Canadian opioid crisis plan must address social causes

Canada lacks a system to track co-existing mental health conditions or co-ingestions in opioid-related fatalities, and our evidence base on opioid overdoses is disappointingly sparse.  As we seek to build upon it, we will need to do so with a view to the significant role that mental health and substance abuse can play in worsening opioid misuse. 

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My Lightbulb Moment: Our worst epidemics have social roots

In nursing school I learned about the social determinants of health. I read countless pages, wrote lengthy papers and sat in many lectures all dedicated to the topic.  But despite this 'knowledge' I gained at university, the reality of how our health has social sources didn’t really hit me until I ventured out into the real world.

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Saskatoon Health Equity Impact Assessment

Developed jointly by the Saskatoon Health Region and Upstream, this report applies a health equity lens to the City of Saskatoon’s Growth Plan to Half a Million. Find the report here.

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Let's explore a more complete story of food

Globalization has played an immense role in the way that we cultivate and produce our food. The globalization of food allows us to experience different cuisines from all around the world.

It’s a luxury that is neither sustainable nor practical, and influences not only the way we prepare and consume food, but how we value and understand food. These four films by Andrea Cessna are aimed to critically reflect global food on a local level.

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Upstream Radio: Colonialism isn't behind us

In this fifth episode of Upstream Radio we speak with Cindy Blackstock, Max Fineday and Janelle Pewapsconias about the colonial sources of our greatest national health emergencies, and how the processes of colonization aren't in Canada's history, but still grow and perpetuate in our politics and communities today.

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Canada's housing crisis is a public health emergency

In emergency rooms and front-line clinics, patients are triaged based on the urgency of their illness. The sickest are seen first, followed by those in less immediate danger. A high-quality health system would connect these efforts to a larger plan to prevent illness and keep people healthy, but still make sure help is there in a hurry when things go wrong.

Unfortunately, in Canada, we aren't there yet.

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Our National Housing Strategy can be a foundation for better health

The Trudeau government’s first budget announced new investments in affordable housing. Its decision for a National Housing Strategy was warmly welcomed by social housing providers and right to housing supporters. These developments inspired hope for the 1.6 million Canadians struggling to pay their rent, especially the 770,000 who spend more than 50% of their income on rent.

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My Lightbulb Moment: Housing is healthcare

I remember how little my jeans, sneakers and light jacket did against the -30 degree cold of a Saskatoon winter. I’d just woken up on a cold cement floor, shivering under the thin fleece I had for a blanket. I was given a plate with some bread and boiled egg, then left to roam the downtown streets. The idea was to get a sense of what it’s like to be homeless.

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Co-operate on the path to food security

Having a choice in what we eat is something many of us take for granted, but four million Canadians aren't sure where their next meal will come from. Food insecurity is a real and imminent threat to the health of us all — but there's a lot we can do to improve things.

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We can't afford poverty. Stop the cuts.

"The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members."

- Mahatma Gandhi

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Connect upstream.