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March-April 2017

This Hamilton, Ont. doctor is spearheading a unique blend of Western medicine and traditional Indigenous healing

Meet Samantha Boshart, our March/April 2017 all-star

Laura Eley

For 34-year-old Samantha Boshart, a practising physician at Hamilton, Ont.’s Aboriginal Health Centre and member of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, health care is about more than just prescribing medication. By combining her training as a Western physician with traditional Indigenous healing, she’s helping to tackle unique and particular health challenges facing Canada’s […] More »
March-April 2017

Thousands of Canadian women are dismissed by their doctors—because of their gender

Lisa Benshabat was told by doctors that things were "all in her head" when she was unwell. Then she took her life. Why women are routinely silenced by medical professionals

Talia Wooldridge@TaliaWooldridge

On February 9, 2016, at 3:45 p.m., Gail Benshabat sent a text to her 27-year-old daughter, Lisa, asking if she wanted to catch an early movie. Benshabat was wrapping up her workday at a quiet special needs school in the north end of Toronto, about a 30-minute drive from the third-floor apartment where she lived […] More »
March-April 2017

What it means to be a Canadian living without ID

Dan McLaughlin lived 15 years without government identification—and thousands of others just like him exist across the country

Megan Marrelli@megmarrelli

  The night bus to Toronto’s North York General Hospital was nearly empty at two o’clock in the morning in September 2014, and Dan McLaughlin was nervous. He was on his way to receive an MRI so that doctors could diagnose a painful back injury, the result of years of hard labour, previous drug abuse, […] More »

I’ve lived with Borderline Personality Disorder for years. Why I’m finally talking about my diagnosis.

Erica Ruth Kelly was diagnosed in her teens, but stigma has kept her quiet—even amid calls for more acceptance of mental health challenges

Erica Ruth Kelly

Current photo of the author. Trigger warning: self-injury, suicide When I was 18, a psychiatrist kicked me out of her office in my hometown of Montreal. A framed Sigmund Freud witnessed my humiliation. I’d raised my voice, confessing that I’d scratched up my arm again because I was “fucking sad.” My psychiatrist told me to […] More »
March-April 2017

Inside the struggle queer, Indigenous couples must overcome to start a family

There are only 20 Canadian anonymous sperm donors. None of them are Indigenous. What are LGBTQ families to do?

Steph Wechsler@steph_wechsler

Amanda Thompson remembers meeting the other participant in her months-long game of tap-tap. She would tap on her partner’s belly, and someone would tap back from inside. After an eventful day, the result of careful deliberations and a planned C-section, Thompson met her daughter, feeling instantly familiar. As soon as she was born, “it was […] More »
March-April 2017

What are Canadian politicians saying about supervised injection sites?

A look throughout the country, city by city

This Magazine

Vancouver’s Insite facility. Photo courtesy of Vancouver Coastal Health. Ottawa: The feds “I’ve made it very clear to my department that there should be no unnecessary barriers for communities who want to open supervised consumption sites.”—Jane Philpott, federal health minister Progress report Bill C-37 was tabled in December 2016 to simplify the process of opening […] More »
March-April 2017

Medical users are wary about Canada’s impending legalization of cannabis

It could affect affordability and accessibility, critics say

Larkin Schmiedl@LarkinSchmiedl

Photo by The Canadian Press Images/Lars Hagberg After decades of court battles that won chronically ill patients the right to use cannabis as medicine, many wonder whether the impending legalization of recreational pot will trample over the progress they’ve made. A government group tasked with creating a framework for legalizing and regulating cannabis published its […] More »
March-April 2017

Canadian university students aren’t getting the mental health care they need after graduation

Universities offer students mental health care to deal with the challenges of post-secondary education. But what happens when they graduate? On the tricky navigation of counselling after school

Carine Abouseif@carineabouseif

Illustration by Matt Daley “Open or closed?” “Closed, please.” I click the wooden door shut. I walk past the poster-lined office, climb the stairs out of the building, and emerge onto the sunny Ryerson University campus in downtown Toronto. I trudge to the subway, shuffling onto a northbound train just as the door closes. I […] More »
March-April 2017

From hearing to hard-of-hearing to deaf: A journey through sound

Sarah Vermette

There are many videos online of people hearing for the first time through a cochlear implant. The adult recipient typically cries tears of joy. This was not my experience. When the sound was turned on at age 24, it caused physical and emotional discomfort. It shook my world. I spent the next few days sleeping […] More »
March-April 2017

This Alberta animal-assisted therapy takes an inventive approach to mental health care

Eileen Bona's Dreamcatcher Nature-Assisted Therapy Association uses animals to put Canadians back in touch with nature

Laura Eley

Photo by Stephanie Willis, Falling Leaves Photography Thirty minutes due east of Edmonton, where the traffic signals turn from streetlights to stop signs, is the town of Ardrossan. Here, you’ll find the Dreamcatcher Nature-Assisted Therapy Association, perched on 40 acres of lush, tree-lined, and trailed land. Founded in 2003 by psychologist Eileen Bona, Dreamcatcher has […] More »
January-February 2017

These reusable pads are changing women’s periods across the world

Lunapads tackle the ongoing cost and environment waste of traditional menstrual products

Courtney Dickson@dicksoncourtney

Photo courtesy of Afripads Madeleine Shaw had been making reuasable cloth menstrual pads for six years when she met Suzanne Siemens at a community leadership course in 1999. The women instantly clicked over their shared goals around business and social change, and together, they decided to take Shaw’s pad project to the next level. “When I […] More »