Thursday, December 13, 2007

Caregiver Education Series--Vancouver, Richmond & North Vancouver

Caring and Learning Together: A Caregiver Education Series

Presented by the Geropsychiatric Education Program (GPEP). During this 4-week series, you will Increase your understanding of Dementia, Delirium and Depression, Increase your skills and confidence in providing care, Share experiences with other caregivers.

Spring 2008 Schedule:
Richmond: February 1, 8, 15, 22, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm
North Shore: March 19 & 26, April 2 & 9 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

For details or to register, email:

Advanced classes (for graduates of the intro. class) also available in Vancouver and on the North Shore. Topics include: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Personality Disorders, Intimacy, Sexuality and Sexual Behaviours in Dementia, Pain Assessment and Palliative Care, and Responding to Verbal and Physical Aggression. For more information email

From: VCH "Westside enewsletter" December 13, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Understanding Adolescent Sexuality & Teaching Sex Ed

A workshop on implementing sex education for groups

April 11, 2008
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Quality Hotel
Regina, SK

"Many teachers are required to teach sexuality education in one capacity or another. Trends in sexuality change over the years and adults can often be left at a loss for understanding the needs of their students. This intensive workshop will explore new trends in sexuality and provide teachers with accurate information on some of the risks involved in adolescent sexuality as well as allow teachers to become more familiar with the issues and more comfortable presenting sex education materials to their students. Participants will be given practical tools to teach this subject to grade levels 7-11, although discussion and exercises may be modified for elementary levels as well. Topics include:
* Anatomy
* Understanding adolescent sexual behaviours
* Why teens have sex
* Predictors of adolescent sexual activity
* Current trends with teens
* Sexual myths
* STI information & update
* Birth control and condom information
* How to answer difficult questions
* Values awareness
* Tools for teaching"

Register online at
Phone 514-730-7123
or register online:

Parent Discussion Group--Vancouver School Board

New Discussion Group
for parents of Vancouver School Board (VSB) students with special needs

Possible topics:
navigating the VSB system, accessing outside agencies, finding summer programs
special guests will be invited to speak at meetings

Pam Neuman
VSB Inclusion Consultant (and parent of a student with disabilities)

First Tuesday of each month
7:00-8:30 pm
Contact Pam Neuman
phone 604-713-5213

Contact Pam if you wish to bring your children with you.

Sign Language Training for Child Care Providers

Sign language training for child care providers
Instructor: Sharon Cooper

Tuesday January 22-Tuesday February 26 2008
Time: 6:30-8:30 pm
Toy Library
BC Centre for Ability
2629 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC

To register: call Jen Pincombe, 604-451-5511, ext. 434

Concussion in Sports Workshop

Time sensitive!

Concussion in Sports Workshop
January 31st 2008

Sponsored by the Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association, ThinkFirst Foundation, and Fraser Health Acquired Brain Injury Program

Best Western Regency Inn and Conference Centre
32110 Marshall Road
Abbotsford, BC
4:30pm – 7:00pm
Cost: $10 per person

Dr. Brian Hunt & Robyn Littleford

** Light dinner provided**

For more information, please call 604-557-1913 or toll-free 1-866-557-1913
Fax: 604-850-2527

Please Register by January 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Get a free copy of Fall/Winter "Network" magazine

Time sensitive!

~~Free issue offer~~
Network magazine, Fall/Winter 2007 issue is now available!
Contact the Canadian Women's Health Network (CWHN) if you'd like to receive a ONE TIME free issue of Network magazine, the official publication of the CWHN. Please send your name and full mailing address, including postal code (or write to the address below).
This offer is open only to Canadian residents. Those with an Overseas or US address who wish to receive a ONE TIME free copy of Network must submit the postage costs in advance: $10 USD for shipping and handling for US residents and $15 USD for international residents, sent to Canadian Women's Health Network, Suite 203, 419 Graham Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0M3 Canada.

Network Fall/Winter 2007 issue includes the following articles:
*Women, gender and mental health
*Long-term care homes legislation: Lessons from Ontario
*“What Older Women Want”
*Timely access to care
*Women’s equality has come a long way and we’re not finished yet
*Women and private health insurance
*Winning the war on cancer
*How “Mad Cow” disease affects farm families and communities across Canada
*Infant feeding experiences of women survivors of childhood sexual abuse
*One woman’s experience with early harm-reduction programs in BC
*New medications target menstrual suppression for healthy women and girls
*When a young woman has a stroke
--and much more.

Introduction to Acquired Brain Injury Course [for Caregivers]

Time sensitive

Introduction to Acquired Brain Injury Course
(may also be available by videoconference)
February 13 – 15, 2008
GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre

This Acquired Brain Injury Workshop is designed to provide a basic level of knowledge for caregivers working in the community with people living with brain injury and those interested in working as caregivers.

The cost of this 3 day workshop is $400.00 + GST (28.00) = $428.00.
Course materials & coffee breaks will be provided.

For further information, contact Jennifer Wonders, ABI Educator at 604-737-6221 or email:

The course starts on Wednesday, February 13th and runs from 9 am until 4 pm for all 3 days.

This course may also be available via videoconferencing so if you’re interested in participating – please call Jennifer to discuss whether this is an option at your work site.

Women Wading Through the Web: A Health Toolkit

New from the Women's Health Matters website

Do you rely on the Internet as a source of health information for yourself and your family, or as an “information prescription” for your clients? Then this Toolkit is for you! From beginners to experienced Internet users, the sheer volume of information can be daunting for all of us at times.

That is why the Women’s Health Matters website team at Women’s College Hospital created the resource Women Wading through the Web: A Health Toolkit. We hope this online kit will help consumers navigate the often confusing maze of health information on the Web.

Women can use the Toolkit to:
a.. Learn more about search engines and other search tools and strategies
b.. Judge the quality of a website
c.. Improve skills in finding and assessing reliable health information
d.. Understand medical research
e.. Analyze health information from the media
f.. Communicate more effectively with health professionals

Women Wading Through the Web is a valuable tool for any consumer who wants to get the most from her visit to a health website.

To access the Toolkit, follow this link:

Thursday, November 29, 2007

BC Cancer Agency Community Cancer Forum

A free public forum for all members of the community
December 1, 2007
Time Sensitive

Sponsored by: Provincial Health Services Authority

Saturday, December 1, 2007
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Westin Bayshore Resort & Marina
1601 Bayshore Drive, Vancouver, B.C.

Registration is not required.
More information: 604.877.6272 or

When a loved one has cancer, family and friends become partners on a journey through care and treatment. Cancer patients, supporters, and caregivers are invited to learn how to better navigate this journey at the BC Cancer Agency's Community Cancer Forum, sponsored by the
Provincial Health Services Authority. Learn about the latest in new cancer treatments, integrative cancer care, nutrition, lifestyle, cancer survivorship, and pain and fatigue management, and visit displays from the BC Cancer Agency and its community partners.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

New Health Literacy Tool for Professionals Who Serve Older Adults (US)

As part of Health Literacy month, the US Department of Health and Human Services released a new health literacy tool for people who serve older adults. The Quick Guide to Health Literacy and Older Adults is designed to provide useful strategies and suggestions to professionals who work with older adults to help bridge the communication gap between professionals and older adults.

In a national assessment of health literacy, only three percent of the older adults surveyed were found to be proficient in health literacy. Persons with limited health literacy have more adverse health outcomes including less frequent use of preventive services, higher hospitalization rates, and more emergency room visits. For older Americans, difficulties with health literacy can complicate already challenging health problems since as many as 80 percent of older Americans have at least one chronic disease.

For more information visit:

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Understanding Stroke & Brain Injury: A Workshop for Family & Friends

Time sensitive

Thursday evening, October 18, 2007
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

GF Strong Rehab Centre
4255 Laurel St., Vancouver
Social Services Seminar Room 189
(watch for directional signs)

Dr. Jennifer Yao will talk about ABI & Recovery. The facilitators for this workshop are Veronika Larson & Jennifer Wonders.

For further information or questions, please contact Jennifer Wonders at 604-737-6221

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

BC Coalition for Health Promotion September newsletter

Check out the BC Coalition for Health Promotion's September 2007 "Communities Invest In Health Promotion" newsletter. It's available at the BCCHP website along with previous issues.

