has the right to be on the sidewalk?

    Vancouver’s ‘downtown ambassadors’ are the target of a human rights complaint due to ‘hundreds of illegal removals’ On Monday, May 31, 2010, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal began hearing a human rights complaint made by Pivot Legal Societ ...

  • National housing strategy demanded

    Homeless and underhoused Ontarians launch a legal challenge against the federal and provincial governments On Wednesday May 26, 2010 Tracy Heffernan, a staff lawyer for the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, launched a legal challenge ...

  • May 2010“... ...”
  • On saving traditional languages

    Young activists are tackling the disappearance of traditional aboriginal languages using a unique learning method “If our language dies, then our identity as a nation does,” according to Squamish Nation member Dustin Rivers. Dustin recen ...

  • Food insecurity

    Nanaimo’s Salvation Army might abandon its meal program, leaving a big gap in food security The Salvation Army’s Nanaimo director of services Rob Anderson recently told the Nanaimo Working Group on Homelessness that the organization face ...

  • 2010: Not just surviving, but shining

    Gay and queer men to look at health, wellness in Nanaimo A three-day-long gathering in Nanaimo on May 28-30 is designed for gay and queer men who want to do more than “just survive.” SHINE will bring together men for workshops, social ev ...

  • Anti-homophobia versus bullying

    Schools appear to be taking up the leadership challenge In 2009, an adolescent health survey revealed that a quarter of gay and lesbian youths in Canada have attempted suicide at least once. And a total of 37% of gay and lesbian youngste ...

  • The withering away of psychiatry

    Bonnie Burstow’s anti-psychiatry activism and an attrition model for the termination of psychiatry For decades antipsychiatry activists have called for an end to psychiatry but the movement has offered little vision of how to bring about ...

  • A public challenge to institutional psychiatry

    An international movement comes together for a meeting in Toronto, and raises establishment hackles On May 7 and 8, 2010 over two hundred people gathered in Toronto for a conference focused on organizing resistance against psychiatry. Ps ...

  • On managing your child’s anxiety

    AnxietyBC offers a workshop for parents and caregivers of anxious children, from ages 6 to 12 It is normal for children to have times in their lives when they worry, especially when there has been a major change or stressor, such as movi ...

  • Apr 2010“... ...”
  • Rising demand for services at 7-10

    Increased numbers push Nanaimo's 7-10 Club to a financial edge The 7-10 Club provides hot breakfasts and bagged lunches to poor and needy people in Nanaimo five days a week. The organization has weathered changes over the years and recen ...

  • Making it crystal clear

    Mark McLaughlin’s tireless campaign to prevent the nightmare of meth addiction Last week approximately 200 Nanaimo school pupils heard Mark McLaughlin’s “Be Crystal Clear” presentation, learning more about refusal skills and keeping them ...

  • Aboriginal income gaps

    New research details the impact of education on Aboriginal women A recent study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says that income inequity between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals is entirely eliminated for women with univer ...

  • Bitter Medicine

    A ‘graphic memoir’ about brothers’ shared experiences with schizophrenia Two of Clem Martini’s brothers have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. One is Ben, the youngest. The other is Olivier, or Liv, an artist. Olivier illustrates this g ...

  • A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and A Prayer joins The Vagina Monologues

    New play a call to action and outreach to men to become allies in ending violence against women and children Eliza Gardiner and the Vancouver Island University Human Rights and International Solidarity Committee present Eve Ensler’s The ...

  • One pilgrim's progress

    Simon Walls’ wanderings are a part of his search for deeper meaning Singer-songwriter Simon Walls’ travels began shortly after the loss of a friend to suicide. He spent seven months in the Katimavik program and then walked across Spain, ...

  • Mar 2010“... ...”
  • Cuts "won't save money"

    B.C. government cutbacks aimed at the poor and struggling Following its March 2nd budget, the BC government announced a number of cuts to health and medical services available to people receiving disability and income assistance. Jane Dy ...

  • Called to Nanaimo

    Former top prison chaplain takes up new ministry Rev. Terry Richardson is the new pastor at Nanaimo’s Hope Lutheran Church. Before taking up his new position, he was the director general for chaplaincy and restorative justice with Correc ...

  • A team approach to wellness

    Self-management and community-based research take centre stage In 1997, while attending university, Michael Crane was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In recent years he has been working to try and find new and progressive ways to help o ...

