New research being conducted by Dr. Lili-Naz Hazrati at the University of Toronto is investigating the association between head trauma and future risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. "Trauma is one of the risk factors involved in Alzheimer’s. It’s an area I’m [Dr. Hazrati] especially interested in, and where I’ve been able to make a breakthrough studying how concussions may cause inflammation in the brain. My lab is identifying the inflammatory pathways that, when activated, may eventually lead to the development of age-related brain diseases. Our findings reveal that head injuries trigger a type of chronic swelling in the brain that could be at play in Alzheimer’s. Looking at the disease through the lens of head injuries is a new and hopeful area. I also think it will be interesting to learn why some people don’t suffer any ill effects from head trauma. Those people might hold the key to a future Alzheimer’s treatment." To read more about the work being done in this area by Dr. Hazrati and her research lab, check out this recent article appearing in the Toronto Star.
A guide to when and how to safely go off psychiatric medications:
In an interview in October with Jian Ghomeshi, former NHL goalie Clint Malarchuk opens up about his struggles with depression, OCD, PTSD, and alcoholism, and shares how hockey was his escape from mental illness.
In the interview (link to video here), Malarchuk also discusses his new memoir "The Crazy Game" which he hopes will help fight against the stigma of mental illness and encourage more people to talk about mental health ...
Hockey fans and those interested in mental health
It is commonly known that exercise contributes to overall well-being, but a study now shows that yoga can be as effective as counselling to patients on medication for depression. Family doctor Shailla Vaidya has begun prescribing yoga for her patients and she hopes that other physicians will follow suite. Yoga has been shown to improve mood, energy and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Having the ability to manage some of the side effects that come with mental illness is empowering patients, and making a big difference in their lives.
Watch or read the story here: http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/healing-the-mind-science-shows-yoga-can-help-treat-depression-anxiety-1.2207418
Today is Bell Let's Talk Day! For every text message sent, mobile or long distance call made, tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and share of the Howie Mandel image on Facebook, Bell will donate 5¢ to mental health initiatives!
Mental illness affects 1 in 5 Canadians, so take a few moments today to show your support and help raise money for greatly-needed mental health services and supports! By joining in on the conversation, we can help to put an end to the stigma surrounding mental illness.
HOpe Cafe is a cafe unlike any other. What sets it apart however, is not the coffee they serve, but rather it's the baristas and staff they employ that makes the enterprise the first of it's kind in the province ...
Found in the HOpe Centre at the Lions Gate Hospital in BC, and arising out of a partnership between Canadian Mental Health Association, Vancouver Coastal Health, and Blenz Coffe, HOpe Cafe is a business which employs individuals who have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, or as they prefer to say, have "lived experiences" with mental illness.
""The thing I love more than anything is that it’s open to the public, and people from the neighbourhood are coming and grabbing a cup of coffee,” Burgmann [Dr. Allan Burgmann, Medical Director of Inpatient Psychiatry] said. “Very quickly, it begins to erode that stigma of mental illness ...
“The brilliance of this partnership is that it’s forging a relationship where people can, at a certain stage of recovery, get employed, get some work experience, have a sense of purpose, and get back into their lives, which is phenomenal,” he added. “It’s another innovative step in us getting people back, well, and into the community.”"
Find out more here: http://www.straight.com/life/809406/hope-cafe-counters-stigma-around-mental-illness
A 2015 review from Common Sense Media gives somber insight into the implications of our contemporary societies obsession with physicalappearance towards the incoming generation. Results show that an astounding 1/4 children have dieted prior to the age of 7, and that figure rises to 80% of American girls by the age of 10. A provoking read that challenges the reader to consider the repercussions of the changes we are making to combat the obesity epidemic, while concurrently aiding the issue of body image and eating disorders.
Link to the article:
Link to the original infographic:https://www.commonsensemedia.org/children-teens-body-image-media-infographic
A great article on the interconnectedness of mental health and racial violence.
"The events of 2014 are not unique. Not the killings of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Dontre Hamilton or John Crawford, among others. They are part and parcel of an extended pattern of many decades of neglect: both of our poorest communities and our police. Each of which is traumatized, and each which is poorly served in terms of mental health resources. It’s a toxic mix, and one that will continue to produce noxious results.
We cannot afford to be naïve any longer. We know there is racism — individual and institutional — within our police departments. We strongly suspect that many officers must be suffering from some form of PTSD due to their experiences on the job. Likewise, we know that members of impoverished communities are often mired in cyclical dysfunction that has complicated historical and sociological foundations, and this produces a litany of mental illnesses that worsen as they go untreated.
We need structural reform."
Catch up up on all the news related to psychiatry and mental health from last week!
Thanks to Dalhousie Medical School for their support and helping to spread the word about Beyond The Body!
You can learn more about the Beyond The Body project by checking out Dalhousie's interview with our Founder, Tara Riddell here:
Supporting and enhancing students' and health professionals' knowledge and understanding of mental health and psychiatry