Seasonal Depression and When to Get Help

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Depression as a condition is indiscriminate. It reaches across demographics, affecting people of varying ages and backgrounds. For many, it can occur during the colder, darker months of winter in the form of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Unfortunately, depressive feelings can cause suicidal thoughts. It’s important not to overlook changes in mood and energy and to know when help might be needed.


Seasonal Affective Disorder


Seasonal affective disorder is one of the more challenging depressive conditions that can impact emotional wellness. Up to four percent of Canadians experience some form of SAD, while an additional 10-15 percent experience a milder type called subsyndromal SAD. It’s a form of depression which often occurs in winter. Those experiencing it can find themselves dealing with decreased energy, hopelessness, and changed sleep patterns, among other symptoms. Unfortunately, these warning signs can escalate into thoughts of suicide, and if you, or someone you know, are feeling anything out of the ordinary, then consider using a healthcare provider to get a diagnosis.


If you have SAD, there are a number of ways to help you through these difficult months. One method to relieve symptoms, effective for some, is the use of light-therapy boxes that can simulate the effects of a sunny day through about 30 minutes of exposure. You can get ready for the day while doing so and maybe create an energizing area around it with images of summer and, perhaps, some workout equipment.


There are ways to optimize your home so you feel less stress. One way to counter an inhibiting or otherwise discouraging home environment is through plants and bright colours. You could even turn a room into a sanctuary, full of beautiful flora and colourful, mood-enhancing decor, along with things that have inspired and given you happiness. That might be favourite musicians, artists, photographs, or hobbies that have brought joy. Giving some prominence to things that have given delight can potentially bring you much-needed positivity.


Make Some Changes


It can be hard adapting to the effects that depression can have. It’s even harder, still, if there are accompanying thoughts of suicide. The condition may necessitate medication or therapy, but it will likely also require changes in lifestyle for one’s overall emotional well-being. Most importantly is the avoidance of alcohol and drugs, which can exacerbate suicidal thoughts. Staying active is also important. Depression can make any sort of physical activity extra hard, but exercising at least three times a week can have a marked benefit on your emotional well-being as it can produce chemicals that can make us happier and reduce the effects of stress. Lastly, try to open up about what you’re going through, whether to your loved ones or to professionals. You don’t have to be alone, and it can be really beneficial having a support structure of people who are aware of the difficulties you’re facing.


When to Seek Help


Mindfulness is imperative when experiencing any sort of downturn in mood. If you find yourself experiencing a sense of hopelessness, decreased energy, and difficulty concentrating, you may be experiencing some form of depression. You may find yourself sleeping more often or have lost interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can be easy to dismiss these changes, but it’s important to recognize them when they develop. This is especially true if there is a history of mental health issues in your family. Depression can cause suicidal feelings or thoughts of death. So, it’s important that you seek out professional support if you notice any such symptoms. These experts can provide you with advice and treatment to give you the building blocks to challenge a condition which affects millions in Canada. No matter what, it’s important not to blame yourself for what you’re going through. You are not your depression, and as you go through your healing process, you must try to avoid second-guessing yourself.


No matter what brings on depression and suicidal thoughts—it can be a life-changing event—there are things which can be done to alleviate the impact of the condition. That could mean seeking therapy or medication, opening up to your loved ones, or even changing your lifestyle and environment. It’s possible to lessen the strain on you and help manage what you’re facing, and, above all, you can be supported while doing so.


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Opinion: Cancelling Saskatchewan Hospital P3 would save millions of dollars

Sandra Seitz writes:

For years, the Saskatchewan Party government has been championing the benefits of public private partnerships (P3s) as a way to build public infrastructure. It has used the P3 model to build four major projects in the province, including the controversial Regina bypass and the new Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford.

Our government has been surprisingly quiet, however, after news that Carillion, a major U.K.-based construction company involved in P3 projects worldwide, went belly up last week — leaving the British government scrambling to provide payroll and replace public services for projects that had been outsourced to Carillion.

Read more in the Leader Post opinion article

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The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women in Canada. Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, this day marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal. They died because they were women.

As well as commemorating the 14 young women whose lives ended in an act of gender-based violence that shocked the nation, December 6 represents an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. It is also an opportunity to consider the women and girls for whom violence is a daily reality, and to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence. And finally, it is a day on which communities can consider concrete actions to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

November and December are important months for raising awareness of gender-based violence in Canada and around the world. In addition to the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on December 6, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women takes place on November 25 and marks the first day of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which ends on December 10, with International Human Rights Day.

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Rally to Reverse the Cuts

As the legislature resumes, so too does our fight against rollbacks, cuts, and privatization. And while the Sask Party government has backpedalled on some cuts, it is important to remember that the list of cuts and privatizations is long.

We also know that the pushback against this agenda is working; the 10% cut to health-funded Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) was stopped. The major cuts to libraries were reversed. Funeral services for poor people were partially restored.

Right now, with the Sask Party reeling from the GTH scandal and in the middle of a leadership contest, we must remind them that the fight for public services isn’t over.

So please do join us—and bring along as many people you can muster—on October 25 at the “Rally to Reverse the Cuts.” There will be buses departing from various cities across the province, and local chartered buses in Regina.

Go to and RSVP your spot on the bus today! You may also RSVP for your friends and family, as buses are for everyone!


Rally to Reverse the Cuts facebook event page

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Thousands attend Annual Labour Day Picnic

Wascana Park in Regina was alive with family celebrations of workers at the Annual Labour Day Picnic. The event is hosted by the Saskatchewan Building Trades and the Regina & District Labour Council. Booths hosted by most of the local unions had everything on offer from hot dogs to sunglasses, pop to popcorn, water to watermelons and much more. As well as a vast array of picnic type foods were games and bouncy castles all free to the public courtesy of union workers.

“Unions are about more than contracts and strikes. Unions are also about giving back to the community and the picnic is just one of the many ways that they do this,” says Ken Kubian, President of the Regina & District Labour Council.

A number of dignitaries were on hand to partake of the celebrations. Speakers included Larry Hubich, President of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour and Nicole Sauer, interim leader of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party. Canadian Labour Congress Executive Vice President, Donald LaFleur was in attendance from Ottawa and introduced the new Pharmacare campaign that the C.L.C. is currently rolling out.

The stage also presented singer Tara Bast as well as a hoop dancer who explained the significance of the hoops and the dance. An overall good day of family fun.

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