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Poverty

"The opposite of poverty isn't wealth, the opposite of poverty is justice" – Bryan Stevenson

Poverty Can Be Very Expensive

There are some significant barriers that people living in poverty face when it comes to managing their finances. However, these may not always be obvious, so let’s talk about them. Let’s consider what it might look like to be living in poverty here in British Columbia, Canada, where I live. Provincial income assistance payments, including …

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Universal income: a guaranteed livable income could take poverty out of the picture

Universal Basic Income: Benefits for People with Mental Illness

I don’t have the economics background to speak to the feasibility of universal basic income, so I won’t try; however, I did want to explore the potential benefits for people with mental illness. What universal basic income is While various implementations have been proposed, at its core, universal basic income (UBI) has several basic characteristics. …

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What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What Is… Intergenerational Trauma

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week’s term is intergenerational trauma. Trauma that occurs at an individual level is devastating enough, but when it occurs on a collective level, the effects of that trauma may not stop with the people who directly experienced the traumatic events. …

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Intersectionality and What it Means for Mental Health

Black feminist researcher Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw first proposed the concept of intersectionality in 1989 to represent the many different layers of social stratification that can combine to disadvantage people. This includes factors like race, sexual orientation, social class, age, disability, and gender. Expanding on this concept, sociologist Patricia Hill Collins described the intersectional points as the matrix …

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Just Say No poster with two marijuana joints

The Failure of the War on Drugs

If you were around in the 80’s, you are probably very familiar with the message to “just say no” that was part of the overall war on drugs. In 1991, Saved By The Bell got on board with an episode that told viewers “there’s no hope with dope.” There was also the classic egg in …

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NIMBYism: not in my backyard is just another way of saying mental illness stigma

NIMBYism and Resistance to Mental Health Housing

NIMBYism is a fascinating phenomenon.  NIMBYs, who think that something is okay as long as it’s Not In My BackYard, cover discrimination with a thin veneer of civility and acceptability.  Among the many manifestations of this is with regards to social housing, including supported housing for people with mental illness. The NIMBY arguments NIMBYs’ arguments …

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tiles representing different healthcare specialities

Is Health Care a Right or a Privilege?

Is access to health care 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? Views on that seems to depend a lot on where people live. Growing up in Canada, all I ever knew was a public …

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We all deserve a roof over our heads; however, people with mental illnesses are at increased risk of homelessness

Homelessness & Mental Illness: We All Deserve a Roof Over Our Heads

Far too many people with mental illness will experience homelessness at some point. Why is that, and why on earth is it acceptable? Risk factors for homelessness According to the Homeless Hub, 30-35% experiencing homelessness have a mental illness.  Among women, that figure jumps to 70%. How does society allow this to happen to some …

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