What costs more: Child care or university tuition?

This month's Hennesey's Index takes a look at the dollars Canadians shell out for child care.

To illustrate just how difficult it is to afford, child care rates are stacked up against average university tuition dollars. The results may surprise you!

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Trees Save Lives

A new study by U.S. Forest Service scientists reveals the life-saving power of trees (and no, we're not actually talking about Groot*).

By removing just 1% of pollutants from the air, trees save Americans about $7 billion annually. 1% might not sound like much, but it's making a big difference- especially if you're a city-dweller (like 81% of Canadians**). 

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Our Health Matters: Dogwood Initiative

Health begins in the spaces we live and the air we breathe. It is shaped by the choices we make together.

Check out this Dogwood Initiative campaign seeking environmental and health impact assessments for a proposed coal export project.

They are calling on British Columbians to ask their representatives for a provincial environmental assessment and a comprehensive, independent health impact assessment covering the full scope of the Fraser Surrey Docks-Texada coal export project. Read on for more info and consider signing the petition today!

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Blogging Mozambique 3: Income from Within

Upstream Executive Director, Dr. Ryan Meili, is in Mozambique this summer as part of a program that gives medical students an opportunity to work with underserved populations and get a better understanding of the social determinants of health! Back in 2010, when Ryan was on a similar trip coordinating the program, he took some time to blog about his experience.

We’re going to share a few of those experiences with you here, some four years later.

Wishing all the best to Ryan, Mahli, Abraham, and the students!

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Faces of Mental Illness

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Upstream is so pleased to see Jack Saddleback, a member of our Saskatoon community, selected for the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health "Faces of Mental Illness" campaign.

As we strive for a healthy society, where everyone can enjoy full physical, social, and mental well-being, it is vital that we consider the factors that influence our mental health. The Canadian Mental Health Association tells us that these factors include "life experiences, workplace or other environments, and the social and economic conditions that shape our lives."

Sound familiar? Yep, we're talking about the social determinants of health.  Read on for Jack's story and more information about the campaign. 

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Stop the baby battle and give dads their own paid leave

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The Globe and Mail's Denise Balkissoon has hit the nail on the head with this article. Her call for paternal leave looks 'upstream' at early childhood development (ECD) as a social determinant of health. A recent report from the Royal Society of Canada outlines the important role that this period plays in healthy development,

"Early childhood is an extremely sensitive period in human development...When the environment is a secure, positive one, these factors join forces to help maximize their potential. But when children face enduring obstacles to healthy development, such as poverty, inappropriate care, or violence, environment and biology may route them on a course to emotional, physical and mental health problems".

How can we think upstream about giving all Canadians the best start in life? How about making sure that both parents have an opportunity to influence those early days of health and development, without fearing income insecurity? 

(Psst- an added benefit of paternal leave? It contributes to more equal societies!)

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Blogging Mozambique 2: Life in the Developing Ward

Upstream Executive Director, Dr. Ryan Meili, is in Mozambique this summer as part of a program that gives medical students an opportunity to work with underserved populations and get a better understanding of the social determinants of health! Back in 2010, when Ryan was on a similar trip coordinating the program, he took some time to blog about his experience.

We’re going to share a few of those experiences with you here, some four years later.

Wishing all the best to Ryan, Mahli, Abraham, and the students!

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Thoughts on Storytelling

Do you remember the last time you heard a story that really stuck with you?

Maybe it was something you read in the news, or a first person account from someone you know. Maybe it was a movie, a book, a parable, or an oral history.

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'Groceryships' for Healthy Eating

Solving downstream problems often requires systems-level change, but today we’re looking at an upstream solution being implemented at the household level.

"So much of food movement and policy is focused on top-down stuff. And rightfully so, because that impacts the most people…We are coming from the opposite direction. We know that if you empower one family, the ripples through concentric circles of people they know can have profound effects.” - Sam Polk

The ground-up solution proposed?

Groceryships: scholarships for healthy food and healthy eating courses.

Read on and then tell us what you think – should your community get on board with ‘groceryships’?

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Blogging Mozambique 1: Introduction

Upstream Executive Director, Dr. Ryan Meili, is in Mozambique this summer as part of a program that gives medical students an opportunity to work with underserved populations and get a better understanding of the social determinants of health! Back in 2010, when Ryan was on a similar trip coordinating the program, he took some time to blog about his experience.

We’re going to share a few of those experiences with you here, some four years later.

Wishing all the best to Ryan, Mahli, Abraham, and the students!

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Connect upstream.