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Gender, identity and music

October 8th, 2009 | Posted by vimhsadmin in people first media - (Comments Off on Gender, identity and music)

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Suzy Wedge’s personal journey—becoming a trans-person for the first time

picture 134Last 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 followed by creative wave of song-writing, and Suzy Wedge and the Waves was born. As the band’s new CD—Transgression—is about to be released, we speak with Suzy Wedge about gender, identity, and music—and her personal experiences as a trans-person living in Nanaimo, B.C. Through music, and her developing activism, Suzy Wedge is calling for a ‘transgender revolution’. (more…)

Parents push back

October 8th, 2009 | Posted by vimhsadmin in people first media - (Comments Off on Parents push back)

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Do British Columbia’s cuts to autism programs make any sense?

picture 135Several 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 behavioral intervention (EIBI)  program. EIBI provides intensive early interventions that parents argue are effective—and that research suggests is cost-effective. (more…)

Entirely preventable

October 1st, 2009 | Posted by vimhsadmin in people first media - (Comments Off on Entirely preventable)

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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 law. She was eventually placed in Ontario’s Grand Valley Institution for Women, a federal prison, when she was 18. (more…)

Not equipped

October 1st, 2009 | Posted by vimhsadmin in people first media - (Comments Off on Not equipped)

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Security trumps mental health care in Canadian prisons

picture 131Canada’s federal correctional investigator, Howard Sapers, has released a report detailing the Correctional Service of Canada’s ongoing dealings with mentally ill prisoners.

The investigator said that “security practices continue to trump clinical needs in the care and custody of offenders with mental health problems.” Mr. Sapers had earlier chronicled the systemic failures that led to the death, by suicide, of 19-year-old inmate Ashley Smith in a Kitchener, Ontario prison cell on October 19, 2007. (more…)

The literacy connection

September 17th, 2009 | Posted by vimhsadmin in people first media - (Comments Off on The literacy connection)

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Literacy is considered to be a human right—and a tool of personal empowerment

picture 128Literacy 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 opportunities, particularly, depend on literacy. This year’s International Literacy Day—held on September 8th—put the spotlight on the empowering role of literacy and its importance for participation, citizenship and social development. (more…)

Housing First is on its way to Nanaimo

September 17th, 2009 | Posted by vimhsadmin in people first media - (Comments Off on Housing First is on its way to Nanaimo)

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The city’s working group on homelessness has set funding priorities

picture 127The Nanaimo Working Group on Homelessness recently made decisions regarding the use of federal funding for local homelessness initiatives. But there were too many applicants for the limited funding available. One program that will not receive an annual grant this year is Haven Society’s Willow Wai initiative—a program that helps sex workers and other homeless women off the streets.

The funding decisions have raised questions about priorities, strategies, and approaches to dealing with homelessness in the community—against the backdrop of funding challenges. (more…)