Articles in the current issue include:
Coalition Hosts International Network
Report on The 19th IUHPE World Conference
Creating a Culture of Health Promotion
Green Prescriptions: An Important Partner in Health Care
Going Green: Getting to the Heart of the Matter
Advocacy: Tool for Change and Route to Personal Wellbeing
The Parable of the Dangerous Cliff
Empowered Communities

Monday, October 01, 2007

Seeking participants for theatre project: tobacco use & mental health

Time sensitive

Are you someone who is living with a mental illness, has experienced a mental health issue, or is a mental health service provider?

Are you a smoker, ex-smoker, or non-smoker who is interested in exploring issues of tobacco use within the mental health community?

Are you comfortable speaking in front of others and intrigued by the idea of using theatre to create positive change?

The Canadian Cancer Society, in partnership with the CACTUS Project and Vancouver Coastal Health, is looking for participants for a FORUM THEATRE PROJECT aimed at creating dialogue about tobacco use within the mental health community. Forum Theatre is an interactive, solution-oriented type of theatre that asks the audience to share their ideas and perspectives.

Project participants will contribute to the creation of a Forum Theatre production to be presented to the mental health community.

No acting experience required. Training & on-going support will be provided. Honourarium available.

An INFORMATION SESSION regarding the project will take place on Monday, October 15th from 3:00-4:30 at the Canadian Cancer Society at 510 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver.
Attendance at the information session is not required to apply to participate in the project.

To RSVP to the information session or to receive an information package and application form, please contact Jamie Myrah at 604.215.5468.

Please note that all participants will be asked to commit to a series of important dates, including:
** Training by Headlines Theatre: November 01st & 02nd (10:00-4:00)
** Six weekly rehearsals: Tuesdays from 3:00-5:00 (starting November 13th with a break during the holiday season)
** Five community presentations: January/February 2008 - dates & times to be confirmed

Counselling services available at The Centre

The Centre is pleased to offer free counselling services. Our volunteer professional counsellors deal with many issues including:coming out, relationship issues, trans, HIV/AIDS, living with chronic disease, grief, internalized homophobia, body image, sexual abuse, sexuality and sexual health, depression and anxiety, and many other issues for the LGTB community.

To schedule an appointment please call Reception at 604 684-5307

All services are free and confidential

Friday, September 28, 2007

Halifax pharmacy researcher explores medication errors in Canada

It’s the fourth leading cause of death among North Americans and costs billions of dollars each year in unnecessary health expenses, just for Canadian seniors alone. A Dalhousie University researcher is tackling the widespread issue of medication errors, and his efforts have landed him a prestigious international opportunity.

Dr. Neil J. MacKinnon has been selected as a 2007 Harkness Associate, a fellowship administered by the U.S. Commonwealth Fund and the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation. The Harkness program is limited to 13 individuals worldwide each year, including a maximum of two Canadians.

Dr. MacKinnon will embark on a major study to determine whether government and private payer drug policies improve safety and quality or unintentionally contribute to the problem of medication mistakes.

“There are obviously many benefits to medication, which can often replace surgery or greatly improve a patient’s quality of life,” says Dr. MacKinnon, associate director for research and associate professor at Dalhousie’s College of Pharmacy.

But the health care system is so complex, there are inevitably gaps in the process, he adds. These might include an incorrect diagnosis, insufficient lab work or a lack of patient monitoring. Surprisingly, a major barrier to proper medication in Canada is access – many people can’t afford it, and end up splitting tablets and reducing dosages without informing their doctors or pharmacists. Resulting problems from medication errors, such as adverse drug reactions, are the fourth-leading cause of death in Canada and the U.S.

One of his main research efforts is an examination of the many points of transfer in patient care. When patients are admitted to a nursing home or discharged from a hospital, a number of people and steps are involved in the transfer of their medications: nurses, physicians, order clerks, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, the patients and their family doctors.

“The biggest red flags are those transition points,” says Dr. MacKinnon. “There could be 15 or more different handoffs between when the medication order is written by the physician and the time the patient actually puts the first pill in his or her mouth.”

He cites his 2005 study that found discrepancies in one out of every 11 medication orders at a Halifax hospital. In another one of his studies, one patient with multiple medication errors had 46 unnecessary emergency room visits in a nine-month period. In yet another of his studies, 519 seniors with thyroid conditions were taking their prescriptions properly, but weren’t having lab work done to monitor their thyroid levels, and ended up in emergency rooms or were hospitalized as a result.

“A lot of the solutions aren’t horribly complicated; it’s simply a matter of a phone call or a fax, and better communication,” says Dr. MacKinnon. He outlines a number of useful strategies for front-line health care professionals and scholars in a new book he edited, Safe and Effective: The Eight Essential Elements of an Optimal Medication-Use System, released last month in Ottawa.

Dr. MacKinnon teaches at Dalhousie, where he is a faculty member in the College of Pharmacy, the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Community Health & Epidemiology, and the School of Health Services Administration.

Health Literacy Conference call for presentations

Time sensitive

Institute for Healthcare Advancement's 7th Annual Health Literacy Conference: "Health Literacy in Primary Care: Best Practices and Skill Building" to be held May 1-2, 2008

Scheduled Keynote Speaker: Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, The 17th Surgeon General of the United States (2002-2006).

Call for Presentations Issued-- Deadline for submissions is October 1, 2007.

Using stories to facilitate family centred care education

Family Centred Care Learning Vignettes is a new resource produced by the Southern Alberta Family & Community Resource Centre. Available in PDF format, the 178 page document capitalizes on the power of story in communication and learning.

From the Preface:
"The cornerstone of family centred care is real partnerships between children, youth, families, staff, professionals, and health organizations. ... We build on the strengths and knowledge of families and make programs and services better by working together." (p. ii)

Themes include:

* Communication
* Roles
* Collaboration
* Information Sharing
* Support
* Patient Safety
* System Policies and Procedures
An appendix includes the full transcripts of "family, Child and Youth interviews."

Interviews addressed four questions:

  1. What do children and families want to tell health care professionals?
  2. What worked well in their patient, their child's or their sibling's health care experience?
  3. What could have gone better?
  4. What are their ideas and suggestions for improvement?

View or download the Family Centred Care Learning Vignettes from the Southern Alberta Child & Youth Health Network website.

Friday, September 21, 2007

We're 30 this year!


The BC Coalition of People with Disabilities (BCCPD) turns 30 this year! Help us celebrate 30 years of advocacy by purchasing a T-shirt, mousepad, cap, coaster, button, bag, greeting card or even a T-shirt for your dog--all with our terrific anniversary logo by artist Carol Weaver! Don't miss out on this great look and an opportunity to support the work of BCCPD!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

BC Epilepsy Society support groups

The BC Epilepsy Society Fall 2007 newsletter announces adult support groups throughout the province.

"We offer opportunities for people living with epilepsy and their families and friends to get better connected and strengthen their support networks. People come together and talk about their issues and share experiences to better understand how to access services and resources and live a better life with epilepsy. Topics cover driving, parenting, medications and anything else that participants need help with."

To join one of the following groups or to start a new support group in your area, contact Elvira or Kathryn at the BC Epilepsy Society office. Phone 604-875-6704 or toll free: 1-866-EPILEPSY (374-5377). Visit the website at

Comox Valley Group
Comox Valley Nursing Centre
961 England Avenue, Courtenay
Third Monday of the month at 7:00 pm
Phone Jackie at 250-338-1711

Prince George Group
Second Tuesday of the month 7:00-9:00 pm
Phone Gord or Karen at 250-562-6296

Chilliwack Open Adult Group
Third Thursday of the month
Phone Richard at 604-795-3089

Lower Mainland Adult Group
First Thursday of the month, 7:00-9:00 pm
Call 604-875-6704
#510 - 999 Weswt Broadway, Vancouver

Monday, September 17, 2007

Autism Community Training Workshops

Time sensitive

ACT Autism Community Training Workshop announcements from
Fall - Winter Event Update
Selected workshops below. See website for complete listing of workshops

Bursaries: ACT has bursaries available for low-income registrants and those traveling from outside their home region. For more information contact us at or 604-205-5467 or toll-free at 1-866-939-5188.

Information and Support: ACT offers extensive support and information on autism related topics through our office both by telephone and email. Contact us at 604-205-5467 or toll-free at 1-866-939-5188.

