Vaping and Teen Health

After news reports of teens suffering severe lung damage from vaping in recent weeks, there has been a focus in the media about the risks of this new way of ingesting nicotine. Vaping is “less dangerous” than smoking, but this is a bit like saying one alligator is less dangerous than 3 alligators – it’s…

Public Health and Cannabis Edibles

Health care providers who work with children and youth – and veterinary health care professionals – are beginning to be concerned about the cannabis industry’s approach to cannabis edibles. As I have written previously, I had hoped that the approach to the legalization of marijuana would be mindful of public health and both provincial and…

Book Review – Streetopia

I have been reading and considering the message of Streetopia for about one month. The book Streetopia provides an account of the exhibition Streetopia held in May 2012 in San Francisco. The exhibition was intended to be a celebration of the radical art and political movements in San Francisco since its founding. The book considers…

Help for Homeless Youth

Last week in Ottawa, 650 people slept out to raise money to support a local agency’s efforts to help homeless youth. The agency was Youth Services Bureau and, with their shelter system and other support services, they have the most robust assistance for homeless youth in Ottawa. Youth Services Bureau’s Sleep Out event does more…

From Bedside to Bench

During all my years of practicing medicine, I have been close to research in the institutions where I worked. I have admired and assisted clinical researchers, but I had never felt inclined to join their ranks. When I became the Clinical Director of the Youth Program two years ago, however, that changed. With this new…

Mental Health Measures Anyone Can Do

There’s something about the Samaritan’s #LittleThings campaign that really appeals to me. Every time I see or read their suggestions and material, I am reminded that the best public health measures are simple and straightforward. They are also easy to remember and often easy to manage, so I decided to offer three suggestions, taken from…

Hunger For Justice

About once every month, I buy a patient or a patient and their family a meal. This is always embarrassing for them. Parents especially struggle when I insist that they must also pick something for themselves. I understand this. No one likes to admit that they’re struggling to feed their family. I did learn, however,…