The Beacon Solution
Toronto Bay Street executive Sam Duboc has launched BEACON, a company which uses technology that takes cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) sessions out of the therapist’s office and puts them online. In addition to being more accessible, Duboc estimates that delivering mental-health services digitally reduces the cost and wait time for patients by 75 per cent. The digital therapy solution was launched in Ontario last fall, and a Canadian-wide rollout is planned for January 2018.
Secret to happiness
Told you so… a recent study conducted by San Francisco State University tell us, once again, that money doesn’t really buy happiness. Researchers found that, not surprisingly, while people recognize the value of experiences over possessions, they often are swept along by trends to make purchases they later regret. Memories, on the other hand, are literally of our own making, and unlike money the experiences they derive from may indeed “buy” greater happiness.
Something to sing about
Activities like singing or playing an instrument involve a unique integration of neurological, sensory and motor processes. It’s no wonder, then, that music therapy is an effective means of helping people improve cognitive functioning, emotional development, and speech and motor skills. Singing in particular is a therapeutic tool that assists in the development of articulation, rhythm, and breath control. Belting out a few tunes is also good for blood circulation that allows more oxygen to reach the brain increasing mental alertness, concentration, and memory.
A recent trial by the Imperial College London found that patients who took psilocybin—the psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms to treat depression, showed reduced symptoms weeks after treatment. Images of patients’ brains before and after they received the drug treatment revealed changes in brain activity associated with lasting reductions in depressive symptoms. The researchers, however, pointed out the dangers of self-medicating with a hallucinogenic drug, and advise that the success of the treatment is limited by the small sample size and lack of a placebo group for comparison.
2017 Strategy Award Winners
Congrats to two award-winning campaigns. Give-A-Care, part of Rethink Breast Cancer, introduced a line of products that allow friends and family to build custom care packages. “Down Syndrome Answers” for expectant parents facing a diagnosis, is a practical yet sensitive series of searchable videos in which people living with Down syndrome answer the top 40 Googled questions.
The number of postgraduate students with disabilities has doubled over the last ten years. There’s also less stigmatization of disability now than there has been previously, but how much has changed? Barriers still exist, most obviously in the career advice sector, as the number of well-educated yet unemployed people with disabilities continues to increase.