The Art of Advocacy for Parents of Children with Special Needs
October 27, 2007 - Prince George / February 16, 2008 - Surrey /
March 1, 2008 - Nanaimo / April 5, 2008 - Castlegar

Clair Schuman E.D., ACT - Autism Community Training

Many parents are confused and frustrated by the complexities of systems they must navigate to find help for their child with special needs. This workshop offers parents an overview of how to develop skills they need to navigate successfully through the hurdles they may sometimes encounter. Using the school system as an example, parents are guided through the components of empowerment necessary to become an effective advocate for their child. Specific guidelines and tips will be provided in this positive, practical, user-friendly and interactive seminar. This workshop is not disability specific but will be especially helpful for parents of children with
"invisible" disabilities.

Early Bird Deadlines September 28, 2007 - Prince George / January
11, 2008 - Surrey / January 25, 2008 - Nanaimo / February 27, 2008 - Castlegar
Information and registration form:

Transitioning from High School to Work - Preparing Students with Autism for Adulthood
January 12, 2008 - Nanaimo / March 8, 2008 - Surrey

Vicki Lundine, M.Ed., & Catherine Smith, M.Ed.

The emphasis on transition from high school to work is a focus in Grades 10-12 but the process should begin much earlier for students with ASD. Attitudes toward work combined with decisions we make for children with autism can significantly influence the path they may
choose to follow. The workshop will define the roles and responsibilities for individuals supporting students as they mature, including parents, and will provide participants with information and strategies which help promote meaningful participation for
students with ASD in the work world.

Early Bird Deadlines November 30, 2007 - Nanaimo / January 25, 2008 - Surrey
Information and registration form:

An Introduction to Autism Treatment - A Case Management Survival Guide for Parents & Community Professionals
September 29, 2007 - Prince George / October 27, 2007 - Gibsons / January 30, 2008 - Vancouver

Jill Calder, M.D. Clinical Director of Rehabilitation Services, Thompson Cariboo Shuswap Region

Dr. Calder provides important insights on how parents can develop their skills as knowledgeable team leaders for their child's intervention program - a case management approach. With a decade of experience parenting her own son with autism, Dr. Calder builds on her expertise as a respected rehabilitative medicine specialist and combines this with her own practical grasp of autism treatment. Her focus is on how parents can learn to manage their child's treatment.

Early Bird Deadline October 4 - Gibsons / Regular Rate Deadline September 21 - Prince George
Information and registration form:

Self Help Resource Association of BC Fall Workshops

Time Sensitive

Self Help Resource Association of BC (SHRA) Fall Workshops

  1. Grassroots Facilitator Training Oct 26, 27 & Nov 2 & 3
  2. Youth Facilitate This! Advanced Nov 1, 8, 22 & 29
  3. Youth Service Provider Training Nov 27
Grassroots Facilitator Training
October 26, 27, November 2, & 3
9:00 am to 4:30 pm
SHRA Boardroom #306 - 1212 West Broadway, Vancouver BC

Grassroots Facilitation Training Workshops are hands-on capacity-building sessions designed to help people develop and practice the skills needed to organize and maintain successful and productive small groups. SHRA facilitators accommodate those who wish to facilitate groups as well as group members who want to participate more effectively.

Information & registration: call 604-733-6186 or email

Youth Facilitate This! Advanced
November 1, 8, 22 & 29 2007
Broadway Youth Resource Centre
9:00 am to 4:00 pm each day

This four-day training is for youth facilitators with some experience, looking to brush up on their facilitation and youth engagement skills. This is an opportunity to practice techniques you already know, pick up some new (and really fun!) activities, and learn collaboratively from your peers.

All participants must complete Day One as a pre-requisite for Days 2, 3 or 4.
Registration for all four days is STRONGLY encouraged.

Day One - Theory and Practice
Day Two - Tools of the Trade
Day Three - Group Process
Day Four - Stop, Drop and Deal: The Art of Being in the Moment

Information & registration: call 604-733-6186 or email

Youth Service Provider Training
November 27, 2007
Broadway Youth Resource Centre

Research shows us that youth approach other youth first for information and support. This interactive training is for adults who work with youth and want to more effectively engage young people while creating and strengthening peer support in the youth communities they serve. Discover a variety of approaches for engaging youth and building trust in your groups. Come to share best practices and discuss issues affecting your work and to have some fun!

Information & registration: call 604-733-6186 or email

Friday, September 14, 2007

Reading service for low vision seniors in Vancouver

The 411 Seniors Centre Society in Vancouver now offers "a new service for people who are blind or have low vision. A volunteer is available to read aloud letters, forms, invoices and other correspondence for seniors who are unable to do so themselves... The service is currently available on an on-call/as-needed basis."

To access the service, contact Carol Lloyd at 604-684-8171

From: 411 Seniors Centre Society News & Views newsletter August-September 2007

BC Seniors Advocacy Network (BC SAN)

The BC Seniors Advocacy Network offers volunteer advocates who "support vulnerable seniors dealing with complex situations including: the quality of long-term care, situations of abuse, accessing services and supports to live in the community, etc. If you are a senior dealing with a difficult situation and are not sure what to do next or where to go, [BC SAN] trained advocates are willing to provide free supports to help you."

From: 411 Seniors Centre Society News & Views newsletter August-September 2007

New volunteers are being recruited and trained. Contact Gregg Schiller, BC SAN Project Coordinator (located at the 411 Seniors Centre Society, 411 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver BC). Phone Gregg at 604-684-8171, extension 239 or email

Loss of 'the self' in Acquired Brain Injury: panel presentation in Victoria

Time sensitive: October 24, 2007

"A panel presentation exploring the loss of "the self" as experienced by Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) survivors and caregivers of persons living with ABI is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, October 24th at 12:00 noon in the Victoria General Hospital Theatre in Victoria, BC. The presentation is open to survivors, family members, service providers and medical personnel."

from: headline: British Columbia's Voice for the Brain Injury Community Fall 2007

Brain Injury Trauma Recovery & Growth Groups: Victoria

Time sensitive: Fall 2007

Survivors of Brain Injury
Caregives (spouses, parents & adult children)

"12 week guided mutual aid group provides a supportive environment where you will learn more about emotional recovery from trauma.

The group fosters, supports, encourages and promotes emotional healing and psychological growth following brain injury and other traumas.

In this model, a skilled and experienced counsellor and a peer co-facilitator, who is a survivor or 26 years, work together adding an important dimension to the group experience."

Contact Ellen Connell, RCC, CCRC, MA
Phone 250-385-6578

Celebrate International Health Literacy Month: 2007 Access to Health Awards

Time sensitive: Nominations close October 31, 2007

Each October, the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities’ Health Literacy Network celebrates International Health Literacy Month. We ask people with disabilities throughout BC to tell us about health care workers and community agency staff who have ‘gone the extra mile’ for you. Based on your stories, we give an Access to Health award to two individuals and an “Honourable Mention" to ten more. It’s your chance to say “Thank you!” to people who make a difference in your life!

Why people are nominated
Here are some quotes from nominations in past years:

“I was always respected. Working with her renewed my confidence and my spirits and because of her assistance I am able to think about my future.”

[She] “is a great social worker and has helped change my life!”

“If you are not “quite yourself,” he wants to know what is wrong, personally or medically.”

“…She has helped me in small ways like relocating my service dog’s dish to a classroom where it will not get tipped over as often … and in bigger ways like getting me a key for the elevator so I can get to the classroom whenever the building is open.”

“She makes my life easier. [She] is very understanding about what I have to deal with. She is a very respectful person…”

[She] “made me feel supported when I felt alone and distressed.”

[He] “is a physician of splendid integrity. He treats me as a whole person. He tries to educate me and broaden my mind and gives me any information I need to improve my health.”

Tell us your choice for the 2007 awards! Here’s what you need to do ...

  • Read the Access to Health award guidelines carefully
  • You must be a person with a disability
  • You must live in BC
  • Complete a nomination form (or call Shelley to nominate by phone)
  • Send your nominations by 4:30 pm October 31, 2007

Contact Shelley at the Health Literacy Network if you have questions. Phone 604-875-0188 (TTY 604-875-8835) or call toll-free and leave a message at 1-877-232-7400.

Please help us spread the word by forwarding the Access to Health Awards poster to your friends, colleagues and mailing lists.
Download the Access to Health award guidelines
Download the Access to Health award nomination form

Learn more about International Health Literacy Month, including how people around the world are celebrating by visiting the website.

