Columns

From the category archives: Opinions

Auston Mardon

Ruling will increase suicide temptation for the mentally ill

Austin Mardon

February 23, 2015

We knew it could happen. Still it was a shock to hear that the Supreme Court of Canada had struck down the law banning doctor-assisted suicide. Our society has been slowly excising God and morality from so many aspects of our public life that we knew it was only a matter of time before we replaced the will of God with the will of humans in regard to when life should end. We are the frog in the pot of water that is slowly being heated to a boil. When the law prohibiting abortion was originally struck down, we waited to see what laws the government would pass to regulate the practice. We are still waiting.

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Sort out needs from wants to unload burden of debt

Austin Mardon

January 26, 2015

The New Year brings all sorts of traditions. My wife has to eat black eyed peas because that is the tradition from her Southern roots. We make New Year's resolutions. Those usually involve adding a good habit, or getting rid of a bad one. Most of us have trouble maintaining them for long though. It can take six weeks to six months to add a new habit or break an old habit. Our fast-paced society isn't geared to anything that takes so long to master. January brings lots of unpleasant things that don't include blizzards. It's time to start thinking about tax receipts and government forms. Many of us have yearly payments for things like insurance or memberships that come due in January.

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Christmas season a trial for those with mental illness

Austin Mardon

December 29, 2014

I dread the holidays. It's supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but yet we know that more people attempt suicide during the holidays. We all want the perfect holiday, with the perfect tree surrounded by professionally wrapped presents. What we usually get is something closer to a crooked tree with half the lights out, and some presents wrapped in newspaper because we ran out of the pretty stuff. We want to host the most talked about Christmas party, but not because it led to news cameras and a police chase.

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Science, religion can walk hand and hand

Austin Mardon

August 25, 2014

Young scholars are often told they must choose a path between science and religion. In centuries past, when learning in the Western world was isolated in religious institutions, this would have been unnecessary. Many ground-breaking scientists were either also religious leaders or deeply religious themselves.

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Being stable on medication is brass ring for mentally ill

April 28, 2014
AUSTIN MARDON
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

My disability is invisible. When we see a person in a wheelchair or walking with a Seeing Eye dog, we immediately know they have special needs or challenges. Those of us with mental illnesses or mental disabilities don't carry visible clues to our challenges. With the stigma that mental illnesses carry, I suppose that I should be grateful that my schizophrenia isn't visible. Still, it can be hard for people to understand the kinds of accommodations my disability requires.

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Open your mind and doors to the disabled

May 13, 2013
AUSTIN MARDON
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

I'm often asked about how we can make our society more inclusive and accessible for the disabled. There are obvious physical barriers for those who have physical disabilities. Those normally take some engineering or construction thought.

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Simon's gift can be given or received

October 8, 2012
AUSTIN MARDON
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

Oct. 7-13 is Mental Health Week. It reminds me every year of famous helpers in history.

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Medication is way to avoid worst effects of schizophrenia

July 16, 2012
AUSTIN MARDON
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

Snake oil salesmen have been with us for a long time. Sometimes they merely steal money and hope from the vulnerable. Sometimes they do real harm, or even worse.

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Mental illness throws a wrench into quality medical treatment

January 16, 2012
AUSTIN AND CATHERINE MARDON
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

Mental illnesses are a barrier to so many things in life.

We lost a good friend at Christmas. She was one of the first people in my parish to make friends with my wife when she came to Canada. We've watched her youngest son grow up, and I have tried to be a positive male role model for him. She was a single mom with nine children.

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God steers a sad mind to the RCIA harbour

April 4, 2011
AUSTIN MARDON
KENNA MARY MCKINNON
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Kenna McKinnon was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1978. She became ill three years earlier than that, unmedicated but counselled by people whom she only recently has grown to appreciate for their patience and care.

"I searched for God and he was the masthead on my battered vessel. He was the compass, but it would be many years before I found my salvation, searching in many various guises for the "perfect" Church.

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