1 in 6

  Aug. 14, 2014

 CBC News
1 in 6 soldiers affected by alcohol-related or mental health issues 

Stats Can has just released a study of some 6700 full time soldiers and has concluded that one in six needs mental health attention.  Conducted from April to August 2013, the most persistent problem – 8% – was depression, defined as at least two weeks of depressed mood, loss of appetite, loss of energy, hopelessness and thoughts of suicide.  PTSD was in second place at 5%.  Stigma is still a serious obstacle as is the red tape in hiring mental health workers as needed.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/1-in-6-soldiers-affected-by-alcohol-related-or-mental-health-issues-1.2733152

 iPolitics.ca – Devon Black
Our prison system is primed to fail  

A law student from U of Vic reflects on what the prison system does and how well it achieves its goals.  Black thinks the prison system makes the inmates worse, not better and that the recidivism rates are the proof.  Government needs to get ‘tough-on-crime’ by making prisons work.  http://www.ipolitics.ca/2014/08/11/our-prison-system-is-primed-to-fail    Related article:  Youtube TED Talk (US)  (11 minutes – March 2014) – Dan Pacholke:    How prisons can help inmates live meaningful lives    http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pacholke_how_prisons_can_help_inmates_live_meaningful_lives?utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_campaign=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_content=button__2014-08-13   (Ed note: Speaker is Deputy Secretary for Corrections, Washington State; video is followed by several others that may be of interest.)  Related article: Toronto Star – Donovan Vincent    Cut to prisoners’ pay prompts court fight against federal government   http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/08/13/cut_to_prisoners_pay_prompts_court_fight_against_federal_government.html

 The Mainlander (BC) – William Winter
Coming to Terms with the Cost of Prisons in Canada 

While reflecting on Prisoners’ Justice Day (Aug. 10), Winter lays out the increasing costs of both provincial and federal prisons and noting substantial increases in the cost, wonders what value for the money, given that the quality of life in jail, programs in the jails, public health and mental health, support programs on release, have all considerably deteriorated over the last years.  http://themainlander.com/2014/08/14/coming-to-terms-with-the-cost-of-prisons-in-canada

 National Post – Glen McGregor
Conservative government asks Canadian doctors to endorse taxpayer-funded ad campaign against marijuana 

Health Canada has approached three medical groups – the Canadian Medical Association, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada – to ask for a tax payer funded advertising campaign against marijuana.  The campaign is due this fall with a cost tag of $5 million.   The ads, say spokespersons, would not mention Mr. Trudeau but, if endorsed, would include the logos from these organizations.  http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/08/13/conservative-government-asks-canadian-doctors-to-endorse-taxpayer-funded-ad-campaign-against-marijuana

 ipolitics.ca – Steve Sullivan
Harper’s PR obsession makes for bad law 

Sullivan, Canada’s first ombudsman for victims of crime, reflects on the history of the victim surcharge and the way the Conservative government came to double it and then make it mandatory, regardless of the ability of an offender to pay.  Most recently a widely respected judge, Ontario Court Justice David Paciocco, declared the imposition of such a fine on an Inuit man to be “cruel and unusual”  punishment.  The victim surcharge funds are intended to help pay for victim services, a task that many think really should be funded directly by government so as to avoid re-victimization.  Many, including Sullivan, are now concerned that the legal fight over the constitutionality of the surcharge will mean even less funds going to actual services to victims.  http://www.ipolitics.ca/2014/08/13/harpers-pr-obsession-makes-for-bad-law

 Globe and Mail – Colin Freeze
Harper government backtracked on bill to curb surveillance  

Communications Security Establishment Canada(CSEC), Ottawa’s electronic intelligence agency, was due for some constraints from the federal government five year ago, but it never happened.  Controversy over an unpopular police surveillance bill (C-30) derailed the proposed changes.  Now there are issues about the “ministerial power” to authorize snooping on Canadian citizens without a warrant.  In particular, the issue is how to define an intelligence target.  CSEC is not directly scrutinized by anyone other than a CSEC commissioner for an advisory body in the executive branch of government.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/wiretap-oversight-bill-derailed-in-2009/article20054907

 Washington Post (US) –  Anne Theriault
Mothering with mental illness 

Mental illness sometimes strikes such terror in us that we distance ourselves from understanding the impact on our daily lives unless, like Theriault in this article, we are confronted directly and practically by the impact.  This article highlights the personal experience of a 3 year and a mother trying to cope with depression and anxiety, seeking to acquire the ability for self-care and a support network.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2014/08/12/mothering-with-mental-illness   Related article:  Winnipeg Free Press – Shannon Sampert    Take suicide out of the closet   http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/analysis/take-suicide–out-of-the-closet-271028141.html

 National Association of Social Work (US) – Judy Hostetler Mullet
Restorative Discipline: From Getting Even to Getting Well 

Mullet is a professor of psychology and education at EMU.  The article is offering a mildly different interpretation of RJ in the school context and suggests strategies entitled “winding, rewinding and winding up,” all calculated to invite the offender to reconsider in a calmer context while inviting participation of others involved.   http://www.socialworkblog.org/nasw-publications/2014/08/restorative-discipline-from-getting-even-to-getting-well

 Insider-on-line – Alan Cole
Income Data is a Poor Measure of Inequality 

Writing for the Tax Foundation, Cole points out some of the traps that researchers who use IRS data or date from the US Census American Community Survey.  Both, he suggests, were never intended to measure income equality and they leave out significant factors in the reporting of taxable incomes.  http://www.insideronline.org/summary.cfm?id=22736