FOF EZINE

SENIORS’ ADDICTION: Stories of Healing from the Grips of Substance Abuse

Fresh Outlook FoundationWhen Steve was in his mid-50s, he was struggling to deal with the death of his father and battling with his siblings over the estate. His sleep was badly affected by the stress, and he found that having a few drinks after work and before bed helped… at first.

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LAUGHTER: Truly the Best Medicine for Seniors of all Ages

Fresh Outlook FoundationI’m 75, and humour, laughter, giggles, and guffaws are interwoven in almost everything I do. I take every opportunity to laugh and see the ‘funny’ in most situations. Why? Because it makes a huge difference in my days and my life. And these practices could transform your life, too.

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SENIORS’ SUICIDE: The Loss of a Great Son, Husband, Father, Brother, & Newspaperman

Fresh Outlook FoundationFrom the outside looking in, Glenn Mitchell had it all. A wife and two grown sons, a house overlooking Okanagan Lake, and scores of family members and friends who adored him, including me… his older brother. So then, why did he drive to a local park, walk around for several hours, and then take his life on a sunny, cool December day, eight days before Christmas?

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PHYSICAL DISABILITIES: A Senior Copes with Mental Health Impacts of Amputation

Fresh Outlook FoundationSally G had always been independent and active, and particularly enjoyed kayaking and nature photography. She was retired from a longtime job and thinking about travelling. But her life changed in a way she could never have imagined when a blood clot caused her leg to be amputated five years ago.

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SARAH’S STORY: The Mental Health Challenges of Unhoused Seniors

Fresh Outlook FoundationOur expectations can sometimes trip us up. Sitting across from me was Sarah (not her real name), a petite and feisty senior with her nails and hair done and make-up on. While looking like a fashionista, she’d actually been homeless for 14 months and had lived on and off in her car for most of that time. At the time of the interview, she was temporarily living in a motel.

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COMPLEX CHRONIC DISEASES: A Senior Finds Beauty in Brokenness

Fresh Outlook FoundationSarah knew ‘complex chronic illness’ (also called complex chronic diseases) before she knew it had a name. There has been despair at living with no diagnosis, fear that it might somehow be her own fault, and disappointment with various treatments. The mental health impacts have been varied and significant.

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ELDER ABUSE: The Crushing Costs of Financial Exploitation

Fresh Outlook FoundationA serious social problem affecting millions of older people around the world, elder abuse is rarely discussed and, until recently, mostly hidden from public view. It’s considered a private matter, but one that is underestimated and often ignored. Elder abuse is predicted to increase, as many countries experience rapidly ageing populations.

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MEN’S MENTAL HEALTH: The Men’s Shed Way

Fresh Outlook FoundationUpon entry, you find a slick-looking lounge and a big-screen TV, followed by the gateway to a 3,200-square-foot workshop containing an array of wood and metal working “drool tools.” And that’s just the hands-on part of Men’s Shed Vernon’s passion for building meaning and well-being into men’s lives by engaging hands, hearts, and minds.

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THE JOY OF MENTORING: Seniors Giving Back in a Big Way

Fresh Outlook Foundation“Although I was nervous standing in front of my first class of Grade 11 students, I quickly learned that we had a great deal to offer each other. While I brought expertise, earned perspective, and passion, they came with their own insights, ideas, and a great deal of energy.”

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THAT LAST 10 POUNDS: A Senior’s Story of Health After Disordered Eating

Fresh Outlook FoundationHelen shakes her head when she remembers the years when disordered eating was a part of her daily life. “I’m just sorry it took me 62 years to understand how to have a good relationship with food,” she said. Now, at 68, she is a healthy weight and moves with graceful energy.

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DEPRESSION & SUICIDE: One Senior’s Journey From Hell to Healing

Fresh Outlook FoundationMy first and only attempt at suicide didn’t go well. I swallowed a handful of sleeping pills and took two or three gulps of whisky before lying on my bed waiting to join the abyss. Nothing happened. I was a failure.

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SENIORS’ DEPRESSION: A Retired Teacher Shares Invaluable Lessons Learned

Fresh Outlook FoundationLife was good for Paula the year she turned 50. She was happily married, proud of her son, and loved her work as a teacher. She enjoyed spending time with family members and her many friends. She had a variety of interests, including art, music, and travel. Then, with no warning, life wasn’t good.

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LONELINESS: A Student’s Experience Abroad

Fresh Outlook FoundationLoneliness... I attempted to push it down when I first moved to Canada, whispering a sad goodbye as the people I’d known since birth disappeared behind airport lines. I tried to stop the tears, but instead shed thousands. For days on end, I relived fond memories in an attempt to fill the growing emptiness.

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THE CHOKING GAME: A Growing Threat to Teen Mental Health & Survival

Fresh Outlook FoundationHave you ever done something you regret? Or experienced a time where you had your own life in your hands, and took a gamble? If you have, then you can undoubtedly relate to this… a story of courage and vulnerability from my friend Justin about his encounter with the choking game.

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PERFECTIONISM: It’s not Always the Villain

Fresh Outlook FoundationThe label of perfectionist is thrown around frequently these days, whether it be your go-to “worst weakness” in an interview or the reason you give for running late. Conflicting perspectives on whether perfectionism is a helpful or hindering trait can be confusing. Therefore, our familiarity with the term often isn’t backed by concrete understanding.

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FROM KENYA TO CANADA: An Immigrant’s Take on Comparative Happiness

Fresh Outlook FoundationThings that make me happy include a hot cup of tea on a rainy Vancouver Sunday morning, a day out with my friends at Stanley Park, or even a simple walk along Kitsilano beach. Having immigrated to Canada in 2019 to pursue higher education in psychology, I’m thankful for these simple pleasures and the mental health benefits they provide. Unfortunately, this reality is not a luxury everyone can afford.

