Choir singing ‘boosts your mental health’

There is a growing body of evidence which claims that singing as part of a group can have a range of health benefits

The Choir: Sing While You Work - Gareth Malone

Shows including Gareth Malone’s The Choir: Sing While You Work have helped boost the popularity of group singing Photo: BBC
10:35PM GMT 04 Dec 2013
Singing in a choir can boost your mental health, a new study has found.
Researchers carried out an online survey of 375 people who sang in choirs, sang alone, or played team sports.
All three activities yielded high levels of psychological well-being – but choristers stood out as experiencing the greatest benefit.
The findings could help develop low cost treatment to improve people’s well-being, researchers suggest.
Compared with the way sports players regarded their teams, choral singers also viewed their choirs as more coherent or “meaningful”. To continue reading, click here.

Rate My Hospital Dementia epidemic looms by 2050

London G8 summit to focus attention on global problem increasingly impacting developing countries

Thomson Reuters Posted: Dec 05, 2013 1:49 PM ET Last Updated: Dec 05, 2013 1:49 PM ET
 
Many governments are woefully unprepared for an epidemic of dementia currently affecting 44 million people worldwide and set to more than triple to 135 million people by 2050, health experts and campaigners said on Thursday.
Fresh estimates from the advocacy group Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) showed a 17 per cent increase in the number of people with the incurable mind-robbing condition compared with 2010, and warned that by 2050 more than 70 per cent of people with dementia will be living in poorer countries.
Dementia

Passers-by in Belgium were asked to write positive messages and stick it on the columns to raise awareness of dementia in 2012. By 2050 more than 70 per cent of people with dementia will be living in poorer countries, Alzheimer’s Disease International estimates. (Sebastien Pirlet/Reuters)
“It’s a global epidemic and it is only getting worse,” said ADI’s executive director Marc Wortmann.
“If we look into the future the numbers of elderly people will rise dramatically. It’s vital that the World Health Organization makes dementia a priority, so the world is ready to face this condition.”
Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, is a fatal brain disease that has no cure and few effective treatments.
Like other forms of the disorder, it affects patients’ memory, thinking and behaviour and is an increasingly overwhelming burden on societies and economies. While there are a few drugs that can ease some symptoms in some people, there is no cure.
Even now, the global cost of dementia care is more than $600 billion, or around 1.0 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP), and that will only increase, the ADI says.
In a policy report published along with the new data, Martin Prince, a professor at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, said “most governments are woefully unprepared for the dementia epidemic.” His report said only 13 countries have national dementia plans.
“This is a global problem that is increasingly impacting on developing countries with limited resources and little time to develop comprehensive systems of social protection, health and social care,” Prince said in a statement. Click here to keep reading.

5 tips for tracking missing persons with dementia

Search and rescue expert says dementia patients are hard to find, but there are some patterns

CBC News Posted: Dec 11, 2013 5:25 PM PT Last Updated: Dec 11, 2013 5:25 PM PT
Concern over the safety of seniors with dementia is growing, following the death of a 76-year-old woman in a North Vancouver park after she wandered away from her care facility.
Dementia patient Joan Warren was not wearing her electronic tracking bracelet when she went missing on Friday and family, friends, firefighters, police and volunteers all joined North Shore Search and Rescue in a huge search operation.
Joan Warren

Despite an extensive search effort, Joan Warren, who was 76 and suffered from dementia, was found dead near Lynn Canyon two days after she went missing. (Family photo)
Warren’s body was found two days later, off trail, near Lynn Canyon suspension bridge. She had died of hypothermia.
Warren’s family say searchers did their best, but could she have been found sooner?
Robert J. Koester, a U.S. search and rescue expert based in Virginia, who spoke with Stephen Quinn on CBC Radio One’s On The Coast, says dementia patients are the hardest subjects to find, and time is of the essence.
“The sooner you can get more eyes involved, the better. The more urban the area, the better the chance that somebody other than search and rescue is going to make the find,” he said.
In a database he keeps, he’s found that 22 per cent of cases of missing persons with dementia end with the patient found dead — a rate that is far too high — but Koester says he’s identified patterns that can help searchers track what often seems like counter-intuitive behaviour.
Here are five search tips he shared with CBC Radio’s On The Coast:Click here to read on.

‘My Son is Mentally Ill’ So listen up

By Wayne Drash
Video and photography by Evelio Contreras

He is 14 and hears voices. He’s been hospitalized more than 20 times. Stephanie Escamilla is tired of seeing the country focus on the mentally ill only when there’s a national tragedy. So she and her son are telling their story — of a family on the brink.
San Antonio, Texas (CNN)
To continue reading, click here. 

Depressed? You May Not Be Able to Enter the U.S.

Depressed? You May Not Be Able to Enter the U.S.Could you imagine being discriminated against because you had a broken arm? Or a diagnosis of cancer? Or suffered from a concussion (like hundreds of pro sports players do every year) and were denied rights everyone else enjoys?
What if you suffered from clinicaldepression and have been, at past times in your life, severely depressed? Should the government be allowed to discriminate against you because of a mental health diagnosis?
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s agency of Customs and Border Protection apparently thinks that maybe sometimes the answer should be “yes.”
You’d think I was making this up. Sadly, I’m not.
The person who had this scary, Orwellian experience is Ellen Richardson as she dealt with an unnamed U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent who denied her entry to the U.S. after apparently discovering her 2012 hospitalization for depression. She was only passing through the U.S. to get to a planned Caribbean cruise she had booked (and tickets for).
Valerie Hauch, over at the Toronto Star has the story:

[The Border agent] cited the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 212, which denies entry to people who have had a physical or mental disorder that may pose a “threat to the property, safety or welfare’’ of themselves or others.
The agent gave her a signed document which stated that “system checks’’ had found she “had a medical episode in June 2012’’ and that because of the “mental illness episode’’ she would need a medical evaluation before being accepted. 