  • Helping and healing

    How the father of orthomolecular psychiatry transformed the lives of thousands The late Dr. Abram Hoffer MD, PhD, was a Canadian orthomolecular psychiatrist and researcher. Dr. Hoffer and his co-workers were instrumental in the discovery ...

  • People's Corner

    Paul Beard wonders why the school system isn't doing more about bullying Paul Beard considers himself to be a survivor of bullying. Now, 30 years later, the former Woodlands Secondary student wonders what’s changed—and asks, “Why is this ...

  • A whole family response to mental illness

    A local Nanaimo organization is about to launch a program for family members and friends of people experiencing mental illness A ten session education program for family and friends of people with serious and persistent mental illnesse ...

  • Mental illness and the family experience

    Susan Inman's memoir, After Her Brain Broke, Helping My Daughter Recover Her Sanity, has been recommended by leading organizations advocating for families coping with mental illnesses No parent ever wants to see their child develop a chr ...

  • One family's struggle with eating disorder

    Nanaimo’s Samantha Dubinsky finally admitted to hospital amid scarcity of appropriate care Bryan Dubinsky went public last month with the struggle he and his daughter Samantha were facing trying to find help from a provincial health syst ...

  • Eating disorders on stage

    Students Fiona Sauder and Megan Carty create and perform a play about healthy eating, body image Two students from Ottawa’s Canterbury High School have created a theatre production based on overcoming unhealthy body image. The play, call ...

  • Feb 2010“... ...”
  • A national radio conversation

    Nanaimo’s CHLY and 30 other Canadian community radio stations bring homelessness and poverty issues to the air Canada’s 8th annual national Homelessness Radio Marathon will broadcast live from Nanaimo and cities across Canada on Tuesday, ...

  • The challenges experienced by youth with depression

    A grassroots awareness raiser is set for February 27, 2010 in Nanaimo Depression as an illness is a serious condition that brings about substantial changes in mood, behaviour, and thinking. It affects approximately 8% of adolescents. Man ...

  • Men's gathering

    The Mankind Project brings its 'warrior training' to Vancouver Island The “hero’s journey” of classical literature and myth has nearly disappeared in modern culture. The Mankind Project, through its New Warrior Training project, asks men ...

  • A bullying primer

    The bully, the bullied, and the role of the community Two recent deaths, by suicide, of bullied teens has again raised the issue of bullying in school settings. Ashkan Sultani, 15, of Lantzville, died January 12th. His parents have revea ...

  • Are we doing enough?

    Victoria tragedy, inquest puts spotlight on response to domestic violence in British Columbia The British Columbia government announced January 18th that it was taking immediate action to protect victims of domestic violence and ensure o ...

  • Runners keep it Riel

    Métis Nation’s Olympic focus unfolds during the “Year of the Métis” Métis Nation British Columbia’s 2010 Olympic torch relay team, “Keeping It Riel”, recently ran with the Vancouver 2010 Olympic torch. The team’s slogan, a tribute to Lou ...

  • Jan 2010“... ...”
  • On quality of life

    Turning to the experts who live successfully with BD Very little is known about how people successfully self-manage their bipolar disorder (BD). Information about people living successfully with BD isn’t nearly as easy to find, for examp ...

  • Housing campaigns

    Red tents and hunger strike call for national strategy Vancouver-based Pivot Legal Society, the Citywide Housing Coalition and other partners announced the launch of their Olympic red tent campaign on Monday January 25th, calling on the ...

  • A cappuccino home

    Simple design, low price just might be the key to providing affordable housing The Twelve Cubed Homes website says “welcome to the future” and “we do small in a big way” on its opening page. Ten cubed (ten cubic feet) and twelve cubed (t ...

  • The end of British Columbia's EIBI program

    How are affected families coping with the loss of this program for their children with autism? When the B.C. government announced changes to the way it funds autism support in the province, mothers of children with autism became activist ...

  • Elder rights and care

    Dealing with family and individual challenges The author of a newly-updated Nursing Homes and Assisted Living guide aims to help people choose appropriate care and learn how to advocate for their loved ones in complex care environments. ...

  • Shame on the smoker

    Using stigma as a public health tool in the prevention of smoking “In recent years, addictions policy has stressed the need to counteract stigmatization in order to promote public health. However, through tobacco ‘denormal-ization’ strat ...

  • Men's centres face ongoing challenges

    How men’s centres are, or aren’t, weathering the times Men’s centres in Nanaimo and Cowichan have experiences to share as 2010 gets underway. From funding crises to start-up challenges, organizers continue to agree on the importance of o ...

