Arts Health News

Posted: Apr 2 2017 - 12:00pm

Art often provokes uncomfortable conversations, so it’s no surprise there were some heavy moments in preparation for an upcoming exhibition in Calgary that explores themes of recovery and healing.

The three month, bi-annual Hear/d Residency program at the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) aims to create meaningful discussion about mental health and student well-being on post-secondary campuses.

The program wraps up with a three week exhibition curated by two student mentors, who also facilitate the residency.

“This year has been kind of intense, it’s probably been some of the heaviest conversations I’ve had in my post-secondary experience,” said Ryan Danny Owen, a fourth-year drawing major at ACAD and one of this year’s mentors.

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Posted: Apr 2 2017 - 12:00pm

While suicide rates have traditionally been significantly higher among men than women, rates are even higher for queer men. And yet, it's an issue that remains largely unaddressed.

Postdoctoral research fellow Dr. Olivier Ferlatte of UBC's Men's Health Research program is one of several local researchers who are leading the way toward broaching the silence around suicide in Canada, particularly when it comes to LGBT issues.

"This is a population highly impacted by this issue," Ferlatte said by phone. "Gay and bisexual men are four times more likely to attempt suicide than straight men but it's very ignored and it's a very difficult topic to talk about so we're giving voice to people who were affected by suicide."

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Posted: Apr 1 2017 - 12:00pm

The Newfoundland and Labrador Down Syndrome Society (NLDSS) is concerned that some families may not be aware of the many helpful services they offer.

March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day, a day to raise awareness about the condition that affects one in every 700 babies who are born.

Tara Antle, whose stepson Eric Ruby has down syndrome, spoke to CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show in hopes that other families might avail of at least some of the services the province's down syndrome society oversees.

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Posted: Mar 31 2017 - 12:00pm

The Children’s Treatment Centre Foundation of Chatham-Kent received a $10,000 donation for its music therapy program recently.

Unity for Autism, a Toronto-based organization, provided the funding.

The program offers children and youth with special needs the chance to develop their attention span, communication, motor and social skills through singing, playing instruments, songwriting, listening and expressive movements.

“Because most children demonstrate a strong response to music, music therapy becomes a great motivator, addressing goals by offering an alternative for therapy,” said Donna Litwin-Makey, executive director of the Children’s Treatment Centre, in a media release.

“Enhanced programs at the centre, like music therapy, are essential in order for our clients to build their communication, motor and social skills and reach their full potential.”

Litwin-Makey said such enhanced programs are not covered through core government funding, which is why funding from third-party organizations in needed.

This is the second donation the centre has received from Unity for Autism since they funded their Specialty Autism Treatment Area in 2015.

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Posted: Mar 31 2017 - 12:00pm

The girl with the ponytail and hightop sneakers looks like any other teenager as she grabs a book from her locker and trudges down the corridor to class.

But the whisper of a violin signals there’s more going on behind the scene. Over the course of the next 13 minutes on film, the girl will race through a forest and gasp for breath. She will cross a stream on stepping stones and peer into a dark tunnel. She will flail underwater, pirouette in a sunlit barn and finally, end up on the shore of a peaceful lake.

This is Warrior Within, a fictional short film for high school students that explores stress, anxiety and resilience. It’s the centrepiece of a new project — by students and for students — to create engaging mental health curriculum at a time when rates of depression and other conditions are increasingly common among children and teens.

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