Health Care

What is... Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) - cartoon of exhausted snail

What Is… ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue)

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms… but not this week. Instead, we’ll take a look at ME/CFS, and why it’s absolutely not all in someone’s head. The National Institutes of Health describes ME/CFS as “a debilitating disease that lacks a universally accepted case definition, cause, diagnosis, or …

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Has COVID affected your access to health care? - icons of different health specialties

Has COVID Impacted Your Access to (Mental) Health Care?

It’s been more than a year, and COVID is still going strong. It’s made a lot of people sick and it’s killed a lot of people. The lockdowns and social distancing have given most people cabin fever, and the ongoing stress has been bad for everyone’s mental health. But what about those of us who …

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Just a psych patient? Mental illness stigma in the ER

Just a Psych Patient? Stigma in the ER

People with mental illness can come up against stigmatized attitudes within mental health care, but having a mental illness diagnosis can also make it difficult to access appropriate care for physical health issues. A recent CBC News story provides an example of a man whose physical issues were written off because he was just a …

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How does your health care system work? - icons of different medical specialties

How Does Your Local Health Care System Work?

I was talking recently with Luftmentsch of Vision of the Night about the health care systems in the UK and Canada, and I thought it would be interesting to take a look at what a patient scenario might look like in different health care systems. Health care systems overview First, let’s take a quick look …

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Chiropractic Quackery: The Wacky fringe - cartoon of a person's spine

Chiropractic Quackery: The Wacky Fringe Side

Let’s say your back hurts. You go to a chiropractor, over a few visits they crack a few joints, and that’s all she wrote, right? That’s certainly what I used to think about chiropractic. It turns out, though, that chiropractic quackery has been around from the beginning. The modern back-cracking that most of us are …

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Tree diagram showing effects of social inquities

Why Social Determinants of Health Matter

Social determinants of health represent those factors that, whether we have control over them or not, can significantly influence both physical and mental health outcomes. Differences produced by social injustice can (and does) produce systemic health inequities between rich and poor, with a “social gradient” in between. The social determinants of health The Government of …

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tiles representing different healthcare specialities

Is Healthcare a Right or a Privilege?

Is access to healthcare a right that should be shared by all people regardless of socioeconomic status? Or is it a privilege that belongs to those who can afford to pay? Growing up in Canada, all I ever knew was a public healthcare system. There is no charge to see a doctor or to be …

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Why Funding Community Mental Health Care Matters

When it comes to mental health care, or health care in general for that matter, a simple fact is that the sicker people get, the more it costs to treat them. Sicker people need more acute services, and they need to continue accessing those services for longer amounts of time. Acute care services are extremely …

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Characteristics of trauma-informed health care, e.g. preventing retraumatization

How Trauma-Informed Practice can Improve Mental Health Care

So, what is it to be trauma-informed? Trauma-informed practice recognizes the intersectionality of trauma, mental health, and substance abuse, with an awareness that anyone may have experienced trauma, whether they’ve disclosed it or not. Trauma-informed practice aims to create environments that prevent re-traumatization and promote a sense of safety. The individual client’s safety, choice, and …

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