Spirituality in Caring for Mental Illnesses, Addictions and High Risk Behaviours

September 1, 2014
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

Episode Description

Scott and Julia Duncan founded ‘Sharing The Burden’, http://www.sharingtheburdenradio.org/, which operates a 12-step program for all members of troubled families. Their own experience taught them that, even when only one family member exhibits symptoms, everyone is affected and needs support. Scott tells his own story of spirituality and addictions, and describes his work with and vision for SharingTheBurden. He explains the help that spirituality provides for mental illnesses, addictions, and the high-risk behaviors that get people into detention centres. He describes the ways SharingTheBurden organizes and provides spiritual help for individuals and their family caregivers. He highlights what lies what lies ahead in bringing his vision to achievement through working with other organizations that also see the value of spirituality. He explains how funds will be raised and their uses. He shares his message for listeners who want to help with funding or join with him in any other way.

Family Caregivers Unite!

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Family caregivers are the people who provide care to partners, parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors and even co-workers. They are the people who provide care when everyone else has gone home. They are the people who organize the functioning of the home for the person with special needs, and for the family as a whole. They are the coordinators of care, the managers of appointments, the preventers of loneliness, and the makers of decisions even to the point of Power of Attorney. And they are so often people who themselves are burdened with their own health challenges and who may be in only marginally better health than the persons to whom they are providing family caregiving.

Dr. Gordon Atherley

Dr Gordon Atherley holds the British equivalent of the Canadian PhD and MD degrees, and LLD, Honoris Causa, from Canada’s Simon Fraser University. His awards include Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. His medical specialties are occupational medicine and public health.
As first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Canadian equivalent of the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, he led the creation of Canada’s electronic information service in occupational health and safety, now used in more than 40 countries.
In academia, he held senior, tenured, full-time positions, including departmental chair, in university faculties of physics, engineering, and medicine. He is the author of a textbook and numerous articles and publications.

Since retiring from medical practice, he’s built up Greyhead Associates, which critically researches the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health services for persons with special needs.
Through Virtual Care International, a company of which he’s President, he’s involved in providing sensible technology to family caregivers to help them with their responsibilities, workloads, and concerns.
Now an activist, he urges family caregivers to unite because, more and more, it’s not just their families who depend on them, it’s also the healthcare system as a whole, as it struggles to meet more and more needs of more and more people.

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