for the Media
APNS maintains a list
of psychologists who are available to speak to the media or make
public presentations on a variety of topics (see below). For more
information contact APNS by e-mail
or at 902-422-9183.
& Teen Stress, Education, Anxiety
- a critical aspect of healthy infant and child development
and impacts all aspects of a person's functioning
- adoptive family living, parenting children who have experienced
early abuse and neglect and are later adopted, and supporting
birthparents and birth children (as adults) through search
and reunion process.
development, problems of childhood, parent-child challenges,
response to trauma, child and adolescent difficulties in school
and marital problems.
/Autism Spectrum Disorder,
Depression, Parenting Skills, Pediatric health concerns, Sleeping
and feeding challenges, Eating Disorders,
depression, suicide, low self-esteem, anger and/or aggression
in children, teens and adults. Discipline, behavioural problems,
separation and divorce, adjusting to a new baby, avoiding
overindulgence, creating less stress and more balance and
enhancing communication and conflict resolution.
Learning Disabilities, Parental Frustration with the Education
System, Family Functioning, Childhood Behavior Problems, Parental
Capacity, Custody and Access & Child Welfare; School issues
Autism Spectrum Disorders; Childhood psychopathology with
a primary interest in children with ADHD and Autism Spectrum
Problems in children
and Mental Health
adults - Anxiety or depression, stress management, self-esteem,
body image, & relationships with family and friends.
Suicide and Issues relating to the elderly
relating to poverty and depression.
relating to registration of Psychologists
six main patterns underlying procrastination, and solutions
with individual athletes and teams to assist them in reaching
high performance goals through the use of techniques such
as goal setting, anxiety management and visualization
Management: What stress is, why no single method works for
everyone, what is most important in managing stress, Procrastination:
/ Grief /PTSD
Stress Disorder (PTSD)
CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management) and grief issues
in Conflict with the Law; Sexually Aggressive Youth; as well
as their families.
charged or convicted of criminal offenses, ranging from theft
and assault through to sexual offenses
See CPA http://www.cpa.ca/psychologyfactsheets/
(also see published
Time and Money Worries Give Way to Holiday Stress APNS Offers
Strategies to Curb Stress during Holidays
- APA: Stress is affecting family well-being as we head into holiday
season - APA Offers Strategies to Manage Stress and Promote
Health During Holidays
- Kings Early Years Screening for School Program Receives Psychology
- The Best of the Best: The college of Physicians and Surgeons
of Nova Scotia Honoured for Healthy Workplace Practice
- APA'S Stress in America Survey Indicates Financial
Concerns Top Stressors
- H1N1: Waiting and Wathing
- APA Survey shows holiday stress putting women's
health at risk
- 2009 - Organizations Receive Psychologically
Health Workplace Awards
- High Stress Looms across the Border
Stress a Major Health Problem in the U.S., Warns APA
- Virginia Tech tragedy may touch close to home
APA: Stress is
affecting family well-being as we head into holiday season - APA
Offers Strategies to Manage Stress and Promote Health During Holidays
DC — The American Psychological Association's (APA) newest Stress
in America survey found that stress is taking a physical and emotional
health toll on children and could have long-term impacts on the
health of families. As the holiday season quickly approaches, psychologists
warn that parents and families need to take stock of how the season's
stressors affect them and their families and engage in healthy behaviors
to mitigate the physical health consequences of stress.
survey, which was conducted online by Harris Interactive in August
2010, showed that Americans appear to be caught in a vicious cycle
where they manage stress in unhealthy ways, and lack of willpower
and time constraints impede their ability to make lifestyle or behavioral
changes. Over two-thirds of parents think their stress level has
slight to no impact on their child's stress level, however, only
14 percent of tweens and teens reported that they are not bothered
when their parent is stressed. Furthermore, the connection between
high stress levels and health is alarming, with 34 percent of obese
parents experiencing high levels of stress (defined as an 8, 9 or
10 on a 10-point scale) as compared to 23 percent of normal-weight
Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia (APNS) public education
coordinator says: "While this survey included only American participants,
the similar culture between the U.S. and Canada would suggest that
the stressors and the subsequent effects are also the same. With
the majority of Canada's population living near the U.S. border,
and affected strongly by the U.S. economy, it is important for Canadians
to pay attention to the growing stress of their American neighbours.
For example, 2008 Statistics Canada survey reported that 22.3% of
Canadians aged 15 or older reported that most days were extremely
or quite a bit stressful.”
season is a notoriously stressful time for us all," says Perry.