Community Brain Injury Program for Children & Youth event

Time sensitive: Registration deadline September 28, 2007

The Community Brain Injury Program for Children & Youth,
BC Centre for Ability
10th Anniversary Celebration presents
Innovative Evidence-based Interventions for Individuals with ABI
Friday, October 12, 2007
Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Hotel
1128 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC

featuring Dr. Roberta DePompei
Professor and Clinical Supervisor at the University of Akron, Ohio. She has conducted leading edge research on the impact of assistive technology for people with acquired brain injury and on the reintegration of children and youth with brain injuries into home, school and community.

Morning session: 9:00-12:00
Students with TBI: Recognizing and Treating Cognitive-communicative Behaviours that Affect Learning

Afternoon session:
1:00-2:15 pm - The Use of Personal Data Assistants for Persons Who Have ABI/Cognitive Challenges
2:30-4:00 pm - The Research and Best Practices for Youth: Transitions to the Adult World

$85.00 Full day
$50.00 Half day
Registration deadline September 28, 2007

Contact Dinali de Fonseka
phone 604-451-5511, ext. 238

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Prescription labels geared toward pharmacies, not patients

The labels on most prescription drug containers highlight the pharmacy’s name or logo rather than instructions on how to take the medication, reports a new study in the September 10th issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

In the US, the Food and Drug Administration has some standards on what prescription labels must include, but few regulations guide the format of the information, said lead author William Shrank, M.D., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School.

In the study, six pharmacies in four cities filled identically written prescriptions for four commonly prescribed medications. The pharmacies included the two largest chains, two grocery stores and two independent pharmacies.

Researchers evaluated 85 labels. They found the pharmacy name or logo was the most prominent item on 84 percent of the labels, with an average 13.6-point font size. By comparison, the instructions averaged a 9.3-point size and medication names averaged an 8.9-point font. Warning stickers were in a much smaller, 6.5-point font on average.

“Medical education guidelines explicitly suggest that font size must be 12 point or larger to optimize patients’ ability to read health information,” according to the authors.

All of the labels listed the pharmacy name first, and instructions appeared fifth on 89 percent of labels. When color font or boldface was present, it was most often for pharmacy information rather than for instructions or warnings.

The authors suggest that one way to improve readability and patient understanding of labels is for FDA to initiate a national standard for their format and content—much like it did with the “Nutrition Facts” labels required on food packaging.

Jennifer Athay, a staff pharmacist with the American Pharmacists Association, said, "Logistically, there is no way to get all the information someone needs to know on a little prescription bottle or tube. Size tends to be an issue, so the complete information you need to know is dispensed in the extra paperwork you get from the pharmacists.” She added that patients should ideally get detailed information when physicians first prescribe the medication to them.

Shrank WH, et al. The variability and quality of medication container labels. Arch Intern Med 167(16), 2007

New diabetes e-newsletter

The Canadian Diabetes Association is launching a NEW e-newsletter, Diabetes Current, in September 2007.

"Through this new online service, you can stay up to date on our organization and diabetes - including the latest news of research and medical breakthroughs, profiles on people who make a difference, and tips for healthier living."

"As well, the e-newsletter will keep you abreast of what's happening across Canada and in your own backyard. Each month you will be on top of local and upcoming events and fundraisers."

You can customize your subscription for the following regions:
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia Ontario - Central East (Barrie, Peterborough)
Ontario - Central South (Hamilton, St. Catharines, Niagara-on-the-Lake)
Ontario - Central West (Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph)
Ontario - Eastern (Ottawa, Pembroke)
Ontario - GTA (Toronto, Mississauga, Newmarket, Oshawa)
Ontario - North East (Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie)
Ontario - North West (Thunder Bay)
Ontario - South East (Kingston, Belleville)
Ontario - South West (London, Windsor, Sarnia)
Pacific (BC, Yukon)
Prince Edward Island
Saskatchewan and

Subscribe at:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New group for LGTB people with developmental disabilities

Time sensitive

The (LGTB) Centre and Shade Consulting Ltd. present a new monthly social support group for Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual People with Developmental Disabilities

Co-facilitated by Margaret Newbury Jones & Alan Steen

Margaret Newbury Jones operates SHADE Consulting Ltd. and specializes in working with people with disabilities and unique learning needs around sexual health. She is a teacher by training and has worked in the disability field for over 20 years.

Alan Steen is a registered social worker with experience working with people with developmental disabilities and extensive experience as a volunteer counsellor for LGTB people.

the third Thursday of every month
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Starts Thursday, Sept 20th

3727 Renfrew Street (at 22nd Ave)

social, supportive & safe environment
wheelchair accessible space

Transit information:
Option 1: Renfrew Skytrain Station and then take the #16 (29th Avenue station) bus, get off at 22nd Avenue
Option 2: 29th Avenue Station and then take #16 (Arbutus) bus, get off at 22nd Avenue
Option 3: Wheelchair/mobility friendly route Nanaimo Station and then take the #25 (Brentwood), get off at Renfrew Street

If you or someone you know is interested in this group, please contact:
Chris at 604-684-8449 or email or
Margaret at 604-434-9579 or email

Mood disorder information session for Punjabi-speakers

Time Sensitive

Dr. Nirmal Kang, Psychiatrist and Dr. Rajpal Singh, Psychologist will speak at an information session for Punjabi-speaking people with a mood disorder and their family members

Sunday, Sept. 16, 2007
5:00 PM
The Days Inn – Surrey, BC
9850 King George Highway

For more information contact Mood Disorders Association of BC (MDA):
phone: 604-873-0103 or

Friday, September 07, 2007

New booklet from BCCPD: "Know about Keeping Your Body Safe"

The BC Coalition of People with Disabilities' Wellness & Disability Initiative/AIDS & Disability Action Program have published a new booklet in the Know about series. Developed specifically for people with cognitive disabilities, Know about Keeping Your Body Safe emphasizes the different levels of social connection and appropriate touching. It also provides opportunities to practice certain behaviours which are an important part of learning how to make better choices and “keep our bodies safe.”

The booklet comes with a Caregiver Companion Guide, which provides suggestions for using the booklet, a Relationship Ripples sheet (8.5 x 11 inches) with instructions for consumers using the booklet, and a Relationship Ripples poster (11 x 17 inches).

Other titles in the Know about series include:

  • Know about HIV and AIDS
  • Know about Condoms
  • Know about Safer Sex
  • Know about Seniors and HIV
  • Know about Communicating with Your Doctor (uses sexual health examples)
  • Also available: HIV/AIDS Prevention Resources for Educators: Reaching Students with Special Learning Needs (quarterly newsletter) and Tips for Living Well (quarterly newsletter).
To order free samples of any of our publications, please email or phone 604-875-0188. You may also fax your request to 604-875-9227.

BC Schizophrenia Society offers translated materials

The British Columbia Schizophrenia Society offers fact sheets about schizophrenia in Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Punjabi, Spanish, and Urdu. Information in French is available through a link to La Société Québécoise de la Schizophrénie website.

To view these fact sheets and to access other information about schizophrenia, support and activities in BC, vist the the BC Schizophrenia Society website at

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Toy Library Opens September 30, 2007

The Vancouver Supported Child Development Program Toy Library grand opening is Thursday, September 20th 3:00-8:00 pm. According to the August 2007 newsletter, the Toy Library has "over 750 books and toys that have been hand-picked by ... consultants." Categories include:

  • fine motor
  • large motor
  • language
  • sensory
  • social-emotional
  • cultural
  • cognitive
  • cause-and-effect
  • specialized
  • parent/teacher resources
Part of the BC Centre for Ability, "The Supported Child Development (SCD) Program assists families requiring child care, preschool, or out-of-school care for their children aged 0 - 19 years of age. These children may have a developmental delay, disorder, or extra support needs and would benefit from additional program support." Read more at the BC Centre for Ability website.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Coverage of Health Stories in Canadian Media: SFU Research

Canadian newspapers consistently miss the real stories about health issues and dwell on covering the more simplistic and sensational stories. That is the conclusion of a new five-year study conducted by six researchers connected to Simon Fraser University. This is the first Canadian long-range analysis of media coverage of health issues.

