Welcome to the Homewood Blog
The Homewood Blog is a collection of resources to help you read and learn about a variety of topics related to mental health, addictions and wellness.
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Self-Care: Time And Attention For You
With evolving demands, challenges faced in our everyday lives, and with recent global disruptions, including isolation and quarantine measures, self-care has received increased profile and attention. Most people realize that it’s a big part of living well. But have you ever thought about what good self-care looks like? If you look beyond rewarding and treating yourself, you can explore a more profound purpose that could be life-changing.
Employee Fatigue, Isolation and Loneliness
As we near the summer months, the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic continues – filled with evolving new norms of how we go about our daily lives. We know that self-isolation and physical distancing are necessary, as they are preventative measures to slow the spread of the virus and the risk of infection. As we adopt and implement modifications to our routines, these changes can be linked to psychological effects including feelings of fatigue, isolation, and loneliness.
Relationships - Who Can Help With Recovery, and Who You Can Remove From Your Life
It is natural to focus on how personal choices affect recovery, but we can't forget that recovery doesn’t only require emotional and mental work. It also requires an assessment of our external environments.
Inner Change and Long Term Recovery
For a person in recovery, it is essential, though not easy, to stay motivated and committed to a better, healthier mindset. Long-term change starts with surrendering to the fact that there is a problem, and acknowledging that change is necessary.
The COVID-19 Pandemic: Fast Facts & General Information
On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. The virus did not match any other known virus. This raised concern because when a virus is new, we do not know how it affects people. One week later, on 7 January, Chinese authorities confirmed that they had identified a new virus. On 11 February 2020, the WHO officially named the disease ‘COVID-19’. According to the WHO, a pandemic is declared when a new disease for which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations.
Technology and Screen Time
We are living in a time where there is convenient and simple access to a constant stream of information generated from all over the world that is literally within reach instantly.
Talking to Your Children about Mental Health
According to a study, one of three Canadians will experience a mental health disorder in their lifetime.
That’s just one of the many indicators that mental health conditions are common within family units.
How to Talk to Your Children about a Family History of Addiction
With the belief that upholding systematic silence about alcohol or drug addiction within the family can do as much damage to a child as the substance use disorder (SUD), we have created this article.
In a review of forty-eight papers from eight longitudinal studies focusing on women's social and emotional health in the first year after birth, postpartum depression (PPD) was found to be a severe condition that potentially affects ten to twenty percent of women worldwide.
Nearly 1/3 of Canadians spend about one hour each day worrying about their finances.
In every type of job, eventually, we will experience significant loss either personal, professional or both, and therefore, grief. The grief may result from death in an individual's family, or it may be the death of a coworker or employer. It may be the loss of employment, either from a single dismissal or a significant restructuring and lay off of workers. Whatever the source, the resulting grief can end up being problematic and disruptive to the ecosystem of the workplace.
Promoting Psychological Health while going through Change
Change within your organization can occur in many ways. As our society progresses, so does every organization’s need to better address the changing complexity and composition of its employees.
The Many Faces of Anxiety
Anxiety, regardless of a person’s psychological or biological makeup, is highly common. Although it can be triggered by a specific event, such as a trauma or stressful situation, anxiety can also present as a consistent theme in a person’s life, creating challenges in daily activities or interactions.
Seasonal Gatherings: Tips for a stress-free holiday season
The holidays can be hard to manage, even at the best of times with so much going on. There are people to see and places to go, but it’s essential to have a plan that alleviates stress and helps to manage those overwhelming moments, especially when you are still in the recovery process.
Avoiding Substitute Addictions
There are some who believe that addictive personalities are likely to remain addictive, regardless of previous challenges and successes. Is it inevitably true? No, however substitute addictions present key challenges.
The Science of Addiction and Mental Health
Addiction was always understood by scientists as our brains being like large circuit boards that passed information through electrical signals over a network, however recently research has changed our understanding of the brain. Researchers are now looking at how an individual’s everyday living and cumulative life experiences cause changes in our thinking and affect general brain function.
Me-Time: Managing Stress and Finding Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is an individual measurement and may vary daily, monthly, and over extended periods of time. The right balance will differ as your lifestyle changes.
