February 2011.doc

February 2011 Volume 18 Issue 3
In This Issue:
Looking Back and Moving Forward
When I first came to work here in February of 1991, I didn’t think or even imagine that I would still be here 20 years later! Those years have gone by quickly while both St. Jude’s and my personal life have seen great changes. How well I remember my first day here. The contractors were still hanging the outside doors, there was no furniture anywhere, no telephones, no dishes – I couldn’t even make myself a cup of tea and had to sit on the floor. One of the first things that I did after ordering the phones was to go to the hardware store and buy three brass numbers – 431 – for the front of the building. Within six weeks the place was ready and the first residents moved in. Today we have three buildings which provide housing and support services for 85 people. It’s worth mentioning that there are 12 residents who have lived here for over 17 years! It’s true that we have taken good care of the place which in turn makes it attractive to Contributors:
residents and enhances their self esteem. Nevertheless, we have found that in order for anyone to live successfully within community, they must be willing to make the adjustments necessary to establish good relations with others. Of course that requires some effort which is rewarded with trust, friendships and a sense of belonging. In my personal life my children have all grown up and moved away. I have also been blessed with grandchildren who give me great pleasure and I look forward to spending more time with them when I retire. I have always believed that God brought me to St. Jude’s and am privileged to have been used in His process. To God be the glory, great things has He done! PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version Changes Coming To Special Diet Allowance
As you may have heard or read, changes are coming to the Special Diet Allowance, beginning April 1. What is the Special Diet Allowance? The allowance is a payment from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) to help with the additional costs of a special diet that an ODSP recipient may require due to an eligible medical condition. These conditions include celiac disease, diabetes, extreme obesity, food allergies, and lactose intolerance, etc. According to the Ontario Government web site, in November 2010 more than 830,000 Ontarians were receiving social assistance benefits through either Ontario Works or ODSP. At that time, a comprehensive Social Assistance Review was announced that would include changes to the Special Diet Allowance. The changes to the allowance were also prompted by a recent Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ruling. The allowance will be revised to make it compliant with this Order, says the government, and also to make it more accountable to taxpayers. According to the Ministry of Community and Social Services, the changes to the Special Diet Allowance that begin in April are as follows: • The list of eligible medical conditions will be revised. Some medical conditions will no longer be eligible for the Special Diet Allowance. This means some people will stop getting the allowance. In addition, the allowance will increase for some medical conditions, and for others it will decrease. • If you have an eligible medical condition, you will need to submit a new application form to be considered for the revised Special Diet Allowance. The Government is sending the new application form to recipients this month (February). People currently receiving the allowance, as well as those who want to get it for the first time, will need to fill in the application. • People who do not submit the new application form will stop receiving the Special Diet Allowance by July 31, 2011. • Stronger tracking methods will help make sure people receiving the ODSP recipients who want the Special Diet Allowance must have the new application form filled out by a health professional, sign it, and return it the Special Diets Unit at 77 Wellesley St. W.—not to their local ODSP office. We contacted two citizen activist organizations about these changes, and learned that supporters of the ODSP Action Coalition gathered outside the PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version Human Rights Tribunal in May and in April of 2010 to call attention to the fact that the Ontario government, at that time, had decided to cancel the Special Diet Allowance. We also tried to contact the Income Security Advocacy Centre but they did not return our calls. However, in a recent statement, the group said it was “very pleased” the government had reversed its original decision to cancel the Special Diet Allowance. Speaker’s Forum: Journeys Through Mental Health
A recent Speaker’s Forum highlighted the stories of a number of immigrants that describe their experiences with the mental health system in Canada, and their own struggle for wellness. The event, held at the Dundas Street site in November, was called Journeys Through Mental Health: A Story Based Approach. It was put on by the Opening Doors Project of the Canadian Mental Health Association, and arranged by Luis. The Speaker’s Forum didn’t use the traditional lecture format, but rather a series of exercises and role playing. Involvement of group members was voluntary, and dependent on how comfortable each of us was in taking part. Confidentiality was the first rule or guideline that we agreed to, in that no names would be mentioned outside of the group or what we discussed during the activities. In one activity, we were assigned an illness that was only understood in a country that is part of the Third World. For example I was given the word Rootwork on a slip of paper, and then another slip of paper described the word’s significance. I learned that the word is used by some people in the Southern U.S. and Caribbean, and that Rootwork refers to “an illness resulting from hexing, witchcraft, voodoo or the influence of an evil