The Empty Chair

The Empty Chair

AUDIO | We all have stories to tell. But what if there was no one to hear them? Dave Lawrence is a long-time Nanaimo barber who has listened to hundreds of stories, from hundreds of people, as they sit in his barber chair. But sometimes elderly customers simply stop...

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Pantone creates the world’s most unignorable colour

What do you do if you want to really draw attention to a campaign? If you're United Way – a Canadian network of non-profits that work locally to raise funds and improve lives in their communities – you rope in Pantone to use a bit of colour theory and create a new hue...

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In rehab, ‘two warring factions’: Abstinence vs. medication

Just past a cemetery along a country road, an addiction treatment center called JourneyPure at the River draws hundreds of patients a month who are addicted to opioids and other drugs. They divide their days between therapy sessions, songwriting, communing with horses...

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Openness on mental health is just what we need

Far too many young lives are tragically lost every year in this province because for a time in their lives they cannot see over the mountaintop of hopelessness. Nobody thinks it can happen in their family until it does. Often, we get so caught up with living that we...

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Alfred Andrew’s road to recovery

After almost 40 years of substance use and rounds of homelessness and living on the street, Alfred Andrew is now sober and working to help others who are struggling as he once did. Alfred lives in Campbell River on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. He now works in...

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Out of the box: Acquired brain injury and mental health

After a brain injury, it can be very difficult to navigate and cope with complex issues of life. It doesn’t make things easier that acquired brain injury, mental health, and related issues such as substance use and addiction are usually treated by different systems of...

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Opioids and Oatmeal

Amanda Jones is a creative writing student at Vancouver Island University. She’s been writing and speaking about her sister Amy’s descent into mental illness and addiction and Amy’s virtual disappearance into Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside. We first spoke...

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