Addiction and Recovery: Insights from Homewood Alumni
Hear from some Homewood Alumni who have generously agreed to share their insights and key learnings when facing their addictions. We’ll also hear from Dr. Michael Berry, Clinical Director at Homewood Health’s Ravensview treatment facility in Victoria B.C., an expert who guides individuals on the path to recovery and helps people write new chapters focused on their healing and attainment of sustained sobriety.
Someone Close To You Ends Their Life by Suicide
Of all causes of death, suicide is probably the one that brings about the most heartbreak and the one that is the most difficult to accept. When there is a suicide, family, friends and colleagues fall prey to all sorts of reactions and emotions.
Healthy Habits: Actions to Recovery
When we feel safe, secure and well connected to our families and people within our communities, we develop a sense of belonging and an understanding of who we are. These attributes allow us to have confidence in our actions and enable us to live our lives in ways that are satisfying and meaningful. In short, we create a baseline for what good mental health feels like.
Healthy Habits: Positive Influences on Mental Health and Addiction
Being in recovery can sometimes feel like you have been placed into a remote location, amid unfamiliar surroundings, with the added complexity and challenge of finding your way back to civilization. Recovery can be lonely, scary and often confusing, with an array of mental and physical obstacles.
Reducing Mental Health Stigma
Irrespective of age, culture or income, at least one in five will experience a mental disorder in their lifetime. Given the prevalence of mental health disorders, this article we address common myths and the realities associated with mental health. There is no need to suffer alone and in silence. It’s time to start talking.
June is National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month
PTSD does not discriminate; it can affect anyone regardless of their age, gender, or race. Recent statistics from the Ministry of Veterans Affairs indicate PTSD as the second leading mental health disorder within the Canadian Armed Forces, with incident rates doubling between 2002 and 2013. However, PTSD is not limited to our military and soldiers.
PTSD in the Workplace: Solutions and Support
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is most often linked to combat occupations and first responders. So you wouldn’t think of your everyday co-workers as prime candidates to encounter PTSD related symptoms.
The Differences Between Inpatient and Outpatient Therapy
Whether it was through the encouragement of your family members or your doctor or something you arrived at on your own, making the decision to seek treatment for a mental health and/or addiction disorder was an important step forward on the path to finding recovery that works.
Inner Change and Long-Term Recovery: Creating the Future You Deserve
Recognizing strength in the smallest of things. It’s the little changes that you make that show you are well-rooted on the path to sustainable, long-term recovery.
The Many Faces of PTSD
PTSD is brought on by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic, often life-threatening event.
Throughout the year, we are exposed to, and participate in, many campaigns which profile and raise funds for diseases of all types. However, there are noteworthy gaps in regards to illness which do not receive the public spotlight, and which, given their prevalence, don’t get the support they deserve.
360 Degrees of Mental Health
Few things have a greater impact on one’s life than their mental health. There is a vast spectrum of possible mental health challenges affecting just as broad a spectrum of people.
Suicide Prevention: Uncovering the Signs
With 70% of suicides being completed by working-aged men and women between 30 and 64 years old, the collateral damage of such tragic deaths does indeed reach the workplace.
Crisis Management: Considerations and Support
Have you ever thought about how you would react and respond if a crisis happened within your organization?
Humour Therapy and The Power of Laughter
Laughing is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. We like laughing because it feels good, but it also triggers healthy physical changes in the body.
Vacation: Relax, Refresh and Reconnect
Transport yourself back to the sights, the sounds, the smells and try to recall the physical and mental release. Recapture the moments where you felt these three R’s: relaxed, refreshed and reconnected.
Creating a Healthy Workplace
A healthy work environment and culture is crucial to the success of both the organization and its employees. A healthy workplace weighs the merits of a range of considerations including mental and emotional qualities as well as safe and nurturing environments for all employee types.
Experiencing Acts of Violence
The trauma caused by acts of violence can and most often will have a significant emotional impact on people. The combination of atrocity and magnitude of the event, coupled with its unpredictability, will often lead to an intense feeling of vulnerability for our own safety and the safety of others.