The international journal, Social Science & Medicine, has published the findings of the study, "Telling stories: News media, health literacy and public policy in Canada," in its May 2007 issue. The authors are SFU professors Michael Hayes in health sciences (lead investigator) and Ian Ross, Bob Hackett and Donald Gutstein in the School of Communication. SFU alumni James Dunn and Mike Gasher were the other collaborators.

The researchers analysed 4,732 health-related stories in 13 daily newspapers across Canada between 1993 and 2001. They found that 65 percent of health news focused on service, delivery, management and regulation issues. Only 5.9 percent dealt with socio-economic factors and even less, 1.5 percent, dealt specifically with child development concerns.

Hayes says the results show that newspapers are either not in tune with or choose not to cover the overwhelming impact of socio-economic factors—such as income, education and social violence—on public health. Hayes and his colleagues point out that government white papers, published in 1975 (Lalonde report), 1986 (Epp report) and 1999 (Toward a Health Future), show that socio-economic factors largely determine an individual’s health.

The researchers note that, rather than analyzing the correlation between socio-economic factors and health problems, newspapers focus on health news of the day, such as long patient waitlists and rising health care costs. These attention-grabbing health care problems, say the researchers, are often the result of governments’ inability to address the correlation between socio-economic factors and health.

More information about the research is available at:

Summer '07 issue of "HIV/AIDS Prevention Resources for Educators" newsletter is out

The summer issue of HIV/AIDS Prevention Resources for Educators: Reaching Students with Special Learning Needs newsletter from the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities' AIDS & Disability Action Program is hot off the press! If you subscribe to the paper copy, you'll be receiving your issue soon. If you'd like to subscribe (free in Canada), just let us know.

In this issue ...

  • The Role of Schools in Addressing Tobacco by Dan Reist
  • Revision of Being Sexual series by SIECCAN
  • Questions & Answers from the SHADE (Q&A from sexual health educator Margaret Newbury Jones)
  • No Link to Promiscuity Found In Youths Using Condoms
  • Taking Action: Understanding Advocacy by Darryl Quantz
  • Victims Vulnerable to Re-victimization
  • 5th Annual Access to Health Awards
  • Tip of the Iceberg: Young Men Who Have Sex with Men, the Internet, and HIV Risk
  • Report on Health of BC's Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Teens: McCreary Centre Society Study Looks at Violence and Health Issues
  • Training Opportunities
  • Suprises in BC's Street Youth Study

The BC Coalition of People with Disabilities' AIDS & Disability Action Program also publishes HIV prevention information in plain language, audio and Braille formats. Call 604-875-0188 (toll-free 1-877-232-7400) or email for details.

Surprises in BC's Street Youth Study

Published in HIV/AIDS Prevention Resources for Educators: Reaching Students with Special Learning Needs (Summer 2007) (contact the Wellness & Disability Initiative for free subscription)

Surprises in BC's Street Youth Study

One in three BC street youth living in abandoned buildings, cars or on community streets report they still attend school, according to a new survey whose findings show resilience in the face of rejection and violence.

Called Against the Odds, the study offers a profile of more than 760 street-involved youth—adolescents who have been without stable housing or who are active in street life—aged 12-18 who live in nine communities throughout BC. Conducted between October and December 2006 by Vancouver-based McCreary Centre Society and University of British Columbia Nursing Associate Professor Elizabeth Saewyc, and with the help of street-involved youth and social support agencies, it offers regional data as a follow-up to a 2000 study.

"Many of the findings may be surprising to communities," says principal investigator Elizabeth Saewyc, an associate professor in the School of Nursing and research director for McCreary Centre Society. "These youth have faced shocking levels of rejection and violence, both within their families and on the street. But despite having the odds stacked against them, most of them are amazingly strong and resilient, working hard, attending school and looking for opportunities to improve their lives."

Key findings include:
--One in three youth still attended school while staying in an abandoned building, tent, car, squat or on the street.
--Aboriginal youth were disproportionately represented among street youth, with sharp increases since 2000. For example, in Vancouver the percentage rose from 37 to 65 percent and in Prince Rupert from 76 to 88 percent.
--Gay lesbian, bisexual and teens were also over-represented: one in three females and one in 10 males identified as gay, lesbian and bisexual.
--One in three youth reported they were working at a legal job.
--Thirteen percent of youth were parents, and more than one-third of these parents' children lived with them.
--57 percent of females and 15 percent of males reported sexual abuse, either in their family, outside their family, or both. More than one in three of the youth reported they had been sexually exploited.
--More than one in four youth had been exposed to, and used, alcohol or marijuana before the age of 11, often before becoming street-involved.
--Contrary to findings from 2000, BC does not appear to be absorbing large numbers of youth from outside BC. 84 percent of youth in the survey were from communities across BC.
--Youth in each of the nine communities surveyed identified job training and shelter as the most needed services.

"This is not just a Vancouver study. These problems exist everywhere," Saewyc says. "We spoke with youth in nine communities across the province, and asked where they'd come from. Most of them are from BC, and many of them had lived in several places within BC before their current location. Nearly half were surveyed in the same community where they'd lived before becoming street-involved."

Researchers' recommendations include support for struggling families, especially parents of younger teens. Substance abuse treatment, mental health services, safe and supportive housing, and job training are also needed. In addition, they recommend that Aboriginal organizations be given resources to offer safe housing and other supportive services to youth.

The research study may be found at The McCreary Centre Society website:

Community Living Research Project

Recently announced in the North Shore Association for the Mentally Handicapped (NSAMH) Keeping In Touch (KIT) newsletter (August 2007)

The Community Living Research Project "is exploring community living supports available locally, provincially, nationally, and internationally for adults with developmental disabilities.
... Other phases of the project include interviews and focus groups with adults with developmental disabilities and their families and a province-wide survey to be distributed to adults and their families."

The Project is located at the UBC School of Social Work and Family Studies. Topic areas to be covered include:

  • young adults transitioning from high school
  • residential alternatives to group homes
  • non-residential supports
  • services for seniors
For more information about the project or to see the literature reviews, including plain language versions, visit the Community Living Research Project website at:

Report on Health of BC’s Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Teens

Published in HIV/AIDS Prevention Resources for Educators: Reaching Students with Special Learning Needs (Summer 2007) (contact the Wellness & Disability Initiative for free subscription)

Report on Health of BC’s Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Teens

Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) teens in BC experience greater levels of violence and more health challenges than heterosexual teens, according to a report by Vancouver-based McCreary Centre Society (MCS) and UBC researcher Elizabeth Saewyc.

Results from the study, believed to be the first of its kind in Canada, are reported in Not Yet Equal: The Health of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Youth in BC. The report reveals trends in life experiences, health and risk behaviours of LGB youth, in both rural and urban areas, across more than a decade.

"Most lesbian, gay and bisexual teens are doing well, but far too many experience stigma and discrimination. But when there are positive assets in these teens' lives, they do well despite risks." says Saewyc, an associate professor in UBC's School of Nursing and research director at MCS.

Study data were drawn from 1992, 1998 and 2003 BC Adolescent Health Surveys conducted in high schools across the province by MCS. The anonymous surveys included more than 74,000 youth in Grades 7-12 from more than 75 percent of BC school districts.

LGB youth were found in all grades and within all ethnic groups. They comprise two to four percent of students in BC high schools or an estimated 7,000 students.

Key findings include:
--LGB youth were two to three times more likely to have experienced physical and sexual abuse, harassment in school, and discrimination about race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and other issues in the community compared to heterosexual teens, and rates of discrimination appear to be rising.

--Eleven percent of LGB teens attend school in rural areas and small towns in BC and generally report similar experiences, opportunities, risks and health behaviours as LGB youth in urban centres.

--Between 1992-2003, increased rates of sexual abuse were reported among bisexual females and higher physical abuse among lesbians. There was a decline in sexual and physical abuse among gay males, and rates were unchanged for bisexual males. Rural gay and bisexual males were more likely to report sexual abuse and more likely to have attempted suicide in the past year than their urban peers.

--Compared to heterosexual youth, LGB youth were two to three times more likely to either have been pregnant or have gotten someone pregnant. Rural gay and bisexual males were more likely to have caused a pregnancy than urban counterparts.

--Between 1992-2003, rates of suicide attempts increased for lesbian and bisexual females but declined for gay and bisexual males.

