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mental health

July-August 2018

What the #MeToo movement hasn’t said about mental health and sexual assault

The movement has largely focused on male entitlement and toxic masculinity. But failing to discuss, support, and connect the patriarchy-endorsed violence against women with its long-term mental health effects is problematic

Lori Fox

When Krista Dale was 11 years old, she awoke from a sleepwalking episode to find her stepfather on the couch next to her. “He was trying to have sex with me,” she remembers, 18 years after the incident. “I freaked out.” She ran to the bathroom, locked herself in, and began yelling for her mother, […] More »
July-August 2018

Tracking Canada’s investments in mental health initiatives over the past year

A look at care, from coast to coast to coast

Sohini Bhattacharya

For the first time in the history of Canadian mental health, in 2017, the federal government announced an investment of $5 billion to improve access to nationwide services. The lump sum, which is part of the government’s Health Accord with the provinces and territories, is slated to roll out over the next 10 years. Mental […] More »
July-August 2018

When it comes to representations of OCD in media, we can do so much better

We shouldn't have to rely on stereotyped characters to see ourselves in the shows and movies we consume

Lisa Whittington-Hill

I am quite open about the fact that I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD. Talking about it comes easy to me. More difficult to handle are the reactions I get from others. “So are you like that nerd on The Big Bang Theory?” someone in a work meeting recently joked after I mentioned my […] More »
July-August 2018

Inside the battle to modernize 1960s-era mental health housing in Ontario

They're home to Canada's most vulnerable. They want change, but many decision makers are fighting it

Megan Marrelli

On a rainy Thursday in April, I arrive at a yellow brick, split-level house in London, Ont. People are doing word searches at a large dining table. Some help themselves to a container of freshly baked peanut butter cookies, and CBC News is playing on a television in the living room. This house, tucked away in […] More »
July-August 2018

Inside Ontario’s Cedar Centre, a space to care for those who have experienced childhood trauma

Executive director Alison Peck on the programs once considered one of Ontario's best-kept secrets for mental health care

Sohini Bhattacharya

As a child, Tim Johnson was sexually abused by multiple adults. Brief therapy sessions then didn’t help him. “I wasn’t ready for it,” says Johnson, who’s now a paramedic in York Region, Ont. As an adult, memories of his abuse started creeping back until he hit rock bottom. “One day I left work with the […] More »
July-August 2018

I tried to kill myself. I survived. When Canada’s health care system failed me, I tried again, and again

What needs to change in our country's suicide crisis intervention system

Sarah Mann

For more than half my life, someone has been trying to kill me. That someone is me. The first time I considered ending my life, I was eight or nine years old, living in a rented house with my father and brother in Owen Sound, Ont. My mother had moved out years earlier, after my […] More »

The obvious gender bias at play in the media’s coverage of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain’s deaths

The two died by suicide just days apart, but the coverage of their deaths that followed was stark in its gendered differences

Lisa Whittington-Hill

The new issue of People magazine has both celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade on its cover. Sadly, the magazine is the only weekly tabloid to give both stars the cover treatment, with other magazines featuring only Bourdain. When Spade and Bourdain died by suicide, just days apart, tributes and tweets celebrated the […] More »
May-June 2018

How one Toronto poet’s work has opened up conversations on mental health

Meet Sabrina Benaim

Michelle Cyca

Poetry isn’t a vocation associated with typical career paths, but even so, Toronto-based poet Sabrina Benaim’s journey has been unusually meteoric. In 2014, she performed a poem called Explaining My Depression to My Mother at the National Poetry Slam in Oakland, California. “Mom, my depression is a shapeshifter,” she begins in the video that has […] More »
November-December

Social workers devote their lives to helping others. Why aren’t they receiving help themselves?

Behind the shortcomings of the mental health care industry

Shauna McGinn

Years ago, walking through downtown Ottawa made Amanda Rocheleau anxious. As a social worker at The Ottawa Mission, one of the city’s largest homeless shelters, she knew almost every homeless person by name, and they knew hers. She listened to their stories every day—of childhood abuse, neglect, struggles with addiction and mental disorders. It didn’t […] More »
September-October 2017

How to provide a safe haven for those struggling with mental health challenges

Inside Percy Sacobie's Take a Break Lodge

Maverick Canterville@mavjaycee

“You have to stay here with me ’cause I don’t want you to be responsible for me,” insists a visitor to Percy Sacobie’s cabin in the woods behind his mother’s house. “You’re responsible for what you do to yourself,” Sacobie replies. He stops by the cabin every morning and every evening, but beyond that, its […] 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 »