Click here to read on. 

10 Ways Parents Can Help Prevent Cyberbullying

By  

10 Ways Parents Can Help Prevent CyberbullyingThe brave new world of technology has spawned a monster: the cyberbully. According to the websitestopbullying.gov, cyberbullying is bullying that uses electronic methods such as cell phones and computers. It can include hurtful text messages and photos, among others. Most children are aware of cyberbullying. Thanks to the efforts of many school districts in America, most parents are as well.
In just one example of the pain it can cause, a 12-year-old girl in Florida leapt to her death in September 2013 after having been cyberbullied by two girls, one 12 and the other 14.
Despite the conveniences of modern technology, it seems also to have a sinister side. The statistics on cyberbullying are increasingly alarming.
According to www.dosomething.org, a website for teens that addresses social issues, nearly 43 percent of all kids have been bullied online, 1 in 4 has had it happen more than once and only 1 in 10 victims will inform a parent or trusted adult of their abuse. Most disturbing, as reported on this same website, those being cyberbullied are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider committing suicide.
The cyberbully targets his or her victim with emails, tweets and texts, rendering impotent the old adage that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” If the perpetrator’s aim is accurate, striking countless blows to the most vulnerable girl or boy in any social or classroom setting, the words do hurt; in fact, they have the potential to kill.
How can parents prevent their child from being a victim, a bystander, or even the instigator of cyberbullying? Here are some tips to consider:
  1. Know your child’s passwords and screen names for all electronic devices.
  2. Be aware what your child writes on his or her electronic device(s). Parents should carefully monitor the family computer as well.
  3. Learn the current terminology used by youth today when corresponding with each other. There is a reason why most kids don’t want the adults in their lives visit their Facebook or Twitter pages: privacy.   
Click here to continue reading. 

3 Canadian veterans from Afghan war found dead in a week

Suicide of Michael McNeil from CFB Petawawa latest during tough week for Canadian Forces

The Canadian Press Posted: Nov 29, 2013 6:33 AM ET Last Updated: Nov 29, 2013 10:51 AM ET
Canadian soldiers are currently leaving Afghanistan and all soldiers are expected to be out by early 2014.The Canadian military says it will investigate the suicides of three veterans from the war in Afghanistan in less than one week.
The latest to take his life is Warrant Officer Michael McNeil, whose body was found at CFB Petawawa on Wednesday.
Earlier this week, Master Corporal William Elliott died at his home near CFB Shilo in southwestern Manitoba and Master Bombardier Travis Halmrast died in a Lethbridge, Alta., hospital after a suicide attempt in a jail.
The military will undertake boards of inquiry into each death — routine procedures that look at the circumstances and systemic issues that may have led to a particular incident.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and colleagues of these departed individuals, and I wish all those associated with those individuals peace during this difficult time,” defence minister, Rob Nicholson, said on Thursday.

Conservatives note treatment, counselling

Earlier in the day, Nicholson called the deaths “very troubling,” but noted since 2011, the Conservative government has poured millions of extra dollars into the treatment and counselling of returning soldiers.
“I am disturbed by the loss of three of our soldiers,” said Lt.-Gen. Marquis Hainse. Click here to continue reading. 

Criminal psychiatrist reveals notorious killings videos triggered his own PTSD

Angela Mulholland, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, November 14, 2013 9:29AM EST 
Last Updated Thursday, November 14, 2013 11:30AM EST
For years, forensic psychiatrist Dr. John Bradford has been renowned as an expert in his field with a keen ability to look into the minds of criminals. But now Bradford is revealing that watching videos of the crimes committed by the likes of Paul Bernardo and Russell Williams led to a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. And he’s warning that it could happen to others.
Over the course of his career, Bradford has seen videos that few others have: the footage that Paul Bernardo and his then-wife Karla Homolka took of their crimes, as well as the images of Russell Williams killing his victims.
Watching the videos was necessary for his job, but Bradford says he didn’t realize the images were staying with him and eroding his own mental health.
“I think I first noticed things after the Bernardo video tapes,” Bradford told CTV’s Canada AM from Ottawa Thursday. “There was one particular scene in that that seemed to play over and over again in my head and that had audio with it.”
Many others who watched the Bernardo videos were just as affected as he was; in fact, many jurors were offered counselling after the trial.
But Bradford thought he had remained detached from what he saw. His thoughts about the videos seemed to fade after a few months, he says, and while the memories sometimes resurfaced, he didn’t think they bothered him.
“But then, when I was exposed to the Russell Williams videotapes, it really just hit me much harder,” he said.
Viewing both the Bernardo and the Williams tapes, Bradford watched women being raped and listened to them pleading for their lives, knowing that they were about to die. Within 30 minutes of seeing the Williams tapes, Bradford says he began to have a breakdown.


To read more, click here.