--LGB teens are less likely to report protective factors such as feeling cared about by parents and family members. Girls felt less connected to school than heterosexual peers. LGB youth were more likely than heterosexual youth to have run away from home once or more in the past year.

--Smoking is down for LGB youth, but use of drugs other than alcohol or marijuana increased for lesbians and bisexual male and female teens, but decreased for gay males.

--Gay and bisexual males reported higher levels of feeling spiritual or religious than heterosexual males. However, higher levels of religiosity were not a protective factor and were linked to higher odds of suicide attempts for bisexual males and females.

There are also some hopeful trends, says Saewyc. Smoking declined among all groups over the decade and risky sexual behaviours are also lower for most teens.

The decline in rates of violence and abuse faced by gay males corresponds with similar declines in most risky behaviours for them, such as binge drinking. However, rising rates of violence toward bisexual and lesbian girls mirror their rising rates of substance use, suicide attempts and other risks.

Some school districts have begun to develop supportive programs, like anti-bullying policies that specifically mention sexual orientation harassment and gay-straight alliance student groups in secondary schools, says Saewyc.

"LGB youth report higher exposure to risk and lower social support than heterosexual youth, so it is no surprise that more of them have health issues," says Saewyc. "We need to promote more supportive school environments for these youth and help families develop safer and more nurturing relationships with their LGB children."

The research study may be found at Background information may be found at

Monday, July 30, 2007

Safe Harbour Program Spreads throughout BC

From an announcement from The Centre today:

Safe Harbour Launched in the Davie Village & Area

"Safe Harbour invites storefront businesses and organizations to serve as sanctuaries for anyone who experiences discrimination or harassment and briefly needs a safe place to go. On a broader level, Safe Harbour is about making a commitment to celebrating diversity in our neighbourhoods and treating everyone with respect - including seniors, youth, families, cultural communities, people living with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, bisexual people.

There are about currently 21 communities involved in this project throughout the province. The Centre has entered a partnership with the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC (AMSSA) to organize the Safe Harbour Program for the Davie Village and area. While initially focusing on the Davie Village, we hope to expand to other areas of the West End in coming months.

Know that Safe Harbour sites welcome you, and if feeling threatened or harassed, our doors are open to provide a safe place for you."

From the Safe Harbour website:

"The Safe Harbour Program began in Nanaimo in 2004. ... Today, dozens of locations in Nanaimo proudly display the Safe Harbour window decal, and Nanaimo's Action for Diversity Team has received national recognition from the Canadian Race Relations Foundation for developing the Safe Harbour Program.

In 2006, with support from the B.C. Anti-Racism and Multiculturalism Program, Ministry of the Attorney General, the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC (AMSSA) refined the Safe Harbour model and resources for use in communities throughout the province."

To see Safe Harbour locations and participants:

Visit the Safe Harbour website at
Visit the AMSSA website at
Visit The Centre website at

Cooking for Your Life! Classes - Canadian Diabetes Association

Upcoming Cooking for Your Life! classes from the Canadian Diabetes Association for Fall 2007.

Courses are currently scheduled in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Mission, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Prince George, Richmond (including a course in Cantonese, Saanich, Saanichton, Surrey, and Vancouver, Vancouver--Britannia, Vancouver--Cantonese, White Rock.

Details are available at

Classes are four weeks long and are involve hands-on cooking. They are taught by a registered dietitian and a cooking instructor.

From the website: "Participants walk away with a new set of cooking skills and practical advice on how to find out what's in the products they buy. Discover healthy food choices, add more variety to what you eat, and increase your sense of well-being!"

For more information, call 1-800-665-6526 or e-mail

Canadian Council on Learning Reports on Health Literacy

Patient Self-management: Health Literacy Skills Required
June 19, 2007
"Patient self-management requires solid health-literacy skills, yet few Canadians possess these skills."

The Obstacles to Learning about Caring for Elders in Canada
July 12, 2007
"Usually spouses or middle-aged children, ... unpaid caregivers are often ill-equipped for the physical, emotional, and financial toll of their responsibilities. But formidable barriers prevent them from acquiring the very information and services that would ease their burden."

Subscribe to CCL's The Learning Link electronic newsletter at

Volunteer Leader Training for "Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions" Workshops


If you have a chronic health condition or understand the challenges of living with a chronic health condition, you might be interested in the upcoming training opportunities for the province-wide workshop "Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions.

For information about the training courses offered throughout the province, check the list below and check the website for updates:

Scheduled Leader Training Sessions currently posted at the website:

Fort St. John
Fort St. John Health Unit (Multi-Purpose Room)
10115 - 110th Avenue
Thursday to Sunday, September 20 to 23, 2007
9:30 am to 4:00 pm (approximately each day)
Register: Terry Cayer at toll-free 1-866-902-3767 or (Maximum 16 participants)

For information about becoming a Volunteer Leader and details about Leader Training Workshops, please contact Karen Hannah at 604-940-3568, toll-free at 1-866-902-3767, or email

Pacific Spirit Community Health Centre
2110 West 43rd Avenue, Vancouver
Fridays and Mondays; August 17, 20, 24 and 27, 2007
9:30 am to 4:00 pm each day

For information about becoming a Volunteer Leader and details about Leader Training Workshops in your community, please contact Terry Cayer at 604-940-3573 or toll-free 1-866-902-3767, or email

Desert Gardens
540 Seymour Street Kamloops, BC
Monday to Thursday, October 1 to 4, 2007
9:30 am to 4:00 pm (approximately each day)

Register by September 17, 2007 with: Terry Cayer - Coordinator @ TOLL-FREE: 1-866-902-3767 or email: 18 participants)

Location to be announced
Kelowna, BC
Wednesday to Saturday, October 10 to 13, 2007
9:30 am to 4:00 pm (approximately each day)

Register by SEPT 20, 2007 with: Terry Cayer - Coordinator @ TOLL-FREE: 1-866-902-3767 or email: 18 participants)

Yakimovich Wellness Centre
1454 Hillside Avenue, Victoria, BC
Monday to Friday, 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm
August 20 to 24, 2007

Community Living BC
107 - 555 Fourth Street, Courtenay, BC
Thursday to Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
December 6 to 10, 2007

For information about becoming a Volunteer Leader and details about Leader Training Workshops, please contact: Mark Davies
Phone: 604-940-3580 or toll-free1-866-902-3767; email:

The Health Literacy Study Circles + Guides

A series of health literacy resources are available at the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL).

The series includes: Skills for Disease Prevention and Screening (2007), Skills for Chronic Disease Management (2005), and Skills for Health Care Access and Navigation (2005).

From the website:"The Health Literacy Study Circles + Guides consist of two parts. The first is a separate book titled: Introduction: Overview, Planning, and Facilitation Tips. The second is the Facilitator’s Guide, prepared in notebook format, containing all the information needed for each of the three Health Literacy Study Circles + ."

For more about the series, visit

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Storytime Yoga for Learning and Health

A storytime yoga event was held in Louisville's Yoga Elements recently to promote Sydney Solis' new book entitled Storytime Yoga: The Treasure In Your Heart: Yoga and Stories for Peaceful Children.

"Families learned to start a yoga and storytelling hour in their home to increase peace, health, literacy and communication among family members during the July 15 Storytime Yoga family class ..." wrote Lisa Bell on

"Children and parents ... acted out the story with yoga poses as the story was retold. Participants had a relaxation and visualization exercise, followed by a session of learning to tell stories to each other at home, as well as a lesson in communicating feelings."

For information about Storytime Yoga, visit the website:

From: "Storytime yoga event gets international attention" contributed by Lisa Bell on 7/17/2007 on (A community produced by The Denver Newspaper Agency)

New "Stretching @ Your Desk" Videos

New Stretching @ Your Desk videos have just been released bythe Alberta Centre for Active Living. The Stretching @ Your Desk and Yoga @ Your Desk (launched in June) videos are part of the Alberta Centre for Active Living's Physical Activity @ Work website (

Available both in English and French, each stretching video takes about as long as a coffee break. Certified fitness consultant, Lindsay Wright (Be Fit for Life Coordinator at Alberta's Provincial Fitness Unit), takes you through a series of stretches that give you a refreshing active break in the middle of your day.

The exercises in these videos are designed to counter the effects of sitting at your desk by focusing on stretches for your back, neck and shoulders. The exercises come in stages so that you can work on different parts of your body. Most of the exercises can be done right in front of your computer monitor. No need for special clothes or equipment.

