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Catalyst

Fabiola Phillipe

For employees, the past two-plus years have been a whirlwind. After COVID-19 threw the world into disarray, people were forced to grapple in the dark and adjust to new work environments.

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They’re called comfort foods for a reason: sugar, salt, and carbs give us a quick boost of flavour and familiarity. Making the case for comforting foods that nourish our mind and body.

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It’s Pride Month! These celebratory events — signature weeks and months, T-shirt days, and other public acknowledgments — provide visibility and a sense of collectivity. Let’s not let the colours fade when the calendar changes.

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Essential Connections

Evidence that strong interpersonal connections are essential to our mental and physical health is growing. And these ties may be more important as we age, particularly among older adults living in retirement residences and long-term care homes. According to Dr. Kristine Theurer, who’s been a researcher in the long-term care sector for more than two decades, “We all yearn to connect with others, and for many people, moving into a residence means seeing friends and family less frequently. So it’s crucial for them to make new connections.”

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Tough Talk

Long before I knew what mental health was, I knew that men didn’t talk about it. Certain topics were simply off the table, with deep personal feelings heading the list. To talk about those things would be unnatural, unwelcome, and uncomfortable — not to mention unmasculine.

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It’s Broke – And Don’t Fix it

First, it’s best not to assume we know how that person feels and what they should do. I often say, “Don’t let anyone “should” on you today, and don’t “should” on yourself. So, let’s get away from our preconceived notions of what the person should do.

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This is your brain on Instagram

While Digital Health Week was a celebration of the advantages of connected care — from virtual consultations to e-health records to useful apps — it was also an opportunity to reflect on how we maintain our best mental wellness in an increasingly digitized world.

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Catalyst Magazine

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Safe — and Sound

When the language of isolation, quarantine, and lockdown predominates, there isn’t much room for words like socialize, connect, or empathize. Yet even though the pandemic has made our workplaces more prone than ever to stress and anxiety, creating a culture that gives workers the confidence to ask for mental health support has always been a challenge.

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When I first learned that Carolyn Bennett had been named Canada’s inaugural minister of mental health and addictions, I was overcome with gratitude.

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Leading With Mental Health in Mind: Tips for Managers in a Hybrid Workplace

The shift to permanent hybrid office schedules in post-pandemic workplaces presents a unique challenge for managers and team leaders. Although flexible work has been shown to reduce psychological and physical stress in previously non-remote employees, a distributed team requires different approaches in managing employee orientation, performance issues, and conflicts.

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Meditations on motherhood, mental illness, and resiliency

It’s easy to make assumptions about people based on their academic accomplishments, professional successes, or philanthropic contributions. But sometimes if you pull back the curtain, you discover untold depths and hardships that reveal a more valuable story than a five-sentence biography can.

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People 85 and older make up Canada’s fastest-growing population segment, increasing at nearly four times the rate of the total. Also growing quickly is the number of evidence-based tools and strategies to help them live longer, happier, and more fulfilling lives, which is good news, since the size of this group will triple over the next few decades.

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Dr. Manon Charbonneau remembers the day vividly, though she’d rather forget it. “So that’s it, then — cancer,” she recalls saying in disbelief with her eyes locked on the digital images of her mammogram. The radiologist confirmed the diagnosis, and in a moment her world was “completely dismantled.”

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Spotlight on recovery

I reached Ian Morrison at his office at the Regina branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). A graduate of the Humber College comedy writing program, he teaches people how to harness their experiences — with mental illness and life in general — into stand-up comedy routines. “It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,” he said. “Just tell jokes, make people laugh.”

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More Stories

Industry turbulence: Building mental health into WestJet’s pandemic operations

When the world shut down in early 2020, industries around the globe were forced into the realities of operating during a pandemic. Perhaps no sector was as hard hit as the airline industry, with many organizations laying off thousands of workers in an effort to keep up with the ever-evolving landscape of COVID-19 travel. WestJet’s organizational well-being manager Lisa Dodwell-Greaves described the experience as nerve wracking.

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MHCC research inspires funding opportunity

Research conducted by Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) staff into early childhood mental health has helped inspire a new, multi-million dollar funding initiative by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). This spring, CIHR’s Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH) expects to issue a call for proposals devoted to early childhood mental health.

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More than skin deep

“I’m so glad you’re Black.” That’s the first thing Donna Richards hears from her new client. But as one of the few African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) clinicians working in the client’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) — and one of the few ACB psychotherapists in Canada — she hears it a lot.

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A new curriculum of challenges

September in a post-vaccinated world was supposed to hold the promise of a return to normalcy. And while there was elation when that first bell rang, a new reality has since set in — one that includes helping children manage their emotions as COVID continues to leave its stamp on school communities.

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