Mental Health

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

October 8, 2021 at 1:00 pm

Just say no The local CBC is running a multi-part series on “street drugs” and if I didn’t know better, I’d suspect it was being sponsored by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, because the stance it takes on drugs — they’re bad and people who do them die — seemsRead More

Defining Madness

Defining Madness

December 9, 2020 at 12:45 pm

A few years ago, one of my colleagues told me a funny story. One of his students had said to him, “It’s a good thing that someone invented universities. Otherwise, there would be no place in the world for people like you to fit in.” I was thinking about thisRead More

Embracing Winter: ‘Friluftsliv’

Embracing Winter: ‘Friluftsliv’

December 2, 2020 at 1:04 pm

A couple of weeks ago, I reconnected (via Zoom) with an old friend in Brooklyn, NYC, and in between catching up and sharing gluten-free cinnamon bun recipes, we talked about our respective lives under COVID. She told me that she’d recently gone for drinks in her neighborhood with a smallRead More

An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

May 27, 2020 at 1:02 pm

Well, we’ve discovered at least two things since the COVID-19 cloud descended upon us, one being that we won’t be telling our grandchildren about the pandemic since they’re living through it with us and will have their own stories to tell. Secondly, a Guaranteed Annual Income (GAI) is not onlyRead More

Premier Stephen McNeil, NS COVID-19 Update for 19 May 2020

NS COVID-19 Update for 19 May 2020

May 19, 2020 at 6:00 pm

Daily briefing Dr. Robert Strang today announced an additional death at the Northwood long-term-care facility (LTCF) in Halifax, bringing total deaths there to 50. I haven’t done the math on this before but today I did and it is grim: the fatality rate among residents at Northwood has been roughlyRead More

People practise Tai Chi in the snow at a park in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China

Let’s Talk Tai Chi

January 29, 2020 at 1:12 pm

Imagine you’re watching US cable television and a commercial comes on for a new prescription medication. It’s a typical drug ad, featuring shots of older people gardening and biking and bowling and parasailing and tossing basketballs effortlessly through hoops as a narrator explains the benefits of this new miracle pill:Read More

On the Clock: The Local Angle

On the Clock: The Local Angle

October 30, 2019 at 1:53 pm

Earlier this year, acting on a tip that ambulances were being called quite frequently to what is now known as the Sydney Call Centre (although for most of the period for which I requested figures, it was the ServiCom call center), I FOIPOPed the Nova Scotia Department of Health toRead More

Toronto's Eaton Centre, facing south. (Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Acedia and Consumerism

September 4, 2019 at 10:04 am

I am sitting in a board game café as I write this month’s column. I have my phone on the table in front of me, and I am surrounded by young people, most of whom are using computers and/or are holding phones in their hands. Our phones and our computersRead More

Acedia By T.B. Jackson-Williams. CC BY-SA 3.0

Acedia and Me (and You)

June 12, 2019 at 11:19 am

Several columns ago, I considered the difficulties a number of students seem to be experiencing, and noted that, when I discuss their situation with my colleagues, they have identified many of the same issues with their own students. The two most marked features of stress some of my students displayRead More

Sam  Wolff from Phoenix, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (]

Everyone’s Lonely on Facebook

May 1, 2019 at 12:19 pm

Last month, I considered the anxiety and other forms of emotional distress that many students seem to be experiencing at North American universities. I also suggested that I think it would be wrong to attribute these mental and emotional health issues to simple inadequacy or weakness on the part ofRead More