Today is World Mental Health Day

Since 1992, October 10th has been dedicated to World Mental Health Day. Becoming more aware of mental health issues will help break the stigma surrounding mental illness. As well, it will encourage those who are living with a mental illness seek the appropriate treatment and support that they need.

Mental illness, such as depression, often impact an individual’s thought processes and behaviour, and they may experience:

  • Deep feelings of sadness, hopelessness, fears and worries
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and activities
  • Inability to cope with daily problems and stress
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Excessive anger, hostility or mood swings
  • Suicidal thinking or a complete detachment from reality

Caregiver burnout can come from caring for a loved one's needs before their own well-being. This can lead to physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. Signs of caregiver burnout or caregiver fatigue include:

  • Withdrawal from friends, family and activities
  • Deep feelings of sadness, hopelessness, fears and worries
  • Emotional and physical exhaustion
  • Feelings of wanting to hurt themselves or the person who they are caring for
  • Changes in sleep patterns and getting sick more often

Spectrum Health Care has a Caregiver Self-Assessment which is availailable online. Once all the questions have been answered, the results from the assessment and caregiving tips will be provided.

supportive network is important to everyone but especially to individuals and families dealing with mental illness. This network includes both formal and informal relationships, such as:

  • Health care professionals
  • Social services agencies and mental health agencies
  • Places of worship
  • Workplace colleagues and employee assistance programs
  • Family, friends, neighbours and partners
  • People who share interests (teammates, club members etc.)
  • Online communities

For more information and resources about mental health, please visit:

Government of Canada: Mental Health Services

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health: Mental Health 101

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health: Finding Help

Remember you are not alone. Let's work together to ensure that everyone feels valued and supported.

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5 Tips for Taking Care of Your Feet

With the warm weather comes more opportunities to be outside in the fresh air; allowing us to be healthier and more active. Whether your summer activities range from strolls around your neighbourhood or long walks around the cottage, we’ve collected 5 tips that will help you continue to care for your feet and prevent potential issues down the road:

1. Wear shoes or sandals around the pool, to the beach, in the locker room and even on the carpeting or in the bathroom of your hotel room to prevent injuries and limit the likelihood of contracting bacterial infections.

2. Remember to apply sunscreen all over your feet, especially the tops and fronts of your ankles. Don't forget to reapply sunscreen after you've been in the water.

3. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This will not only help with overall health but will also minimize any foot swelling caused by the heat.

4. Some activities at the beach, lake or river may require different types of footwear to be worn so be sure to ask the contact at each activity if specific shoes are needed. To be safe, always pack an extra pair of sneakers or protective water shoes. If your shoes will be getting wet, they should be dried out completely before your next wear in order to prevent bacteria or fungus from growing. If you are a diabetic, shoes should be worn at ALL times to avoid injury. Even the slightest scrape can be cause for alarm among people with diabetes, where healing can be difficult and may lead to limb amputation. 

5. If you injure your foot or ankle while on vacation, seek professional medical attention from a podiatric physician. Many people will often only contact a doctor when something is broken or sprained, but a podiatrist can begin treating your ailment immediately while you're away from home.

Foot care is vital to our health as our feet can give us early warning signs about potential health problems. Spectrum Health Care has a team of foot care nurses who are specially trained in providing foot care treatment, information and support. Visit the Spectrum Health Care foot care page to learn more.

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It's Paramedic Services Week!

This week is Paramedic Services Week! To celebrate, we look back at some of these historical facts about paramedicine.

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World Health Day is today!

On April 7th 1948 the World Health Organization was born. To honour its vision of “health for all”, April 7th is regarded as World Health Day. To commemorate World Health Day, we look at these startling statistics that show a large number of our population still lacks basic health services. 

#healthforall #worldhealthday #worldhealthorganization

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Come visit us at these upcoming events!

The weather is finally warming up; it's time to step out and see what your city has to offer! Spectrum Patient Services will be taking part in various fairs, conferences and expos throughout the months of April, May and June. If you are attending one of the following events, come by our Spectrum Patient Services table/booth for a visit!

