Tragic case of Robert Chu shows plight of Canadian medical school grads.

After he was passed over twice for a medical residency program, after he quizzed university officials and career counsellors about the reasons for his rejection, after exploring his legal options and shortly before ending his life, Robert Chu wrote a letter. It was precise, but penned with passion. It showed the persistence the 25-year-old medical school graduate had demonstrated throughout his accomplished life. But he also expressed his despair at what he believed is a flawed system used to match medical school graduates to residency programs — the final, obligatory stage in a doctor’s training. Each year, a growing number…

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You Can Save a Life.

I realize this post won’t be for everyone on my friends list, but I hope it might encourage some of you to consider donating. I grew up TERRIFIED of needles, I was that girl that would cry every time I had to get a shot. I’ll be honest, needles still erk me, but I know that getting over my fears means someone else gives someone else a chance to live and that to me is a small price to pay. The Canadian Blood Services is in dire need of donations for the upcoming long weekend (ie. The goal is 150,000 donations),…

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Let’s Talk About It.

Empathy. Congruence. Unconditional positive regard. Addressing Katherine and Katy as their identities. Reflection of feeling and content. Putting aside my ideas of Katy Perry for an hour, this is a beautiful example of the humanistic counseling model. I don’t think I can emphasize how much talk therapy helped me when I was at my lowest point. The questions that were asked, the revelations I came to, and the tools I was given to help me move forward. I agree with Kathryn in that social media has made it incredibly hard to be real with one another. We all hide behind…

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The Numbers Game.

I can’t believe it’s already been two years since I graduated from Western! To be honest, I debated whether I should share these pictures because on some level I do feel self-conscious despite the pictures not necessarily being representative of how I look now. I added 5 pictures to showcase how far i’ve come in 4 short years mentally, physically, and emotionally, with the first picture being where I started from. There is a picture for each of the past four years. I know regardless of how I look in those pictures, it doesn’t take away from my character, my…

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Zelda Williams Gets Real About The Work It Takes To Manage Depression.

Zelda Williams is acknowledging some major truths about mental health. In an extensive interview with Teen Vogue, Robin Williams’ daughter talked about how she prioritizes mental health, what it’s like to be an advocate and the hard work it takes to manage a condition. She told the publication that one of the ways she focuses on her own mental health is by speaking about it openly. She hopes that by doing so, it helps people recognize signs of mental health issues. “I try to bring a lot of advocacy to the people who have maybe never felt their brain to be…

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Never Miss a Day.

Many of you know I’ve never been a runner but most of you also probably don’t know one of the main reasons why I run is how I am choosing to take control of my battles with depression. This summer I want to reclaim running. I strayed away from running for many years for fear that the negative thoughts would be triggered. Thoughts like I was too slow, too fat, too tired, or thoughts that I just wasn’t made to run. But since i’ve started running, nothing beats the sound of my feet pounding on the pavement, the sun hitting my…

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Learning from Darkness.

I think we all feel helpless when grief and sorrow strike us or the ones we love. I’ve also come to accept that there is no time limit or one-step method to deal with this process. We all process grief or loss in our own unique ways and I don’t necessarily believe there will ever be a one size fits all method to deal with it. Oftentimes, we don’t know what to do with loss– how to work through it. And so we let it sit with us and cloud our vision and burden our hearts. But deep down what…

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Pushing Forward.

For everything I have to be sad about I have 20 others things to be grateful for in my life. I worked my butt off this year in my first year of nursing and despite all the challenges that landed on my plate I was able to push hard and come out with some pretty decent grades. I did in the end have to drop anatomy and physiology, but luckily I had a supportive team who have allowed me to complete the physiology component over the summer at Western to allow me to compliment my previous anatomy courses. I never thought…

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Where To Get Help.

Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: Find a 24-hour crisis centre. If you’re worried someone you know may be at risk of suicide, you should talk to them, says the Canadian Association of Suicide  Prevention. Here are some warning signs: Suicidal thoughts. Substance abuse. Purposelessness. Anxiety. Feeling trapped. Hopelessness and helplessness. Withdrawal. Anger. Recklessness. Mood changes.

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Self-Love is the Most Important Kind of Love.

This morning I woke up feeling down and sad about the actions of someone else.  So today, I decided to try something different. I made a list of all the great things about myself as a personal reminder that I don’t deserve to feel down because of someone else’s actions. I am kind to others I am generous and helpful I make people laugh I brighten moods I am caring I am empathetic I can sense people’s moods I am thoughtful I am helpful I step up to the plate when no one else does and take the blame so…

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‘A little bit OCD’: the downside of mental health awareness

It’s mental health awareness week. So that’s good. Well, mostly. There are downsides to increased awareness of mental health, it turns out. You ever met someone who is needlessly cold or even outright rude to those who deign to engage with them? I used to work with someone like that, and eventually one of his superiors had to call him out on it. I was within earshot, and happened to hear his defence, which was something like “It’s just the way I am. I think I’m on the spectrum.” He didn’t specify which spectrum. Maybe he meant the visible spectrum?…

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Life’s Changing Tides.

Naturally, life is a bumpy ride. In the flash of an instant, it can go from being downright cruel to magnificent the next, but then it can hand you days where you feel like you are permanently wrecked. But, I am a firm believer in the fact that the universe will never hand us things that we won’t be able to get through. For that anytime I was knocked down by a wave, I came right back up stronger than I was before I went down with the tides.  But it will suck you through a tsunami of tears, of…

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Yes, 13 Reasons Why glorifies suicide. You should watch – and talk to your kids.

Before we all descend into 13 states of apoplexy about the hit Netflix series 13 Reasons Why and the impact it could have on young people, let’s be clear about a couple of things: • Those calling for teens to be prohibited or otherwise dissuaded from watching the show have missed the boat. They’ve already seen it and, if not, the outpouring of adult angst will only make them more likely to do so; • Tweens and teens who watch 13 Reasons Why aren’t suddenly going to kill themselves. The so-called “contagion” theory is a bit more complicated than that.…

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How grief can lead to joy: Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg explains Option B.

Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg were a Silicon Valley power couple. In her bestselling book Lean In, Facebook chief operating officer Sandberg wrote about how she and her husband, who was SurveyMonkey’s CEO, leaned on each other. But that suddenly came to an end on a trip the couple took to Mexico in 2015. Goldberg died from cardiac arrhythmia at the hotel’s gym. Dave Goldberg and Sheryl Sandberg were married for 11 years. Sandberg was the one who found him. And then she had to return home to California to tell her children — then aged seven and 10 — that their father was gone.…

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Nursing is an Art.

“Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation, as any painter’s or sculptor’s work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts.” Florence Nightingale

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One Day.

I realized that I cannot unlove you.
So now my heart has a new prayer.
I pray that you’ll find happiness.
And in return , I will find mine.
 I pray that someone will love me the way I loved you.
And may I love this person a thousand fold more than you.
By then I’m sure my heart will stop looking for you. —  A Prayer For My Heart // Conee Berdera

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