Living a Normal Life with Dementia
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Living a Normal Life with Dementia

In August 2019, Canada’s first “dementia village” – a community specifically designed for people living with dementia – opened in Langley, B.C. “We practice person-directed care, focused on enriched living” said Adrienne Alford-Burt, executive director at the Village Langley. The philosophy of person-directed care is centred on values including choice, preferences, self-determination and meaningful living.

Mental Health Gaps
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Mental Health Gaps

A few weeks ago, I got a text from a close friend saying he was on the Burlington Skyway, the 40-metre-high bridge running between Burlington and Hamilton, Ont., and he was going to jump. It was 3:30 p.m. With two kids just home from school, I hesitated to call the police. But after this person didn’t return my texts or calls, I called 911. They dispatched cruisers to the area and started to search. After several hours of back and forth with the police, they let me know they eventually found him safe and sound. He had been bluffing. I was relieved, but angry.

Mental Health Crisis on Canadian Farms
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Mental Health Crisis on Canadian Farms

IN JANUARY LAST YEAR, an Ontario farmer was convicted of four counts of animal cruelty, after the deaths of more than 1,500 pigs near the small town of Tavistock, Ont. Police officers arrived on the farm to find 1,265 pigs already dead, and another 250 pigs in such distress that they had to be euthanized.

The Mysterious Science of Mental Illness
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The Mysterious Science of Mental Illness

If you have an infection, we can grow a culture of the bacteria that caused it and usually prescribe an antibiotic to fight it. If you have Type 1 diabetes, we know that your pancreas has stopped making insulin and, while we cannot fix it, we can prescribe insulin injections to prevent it from being fatal. If you have Parkinson’s disease, we know that a large number of your dopamine neurons have died, and we can reduce the adverse consequences for years with L-dopa drugs. But with mental illnesses like depression, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders, we are still in the dark; their cause is unclear, and their treatment is less than satisfactory. We all wish it were not so.