UK doctors will soon prescribe cooking classes to combat loneliness

Associated Press, October 15, 2018

LONDON — Doctors in England will be able to write prescriptions for cooking classes and walking groups by 2023 as part of the government’s effort to combat loneliness.

Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday described loneliness as “one of the greatest public health challenges of our time,” saying it is linked with a range of illnesses, including heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

The government says around 200,000 older people across the country haven’t had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month.

The government’s anti-loneliness strategy calls for “social prescribing,” which will allow doctors to recommend group activities such as cooking classes, walking groups and art clubs, instead of medication. About $2.4 million has been earmarked for the initiative.

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Patti Bacchus: Renaming Crosstown elementary a chance for Vancouver School Board to do the right thing

Patti Bacchus on January 25th, 2018

Crosstown is a fine name for a bus route or a low-rent strip mall, or perhaps a condo complex built on formerly vacant suburban land. But it’s a bland and meaningless moniker for a school built on the edge of Vancouver’s historic Chinatown, in a vibrant urban community with a rich and fascinating history.

It’s a gentrification name that obliterates the past in a misguided gesture toward a shiny new future—a rebranding that paves over the lives, contributions, and tribulations of those who came before. A building that’s dedicated to the education of present and future generations of Vancouver children deserves something better. Read more…

Chinese railway worker history comes to life in new Canadian children’s book

June Chua, March 22, 2017

The old saying is better late than never and that’s what playwright George Chiang thought when he finally decided to create the children’s book The Railroad Adventures of Chen Sing. “It was sitting on the shelf, and you know what? I’m not going to live forever,” Chiang told me in an interview over Skype from his home in Montreal. The 68-page colour book just came out in early March and the Montreal-based actor/writer is feeling relieved and a little reticent. The book was almost two decades in the making. Read more…

A page of The Railroad Adventures of Chen Sing