person.” In the exercise, I pretended that I was a newcomer to Canada, and not knowing what mental illness was, my preferred choice was to go to clergyman, minister or priest for help. The three speakers at the forum described the various difficulties of newcomers and immigrants to Canada in accessing the mental health system. Noting that the Western-based, medical model looks at mental health issues as physiologically based, the speakers recalled that they often encountered discrimination. They described their experience of being overwhelmed, not having enough support, and being unable to function. We also watched videos of two immigrants who struggled with mental health issues when they came to Canada. We learned various coping mechanisms to achieve mental health, besides medication. These included exercise, meditation, spirituality or religion, PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version volunteering, work, friendship, love, and relationships. We also learned that mental health isn’t just an absence of mental illness, but rather a state of health. The facilitators told us that mental health is about how each of us feels, and the relationship between social, physical, spiritual, economic and emotional parts of our lives. They also said that mental health “is a state of well being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, and can cope with the normal stresses of life, and can work productively,” and make a contribution to society. We learned the importance of treating each person in a holistic way, rather than looking at him or her as a patient with an illness. We also learned from the speakers about the stress that migration, adaptation, trauma, and loss can have on the mental health of refugees and immigrants. We also looked at discrimination in its various forms, including “mentalism,” a form of discrimination against people with a mental illness. They also spoke about racism, and “sanism,” a form of discrimination against people who are labeled as “mad” or abnormal—often based on their behavior. This Speaker’s Forum was a success and we learned a lot about mental health, especially for newcomers to Canada. Many thanks to everyone who participated, and especially to the Opening Doors Project. My Volunteer Work - Rohan
My name is Rohan. I live at the Dundas site of St. Jude’s, and I am currently working as a volunteer at Progress Place. I work there as a cashier in the café that is part of the 1st floor unit. I have been volunteering at Progress Place for 2 years, and have been a member for about 15 years. Before this, I took a training program that was sponsored by the government. The subjects that I took were math, English, and computers. This was good preparation for my work at Progress Place. In my present role, I am responsible for the cash float (the money in the cash register). When a customer orders, I have to be sure to give him/her the correct food item and change. I also make coffee and clean the area where I work. We typically sell sandwiches, juice and pop, tea and coffee, and leftover food from the main café in the basement. I volunteer in the first floor café twice a week, and also attend a meeting of the first floor unit at 1:00. The main qualities that I bring to Progress Place are being trustful, gentle, kind and polite to the staff and also the members of the clubhouse. I also bring to this PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version position my previous experience as a cashier at Out Of The World Café at CAMH. (I also handled food and prepared beverages there). Progress Place also benefits from my education in accounting. I enjoy volunteering here because it keeps me busy and gives me something to do in the daytime. In addition, I am able to socialize with people and make friends, and have access to inexpensive, nutritious meals. I have learned to take on responsibility, but fortunately there is not very much stress with this job. I also like the fact that I am making a real difference in people’s lives. Many of the members have physical as well as mental health issues. One of my main challenges is learning to get along with my co-workers and the staff of Progress Place, and being punctual. As well, one challenge is dealing with difficult people and situations, for example when a member gets upset or argues. One of the main things I have accomplished by volunteering at Progress Place is being able to keep this job for two years straight, without quitting. I hope to keep volunteering here and making a contribution for a long time. A Tribute To Milan
(The following speech was given by resident Ruth D. at a party in late November to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Milan building. Her remarks reflect her recollections and interpretation of events surrounding the development of the Milan Street project. The November event, attended by 25 residents from both Dundas and Milan, also included games, refreshments, and the showing of two DVDs about development of the building and its official opening). About 25 years ago homelessness became a significant problem in this area. In 1991, through the efforts of church groups and government funding, the first St. Jude's building at Dundas and Parliament opened. As years passed, residents, staff and the Board of Directors wanted to help more people have apartments like this. The government said funding would be available if we did all the work and could find a building to renovate. Different buildings were considered – one was a couple of miles away. Then Pam McConnell, our city councillor, offered us the Milan site. At the time it was an old, blackened, abandoned milk factory; a real wreck. But there were still big obstacles ahead. Some people in the neighbourhood were very opposed. They did not want any more social housing or services in the PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version neighbourhood. A meeting was held at a local school, where person after person spoke