Friday, 22 November 2013

Miles for Mental Health Walk

The third annual Douglas College Miles for Mental Health Walk/Run was held this past Saturday.  The following is the speech given by Anna Helewka to start off the run.   
The dream team consisted of Anna Helewka, Vicki Shillington and her son Jake, Patricia Juvik, Joan Crisp, Sarah Mellet, Shana Lund, Maria Bishop and her dog Sadie, Maureen Mackey, Donna Roy, Kathy Potter, and Hazel Postma.  
Kudos to the PNUR department for its involvement, along with HR and External Relations.  Great community involvement !!
Get ready for next year students!!!!!  Faculty dream and student dream team!


 Welcome to 3rd-annual Douglas College Miles for Mental Health Walk/Run. This event is organized by and supports the Simon Fraser branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, which serves New Westminster, the Tri-cities, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge. Douglas College is proud to sponsor this event. Today I am here as part of the Douglas College Dream team.
Our team has dream---that, we will one day live in a world that is free from the destructive stigma and bias that still exists for those living with mental health challenges.
As a young student nurse I came to understand early the extent of this stigma towards those suffering mental illness.  My first psychiatric patient as a student nurse was a woman who had been a pharmacist for almost 20 years—she had what was called a nervous breakdown and was institutionalized and put on some very heavy duty medications with damaging side effects---when I met her she had been in hospital 37 years---no one came to visit her, family and friends abandoned and forgot about her because of the shame----she was alone in this world except for her co-patients and the hospital staff at Riverview. 
SO, yes we can say we have progressed in decreasing the stigma towards mental illness from those times—when those with mental illness were banished to locked institutions BUT we still have a long way to go. 
Attitudes of stigma and bias continue to be injurious to those experiencing mental health challenges but these attitudes are also detrimental to all of us individually and to who we are as a larger society. 
I ask the question---how can a society that has come so far in so many arenas, continue to engage in, accept and sometimes promote such damaging attitudes?  A favorite quote of mine that illustrates this is from past US President Bill Clinton:
Mental health is nothing to be ashamed of but stigma and bias shame us all.
Some things to think about as we walk/run today:
·         A fifth of Canadians will develop mental illness at some point in their lives, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association.  This means that many Canadians will be affected not only directly but indirectly by mental illness, because their friends, family or neighbours will develop a mental illness.

·         Mental illness affects people of all ages, cultures, education and income levels
·         Labels of mental illness do not define the person---no more so than a label such as Diabetes defines the person—there is so much more to the individual than the label ‘assigned’ to them.
·         Stigma or bias results in a decreased sense of self. The individual begins to believe they ARE worthless because of how they are treated.
·         Stigma associated with mental illness causes people to hide and not seek treatment resulting in unnecessary suffering, alienation, pain and often very real feelings of terror so that they choose to escape the pain through suicide.
·         Stigma is responsible for many of the barriers that those with mental illness face in communities, hospitals, workplaces etc.
·         Aside from accidents and injuries, mental illness in youth accounts for the second highest reason for hospitalization

As we run or walk today on this beautiful trail, let’s all think about how we can as a community and individually raise awareness of and conquer the attitudes of stigma that continue to exist around mental illness.  
Let us make a pledge to go further than our 2.5 Km walk or 5 Km run today ….lets strive to advocate and educate for a change in societal attitudes on a daily basis with everyone we meet.  

Anna Helewka, Program Coordinator, Department of Psychiatric Nursing, Douglas College Faculty of Health Sciences


Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Education Without Borders 2013 Video

At long last I am happy to present our video about our Education Without Border Experience 2013.  I am hopeful that we will be sending students and faculty to this conference in Dubai in 2015.  The 3 students and two faculty members that went were inspiring and inspired.......hope that you consider this opportunity when the opportunity presents................

