mental health

What’s Not Allowed? A Family Journey with Autism by Teresa Hedley

Lauded by autism leaders and practitioners as “relatable, insightful, joyful and inspiring,” What’s Not Allowed? A Family Journey with Autism tells the tale of Erik from womb to emerging adult. Written with compassion, humor and keen observation, we are taken inside the shoes of autism and invited to link arms with the Hedley family as they nurture Erik from boy to man.

Still Crying for Help: The Failure of Our Mental Healthcare Services by Sadia Messaili

This is a true story about the suicidal death of a 32-year-old man, Ferid Ferkovic, the son of the author. It is a story told straight from a mother’s heart with nothing but a loyal love for her son and her total discouragement with the Quebec mental healthcare system that failed her and her son. It has been translated from the French by Alishia Jensen.…

Lightness by Fanie Demeule, trans. by Anita Anand

to one source, 90% of all anorexics are females. They lose a few pounds but are still not satisfied. They become obsessed with reaching the “ideal” weight, but it’s a moving target, practically unattainable. Such is the case with the unnamed young woman in Lightness (Déterrer les os in French) by Quebec author Fanie Demeule, which has been translated into English by Anita Anand.*…

Silver Linings: Stories of Gratitude, Resiliency, and Growth Through Adversity by Janice Landry

feel that Nova Scotian author Janice Landry is one of those people you would like for a next-door neighbour: she comes across as a genuinely kind, understanding, upbeat person who likely takes care of their property. That’s just the impression she gives, as the reader of Silver Linings (Pottersfield Press) comes to know her as well as the seventeen people she interviews for her latest book, Silver Linings.

Homeless Memorial by John La Greca

first twenty years of my life I lived in Vernon, BC. I had a home. Which I usually took for granted. It was where I returned most nights, save for sleepovers and one night in a jail cell, futilely scrubbing fingerprint ink like Lady Macbeth. But that’s a separate story.

I went back for a writer’s residency at Vernon’s Caetani House in grey November pre-snow where I spent a great deal of time not writing, instead strolling the gardens and my hometown, the home of once homeless poet John La Greca.…

A Medic’s Mind by Matthew Heneghan

First-time author Matthew Heneghan is a former Canadian Armed Forces Medic, a former civilian paramedic, and a sufferer of PTSD and a former alcohol abuser. He is also a blogger and podcaster, sharing his story of recovery and day-to-day struggles to cope with his afflictions. Wintertickle Press has now published A Medic’s Mind, his memoirs and they are as good as they come when it proceeds to ‘baring all”.…

A Palace in Paradise by Mehri Yalfani

The life of Iranian exiles in Toronto and the rumour that there is a traitorous woman in their midst provides drama and a lot of soul-searching in A Palace in Paradise (2019, Inanna Publications). Ferdous, a poor single Iranian woman with mental health issues has made up her mind to help a fellow Iranian-Canadian woman, Frida, by donating a kidney. Her decision causes a rift between her friend Nadereh and her social worker, Parvaneh.…

Claremont by Wiebke von Carolsfeld

One of the welcome surprises I get from time to time is reading a work of fiction set in a location near where I used to live. Claremont by Wiebke von Carolsfeld (2019, Linda Leith Publishing) is set not only in Toronto but in the Trinity-Bellwoods neighbourhood where I lived for about a year back in the late 1980s. We rented a house on Massey Street (technically in neighbouring West Queen), just a stone’s throw (OK, a 9-minute walk!)…

Side by Side by Anita Kushwaha

According to the Government of Canada website, every day, an average of more than 10 Canadians dies by suicide. For every person lost to suicide, many more experience thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts. For every death by suicide, at least 7 to 10 survivors are significantly affected by the loss. For Kavita Gupta, the protagonist of Anita Kushwaha’s award-winning novel Side by Side, it is the loss of her brother Sunil that has affected her and her parents.…

About Face: Essays on Recovery, Therapies, and Controversies of Addictions in Canada Edited by Douglas Gosse

*Note: While About Face was on the 2019 shortlist for Non-Fiction and didn’t win, it did result in Breakwater Books being awarded the “Atlantic Canada Virtuous Love Award” for Publishing. See: https://miramichireader.ca/2019/09/2019-very-best-book-awards/

Mental health is a huge topic these days. Overcoming and coping with various addictions, disorders, and their treatments have been the subjects of many books particularly since modern psychology began early in the last century. …

My Chaos: Searching for My New Normal by Rick C. Benson

Rick C. Benson BA, BEd, MA (Pastoral Studies) is the current Director of Spiritual and Religious Care and is a Grief Recovery Specialist working out of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Saint John, New Brunswick.

I first heard of Mr. Benson’s book in Horizon Health Network’s internal newsletter, the Horizon Star. I quickly got in contact with him and he sent me a copy of the book for the purposes of this review along with this thought:

I really wanted the book to help a broader readership … to bring healing from many approaches and help others like yourself bring healing to those we interact with in healthcare.

The Bus by Adam Pottle

a six-hour window on April 21, 1941, The Bus (Quattro Books, 2016) features eight different narrators: six mental patients, the doctor who will kill them, and the man who will burn their corpses. Crammed into a bus with thirty-five others and unable to see out the painted windows, the patients are transferred from the Scheuern institution to the Nazi euthanasia clinic in Hadamar, Germany.…

It’s Not About Us by Todd Leader

Subtitled “The Secret to Transforming the Mental Health and Addiction System in Canada”, this premier release from Nova Scotia’s Cathydia Press is not only a call to reform the present paradigm of treating patients for mental health and addictions, but it is blueprint for managers, leaders and clients regarding how to do it based on the author’s own success in Nova Scotia’s South Shore District Health Authority from 2010 to 2014.…