Talking to Your Kids About Mental Health and Addiction
When a family member is working to improve their mental health or receiving treatment for an addiction, the entire family is affected. Family life takes on an unpredictability that influences everything “from vacations to shopping to simple downtime” and gives rise to stress and conflict.
Women's Mental Health
A more in-depth look at women’s mental health, to discover their unique health-care needs and find out how we can better support women who are struggling with mental health challenges.
How to Support Children Who Identify As LGBTQ2+
To say that parenting is a journey of continued learning and unique experiences may be one of life’s biggest understatements. There will be instances of laughter and tears, excitement and frustration, uncertainty and challenges of varying degrees.
How to Combat Post-holiday Depression
With the approaching holidays and new year, many individuals are generally on the lookout for a bit of company to help them feel a sense of togetherness and to have some good old-fashioned fun with family, friends and colleagues.
Men's Mental Health
Men and women experience many of the same mental health disorders, but their willingness to talk about their challenges and feelings are very different.
Light Therapy and Seasonal Affective Disorder
Fewer hours of daylight can leave us more vulnerable to developing what we often refer to as the winter blues.
Acknowledging the challenges associated with seasonal celebrations for those recovering from addiction. Insights, encouragement, and practical information on how to manage recovery during this time.
What to Do If a Co-Worker Is Suicidal
For some years now, it seems that an increasing number of people, when faced with adversity, psychological distress, or despair, are tempted to end their suffering once and for all by turning to suicide.
Supporting First Responders
Those in first responder occupations, such as police, firefighters, and paramedics face daily exposure to life-threatening situations. This constant barrage of contact with abuse, violence, and danger takes a tremendous toll.
LGBTQ+ Mental Health
For those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit or queer (LGBTQ+), the range of experiences with mental health and well-being are as diverse as those found within the general Canadian population.
The Importance of Sleep
In need of a comfortable, restful night’s sleep? Quality sleep – the kind that makes you look refreshed and feeling energized – is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Understanding Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are a complex, serious and sometimes fatal illness that cause severe disturbances to an individual’s eating behaviour, their sense of identity, self-worth, and self-esteem.
Dealing with Seasonal Depression
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), often referred to as "winter blues” or seasonal depression, is a type of depression related to changes in the seasons.
When Habits Become Addictions
We all have good and bad habits. But sometimes, these habits can become addictions, and being addicted to anything can have a detrimental effect on our physical and psychological well-being.
Uncovering the Faces of Anxiety
Recognized as one of the most common types of mental health disorders in Canada, anxiety disorders have a major impact on the lives of those affected.
Understanding Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Historically referred to as shell shock, and later combat fatigue, these two conditions where little was understood became referred to as PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) after the Vietnam War ended.
Youth, Teens and Mental Health
It’s no secret the emotions and actions of youth and teenagers can be a dizzying array of ups, downs, quirks and contradictions.
Mindfulness: Meditation and Everyday Practice
Mindfulness is the maintaining of moment-by-moment consciousness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and our relationship and interaction with the surrounding environment.
Although the number of people suffering from depression continues to rise, there are misconceptions between sadness and depression. We will identify what depression is, symptoms of the depression, and how to manage those symptoms.
Healthy eating is one of the most important things you can do to improve your general health.
Six Steps to Reducing Work Stress
One in three Canadians say work stress is getting them down. Can you relate?
Understanding Loving, Healthy Relationships
We sometimes need to be reminded it’s the intangibles -- trust, respect, caring, honesty and patience – that are the hallmarks of healthy relationships.
Taking Care of Your Finances
Financial stress can affect more than your wallet; it can have a ripple effect, impacting your health and relationships. The relationship between mental health and finances in some instances are dynamically linked.
Managing Workplace Change
Sometimes we need help and we aren’t sure where to turn. Who should I talk to? Where do I go to get help? How does counselling work? You are not alone. There are answers and people who can help.
Reducing Holiday Stress
The holidays are a wonderful time of year, but it can also be a time when we feel the most pressured.
Experiencing a Job Loss
You have just learned that you have or will soon lose your job. Since our careers and work lives satisfy many of our needs such as self-esteem, a sense of life meaning and financial security, receiving news about a job loss is never easy to face.