Because I Have a Voice

“Why Should I listen to you?” “Because I have a voice!”

Though it is a movie filled with many great lines, this exchange between Bertie and Lionel in the King’s Speech was the one that stuck with me the most. If you haven’t seen the film (and I’d highly recommend that you see it if you haven’t) it’s about king George the VI before and at the beginning of his reign as he worked to overcome a stammer. King George, or Bertie as he was often called in the film, was the sovereign of the United Kingdom and the dozens of other countries that made up the British Commonwealth and yet the most powerful reason why he should be listened to was not because of his crown or title but because he had a voice and it deserved to be heard.

I’ve been thinking about the power of people’s voices for a while now and watching this movie brought it back into the forefront for me. We all have our own voice and with it can bring our thoughts, feelings and inner selves out into the world. A person’s voice can be an incredibly powerful mechanism for change within our world. Speeches made by leaders and teachers can inspire people or rally them to a cause. They can spread fear and hatred too.

The power of people’s voices is not limited to leaders and public figures, each of us have a voice that is significant and that can impact our world in our own way.  Sometimes it’s sharing a new idea or new perspective. Sometimes, it’s taking a stand for something that we believe in, or with a friend in need of support. Sometimes, the power of using our voice is in sharing with those around us how we feel and what we value so that they can know us better and we in turn can come to better know ourselves. Continue reading

Ask Your Riding’s Candidates About Psychological Services

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We’ve got an election coming up here in Canada, and the fine folks at the Canadian Psychological Association have put together a website on advocating for psychology during the campaigning.  Check it out!

They have a section on the site that lists questions you could ask the candidates in your riding about psychological services.  I’ve borrowed and listed them below:

  1. Does your party platform contain anything related to the psychological health of Canadians?
  2. Do you support parity between resources made available for treatment of psychological and physical health problems?
  3. Do you support the specific inclusion of initiatives related to psychological health and addictions for 2014 when the federal-provincial health accord comes up for renewal?
  4. What will your party do to improve access to psychological services in Canada and in this riding, particularly for middle and low income Canadians?  Less than one-third of persons with mental health problems receive needed services. Psychologists are the country’s largest, regulated group of health professionals who specialize in mental health. With cuts to the budgets to publicly funded service in hospitals and schools, psychologists increasingly work in private practice. Though psychologists in private practice are successfully self-employed, their services are not accessible to many Canadians who need them. They are not accessible because too many Canadians do not have the financial means or extended health insurance to pay for them.
  5. There are significant recruitment and retention issues in government and other sectors when it comes to psychologists (e.g. Department of National Defense, Veterans Affairs, Correctional Services Canada). What will your party do to ensure an adequate supply of Canada’s mental health human resource meets the needs of Canadian who fall under the Federal Governments constitutional authority?
  6. What will your party do to support individuals, families, the workplace and communities when it comes to psychological health and disorders?

Not sure who the candidates in your riding are?  Find out at the Elections Canada website.

Post a Week 2011

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If you’re a regular reader you’ve probably noticed the badge on the sidebar (visible on the main page) that says “Post a Week 2011.”  It’s an initiative (as is “post a day 2011,” which I’m just not man enough to commit to) that WordPress.com came up with this year to motivate bloggers to write more regularly.

What does this mean?  Well, it’s basically a guarantee that there will be at least one post here every week for at least the rest of 2011.  Which shouldn’t be a shocker, as I’ve been posting every week since Sept 2010, but it’s nice to have a more official flavour to it.

Enjoy your internet wanderings!  For more about Post a Week 2011, click on the badge on the sidebar.