Stepping on Cancer - Stair Climb Fundraiser

Event on Nov 7th 11am-2pm, no need to register or pledge unless you want to! You can just show up and support 

Thursday, 31 October 2013

New Medication Administration in Nursing Practice Module from CRNBC

The module provides flexible, self-directed opportunities to support nurses in understanding and practicing according to the standards and highlights:

·         translation of the standards and illustration of how these principles apply to practice in a wide variety of contexts

·         opportunities to explore medication administration requirements and issues and associated responsibilities for nurses, employers and CRNBC

·         overview of common errors in medication administration and strategies to avoid these including a review of the process for reporting and follow up

·         practice-based examples and a thinking framework that stimulate reflection and explore the support and guidance provided by these standards with selected aspects of practice

·         a comprehensive workbook and learning resources to stimulate and capture ongoing professional development/QA planning

Overseas Volunteer Opportunities for Nursing Students

Please note that Douglas College Health Scienes is forwarding this information for consideration.  Health Sciences at Douglas College is not in affiliation with this group, but recognizes the information may be of some interests to students and faculty. 
Ann McLaughlin:  Director, NGO Abroad
Uganda, Honduras, Rwanda, Bolivia, Peru:           Health Clinics
Uganda, Caribbean, Rwanda:                                   Hospitals
Cameroon, Rwanda, Uganda, Morocco:                Family planning & Women's Health
Cameroon, Uganda, Bolivia:                                     Public Health - village outreach 
Tanzania, Uganda                                                       AIDS, palliative care
Caribbean, Morocco, Uganda, Indonesia:             Midwifery - ante & post natal; labor & delivery           
Indonesia, Uganda:                                                   Teaching Midwifery and/or Nursing
Experienced professionals and students are needed:
Types of Nurses needed:                                             Med-Surg, ICU, ER, pediatrics, labor & delivery,
                                                                                         Family practice, school nurse + more!
Please read NGOabroad website
and send answered Questionnaire and resume to:


Sunday, 27 October 2013

Innovation Award - Health Science Students - Westwood Cycle

In 2014, two new student awards will be presented.  These awards sponsored by Westwood Cycle will be presented to two Douglas College Health Sciences Students. 

The awards will be given to two student who present projects that clearly link the benefits of exercise and health.  Projects fitting this criteria are eligible for two awards:

       $  500.00

Awards will be presented as cash to the student(s).  Projects may be individual or group projects with the award being divided amongst the group members.

The primary emphasis of the project is as noted above, the link between exercise and health.  Preference will be given to projects that are implemented in practice, with additional consideration given to projects that demonstrate sustainability and/or a direct link to the Tri-Cities Community.

Awards are self nominated and are to be submitted by the students initiating the project.  Project packages will be available by December 2013.  Each project will be required to:

      1.  Identify individual or group members (must be a student in good standing in a Health Sciences program).
      2.  Provide a brief description of the project
      3.  Identify community or group served by project
      4.  Identify project budget
      5.  Identify goal of project
      6.  Identify implementation plan and/or implementation methods if project delivered
      7.  Identify evaluation methods for project or evaluation summary if project delivered

Students are to discuss project with their Program Coordinator or Director prior to implementation  If project requires Review by the Ethics Board of Douglas College please ensure that this is completed prior to project implementation. 

Deadline date for projects is May 2014.  The awards committe will evaluate and decide on all projects in June 2014, with award presentation occurring in June of 2014.

If you have any questions please contact  

Friday, 25 October 2013

Welcome to the Douglas College Health Sciences Blog - for Health Sciences students, faculty and staff

The Health Sciences faculty at Douglas College is committed to current and ongoing excellence in all that we do.  To that end we recognise that one area we need to continue to enhance, in particular, for our students is timely and effective communication about education and health matters. 

This blog is intended to be the place to go on a regular basis to find out what's new and more importantly what is new and relevant for Health Sciences students and faculty.  It is also a place to share student accomplishments and initiatives. 

Blackboard will continue to be the medium of sending out program and course related information for programs.  This blog will send out information such as:

Student Employment/Volunteer Opportunities
Student Awards
Articles of interest to student, faculty, and staff
Student accomplishments (awards, projects, and initiatives)
Faculty awards, profiles, projects etc. of interest
Speakers Series information
Continuing Education Offerrings

A comments section is available for discussion and questions, and the blog will be checked on a regular basis.  Please note though that if your question is program related that your communication source remains your program.

If you have an item you would like to contribute directly to the blog, then please send the information to

Welcome .....