“There is pressure from family, friends and manufacturers to create
the perfect holiday season — an unrealistic expectation that is
impossible to achieve. It is important that families work together
to set realistic holiday expectations and reduce the stress of the
model their parents' behaviors, including those related to managing
stress. Parents who deal with holiday stress in unhealthy ways risk
passing those behaviors on to their children. Alternatively, parents
who cope with stress in healthy ways can not only promote better
adjustment and happiness for themselves, but also promote the formation
of critically important habits and skills in children. By taking
small, manageable steps to a healthier lifestyle, families can establish
and work toward goals to be psychologically and physically fit.
the following strategies for families to manage holiday stress and
enjoy the season:
1. Take time for yourself.
Taking care of yourself helps you to take better care of others
in your life. Go for a long walk or take time out to read or listen
to your favorite music. By slowing down you will actually have more
energy to accomplish your goals.
2. Volunteer. Many charitable
organizations face new challenges as a result of the ongoing economic
downturn. Find a local charity, such as a soup kitchen or a shelter,
where you and your family can volunteer together. Helping others
who are less fortunate can put hardships in perspective and build
stronger family relationships.
3. Set realistic expectations.
No holiday celebration is perfect; view inevitable missteps as opportunities
to demonstrate flexibility and resilience. Create a realistic budget
and remind your children that the holidays aren't about expensive
4. Remember what's important.
Commercialism can overshadow the true sentiment of the holiday season.
When your holiday expense list is running longer than your monthly
budget, scale back. Remind yourself that family, friends and the
relationships in your life are what matter most.
5. Seek support. Talk about
stress related to the holidays with your friends and family. Getting
things out in the open can help you navigate your feelings and work
toward a solution. If you continue to feel overwhelmed, consider
talking with a professional such as a psychologist to help you develop
coping strategies and better manage your stress. A psychologist
has the skills and professional training to help people learn to
manage stress and cope more effectively with life problems, using
techniques based on best available research and their clinical skills
and experience, and taking into account an individual's unique values,
goals and circumstances. Psychologists have doctoral degrees and
are licensed by the state in which they practice. They receive one
of the highest levels of education of all health care professionals,
spending an average of seven years in education and training after
they receive their undergraduate degrees.
America is part of APA's Mind/Body Health public education campaign.
For additional information on stress and lifestyle and behavior,
and read the campaign blog at www.yourmindyourbody.org
. Join the conversation about stress on Twitter by following
@apahelpcenter and #stressAPA.
2010 Stress in America Survey was conducted online within the United
States by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Psychological
Association between August 3 and 27, 2010, among 1,134 adults aged
18+ who reside in the U.S. including 100 adults who are parents
of children aged 8 – 17. In addition to the national sample, an
oversample of 937 adults who are parents of children aged 8 – 17
also were interviewed for a total of 1,037 parents. A YouthQuery
survey also was conducted online between August 18 and 24, 2010,
among 1,136 young people aged 8 – 17. No estimates of theoretical
sampling error can be calculated.
American Psychological Association , in Washington, D.C., is the
largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology
in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists.
APA's membership includes more than 150,000 researchers, educators,
clinicians, consultants, and students. Through its divisions in
54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial
and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology
as a science, as a profession, and as a means of promoting health,
education, and human welfare.
Kings Early Years
Screening for School Program Receives Psychology Association Award
05/25/10 / Halifax: The Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia
(APNS) is pleased to announce that its 2010 President's Award will
go to the Kings Early Years Screening for School Program (KEYSS)
, the David in the “David-and-Goliath” struggle against
hardship for children.
KEYSS eases the transition into school for children and families.
The main focus is on building relationships between families, schools,
and community agencies before the child begins school. KEYSS also
helps identify any developmental issues a child may have so that
intervention and support can be given prior to school entry.
“With only a shoestring budget, KEYSS has been able to screen
over 650 preschoolers in the past five years,” says APNS President
Dr. Robin McGee. “The benefit to the children, the families,
the schools, and the community has been incalculable.”
The program began in Kings County in 2006 when Valley Child Development
provided an opportunity for Kings County parents to bring their
three or four year old children to a free preschool screening program.
Kings County Children's Foundation has faithfully funded this project
over the years.
"I am very pleased by the response to the clinics by both families
and service providers,” says RaeAnne Bekkers, KEYSS Coordinator.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those
professionals and service providers who donate their time to make
KEYSS so valuable to families in Kings County."
The clinics provide parents with valuable information on preschool
behaviours, reading and school readiness, healthy living and physical
activity. KEYSS clinics also have professionals available to assess
a child in the areas of development, hearing and speech.