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ECO-GRIEF: Youth Bearing the Brunt of Mental Health Impacts of Climate Change

Heads Up! Community Mental Health PodcastImagine waking up on a summer day to see a red-colored sun and orange sky outside. You see nearby wilderness catching fire, moving from tree to tree like a dancing plague. Many emotions, including a sense of hopelessness, envelop you as you take in what’s happening. Thoughts of environmental destruction attack your senses of stability and security, and your hope for the future… it’s not just your imagination!

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BULIMIA: A Young Woman’s Story of Healing from the Pain of Perfectionism

Heads Up! Community Mental Health PodcastHow can I be so stupid? What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I control my eating? These are questions I continually asked myself for two years while trying to get healthy and fit. This was not easy for me, as I’d always been a perfectionist and believed minor imperfections would lead to catastrophe.

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GRATITUDE VS TOXIC POSITIVITY: Understanding Their Impacts on Your Mental Health

Fresh Outlook FoundationIt’s healthy to be grateful, but how much is too much? As a psychology student I wanted to know, so I started digging. Many mental health professionals have embraced the shift from practicing disorder psychology to focusing on enhancing people’s positive mental health and well-being.

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A Parents’ Guide to Social Media & Youth Mental Health

Fresh Outlook FoundationWithout a doubt, social media is a culturally ingrained digital platform among the younger generation. Now, while social media can be useful with over 70% of kids, it has also been proven dangerous for their mental health.

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JO’S JOURNEY: Finding Freedom from Fear & Anxiety

Fresh Outlook FoundationImagine you’re lying down… tied to a railway track. You start to feel vibrations in the ties and a hum on the rails that can mean only one thing… a coming train. As it rounds the corner, you hear the whistle scream, warning you to jump… or else! But you can’t.

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Four Unique & FUN Ways to Slash Stress

Fresh Outlook FoundationStress can take a serious toll on your health and quality of life, causing tough days and sleepless nights. Stress also increases your risk of mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. Read on for innovative and fun ways to tackle stress and boost your well-being.

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Asbestos Cement Water Pipes - Should We Be Concerned?

Fresh Outlook FoundationAsbestos cement (AC) water pipe was billed as cheaper, lightweight, and seemingly impervious to deterioration. Over the next few decades, it's use exploded around the world. Although AC pipe use was discontinued in the 1970s, the aging pipes are still in use in many municipalities. It has been determined that the pipes do deteriorate and their breakage frequency increases with age, presenting a risk of asbestos fibres entering the water system. Opinions differ on the health consequences of ingesting asbestos.

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'Upstream' Opportunities For Mentally Healthy Communities

Fresh Outlook FoundationToo often, our response to high levels of need and demand is to call for more mental health services. Clearly there is a need for these ‘downstream’ services and support, and clearly the mental health and addictions sector has been under-funded in the health care system for decades. But we seldom pay enough attention to the ‘upstream’ part of the equation: What is contributing to the crisis, and how can we change it?

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Loneliness: 'Planting' the Seed of Social Inclusion

Fresh Outlook FoundationYou visited your doctor complaining of loneliness… of feeling isolated from your grown children and friends who are increasingly frail and less mobile. You’ve lost your appetite and you’re not sleeping well. You expect a prescription or maybe a referral, but instead she talks about the healing powers of plants and how they can help foster happiness while you foster them! Hard to believe?

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From Open Heads to Open Minds

Fresh Outlook FoundationSteeped in a serious mental health crisis about 15 years back, I asked my doctor what would have become of me if I’d lived a few centuries ago. He said that I’d likely have been diagnosed as an “hysterical” woman and institutionalized and/or treated with “Who knows what!”

I am increasingly grateful that, living nowadays, I have access to information, treatment, and therapy. But I still wonder, what would it have been like 100 or more years ago? Let’s start by looking at mental health and mental illness by today’s standards.

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CUZ? The Buzz!

Fresh Outlook FoundationDeeply rooted inside me is the need to connect with others, and to help others also connect more broadly. So, since childhood I’ve created dozens of opportunities for people to share their challenges, successes, and opportunities in service to what I thought was “the greater good” at the time. This expression of who I am spiritually consistently set the stage for what I did in the physical realm.

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Flushing Our Environment Down the Drain

Fresh Outlook FoundationWhen one considers the source of water pollution, industrial operations quickly come to mind. However, municipal wastewater effluents are also a significant source of contamination. In fact, some pollutant levels in these effluents have been found to be many times higher than those in untreated industrial wastewaters. Although many municipalities utilize advanced processes to treat wastewater, others provide insufficient or even no treatment at all.

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Are Those Cheap Hamburgers Killing Our Streams?

Fresh Outlook FoundationIntensive livestock operations, feedlots, concentrated animal feeding operations, or factory farms; whatever you chose to call them, they produce most of the meats we consume. In an effort to increase profits and decrease costs, producers are replacing many small livestock operations with fewer larger ones. These huge operations can have tens of thousands of animals confined in an area the size of a city block. When multiple feedlots are concentrated in a single area, the number of animals could be in the millions.

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PPCPs Are Turning Our Water Into Chemical Soup

Fresh Outlook FoundationStudies undertaken in several countries have detected a wide range of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP’s) in surface water, groundwater, and even drinking water systems. The levels of these chemicals appear to be relatively low, however, due to their reactive nature, continual presence in the environment, and unknown effects on both humans and aquatic ecosystems, concern is rising among researchers and health agencies.

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