  • Dec 2009“... ...”
  • Let Beauty Be

    Poet Kit Pepper’s season in the Highlands of Guatemala Let Beauty Be: a Season in the Highlands, Guatemala is a cycle of sequential poems distilled from events and impressions Kit Pepper gained while volunteering in the northwestern high ...

  • How to survive the 10th grade

    Nanaimo students write, produce, and direct a high school survival film The trailer has been viewed over 22,000 times on YouTube...and the DVD is about to be released. For eleven months, a core group of students at Nanaimo’s Wellington S ...

  • Social justice past and present

    Drama, dialogue, and some holiday favourites We share some scenes from two of Charles Dickens’ series of Christmas books, The Chimes and A Christmas Carol along with passages from Thomas Carlyle’s Past and Present in a brief investigatio ...

  • The stress-free Christmas

    It’s not about the kitsch, it is about the connection Christmas is traditionally a season of joy, family reunions, friendship and generosity. So why do so many people get so tied up in knots about it all? For some, Christmastime can ...

  • Coalition raises poverty issues

    Group opposes Salvation Army lunch fee and is asking questions about shelters A Nanaimo-based advocacy group, the Creative Awareness Collective, is challenging a recent fee attached to the lunches served at The Salvation Army’s New Hope ...

  • The art of engagement

    A food bank takes to the streets to raise awareness in a new way Some organizations seem to “sparkle with life” while others feel “dull and mechanical.” The art of engagement is about creating environments in which people thrive—even whe ...

  • The changing face of Harewood

    Community co-operative gets ready for the future The Harewood Community Centre Cooperative met recently for its annual general meeting and to hear a talk about the changing face of Harewood. The HC3 cooperative says its close to bringing ...

  • Food banks face a busy time

    Statistics show a large increase in the use of food banks by Canadians National statistics released last month show the largest year-over-year increase in food bank use on record—but some provinces have been harder hit than others by the ...

  • Nov 2009“... ...”
  • Poverty persists

    British Columbia has the highest child poverty in Canada…again…or as usual? British Columbia had the highest child poverty rate in Canada for the sixth year in a row in 2007, according to a child poverty report card released this week. T ...

  • An action plan

    Scouts Canada’s ambitious hopes for youth and the future Scouts Canada’s chief commissioner has announced an ambitious action plan designed to grow the organization and change perceptions about Scouts Canada being a “traditional, old-fas ...

  • Tackling taboos in a graphic novel

    The Road to God Knows is an original graphic novel about hope, friendship, mental illness, schizophrenia, and a young teenage girl coping with her life and coming of age in a broken but loving family “The Road to God Knows…” is ...

  • The Benefits of Song

    Concert of Island musicians is set to support Nanaimo’s 7-10 Club Island singer-songwriters Bobbi Schram, Jerry Paquette, Island Hue, Brian Hazelbower, and Alyse Paquette have gathered their considerable talents for a special fundraising ...

  • The case for compassion

    Karen Armstrong’s Charter for Compassion and the golden rule The Charter for Compassion is a cooperative effort to restore compassionate thinking and compassionate action to the centre of religious, moral and political life. The Charter ...

  • Child sexual abuse

    Focus on community impacts as City of Nanaimo declares awareness week The City of Nanaimo has proclaimed November 16 to 21, 2009 as “Nanaimo Sexual Abuse Awareness Week.” Sexual Abuse Resource Committee (SARC) spokesperson Jacqueline Gau ...

  • Ryan's story

    From addiction to recovery and back into academic life “Talk to Ryan Glover to understand the true value of education,” an article posted on Vancouver Island University’s website suggests. Ryan was once living in active addiction and ...

  • Advise and guide

    Local mental health, addictions council needs new members A local advocacy group working on behalf of people experiencing mental illness and addictions is looking to expand its membership. The Nanaimo Mental Health and Addictions Advi ...

  • A father's story

    The Reena Virk tragedy has become teaching for all of us In the years since their daughter, Reena Virk, was murdered in Victoria B.C., Suman and Manjit Virk have made their work against bullying a top priority. In November 2009 British C ...

  • Oct 2009“... ...”
  • What a difference...a year makes

    Over the past year, a number of local organizations and groups have moved forward—facing and overcoming challenges and barriers—to step closer to their shared vision of helping some of Nanaimo’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens On ou ...