Information on a variety of programs and services available to preschoolers
is offered at all the clinics as well. See: http://www.earlyyearsscreeningforschool.ca/
The APNS President's Award honours non-psychologists (individuals
or organizations) who have made valuable contributions to the community
in a health and wellness setting or through other activities that
touch and benefit the greater community. It is awarded at the discretion
of the APNS President. Previous award winners have included entertainer
and TV personality Mary Walsh; King's View Academy, a Halifax-based
co-educational school; Dr. Elsie Blake, Program Administrator for
the counseling and support component of the compensation program
for claimants of institutional abuse; Dr. John Butt, former Chief
Medical Examiner for Nova Scotia; Anne Derrick, lawyer; and Costas
Halavrezos, CBC Radio Noon Host.
The KEYSS program started in 2006. With seed money granted by
the Kings County Children's Foundation, a foundation funded by an
estate, it modeled itself on another early intervention program
in Hants County, KEYSS went into the fight against the forces compromising
the development of preschool children. KEYSS launched a developmental
screening program for young preschool children from the catchment
area of 8 Kings County schools in the Annapolis Valley Regional
School Board. Appealing to the goodwill of community partners, it
sought the coordinated resources of many agencies such as Nova Scotia
Hearing and Speech and Child and Youth Mental Health.
For more information on KEYSS visit:
The Assoc iation of Psychologists of Nova Scotia (APNS) is a voluntary
professional organization established in 1965 to represent psychology
in Nova Scotia. APNS is the only provincial association devoted
to representing the needs of psychology professionals in the province.
APNS promotes psychology as a profession, as a science, and as a
means of promoting human welfare. For more information visit www.apns.ca
For more information:
Valley Child Development Association
THE BEST OF THE BEST:
THE COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS OF NOVA SCOTIA HONOURED
FOR HEALTHY WORKPLACE PRACTICE
Receives Best Practices Honour from American Psychological Association
Halifax, NS [March 9, 2010] - The College of Physicians and Surgeons
of Nova Scotia received a Best Practices honour from the American
Psychological Association (APA) at the annual Psychologically Healthy
Workplace Awards ceremony on March 6 in Washington, D.C. The College
was recognized for its commitment to employees by creating and promoting
a healthy workplace.
The College was one of only ten organizations from across the US
and Canada to receive the Best Practices recognition at the ceremony.
The College won the Nova Scotia Psychological Association's Provincial-Level
Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in 2009, which qualified
it to go through the competitive evaluation and judging process
for the APA's Best Practices honours.
“Our committee was very impressed with the College's focus
on psychological and physical health, their warm and engaging atmosphere,
and their culture of excellence,” said Dr. Arla Day, chair
of the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Committee in Nova Scotia.
The College developed its healthy workplace program by identifying
areas that could benefit. The College also offers an annual wellness
allowance to support gym memberships and other healthy living goals,
workshops that address health issues, online health assessments,
and a smoking cessation program with a financial incentive and ongoing
“Employers who understand the link between employee well-being
and organizational performance have a distinct competitive advantage
in their ability to attract and retain the very best employees ,”
says David Ballard, APA's assistant executive director for marketing
and business development. “ We congratulate the College of
Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia and hope that its example
helps showcase the power that a healthy workplace has to drive positive
change and help individuals, organizations, and communities thrive.”
“It makes common sense and business sense to treat employees
well. In times of economic uncertainty, this becomes increasingly
important,” said Dr. Day. “This award highlights the
‘best of the best' across Canada and the US, and it is wonderful
to have one of our local organizations receive such a prestigious
More information about the Best Practices honourees and APA's Psychologically
Healthy Workplace Award winners is available at
www.apa.org/news/press/releases/phwa/index.aspx Organizations interested
in learning more about creating a psychologically healthy workplace
or applying for an award can visit www.nshealthyworkplaces.ca or
The Nova Scotia Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program is
offered through the American Psychological Association (APA), in
Washington, DC, with the support of the Association of Psychologists
of Nova Scotia and the CN Centre for Occupational Health & Safety
at Saint Mary's University.
Contact: [Arla Day; 902-420-5854; email@example.com ; Saint Mary's
Natasha Scott, MSc & Sonya Stevens, MSc
APNS, CN Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, & Saint
Is there such a thing as a “psychologically healthy
You may be thinking Yeah right ! Work is often associated with early
mornings, deadlines, overtime, and STRESS…how can work actually
have a positive impact on our health? Surprisingly, recent research
suggests, it can! The American Psychological Association (APA) defines
a psychologically healthy workplace (PHW) as a work environment
that promotes employee health and well-being while at the same time
boosting its business performance, so both the employees and the
business are healthy. As can be seen in the diagram, healthy employees
have a positive impact on organizational functioning, and organizational
functioning has a positive impact on employees' health and well-being.
