Surviving

In the northern hemisphere, May is the month when most people die by suicide. Some of the most courageous people I know are those who have had a family member die by suicide. Forever changed, they go on with their lives and work, often not talking about the loss they suffer and grief that never…

Nurses and My Life

My prize for having the highest marks in my Grade 3 class at Joliette English School was a copy of the book Florence Nightingale by Jeannette Covert Nolan. At about the same time, my mother began to decide that I should become a nurse. Her sister was a nurse, as was her sister-in-law and my…

Three Wishes

Some time ago, one of my patients turned the tables on me. At the end of a group, she looked at me and asked, “Dr. Beck, if someone granted you any 3 wishes, what would you wish for?” This particular question is one that child psychiatrists (and others) often ask as part of the assessment…

Magic

Over the weekend, I finished a quilt I had started last year. The quilt had been meant for a friend’s baby who was stillborn shortly before I completed it. I have become superstitious about quilts because, in the past five years, I have started several quilts with specific people in mind only to have that…

The Letter

There is nothing quite like getting a letter in the mail. Do you remember about twenty years ago when you would receive a letter from overseas? It would arrive in a light almost weightless envelope, covered with Par Avion/Airmail stickers. Depending on the sender and their familiarity with North American address conventions, it inevitably contained…

Mindfulness and a Tree

I glanced out the window today and finally noticed buds on the trees. When did that happen? Would I even have noticed them last Tuesday when it was snowing so hard and I was so desperate for any sign of spring. Spring has been a topic that arises in many of my discussions with youth…

Gambling: Some Facts and Resources

Last week, Dr. Scott Wooder, a family physician from Stoney Creek, reported the story of someone who had lost much of their family’s money through problem gambling. In a question to me, he noted that we don’t spend enough time talking about the impact of gambling on people’s and families’ health. I agree with him,…

“Sludge”

I have found a great new meaning for the word “sludge”. The usual meaning is a noun referring to an oozy, viscous substance, sometimes a kind of thick, dirty oil. Well, economist and Nobel Laureate Richard Thaler has taken to referring to all the paperwork and administrative tasks we must complete in life as “sludge”…