  • Transgendered youth, adults face social and medical challenges

    Transgender Canadians are coming out at younger ages than ever before, raising a range of questions about sensitive issues related to gender and identity.* We speak with Dr. Gail Knudson, medical director of the transgender health progra ...

  • Out of the wilderness

    An ordained minister tells his church that he is a transgendered man An ordained minister with over 27 years of service in the U.S. United Methodist Church shared with his congregation August 30th that he was born a girl and became a tra ...

  • Gender, identity and music

    Suzy Wedge's personal journey---becoming a trans-person for the first time Last New Year’s day, Suzy Wedge embraced femininity—differentiating it, as she says, from gender—becoming a trans-person for the first time. Her decision was foll ...

  • Parents push back

    Do British Columbia's cuts to autism programs make any sense? Several mothers of children with autism have become activists—and are challenging the B.C. Liberal government’s recent decision to reallocate funding from an early intensive b ...

  • Entirely preventable

    The prison suicide of Ashley Smith brings corrections deficiencies to light Ashley Smith was a troubled teen from Moncton, N.B. who had been assessed by child psychologists several times in her youth, and was in constant trouble with the ...

  • Not equipped

    Security trumps mental health care in Canadian prisons Canada’s federal correctional investigator, Howard Sapers, has released a report detailing the Correctional Service of Canada’s ongoing dealings with mentally ill prisoners. The i ...

  • Sep 2009“... ...”
  • The literacy connection

    Literacy is considered to be a human right---and a tool of personal empowerment Literacy is considered by the United Nations to be a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational op ...

  • Housing First is on its way to Nanaimo

    The city's working group on homelessness has set funding priorities The Nanaimo Working Group on Homelessness recently made decisions regarding the use of federal funding for local homelessness initiatives. But there were too many applic ...

  • 'Bipolar Babe' brings anti-stigma message

    Andrea Paquette's personal awareness campaign might just go viral A self-described former ‘bad-ass’, Andrea Paquette only discovered at age 26 that she had bipolar disorder, a diagnosis that helped her understand much of what had been ha ...

  • 'Boys to men' group aims to provide healthy mentoring

    Challenges boys face seem greater than ever before Challenges boys face today seem greater than ever before. Boys to Men Mentoring Network was created to guide boys aged 13-17 through their passage to manhood. The organization believes t ...

  • Suicide awareness

    Focus on a major preventable cause of premature death Suicide is a leading cause of death for people worldwide, and one of the three leading causes of death for young people under 25. Suicide has biological, cultural, social and psycholo ...

  • In the footsteps of the ancestors

    Local island summer camp focuses on Métis youth and culture Fifteen Métis communities across British Columbia were funded this summer to create a variety of youth projects. The projects focused on life skills, health, and personal, cultu ...

  • Aug 2009“... ...”
  • Just homeless and Aboriginal?

    Curtis Brick’s tragic death raises the issue of systemic racism Curtis Brick died last month after lying in the sun at a Vancouver park on one of the hottest days the city had seen all summer. Curtis Brick was a homeless aboriginal man. ...

  • The recognition of addiction as a chronic illness

    The British Columbia Medical Association has called for a full continuum of care for addictions in B.C. A policy paper released earlier this year also recommends that addiction be officially recognized by government as a chronic illness. ...

  • Good neighbours get together

    Block Party underscores importance of connection, citizenship, locality On Saturday August 8th, 2009, members of Nanaimo’s Diver Lake Community, and other neighbours, were invited to a block party called Neighbours Being Neighbours. It w ...

  • Humanities for everyone

    Vancouver Island University's Clemente course preps for fall The Clemente Course in the Humanities, first offered at Bard College in the U.S., grew out of the disturbing fact that many low-income residents have had limited access to coll ...

  • Jul 2009“... ...”
  • A new generation for the Assembly of First Nations

    Shawn Atleo becomes National Chief to the Assembly of First Nations Shawn Atleo, the hereditary chief of the Ahousaht nation on Vancouver Island, was elected July 23rd as National Chief of Canada’s Assembly of First Nations. The new chie ...

  • A new generation at Assembly of First Nations

  • The lo-fi media scene visits Nanaimo

    Tuff stuff out of the post-industrial ghost-lands of Buffalo, NY Filmmakers Marc Moscato and David Gracon are in Nanaimo on Wednesday July 22nd to present Tuff Stuff From the Buff, a collection of underground and defiantly independent vi ...

  • The connections between art and health

    Two artists talk about mental illness, mental health, and the creative path The experimental link between creativity and mental illness is well-documented, and now a new study out of Hungary has discovered what could be a genetic link be ...