vehemently against a second St. Jude's on Milan Street. Articles appeared in community newspapers. The project was delayed as the matter went to the City Hall, where we did win a vote in our favour. Jack Layton was a councillor then, and he spoke up and said St. Jude's was “a place of love.” Only two councillors voted against it. However, a local neighbourhood association did not give up. They took us to the Ontario Municipal Board to try and stop the project. Again, we won a victory. Both sides had to spend a lot of money in this fight. Finally, construction began, and this again took a long time. Angela Shaw, our Executive Director, had a consultant and she had many meetings. Five years ago the Milan building finally opened, and a few months later we had an opening celebration. Angela said it was the happiest day of her life. Throughout, we had the support of Pam McConnell and George Smitherman, who at that time was our MPP. The building now looks so much nicer and has turned out to be a good addition to the neighbourhood. A Milan Thank You
(The following are a few of the notes that residents wrote at the 5th anniversary party to show their appreciation for lawyers Stephen Diamond and Calvin Lantz, who represented St. Jude’s in its successful struggle to develop the Milan site). “Thanks for fighting for a place for us to live.” - Simon C. “Moving into Milan has given me the confidence to pursue my goals. My sincere appreciation.” (Anonymous) “Thank you for making my life better. I sincerely appreciate what you have done in the community. You are making people feel good.” - Rocan “My apartment at Milan has allowed me to grow mentally and spiritually. I can’t give enough praise and thanks to you two gentlemen and like minded [citizens] of our city.” – Melvin “Thanks for giving me a nice place to live and a life.” – Beverly PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version “I love living at St. Jude’s Milan site and I couldn’t afford another place as nice as this. I would be living in a rooming house if I couldn’t live at St. Jude’s. Thanks for all you did to help.” - Sarah R. Beating The Winter Blues
Emma facilitated a discussion group on January 23rd on “how to beat the winter blues.” The winter blues are loosely defined as depression and anxiety, and feelings of sadness that come about from the cold winter weather, and fewer hours of daylight. In its more extreme form it is known as SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, and is a serious psychiatric disorder. The information Emma used came from the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), the web site Torontoplus.ca (Winter Guide to Winter Health), and Gannett Health Services at Cornell University (Beating the Winter Blues: A Practical Guide on How To Get Through Winter). We learned that in general, the symptoms of the winter blues are depression, anxiety, sadness, low energy, sluggishness, difficulty in getting out of bed in the morning, and being tired all the time. Some people have a fear of winter accidents, according to one resident, who was concerned about slipping on ice. Another resident spoke about the difficulty of getting oneself outside when it is cold, and that he often has cravings for something sweet to eat. Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, according to CMHA, include changes in appetite (especially cravings for sweet foods), weight gain, decreased energy, fatigue, being unable to get out of bed, feeling suicidal, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. It is estimated that 600,000 Canadians suffer from SAD. In order to be diagnosed with SAD, one has to have the condition over two consecutive winters, we learned. The group then focused on the ways to beat the winter blues, including SAD. One resident suggested calling a friend on the telephone. Another resident suggested exercising, which would release endorphins into the brain. Endorphins are a chemical that help elevate one’s mood. Someone mentioned that exercising for 30 minutes by going for a walk or climbing the stairs will help burn 11 calories. Another resident suggested listening to upbeat, or “happy music” every day. Another resident suggested treating himself to a chocolate bar or an ice cream sundae twice a month. Based on the online information, it was suggested that people use moisturizing cream to hydrate the skin, drink plenty of liquids with vitamin C, take a Vitamin D supplement, and eat low fat cheese, dark vegetables and fruit. We also learned it is best to avoid foods that are highly processed, or refined. For people with SAD, PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version Emma suggested that they consult with their psychiatrist, who may recommend light therapy. This involves sitting beside a special fluorescent light box for several minutes a day. Some people may also need to take an antidepressant medication. The group also learned that monitoring your diet and sleep patterns, and exercising regularly are ways to cope with the winter blues. What I liked about the discussion was its informality, and Emma’s sense of humour. This was my first major introduction to the topic of Seasonal Affective Disorder. I had heard of it before, but now I have a good idea of what it involves. We learned many good ideas of coping with the winter blues, and the importance of speaking with your psychiatrist if you think you have SAD. Two Poems By Melvin
The squirrels throughout the branches glide, while down below, you, by my side, are causing PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version How would you put a giraffe into a refrigerator? Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door. How would you put an elephant into a refrigerator? Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant, and close the door. The lion king is hosting an animal conference. All animals attend, except one. Which animal does not attend? The elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. There is a river you must cross, but it is known to be frequented by crocodiles, and you do not have a boat. How do you manage? You jump into the river and swim across. All the crocodiles are attending the animal conference. [This was adapted from the Old Farmer's 2011 Almanac]. Limericks