The Alberta Centre for Active Living is affiliated with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta.

Access the videos at

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities"

A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities is available free at the Hesperian Foundation website.

Hesperian books are written in plain language and include illustrations. They are developed with the goal that everyone can "understand, apply and share health information." The website states that their health publications are "Developed collaboratively with health workers and community members from around the world, our books and newsletters address the underlying social, political, and economic causes of poor health and suggest ways groups can organize to improve health conditions in their communities. In addition, Hesperian relies on a multi-faceted distribution strategy to ensure our materials reach those who need them most."

The complete book can be downloaded from the site in sections:
Front matter: How to use this book, Contents, Introduction
Chapter 1: Disability and the Community
Chapter 2: Organizing for disability- friendly health care
Chapter 3: Mental Health
Chapter 4: Understanding your body
Chapter 5: Taking care of your body
Chapter 6: Health exams
Chapter 7: Sexuality
Chapter 8: Sexual health: Preventing sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS Chapter 9: Family planning
Chapter 10: Pregnancy
Chapter 11: Labor and birth
Chapter 12: Caring for your baby
Chapter 13: Growing older with a disability
Chapter 14: Abuse, violence, and self-defense
Chapter 15: Support for Caregivers

To buy a hardcopy of the book, visit the online store.

Feeling "Unwelcome" a Barrier to Homeless Seeking Health Care: Toronto Study

Homeless people who have felt unwelcomed during past health care encounters are more likely to avoid health care institutions, according to a new study by St. Michael’s Hospital researchers.

The qualitative study of 17 homeless men and women at five shelters in Toronto found respondents often reported that unwelcoming experiences prompted strong emotional responses, making it less likely they seek health care in the future.

“The preliminary findings offer a new and unexplored way of thinking about patient-health professional interactions,” study author and St. Michael’s Hospital researcher Dr. Stephen Hwang explained. “While the concept of unwelcomeness being tied to accessibility of health care has been relatively unexplored, it is no less important.”

Following audiotaped in-depth interviews of study subjects, researchers found most participants perceived their experiences of unwelcomeness as acts of discrimination based on homelessness and low social class, lead author Chuck Wen explained.

“Participants characterized these health care experiences as dehumanizing,” he said. “The patients conveyed a sense that the health care provider reduced them to an object, did not empathize with them, ignored or failed to listen to them, and felt brushed aside, rushed, and treated rudely.”

Intense emotional responses associated with these feelings of unwelcomeness have created for some individuals a strong distrust of health care workers and avoidance of health care institutions, St. Michael’s Hospital researcher Pamela Hudak said.

“The results of the study encourage health-care professionals to approach each patient with openness and receptiveness,” she said. “Welcomeness brings to mind the idea of hospitality, a concept that differs from patient satisfaction and that could usefully be incorporated by health care professionals as part of their stance towards not only homeless people but patients in general.”

The study was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Monday, July 16, 2007

"brainbridge" Newsletter July 2007 Issue

"brainbridge" newsletter published by the BC Centre for Ability's Community Brain Injury Program for Children & Youth in BC (CBIPCY) is out. In the July 2007 issue:

  • [How to] Use your summertime wisely and well
  • Summer [safety tips] boating and all-terrain vehicles
  • Life--outside of school [tips for community participation]
  • [Tips for learning about] Asking for help
  • "Voices of the Families" 2007 User Evaluation Project report
  • Library Resources
  • US CDC announces updated information to help physicians recognize and manage concussions early
  • Childhood Cancer Survivor's Society of BC support group info

Contact CBIPCY at or call 604-630-3009 or 604-630-3026.

Newsletters will soon be available on the website.

Friday, July 13, 2007

"Northern Child and Youth" Newsletter

Northern Child and Youth Newsletter is published by the University of Northern BC Task Force on Substance Abuse

Selected back issues, including the following are available at:

Vol 1, No. 1 (February 2007)
"Teen talk - The Prince George project that tells us what youth think about substance use" and
"Connections: Where to get help online"

Vol 2, No. 1 (March 2007)
"A Plan to Change: A New Approach for FASD Prevention in Northern BC"

For more about the UNBC Task Force on Substance Abuse, contact:
Centre of Excellence for Children and Adolescents with Special Needs
UNBC Task Force on Substance Abuse
3333 University Way
Prince George, BC V2N 4Z9
Phone: (250) 960-5806
Fax: (250) 960-5644

Learning and Violence Website

The Learning and Violence website ( phase two has been

Helen Manley writes:
"The issue of violence and its impact on learning is a complex one that affects all of us in different ways. The website is designed to be an ongoing resource for anyone looking to expand their knowledge of the issue. It is also an opportunity to increase discussion and visibility.

Do please look over the site. Do keep us in mind if you create material that would be suitable for the site in the future. We are putting in a new proposal and are looking for partners and supporters to join us in this endeavour or write letters of support for our next round of funding. Please let Jenny Horseman ( or myself ( know if you would like to help with the next phase."

Helen Manley
Spiral Community Resource Group

Women's Health Matters

Women's Health Matters provides an archives of short articles "written on a wide variety of women’s health topics; and detailed descriptions of books and periodicals, audiovisual and multimedia materials and websites."

The site also offers:

  • "regularly updated articles on research and issues that affect the health of Canadian women"
  • Le Club which includes discussion groups, an "ask the expert" section, a "story of the month" section, and a special events area
  • the monthly e-bulletin

Visit Women's Health Matters website at:

Human Rights for People with Mental Illness

Realizing Our Potential: A Symposium on Human Rights for People with Mental Illness was sponsored by Stenberg College and Coast Mental Health Foundation and held on January 29, 2007 in Surrey, BC.

You can view the complete webcast or download the magazine called Realizing Our Potential which was inspired by the event at:

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Public Forum on Cancer Care in BC


The BC Cancer Agency is pleased to be hosting a series of public forums at its regional cancer centres to gather feedback about cancer care in British Columbia.

The information collected from the sessions will be incorporated into a submission for the Provincial Government’s Conversation on Health.*

Four sessions are being held around the province in the month of July at the BC Cancer Agency’s regional cancer centres:

  • July 12 – Vancouver Island Centre
  • July 19 – Centre for the Southern Interior
  • July 23 – Vancouver Centre
  • July 26 – Fraser Valley Centre
All sessions are from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

More information can be found on the BCCA website:

Space is limited, so if you are interested in attending a public consultation, please register by calling 604.877.6000 extension 4813, or e-mail

*The Conversation on Health is a Government of British Columbia initiative to improve public health services today and to protect public health services for future generations

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Managing Forgetfulness & Aging Successfully

An archived webcast from the The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre is available online.

Managing Forgetfulness & Aging Successfully: A Public Forum and Webcast was held Monday, March 12, 2007

Three of Canada's top brain researchers speak on memory loss and how it can be managed at a free public symposium held on March 12, 2007 at UBC's Life Sciences Centre.

Drs. Max Cynader, Howard Feldman, and Jonathan Schooler, all of UBC's Brain Research Centre, joined media doctor Art Hister, host of Canada's longest running health radio show and emcee of the symposium, to discuss disorders of the aging brain, strategies to help improve memory, and how to age successfully.

View webcast.
A short printable summary of the contents of forum is available.
Additional resources on Memory and Aging is available here.

For links to other webcasts available at the

Bipolar Disorder: A review of Medication & Self-management Strategies


Bipolar Disorder: A review of Medication & Self-management Strategies is an education night for consumers and their families

July 10th, 2007
7:00 - 9:00 pm
UBC Robson Square Theatre
800 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC

Pre-registration required (seating limited)
Cost: $5.00 (waived in cases of financial hardship)

Heather Armstrong
UBC Mood Disorders Centre
Room 2C7-2255 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 2A1
phone 604-822-8045

A flyer with speakers and topics is available.

New Canadian health website: What Older Women Want

A Canadian study of older women's health needs and concerns published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in July 2005, and reported widely in the media, has sparked a new website directed at both patients and health practitioners:

Known widely as 'WOW' or the 'What Older Women Want' study, conducted by Drs. Cara Tannenbaum, Nancy Mayo and Francine Ducharme, the study asked 5000 older women across Canada which of their health needs they felt were not being met or addressed adequately by their health practitioners.