  • Journey of a lifetime

    Paddling opens the door to culture, self awareness, and healthy lives Tribal Journeys is a high profile annual event for the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Youth on a Journey is a related program which helps to prepar ...

  • Finding shelter in a book club

    Homeless men share their experiences and hopes in a book club setting In the fall of 2007, outreach nurse Donna Kelly recognized that books had often become the common ground between her and her homeless patients. From her original idea, ...

  • Red Zone inspiration

    Nanaimo poet's voice returns after a decade Kim Goldberg is an author, poet, photographer and art activist. She has penned five full-length books, over 2,000 articles, and various chapbooks. Her poetry has appeared in numerous magazines ...

  • A garden at city hall

    Partnership underscores importance and awareness of local food security Former flower beds at Nanaimo’s city hall and at Beban Park have been turned into vegetable gardens to promote the local food movement. Three partners are involved i ...

  • 'Harm reduction': Buzz words defined

    A closer look at the term 'harm reduction' Despite the growth in the use of the term, the meaning, practice and implications of “harm reduction” are matters of some dispute, according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Har ...

  • Depression and suicide

    A high profile tragedy raises awareness Former Saskatchewan member of Parliament Dave Batters took his own life on June 29, 2009 after a lengthy battle with anxiety and depression. He was 39 years old. Mr. Batters left federal politics i ...

  • Pride and peril

    Navigating the space between brilliance and madness Will Hall is a 43-year-old man who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Doctors have prescribed medication for him. “But Hall would rather value his mentally extreme states than try t ...

  • A clear need for awareness

    British Columbia's hepatitis C challenge In British Columbia, the infection rate of hepatitis C is more than twice the national average. Rates in south and central Vancouver Island are even higher. The BC Centre for Disease Control estim ...

  • Barriers to change

    Safer crack cocaine use kits a harm reduction hard sell The smoking of crack cocaine is a relatively neglected public health problem in Canada, in comparison with injection drug use. Crack smoking involves particular risks and harms, inc ...

  • Jun 2009“... ...”
  • Jon Gerrard and Bill 230

    Manitoba's Liberal leader makes the case for a mental health bill of rights Jon Gerrard, leader of the Liberal party in Manitoba, introduced a bill on December 2, 2008 in the Manitoba Legislature to provide a bill of rights for citizens ...

  • A passionate advocate for people who are homeless

    Vancouver's homelessness advocate Judy Graves pays a visit to Nanaimo's homeless people Judy Graves, Coordinator for Vancouver’s Tenant Assistance Program, is a long-time, passionate advocate for the homeless. She began the Vancouver Hom ...

  • From coast to coast

    Wayne Cho's incredible journey Wayne Cho began a run across Canada last May 23, 2008 in St. John’s, Newfoundland to raise awareness for anxiety and depression, which affect a significant portion of the population but are often misunderst ...

  • Bouncing back

    Telephone-based mental health coaching service helps people with anxiety, depression Bounce Back is a program designed to help people experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety that may arise from stress or other life circumstances. ...

  • Attacking anxiety

    Programs and services from Anxiety B.C. respond to disorders AnxietyBC is a nonprofit organization working to increase awareness about anxiety disorders; promote education of the general public, affected persons, and health care provider ...

  • Coast to coast for awareness

    Wayne Cho's awareness run for anxiety and depression reaches Vancouver Island Wayne Cho began a run across Canada last May 23, 2008 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The purpose of his run is “to raise awareness for anxiety and depression, wh ...

  • Putting an end to domestic violence

    Haven Society responds to need Half of all Canadian women have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16 and every year in Canada, up to 360,000 children are exposed to domestic violence. 58,486 ...

  • Harm reduction goes guerilla

    Why Victoria activists are offering needle exchange in a 'no-go zone' Harm Reduction Victoria launched what it calls a “guerilla needle exchange” in downtown Victoria in the middle of a so-called “no-go zone”—an area that has been off-li ...

  • After the diagnosis

    Alzheimer's disease care and support As people age, a decline in thinking abilities and memory is expected, but when that decline is much faster than normal, the consequences can be devastating to those people and their loved ones. Such ...

  • May 2009“... ...”
  • A look at Mad Pride, in four interviews

    Artist and author Leef Evans: “I have to tell people” Leef Evans, an author and artist, experienced a severe bout of depression six years ago that resulted in hospitalization and the loss of apartment, car, and virtually all connection wit ...

