Food for a healthy planet and healthy people

Agricultural land covers 40% of the global land mass and food production accounts for up to 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Now more than ever we have to pay attention to how we eat in order to keep ourselves and our planet healthy. Agriculture continues to encroach into forests and other carbon rich ecosystemsContinue reading “Food for a healthy planet and healthy people”

Cleaning up our act on plastic pollution

They are convenient, inexpensive and versatile but plastics are harming our health and our planet. Recognizing the damaging effects of plastic pollution, the federal government recently announced regulations limiting single use plastics. But they do not go far enough to protect human health or ensure environmental sustainability. Eighty billion tons of plastics have been producedContinue reading “Cleaning up our act on plastic pollution”

Rethinking our understanding of mental health and mental illness

Canadians were in a mental health crisis well before the COVID-19 pandemic. But as with many other things, the pandemic served to shine a spotlight on the depth and breath of this serious issue. According to Statistics Canada, a shocking 1 in 3 Canadians suffers from mental illness during their lifetime. Five to 10 percentContinue reading “Rethinking our understanding of mental health and mental illness”

Road traffic deaths are preventable

When a pedestrian is killed crossing the highway on the way to “community” housing, it is not an accident. It is death by design – or some would say – a lack of design, and we all have blood on our hands. From the urban planners who designed the housing project in its current location,Continue reading “Road traffic deaths are preventable”

Effective Policy Needed to Reduce Alcohol-Related Harms

Many of us welcomed in the New Year with a glass of our favourite alcoholic beverage, even if in muted celebration this year. Alcohol is an ubiquitous and accepted part of our culture, associated with times of festivity, socializing with friends and family and relaxing after a hard day at work. While there are social,Continue reading “Effective Policy Needed to Reduce Alcohol-Related Harms”

The opioid crisis rages on

In the last five years, there has been an alarming increase in deaths related to opioid overdoses. Over 22,000 Canadians – the majority of them in the prime of their lives – have succumbed to fatal overdoses since 2016. These numbers are comparable to lives lost in Canada due to COVID-19 infections, yet we areContinue reading “The opioid crisis rages on”

Children and Youth in Mental Health Crisis

On October 19, 2021, the American Association of Pediatrics declared a national emergency in children’s mental health. They cited soaring rates of depression, anxiety, trauma and loneliness in American children and youth as reasons for this unprecedented declaration. The picture is no less grim in Canada. Even before the pandemic, poor mental health was rankedContinue reading “Children and Youth in Mental Health Crisis”

Climate change is a health crisis

As we cope with extreme heat waves and unpredictable wildfires this summer, it is hard to deny that climate change is a reality. With record setting high temperatures in many places in the West, this stretch of hot weather is a searing reminder of how human actions are affecting our planet. If global warming continuesContinue reading “Climate change is a health crisis”

Transformative change needed in care for seniors

In the wake of horrors laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic in our senior care facilities, the Government of Alberta commissioned a review of facility-based continuing care in the province.   Recommendations from the government-appointed panel were released at the end of last month. The report makes several important recommendations on improving quality of lifeContinue reading “Transformative change needed in care for seniors”

COVID-19 vaccine policies explained

Following a worrisome wait for a renewed supply of COVID-19 vaccines, many Albertans now have the opportunity to receive their vaccine much sooner than expected.  Many are pleased at the accelerated timelines and are ready to roll up their sleeves, but some are anxious or confused about the evolving COVID-19 vaccine recommendations. COVID-19 vaccine guidelinesContinue reading “COVID-19 vaccine policies explained”