Cardiac Care Affair
Date: May 31, 2018
Time: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Location: 100 Queensway W - Auditorium, Mississauga ON, L5B 1B8

Councilor Pat Saito's Annual Seniors' Fair (Mississauga)
Date: June 1, 2018
Time: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Location: Meadowvale Community Centre, 6655 Glen Erin Drive, Mississauga ON, L5N 3L4

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It's National Carers Day!

Today we celebrate the caregivers!

According to Statistics Canada 2013, 8.1 million Canadians are carers. That means that 1 in 4 Canadians are a caregiver/family caregiver. Of those carers, 6.1 million are balancing work with their caregiving responsibilities.

Today we recognize the hard work and dedication of caregivers and family caregivers, who take on the unpaid role of caring for someone with cognitive or physical complications. Whether you are caring for your family member or friend, we want to thank you for the hard work you do. 

Being a carer is not an easy role; the responsibilities can be immense but incredibly rewarding. Take a moment to thank a carer today!

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There are new technologies which are changing accessibility

The world of assistive devices and technology is growing at the same rate as many other forms of technology. Some devices and applications available today were merely seen as science-fiction in the not-too-distant past. These days it is common for fiction to inspire reality.

We have compiled a list of devices and mobile applications currently available that are on the forefront of accessibility.

Home Assistants

Home assistants may seem like an entertaining trend, but these small devices pack a big punch when it comes to helping individuals with varying levels of needs. These devices are a hands-free way of completing daily tasks, from planning your calendar to commanding other devices in your home. The home assistant is ideal for those with visual impairments or mobility restrictions and can be optimized by connecting it with other devices such as your laptop and smartphone.

Access Now (Mobile App)

This Toronto-based mobile application allows individuals to see which restaurants and stores in their vicinity are accessible. The app is updated by users, which means that anyone who installs this free app is able to pinpoint the most or least accessible businesses. The Access Now app is available for you to install on the Android phone or iPhone.

Sensory Feedback Glove

Wearing a glove that can identify what is in front of you sounds like something that would definitely exist in a Black Mirror episode, however we assure you that this new device is very real. The glove emits sonar (like bats and dolphins) that sends feedback to a small computer in the glove to tell those who have a vision impairment what objects are in front of them.  

Standing Wheelchairs

The standing wheelchair is a relatively new invention and is continually being updated. This form of a wheelchair provides an entirely different perspective for those who use wheelchairs as an assistive mobility device. Recently, this form of wheelchair has been modified to electric wheelchairs that are more capable of going over slanted surfaces which allows for longer use and increased independence.

The world of assistive devices and technology is advancing at a rapid rate. It is exciting to see what devices will be available in the near future to assist with accessibility. If you find assistive technology interesting, we also have a post about what types of technology are available for people with vision impairment/blindness.

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These are the signs of a heart attack

This month is Heart Month. We wanted to share the common signs of a heart attack. Knowing these signs can help save the life of a client, a loved one or yourself.

The longer blood supply is cut off from the heart, the more damage a heart attack can be. If you act quickly enough, a life can be saved.

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February is Heart Month!

To celebrate, we wanted to share with you some interesting facts about the hardest working muscle in your body - your heart.

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Let's talk today!

Bell’s Let's Talk initiative strives to help eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness. Today is THE day to reach out and support someone who may be struggling with their mental health and well-being.

What are the facts?

According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental illness or addiction. An Environics Research survey shows that 40% of people polled have experienced feelings of anxiety or depression but have never sought medical help for it.

What can you do?

Text, call, tweet, post! Today, Bell will contribute 5¢ more towards mental health initiatives for every text, call, tweet, Instagram post, Facebook video view and use of Snapchat geofilter. Don't forget to use #BellLetsTalk

How can you help?

Ask and listen; being a good listener and simply asking your friend, family or coworker how they are doing can go a long way. Here are a few examples of what to ask: 

  • I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well.
  • I’ve noticed you’ve been down lately. Is everything OK?
  • Would you like to talk? I am here to listen.
  • How can I help?

What does mental health mean to Spectrum?

We asked employees in the branch offices to share with us what mental health means to them. Here is what they had to say:   

Thank you to all the employees who shared words of encouragement. Your words and actions are important in making Spectrum an inclusive and positive environment to work in. Let's continue talking about the importance of mental health today and every day! 

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