  • 'Crime stopper of the year' engages youth

    Peter McGee has been traveling across B.C. and North America, training and presenting about how the program can engage youth in the digital age Crime Stoppers began in 1976 when a detective in New Mexico appealed to the public with a vid ...

  • Busking and the bureaucracy

    Made-in-Nanaimo approach frames busking as a downtown safety and security issue Arts and culture...or safety and security? Nanaimo’s Street Entertainer’s Bylaw was enacted in 2003 to control altercations between panhandlers and street en ...

  • Apr 2009“... ...”
  • Acting on social accessibility brings drama, discussion together

    An upcoming performance of Canadian playwright George F. Walker’s “Criminal Genius” will be accompanied by an interactive panel discussion involving at-risk youth and members of local service organizations ACTing on Social Accessibility: ...

  • Ark of truth: Luke Marston's contribution to the healing from residential schools

    Sacred Bentwood Box used at national events of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Ladysmith artist Luke Marston has created a symbol of truth and healing—a sacred Bentwood Box to be used at the seven national events of Canada’s ...

  • Losing confidence

    Green Party leader Elizabeth May on the state of Canadian politics “Canadians are waking up from our long political slumber to realize that there will not be change unless we insist upon it. We have a presidential-style prime minister wi ...

  • Hearing disturbing voices

    Experiential workshop for students and frontline workers provides a personal glimpse into mental health problems Pat Deegan is a clinical psychologist and also a psychiatric survivor, having first been diagnosed with schizophrenia as a t ...

  • From compassion to action

    In the third of a three-week series, From Compassion to Action, we talk with some of the volunteers who are making a difference in our community about their experiences, thoughts, and observations. We’re joined by Theatre BC volunteer Jerem ...

  • Gene competition

    A novel theory of mental disorders “Two scientists, drawing on their own powers of observation and a creative reading of recent genetic findings, have published a sweeping theory of brain development that would change the way mental diso ...

  • Traveling Swami

    A conversation about health and wellness, from the yogic perspective Swami Maheshananda Saraswati is an eminent yoga teacher who has devoted nearly two decades to learning and teaching the philosophical and practical aspects of Yoga and ...

  • From compassion to action

    In the second of a three-week series, From Compassion to Action, we talk with some of the volunteers who are making a difference in our community about their experiences, thoughts, and observations. We’re joined by Canadian Red Cross volunt ...

  • The Mankind Project

    A look at men's health and wellness The men’s movement, and its North American rise in the 1990s, is closely linked with poet Robert Bly’s book Iron John. Bly said in 1991 that he'd at first thought, “My male side was developed, and my f ...

  • A passion for nature

    In the first of a three-week series, From Compassion to Action, we talk with some of the volunteers who are making a difference in our community about their experiences, thoughts, and observations. We’re joined by long-time Morrell Nature S ...

  • Do you know where your voluntary sector is?

    As national volunteer week approaches, we focus on volunteerism...and speak with organizers and some of the volunteers in our community. What is the reality? What are the hopes? What are the trends? We’re joined by Volunteer Nanaimo exec ...

  • Mar 2009“... ...”
  • A frontline services roundtable

    Looking at food, shelter, and supports in Nanaimo Local frontline services are under increasing demand or are experiencing specific challenges. We’ve convened a frontline services roundtable to explore and update recent events ranging fr ...

  • The Vagina Monologues

    Witty, irreverent, compassionate, wise Celebrated as a bible for a new generation of women, The Vagina Monologues has been performed in cities across North America and at hundreds of college and university campuses. It has also inspired ...

  • Is there potential for new life at Harewood School?

    Harewood School was built in 1914, an imposing and highly visible building—and landmark—in Nanaimo. Recent discussions about the now-closed school’s potential as a community centre building have become bogged down in bureaucratic red tap ...

  • Life or meth?

    "Most addictive drug ever" is also considered the most destructive It has been described as a ‘hideously destructive substance’…and ‘the most addictive drug in the world’. Methamphetamine is a drug with high potential for widespread abus ...

  • Dining to make a difference

    Thousands of Islanders will dine out to fight HIV/AIDS on March 12, 2009. Donations from their food bills will be given to AIDS Vancouver Island. We speak with Andrea Langlois of AIDS Vancouver Island, and representatives from a number of p ...

  • War on drugs, drug politics, and drug crime

    Three interviews focused on drugs, from the world-wide war on drugs to the local gangs selling illegal substances Interviews with former provincial court judge Jerry Paradis, senator Larry Campbell, and street gangs expert Michael Chettl ...