There was a woman of Cheeter Who carried a heater; Went up to her guy, and said real sly, Marry me or it’s Saint Peter. There once was a fellow named Maloney Who spoke fluent baloney, Said the id’s best cared by the odd, Newton’s laws of gravitation’s a fraud, And my last lines are always politically correct [rhymes with Maloney]. That character Bob Such a literary snob; no tale told tall, no sex at all, and the missing last line made me sob. PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version Aging Group Discusses Anxiety
We recently had an interesting Aging Group on anxiety in older persons. Eight residents attended. We read from an article called Anxiety In The Elderly, from the web site Healthyplace.com. Until recently, anxiety disorders were believed to decline with age, said the article, but now experts are beginning to recognize that aging and anxiety are not mutually exclusive. Anxiety is as common in the old as in the young, although how and when it appears is distinctly different in older adults. The writer feels that two of the major causes of anxiety in older people are financial problems and health difficulties. Anxiety disorders in the elderly population are real and treatable, just as they are in younger people, said the article. We also learned that anxiety is often accompanied by depression in the elderly, as well as for younger people. As for anxiety, it is normal to feel worried or afraid in certain situations. However, when such fears “become overwhelming and interfere with daily living,” they are symptoms of an anxiety disorder, said the article. What are problems that might be related to anxiety? According to the CAMH publication Responding To Older Adults, these are fourfold: stressful or traumatic events; alcohol, medications or caffeine; a family history of anxiety disorders; and finally, other medical or psychiatric problems. . There are various kinds of anxiety problems: phobia, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and finally, post-traumatic stress disorder. The CAMH article also said that almost 20 per cent of people over age 65 have had an anxiety disorder in the past 6 months, and the most common form of anxiety is phobia. How do you talk with an older adult who has anxiety problems? The CAMH publication offers a few tips: • use a calm and reassuring tone of voice; • acknowledge their fears but don't play along them; • be supportive without supporting their anxiety; • encourage them to engage in social activities. We then talked about how medication and other therapies are used to treat anxiety in older persons. The Healthyplace.com web site says antidepressants, PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version rather than anti-anxiety medications, are “the preferred method” for treating anxiety disorders. There is also cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT. This form of treatment may include relaxation training, cognitive restructuring, and exposure therapy. It was a good discussion group, and we all learned a lot. Peter did a good job of facilitating the event. Maybe you have a topic that you would like us to discuss. Come and learn something new! Smoking Cessation Group
We had an interesting Smoking Cessation Group on Saturday, January 29. One resident shared that he had quit smoking four years ago. Another person said he smoked Old Port cigarillos back in the mid 1970s, but nothing since then. Judy conducted the group and gave us a handout from the web site Smokershelpline.ca. We started off by discussing self-help guides. The Canadian Cancer Society published a set of quit smoking guides called One Step at a Time. (It was emphasized that quitting smoking is more of a process that happens in stages). The three guides are entitled: For Smokers Who Do Not Want To Quit, For Smokers Who Want To Quit, and finally, If You Want To Help A Smoker Quit. We then talked about one's emergency coping plan for times when “you will be faced with situations that will trigger the urge to relapse or slip,” as the handout from Smokershelpline.ca put it. These are called high risk situations. There are five strategies you can use: avoid the situation, leave the situation, distract yourself from the craving, delay acting on the situation, and finally, use self talk. We then looked at a “decisional balance sheet” from CAMH, in which the smoker lists the pros and cons of smoking, and of reducing or quitting. A pro (benefit) of quitting might be that it is costing you a lot of money. A con that we discussed was that some people might gain weight or drink more alcohol. We then talked about keeping a smoking diary every day. It is important to write down in the diary what your mood is when you have each cigarette. The smoker also lists the time he (she) smoked, and what he was doing. We then talked what it means to get help. One person said he might go to a smoking cessation group. We also talked about tools that may help people quit smoking. These tools consist of nicotine products and two types of medication, as described in the article, A Look At Tools To Quit Smoking, from the web site Ottawa.ca. The first product, the nicotine patch, is applied once a day. However, PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version once it is on you, you cannot change the dose, and it is slow acting. Nicotine gum is another option. However, if you are on this you must avoid acidic foods and drinks, such as tomatoes and orange juice, said the article. In addition, you cannot eat or drink anything for 15 minutes prior to chewing. One benefit is that it’s easily available at stores, and you can control the dose. The third tool we looked at was the nicotine inhaler. One of