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 wdi@bccpd.bc.ca 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: http://www.mcs.bc.ca/.

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: http://www.communitylivingresearch.swfs.ubc.ca/

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 http://www.mcs.bc.ca/. Background information may be found at http://www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/media/releases/2007/mr-07-044.html.

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: http://www.amssa.org/safeharbour/communities/organizations.cfm

Visit the Safe Harbour website at http://www.safeharbour.ca/
Visit the AMSSA website at http://www.amssa.org/
Visit The Centre website at http://www.lgtbcentrevancouver.com/

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 http://www.diabetes.ca/section_regional/bc_cookin.asp

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 infobc@diabetes.ca

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." http://www.ccl-cca.ca/CCL/Reports/LessonsInLearning/LinL20070700_Learning_About_Elder_Care.htm?Language=EN

Subscribe to CCL's The Learning Link electronic newsletter at http://www.ccl-cca.ca/CCL/Newsroom/Subscribe/llsubw.htm?Language=EN

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: http://web.uvic.ca/~pmcgowan/research/cdsmp/

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 tcayer@dccnet.com (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 khannah@dccnet.com

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 tcayer@dccnet.com

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: tcayer@dccnet.com(Maximum 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: tcayer@dccnet.com(Maximum 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: mvdavies@dccnet.com

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 http://www.ncsall.net/index.php?id=769

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 YourHub.com.

"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: http://www.storytimeyoga.com/

From: "Storytime yoga event gets international attention" contributed by Lisa Bell on 7/17/2007 on YourHub.com (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 (http://www.centre4activeliving.ca/workplace/).

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 http://www.centre4activeliving.ca/workplace/trr/tools.html.

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 http://www.mybrainonline.com/ 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: http://www.unbc.ca/centreca/english/publications.html

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
Email: special@unbc.ca
Web: http://www.unbc.ca/centreca

Learning and Violence Website

The Learning and Violence website (http://www.learningandviolence.net) 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 (jenny@learningandviolence.net) or myself (support@jennyhorsman.com) 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 womenshealthmatters.ca 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: http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/ABCCA/NewsCentre/2007/conversation.htm

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 jkidd-02@bccancer.bc.ca.

*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
email hla@interchange.ubc.ca

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: http://www.wowhealth.ca/

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: http://www.wowhealth.ca/

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: http://www.wowhealth.ca/pdf/wowCMAJ.pdf

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 wdi@bccpd.bc.ca 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 info@fvbia.org, phone 604-557-1913 or visit the website at http://www.fvbia.org 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
  • DepressionLifelines.ca 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 mindyourmind.ca
  • 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 http://www.healthservices.gov.bc.ca/
  • 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 http://www.cmha.bc.ca/news_events/enews.

"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 robert@bcands.bc.ca or Andrew Cowie at andrewcowie@bcands.bc.ca.

Richmond: Leadership Program for Youth with Disabilities

Time Sensitive

Reported in the June 2007 issue of Connections: The Newsletter of Volunteer Richmond Information Services (volume 7, number 2 p. 4)

"The Better Community Project for Youth Leadership for persons with a disability between the ages of 16-30 is now accepting applications.

Starting in August, participants will enjoy a seires of skill-builidng workshops and learn about healthy lifestyles, first-aid, safer communities, emergency preparedness, independent living skills and self empowerment. The curriculum also includes mentoring, working on a group project and much more."

Application deadline is July 13th.

email randalldrc@shaw.ca
phone 604-232-2404