  • Feb 2009“... ...”
  • A radio marathon---in an hour

    Highlights from local coverage of the 7th annual Canadian homelessness radio marathon On Monday Nanaimo’s CHLY 101.7 FM joined nearly forty radio stations across Canada and over one hundred radio stations in the U.S. in broadcasting cont ...

  • It only takes a moment...

    Open Minds, Open Windows brings hope to the stage A Nanaimo-based organization has been working to reduce the stigma and prejudice surrounding people with mental health issues. Open Minds Open Windows Society provides a range of supporti ...

  • When mental illness and addiction meet

    Concurrent disorders are more widespread than we realize—and in combination they make for unique challenges Concurrent disorders—the combination of a mental illness and substance use disorder—are much more widespread than many people rea ...

  • Isolating prostitution is unsafe, creating vulnerability, study says

    A new study published by the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS has shown that forcing prostitutes out of populated areas and into isolated locations increases violence and the spread of HIV. The most vulnerable were women who had been ...

  • Finding our way home: Focusing on B.C.'s housing crisis

    A documentary film about homelessness, based on a provincial tour by NDP MLA David Chudnovsky, was screened at a presentation earlier this week in Nanaimo. We speak with NDP MLA David Chudnovsky. 054_feb_12_2009_sm   ...

  • New needle disposal toolkit promotes safety

    Downtown Victoria’s Clean & Safe Committee is providing a safe needle disposal toolkit to share information about the disposal of needles and drug paraphernalia. We speak with Andrea Langlois from AIDS Vancouver Island. 052_feb_12_20 ...

  • Homelessness radio on 1,400 U.S. and Canadian stations

    Radio stations across North America, including CHLY, join 14-hour marathons focused on homelessness and poverty on Mon., Feb. 23. We speak with Jeremy Alderson, the U.S. founder of the Homelessness Marathon, about the event. 053_feb_12_2 ...

  • Parent mentors help with unique children

    A new project providing mentorship for children with special needs and their families has been launched in Nanaimo. We speak with Geri Sera from Nanaimo Unique Kids about a program designed for caregivers. 051_feb_12_2009_sm ...

  • Local filmmaker sounds the alarm on partnership deals

    “The Nanaimo filmmaker who exposed police ‘provocateurs’ to the world premieres his feature film about the Security Prosperity Partnership at Vancouver Island University. Paul Manly’s latest film You, Me, and the S.P.P: Trading Democracy fo ...

  • The single transferable vote and potential impacts on social issues

    This year’s B.C. provincial election will include a referendum on whether or not B.C. citizens want to adopt a new electoral system based on the concept of a “single transferable vote”. In our first look at the upcoming provincial election ...

  • Jan 2009“... ...”
  • Eating disorders are on the rise

    February 1-7, 2009 is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week in Canada Our society's preoccupation with body image is reflected in the fact that, at any given time, 70% of women and 35% of men are dieting. More seriously, a 1993 Statist ...

  • Coastal Health program helps Aboriginal patients navigate the health system

    A new program designed to help Aboriginal patients access and navigate their way through Vancouver Coastal health launched on January 20th. Aboriginal Patient Navigators will provide referral, advocacy and support to patients to ensure acce ...

  • Federal government promises spending for impoverished First Nations

    “The federal Conservatives will spend an extra $1.4 billion on Aboriginal issues—mostly to help Canada’s impoverished native reserves—in the budget that is covering everything from sea ports to railways. Aboriginal leaders, accustomed over ...

  • Homelessness on film, by Victoria's Movie Monday

    Victoria’s popular Movie Monday film series presents a weekend of films and forums about homelessness this Saturday, Sunday and Monday (January 24-26th). It begins Saturday evening at 7 p.m. with special guest Judy Graves, Vancouver’s city ...

  • Balmoral Hotel upgrades bring supportive housing to south Nanaimo

    In September 2008 the Canadian Mental Health Association purchased the Balmoral Hotel building on Haliburton Street in Nanaimo for the purposes of providing supportive housing and outreach. Christina Martens, CMHA’s Mid-Island Branch execut ...

  • One man's story of recovery, in his own words

    Wallace Malay is a Nanaimo artist and a student at Vancouver Island University. There was a time, however, when Wallace was homeless, ill, and in active addiction. Wallace Malay joins us in the studio to share his personal story of exper ...