The APA has come up with five components of Psychologically Healthy
Components of PHW Definitions
& Examples Practices
Encouraging and providing opportunities for employees to express
opinions, provide feedback, and contribute to work decisions
Adopting practices that enable employees to balance responsibilities
associated with work, family, and life. Such programs include eldercare
or childcare assistance and flexible work schedules
Rewarding employees for their contributions to the organization.
Recognition can be formal (e.g., performance-based pay increases,
employee awards and /or recognition ceremonies) or informal (e.g.,
feedback such as “ you did a great job”)
Employee Growth & Development
Providing training and development opportunities to employees to
support professional development and career advancement. Example
practices include in-house mentoring and coaching, training seminars
and workshops, and tuition reimbursement for formal education programs
Health & Safety
Investing in the mental and physical health of employees. Common
practices include extended health benefits, safety training, sick
leave, healthy lifestyle programs (e.g., nutrition, stress management),
and subsidizing health activities (e.g., gym memberships, sports
Communication is integral to the success of all of these
practices. In order for employees to take advantage of healthy workplace
practices open and clear communication is needed.
Obviously, the organizational and societal context (i.e., industry,
economy, resources) influences what can be done within each of these
components. However, even small businesses with only a few employees
and minimal resources can do things that make a difference. Healthy
work practices can range from affordable and easily implemented
(such as simply involving employees in decisions) to much larger
and more complex practices (such as employee assistance programs).
Providing healthy work practices is something every organization
can do, no matter their size and/or resources. As Dr. Kevin Kelloway,
Director of the CN Centre for Occupational Health and Safety at
Saint Mary's University, says “It doesn't cost anything to
treat people with respect.”
APA'S STRESS IN AMERICA SURVEY
FINANCIAL CONCERNS TOP STRESSORS
As the Holidays near and national unemployment levels push higher,
the American Psychological Association’s (APA) newest Stress
in America survey finds that Americans continue to cite financial
concerns as leading sources of stress.
Approximately seven in ten Americans report that money is a significant
source of stress (71 percent), according to APA’s 2009 Stress
in America survey, with similarly high percentages reporting stress
resulting from work (69 percent) and the economy (63 percent). More
than half of adults (55 percent) also cited family responsibilities
as a significant source of stress in their lives.
“According to our survey three quarters of adults in this
country already report moderate to high levels of stress,”
says psychologist Katherine Nordal, PhD, APA’s executive director
for professional practice. “The holiday season can bring with
it additional emotional and financial stressors that can negatively
impact both physical and mental health.”
Psychologists urge parents to pay particular attention to the stress
their children may experience during the holidays. APA’s Stress
in America survey found that children are nearly two times more
likely to worry about financial concerns than their parents realize.
Specifically, 30 percent of youth say they worry about their family
having enough money, while only 18 percent of parents report that
this is a source of stress for their child.
“While the holidays are stressful for many people, there are
some things we can all do to manage that stress and enjoy the season,”
says Dr. Nordal. “Given the concerns our young people are
reporting about stress and money, parents need to be good models
for managing stress in healthy ways.”
APA suggests the following strategies to manage holiday stress and
enjoy the season:
Take time for yourself. Taking care of yourself helps you to take
better care of others in your life. Go for a long walk or take time
out to read or listen to your favorite music. By slowing down you
will actually have more energy to accomplish your goals.
Volunteer. Many charitable organizations face new challenges as
a result of the ongoing economic downturn. Find a local charity,
such as a soup kitchen or a shelter, where you and your family can
volunteer together. Helping others who are less fortunate can put
hardships in perspective and can build stronger family relationships.
Set realistic expectations. No holiday celebration is perfect; view
inevitable missteps as opportunities to demonstrate flexibility
and resilience. Create a realistic budget and remind your children
that the holidays aren’t about expensive gifts.
Remember what’s important. Commercialism can overshadow the
true sentiment of the holiday season. When your holiday expense
list is running longer than your monthly budget, scale back. Remind
yourself that family, friends and the relationships in our lives
are what matter most.