Among the top unmet concerns Canadian senior women mentioned were: screening and treating urinary incontinence; counselling about memory loss (or perceived memory loss); and exercise strategies to address falls and functional decline.

"Women were very satisfied with the care they were receiving to treat their blood pressure and prevent heart attacks and stroke, but emphasized gaps in care surrounding more 'taboo' issues, such as discussing urine or memory loss," says Dr. Tannenbaum, a Geriatrician at the Institut universitaire de gériatre de Montréal, and lead author of the WOW study. "It may be that women are uncomfortable talking about these issues with their physicians because it is embasrassing, because they believe it is a part of normal aging or because they are unaware that treatments exist."

In order to address this gap in primary health provision and give older women what they want, Dr. Tannenbaum teamed up with the Canadian Women's Health Network and the Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal to create the WOW website:

The website contains a portal for health consumers that provides health information on the three unmet health needs of older Canadian women: urinary incontinence, memory loss and exercise. The information is clear, straight-forward and easy-to-read, with engaging illustrations and diagrams. The focus is on prevention, with tips on diet, lifestyle changes and exercise; treatment options are also provided.

The WOW website also has a portal for health practitioners, outlining the kinds of questions that practitioners should be asking their older female patients routinely, and the ways in which they can provide prevention and improvement strategies to their patients for urinary incontinence, memory loss, as well as the particular exercise needs of older women.

For full study details on the What Older Women Want study, visit:

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Summer '07 "Tips for Living Well" newsletter is out!

The summer issue of Tips for Living Well newsletter from the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities' Wellness & Disability Initiative is hot off the press! If you subscribe to the paper copy, you'll be receiving your issue soon. If you access the PDF version from our website, you can start reading today.

In this issue ...

  • Learning the Language of Feelings by Mark Linden O'Meara (an excerpt from his book, The Feeling Soul)
  • Living with Hope--a video about hope and people with terminal illness
  • How to Support a Family Caregiver--a new booklet about supporting caregivers from the UVIC Centre on Aging
  • Watermelon Anyone?--more about watermelons than you could ever want to know!
  • Pets & Wellness--a special two-page spread with pictures and pet news
  • HIV/AIDS Reality Check column--this issue is information from Health Canada about condoms
  • Top Tag Pet ID--a nifty flash drive containing all that important info about your pet... worn as an ID tag
  • Access to Health Awards--it's not too soon to begin thinking about who you will nominate for the 2007 awards. Deadline for nominations is October 31st.
  • Living a Health Life with Chronic Conditions--this program is now available throughout BC
  • Cleaners and Pesticides Can Be Fatal--use them properly, or better yet, use alternatives
  • Seven Myths about Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Tips for Living Well--headache tips, laughter, improving your memory, and volunteering
  • Most People with Arthritis Don't Get Enough Exercise
  • Sunscreen and Summer Sun Safety
  • Online Book Helps Children Understand the Effects of Stroke
  • Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs)--a personal account

Don't miss out. Subscriptions to the paper copy are free in Canada. Contact to subscribe or to order multiple copies for your office or organization.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Caregiving Conference in Cranbrook October '07

A Prescription for Caregivers: Giving Care, Taking Care is a conference featuring speaker Wendy Lustbader in Cranbrook, BC October 15, 2007.

Location: Heritage Inn
9:00 a.m. -4:00 p.m.

To register, send name, address, phone number and email address with a cheque payable to Interior Health Authority to:
Cranbrook Health Unit
co/ Darryl Oakley
20 - 23rd Avenue South
Cranbrook, BC V1C 5V1

Sponsored by the East Kootenay Foundation for Health

Brain Injury Conference October 18-19 in Abbotsford

The Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association (FVBIA) is hosting a conference:
What Does It Take:
A Holistic Look at Recovery afer Acquired Brain Injury
October 18-19, 2007
Cascade Community Church
35190 Delair Road, Abbotsford, BC

Workshop topics include:
Thursday October 18th: "The role of Effective Case Management," "Working with Mentally Disordered Offenders," "What We Know Now about Attention Training in Children with Acquired Brain Injury," "Aging Parents and ABI Outcomes," Key Worker Model for Children with Complex Needs," "Intervention Strategies for Brain Injured Adults in Prison," "Behaviour Issues with Acquired Brain Injury," and "Housing and Housing Supports."

Friday October 19th: "Educating the Student with Acquired Brain Injury in College," "The Role of the Forensic Nurse," Protecting Settlement Funds," and "The Role of Recreation (Peer Support, Art, Social Inclusion)"

Contact the FVBIA by email at, phone 604-557-1913 or visit the website at for information.

"Mind Matters: BC's Mental Health E-news"

Mind Matters is published by the Canadian Mental Health Association's (CMHA) BC Division. Delivered to your email box each month, Mind Matters contains "CMHA news, programs, resources and events in BC, as well as:

  • mental health news and research
  • new mental health programs and resources in BC
  • public education events
  • courses, workshops and conferences for people with mental illness, family, friends, caregivers, advocates, and health/mental health professionals.

The following selected headlines from the June 2007 issue of Mind Matters provide an example of the range of information available:

  • Coping with Suicidal Thoughts ... a short guide
  • New Look and Video Resources for AnxietyBC Website
  • is a new website that connects you to the knowledge accumulated by mental health organizations across Canada
  • The latest edition of CMHA Ontario Division's Network magazine, now available online, reflects on the theme of social inclusion
  • Family Matters – A Tool for Teens is a new online resource from
  • New Website for Parents of Kids with Special Needs--Our Special Kids is a web resource for parents of children with special needs who are looking for information relevant to their situation and understanding from others
  • Planning Guidelines for: Mental Health and addiction Services for children, Youth and Adults with Developmental Disability is available in PDF format at
  • Working Effectively With Interpreters in a Mental Health Setting
  • BC Launches Pilot Program for Parents of Children with Mental Illness
  • Scientists Encouraged to Focus on Psychological Needs of Cancer Survivors
  • Mental Illness Targeted by Workplace Screening Program
  • Movie Mondays in Victoria
  • Frames of Mind Mental Health Film Series – I Have Tourettes But Tourettes Doesn’t Have Me
  • New Writing Group for People With Mental Illness

Read back issues or subscribe to Mind Matters at

"Shared Voices" MS Society Newsletter great source of tips

Shared Voices is an excellent newsletter published by the MS Society of Canada's Lower Mainland chapter. The Summer 2007 issue is packed with terrific information for people living with MS—much of it of interest to people with other types of disabilities or health conditions as well. Copies are available at the website. Check out this issue for the following items and more:

  • tips for keeping cool during the summer heat (p. 1-2)
  • a report on a Nordic Pole Walking Workshop at the WestEnd MS Support Group (p.3)
  • Lower Mainland Chapter educational workshop September 22nd 2007 (p. 4)
  • A Light-hearted Parody of Your Summer Horoscope (p. 6-7)
  • information about accessible pools, beaches, and musical events in the Lower Mainland
  • Massage and more ... information about the West Coast College of Massage Therapy's Inreach Program for people living with MS. Over a 14-week term, massage therapy students provide weekly 60 minute massages (under supervision). "Besides the many benefits of massage, a mini support group usually develops. Some have found their fear of becoming less mobile lessens when they see those who use various aids—canes, walkers, wheelchairs and scooters—living successfully." (p. 5)
  • Therapeutic and Research Issues: Mitoxantrone (might-oh-zan-trone) (p. 4)
Note: The West Coast College of Massage Therapy is located in New Westminster. Each massage is $10.00. The program is currently full, but if you're interested, call Brenda at 604-451-8616 to be placed on a cancellation list.

Paralympics Paramedic Training for BC Aboriginal People with Disabilities

Reported in Voices & Visions, the newsletter of the BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) (April/May 2007 p. 6)

"For the past several months, BCANDS has had discussions with the Vancouver Olympic Committee, Health Canada, Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance, Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and Service Canada in promoting the training of Aboriginal People with Disabilties as Paramedic Assistants for the 2010 Games. The intent of this program is to train a group of Aboriginal People with disabilities to a minimal level of Emergency Medical Responder (EMR). ... All individuals who are successful in their training will then have the opportunity to compete for at least 14 positions that will assist the Vancouver Paramedic Team at the 2010 Olympic Games."

While the program has yet to be approved, interested individuals are encouraged to contact the BCANDS office. Email Robert Harry at or Andrew Cowie at