  • Seminar to focus on youth anxiety, acute disorders

    Anxiety disorders are surprisingly common in children and teenagers, affecting approximately 10 per cent of them. Unfortunately, 80 per cent of anxiety disorders in this age group go untreated. What are anxiety disorders? Why do they occ ...

  • RDSP for disability savings comes into effect January 1st

    In what is considered one of the most significant disability initiatives since the International Year of the Disabled in 1981, Canada’s federal government has launched a new tax-deferred savings plan for people living with a disability. ...

  • Calling attention to the national tragedy of homelessness

    Vancouver housing activist Am Johal is coordinating a hunger strike to shame the federal government into reinstituting a national housing program. Canadians from coast to coast can participate by spending a week on a liquid-only diet. The h ...

  • 2008 becomes 2009: A look back and a look forward

    We devote our full program this week to a review of some of the stories that made the news in 2008...month by month...from the perspective of social issues as they unfolded...primarily in the Nanaimo region. We also look forward to what 200 ...

  • Dec 2008“... ...”
  • Oscar Clemotte on philosophy and the art of classical guitar

    Oscar Clemotte is both a professor of philosophy and a classical guitarist. He joins us in the studio for a talk about philosophy, ethics, and music. And, he brings a guitar along to share some music with us. 035_dec_18_2008_sm  Image: ...

  • Bouncing back with mental health supports on Vancouver Island

    It’s not uncommon for people with conditions like arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain, etc. to feel anxious or depressed. Bounce Back: Reclaim your Health is a new self-help program designed to help people living with chronic p ...

  • First Unitarian joins extreme weather response in Nanaimo

    A cold snap and expected record cold weather has put Nanaimo’s extreme weather response program into operation. First Unitarian Fellowship has become the first local church to join the downtown Salvation Army in providing overnight shelter ...

  • Banking food: Touching base with a first line of defense

    Food banks are bringing new meaning to the phrase “run on the bank” as demand for food support rises while—in some areas—donations aren’t rising. We talk about food banks and their campaigns and what they are seeing on the frontlines. We ...

  • Harm reduction surprise

    Nanaimo's Old City Quarter eyes a new neighbour Nanaimo Old City Quarter businesses are crying “foul” after they were surprised by news that Nanaimo’s needle exchange program will be relocated to their neighbourhood...on January 1st. ...

  • Yoga talk: More than just exercise

    Yoga’s physical and mental practices and disciplines are increasingly popular and being adopted by many. We speak with yoga teachers Kim Leduc and Kelly Murphy about yoga and its potential benefit and/or therapeutic use in helping with addi ...

  • Nov 2008“... ...”
  • People's Corner: Tents for Nanaimo's homeless people?

    The BC supreme court decision that struck down Victoria’s bylaws preventing homeless people from camping in the city’s parks created a storm of controversy and discussion...and renewed the homelessness dilemma in the eyes of many municipal ...

  • Coping talk: The holiday season isn't always merry

    December is almost here, and Christmas and holiday planning and activities are already underway. This time of year is commonly described as stressful and challenging...along with the more positive descriptions, of course. What are some o ...

  • Teachable moments: When does bullying become hate?

    Nearly 5,000 people joined an online Facebook campaign which urged members to “get them steel toes ready” for a day of booting last week. The website appears to have been inspired by an episode of the cartoon South Park, in which a young ch ...

  • People's Corner: Nanaimo harbour homes at risk

    Danny Dolen lives on a boat in the Nanaimo Harbour. He joins us to share his concerns related to new Nanaimo Port Authority rules for live-aboards and the potential impacts on people living on their boats in the Nanaimo and Ladysmith areas ...

  • Á vélo pour les sans-abri

    Francophone students bike for a cause Nanaimo high school student Joshua Cheng is on the road with other B.C. francophone students to raise funds and awareness for homelessness. He’s Nanaimo’s first participant in the second year of a bi ...

  • Oct 2008“... ...”
  • Tents for the homeless?

    The Victoria ruling and its impacts “I’m sleeping in a tent-city tonight,” David Johnson declared in an email from Victoria. Earlier that week, a BC supreme court ruling struck down Victoria bylaws making it illegal for homeless people t ...

  • Prisoner of war: PTSD and the personal battle

    Rick joined the Canadian army right out of high school. He was a dad at age 19 and a paratrooper at 20. He served with the coalition forces during Gulf War I in Kuwait and was a veteran of war by the time he turned 21. But “something was ...

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