the pros of this item is that it is self-administrated, and it satisfies the hand-to-mouth aspect of cigarette addiction. The fourth tool discussed was nicotine lozenges. One of its cons is that it requires following special “suck and rest” guidelines that are difficult to remember. We then talked about two medications. According to the Ottawa.com article, Zyban is the only anti-depressant approved by Health Canada for smoking cessation. Another medication is Champix. One of the pros of this medication is that it reduces the severity of nicotine cravings. It also makes inhaling nicotine less pleasurable. A con of it is that nausea is common, although taking it with food can help. It was an interesting group and those who participated learned more about smoking cessation. Maybe you would like to learn more about this important subject. You are invited to come to this group, even if you do not smoke. Nutrition Group: Genetically Modified Foods
This Nutrition Group, which was held on January 16 and facilitated by Judy, was about genetically modified foods. The information came from an article entitled Genetically Modified Foods: Pros and Cons, from the web site Buzzle.com. One person at the group said the issue of genetically modified food is ten years old, at least in the US. However, we learned at the group that people don't know much about it. Over the past few weeks there has been a lot in the news regarding this issue. The article on Buzzle.com reviews the pros and cons of genetically modified foods. Genetically modified foods are made with genetic engineered technology, which involves putting the genes of other species into a different food’s DNA. This is done in both plants and animals. Examples are cotton, soy bean, canola, potatoes, egg plant, strawberries, corn, tomatoes, lettuce, cantaloupe, and carrots. PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version The web site looks at the advantages. Genetically modified foods prevent diseases, and allergies can be eliminated by modifying the DNA of these foods. Also, genetically modified foods are said to be good in poor countries because they grow faster than traditional crops, so productivity increases and more food is available. The article says the seeds of genetically modified foods are expensive, but overall they are cheaper than traditional crops. Genetically modified foods have a good taste because they are high in minerals and vitamins, according to Buzzle.com. These foods have a longer life on store shelves and don't spoil as quickly. We also talked about the problems of genetically modified foods. One person shared their belief that these foods can cause cancer. Another person said that they had heard these foods are tested on rats, and the rats died. On the web site it clearly says these foods can cause harm. An example stated that genetically modified foods can cause diseases that are immune to antibiotics. It also said we don't yet know about long-term effects on the human body from consuming genetically modified foods. The Buzzle.com article says manufacturers do not say that their products are genetically modified, since it could affect people’s decision on buying them. The web site also says that some religious and cultural communities say this is not a normal way of making foods, and they are against it. Many people just don't like the idea of animal genes inserted into plants and plant genes into animals. Also, cross pollination can hurt other species in the world, says the article. The group then spent some time talking about residents’ feelings and personal experiences regarding the consumption of genetically modified foods. It was a very interesting discussion and we are looking forward to the next Nutrition Group. Baked Banana, Chocolate Chip French Toast
Assemble the night before (minimum chill time 5 hours). In the morning take out of fridge for 20 minutes to get chill off pan. Serves 4 1 fresh square loaf (unsliced); cut off crusts and slice ½” thick – 12 slices 2 medium size ripe bananas – mash with 1 tbsp lemon juice ½ cup milk chocolate or semi sweet chocolate chips PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version 2 beaten eggs 1 tsp vanilla Cinnamon and granulated sugar for dusting 2 tbsp honey ¾ cup milk Optional – ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds Grease a lasagna pan. Arrange 6 slices of bread on bottom, spread over the mashed banana and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Give a generous dusting of cinnamon over top. Arrange 6 more slices of bread over top. Sprinkle again with cinnamon, almonds and a light dusting of granulated sugar. Mix together the eggs, honey, milk and vanilla and pour this slowly and evenly over top. Cover and chill until ready to cook. Preheat oven to 425° F and bake at this temperature for 5 minutes only, then turn oven down to 325°F and bake a further 25-30 minutes (test it). Let stand ten minutes before cutting and serving. Serve with maple syrup. PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version

Source: http://sjch.ca/newsletters/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/february-2011.pdf


lation in its western-most quarterrelies on groundwater for drink-ing water. In addition, highly con-sumptive uses, such as agriculturalirrigation are increasing.2From 1985 through 1988, whenprecipitation statewide was 75percent of normal and streamflowhalf of normal, serious declines inwater quality occurred leading toemergency measures to allocateand conserve, including local banson nonessen


Still on the subject of bird flu,does anyone remember thefurore at the end of last yearwhen the virus first reachedFor the past few days I have had flu. Not bird flu. Just the common or garden varietywhich kills, on average, 12,500 people each year in Britain alone. I don’t suppose the statistics have yet been gathered – but on past form it is likely thattens of thousands of Europeans

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