The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “mental health

“Summer Reflections – Disconnecting to Connect”

Posted on July 8, 2018

So here are some details, just to prepare you for summer, as recounted by author Michael Harris. In 2012, we were asking Google questions over a trillion times a year.  Six years later that number has almost doubled.  At the same time, we were “liking” something on Facebook 4.5 billion times a day.  We were also uploading to You Tube some 100 hours of video for every minute of real-time. Collectively, we also posted over 600 photos on Instagram every second. In just the last few years, our use of the Internet has exploded 565 per cent.  Such usage dwarfs the revolutions brought about by the printing press, maps, and the scientific discoveries of earlier ages. Kaiser Foundation found that kids eight-to-eighteen years old were…

The Character to Overcome

Posted on October 21, 2017

A lot has been said, written, sung, painted and even preached on the subjects of poverty, mental illness, addictions and homelessness in London in these past few years. Over time our brains have been hijacked into placing each of these challenges into their own separate categories, when the reality is that thousands of our citizens in this city frequently move through them on a continual basis. Many remain mired in such conditions because not enough supports are there to help move them along, while others have been fortunate enough to acquire proper assistance to begin the process of building their lives. Like Melissa Sheehan, for example. At thirty years of age, she has endured more of her share of careening disappointments and setbacks and…

Poverty’s Problem is Division, Not Addition

Posted on October 13, 2016

IN ITS OWN WAY, THE LONDON FOOD BANK’S fall food drive turned out to be a remarkable initiative. With donations up significantly over last year’s effort, it was tempting to think that citizens were in a more generous mood than last year. It’s true, they were, but the real story was what it was that put them in such a mood. While totals donated to food drives tend to decline over the years, yearly givings go up as citizens increasingly take advantage of dropping off their donations at grocery stores across the city. Food drives often have to compete with other interests when it comes to capturing media attention, but this Thanksgiving it was these other avenues that created the context for a terrific…

Mayors: Poor Choices

Posted on October 16, 2014

IT’S ALL TOO COMMON FOR CITIES ENDURING DIFFICULT TIMES to resist getting serious about poverty. They place their emphasis on economics, jobs, education, or trade – those aspects that appear more like an investment than a drag on the community like, say, social programs. But mayors are getting smarter, though it has taken them decades to get around to it. They are comprehending that even a robust economic recovery can be derailed by all those human resources that were left out – unemployed, underemployed, those suffering in mental illness, students, or the homeless. Mayors are paying attention to considerable research showing that the drag on any local economy from sustained poverty could ultimately derail any meaningful recovery or more prosperous future. As a result, we…

A Hero’s Night

Posted on March 4, 2013

  “Great heroes,” says Peter Beagle, “need great sorrows and burdens, or half their greatness goes unnoticed.”  I received a deep lesson in this truth last week when Community Living London asked me to participate in their “Night of Heroes” event.  It involved walking down a fashion runway with someone who uses the remarkable services of Community Living, an organization dedicated to supporting people with intellectual disabilities and their families.  Truthfully, I grow increasingly shy at such public events, sometimes painfully so, but how can you say “no” to such an organization? Few understand until they attend the event that the true heroes of the evening are those accompanying the well-known Londoners, those who have found the courage, compassion and endurance to continue on…

  

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