Canada needs a social contract for mental health

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021

… the Canada Emergency Response Benefit was arguably the most important mental-health innovation of the pandemic because it decreased financial uncertainty, demonstrating how important government can be in improving mental health. The Canadian Medical Association has calculated that 85 per cent of our risk of illness is linked to social factors such as housing, unemployment, poverty, systemic racism, and lack of access to social supports and health services. These are the types of stresses that are interacting with COVID-19 to drive our mental-health and substance-use crisis. 

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Fear and division really are bad for our health

Monday, January 20th, 2020

If you take fear and division and add a dose of cynicism about experts and government you produce an excellent culture medium for anxiety. Anxiety is bad for our health. A smoker loses on average 8.5 years of life. Anxiety can decrease your life expectancy by 7… When things seem more predictable, we feel more in control and we are less anxious.

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Resolution on social housing benefit provides hope for many in 2020

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

There are few things more important to health than a roof over one’s head. Life expectancy for a homeless person is substantially worse than for the general population and 57 per cent of homeless people in Toronto have a chronic medical condition… living in ill-maintained housing increases the risk of accidents due to unsafe structures, infestations such as mice, cockroaches, and a variety of infections…

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A lack of nutritious food is harming Canadians

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

One of the fundamental principles of our medicare system is that every Canadian should have access to evidence-based treatments. But we are failing Canadians when it comes to one of the most essential medicines — access to nutritious and healthy food. We can no longer divorce the health of Canadians from nutrition in our health care system. Our health as a nation is depending on it.

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