Seek support. Talk about stress related to the holidays with your
friends and family. Getting things out in the open can help you
navigate your feelings and work toward a solution. If you continue
to feel overwhelmed, consider talking with a professional such as
a psychologist to help you develop coping strategies and better
manage your stress. A psychologist has the skills and professional
training to help people learn to manage stress and cope more effectively
with life problems, using techniques based on best available research
and their clinical skills and experience, and taking into account
an individual’s unique values, goals and circumstances. Psychologists
have doctoral degrees and are licensed by the state in which they
practice. They receive one of the highest levels of education of
all health care professionals, spending an average of seven years
in education and training after they receive their undergraduate
Stress in America is part of APA’s Mind/Body Health public
education campaign. For additional information on stress and lifestyle
and behavior, visit www.apahelpcenter.org, read the campaign blog
www.yourmindyourbody.org, and follow @apahelpcenter on Twitter.
The 2009 Stress in America Survey was conducted online within the
United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Psychological
Association, between July 21, 2009 and August 4, 2009 among 1,568
adults aged 18+ who reside in the U.S. This report also includes
the results of a YouthQuery survey conducted between August 19 and
27, 2009 among 1,206 young people aged 8-17 years old. Results were
weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region,
and household income. Propensity score weighting was also used to
adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. No estimates
of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology
The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is
the largest scientific and professional organization representing
psychology in the United States and is the world’s largest
association of psychologists. APA’s membership includes more
than 150,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants, and
students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and
affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial
associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a
profession, and as a means of promoting health, education, and human
Harris Interactive is a global leader in custom market research.
With a long and rich history in multimodal research that is powered
by our science and technology, Harris Interactive assists clients
in achieving business results. Harris Interactive serves clients
globally through its North American, European, and Asian offices
and a network of independent market research firms. For more information,
please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.
Watching and Waiting
by Charles Hayes, Ph.D.
News media around the world are tracking the numbers of people who
have contracted swine flu and those unfortunate enough to succumbed
to it. Signs are everywhere that health officials are taking the
outbreak of this flu much more seriously than the typical seasonal
This article is written to serve two purposes. The first is to acquaint
the Community of Psychologists with current information about the
swine flu pandemic. The second is to prepare for a role that psychologists
may play should the pandemic become more incapacitating.
The World Health Organization (WHO) determined that the current
outbreak of Swine flu has become a pandemic. Their decision is based
solely on the spread of the disease and not on its severity. The
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state the current
swine flu is a novel H1N1 flu variant.
It seems that this swine flu is particularly virulent. It is not
known how it began. The CDC confirmed two cases in the USA on April
21, 2009. Both cases were children living in California, but not
in contact with one another or with swine. Mexican authorities had
informed WHO that they had 18 patients demonstrating influenza-like
illnesses in March. The numbers of people with such symptoms increased
steadily through April. By May 1, 2009 the novel H1N1 influenza
had been confirmed in the UK, US, Canada, Spain, Germany and Mexico
with these countries also confirming secondary transmission. By
June 26, 2009 swine flu had been confirmed in 75 countries around
the world with related deaths reported in 13 of these countries.
(For a dramatic graph outlining the spread of swine flu see:
The symptoms of novel H1N1 are reported to be similar to seasonal
flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, stuffed or runny nose,
body ache, headache, chills, and fatigue. Some people who are infected
also report vomiting and diarrhoea.
The CDC in Atlanta, Georgia reports that with seasonal flu certain
people are at higher risk of serious flu-related complications.
The list typically includes people 65 years of age and older, children
younger than five years of age, pregnant women, and people of any
age who may be medically compromised. The early indications are
that pregnancy and certain diseases commonly associated with increased
risk of complications from flu such as asthma and diabetes, also
appear to be associated with increased risk in novel H1N1 as well.
There is an expected rate of mortality associated with seasonal
influenzas. For example, the CDC reports that every year in the
United States on average 36,000 people die from flu-related complications
and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu-related causes.
Of those hospitalized, 20,000 are children younger than 5 years
of age. Over 90 percent of deaths and 60 percent of hospitalizations
occur in people older than 65.
As of June 26, 2009 the US has confirmed 21,449 cases of swine flu
with 87 deaths associated with it. The number of people in the US
suspected of having the swine flu currently is one million people.
CDC reports that few children and adults younger than 60 years of
age have existing antibody to novel H1N1 flu virus. Approximately
1/3 of people over 60 years of age may have antibodies against this
virus. There appear to be some differences in susceptibility with
novel H1N1 in that people older than 64 years do not yet appear
to be at increased risk.
So far with novel H1N1 the largest numbers of confirmed and probable
cases have occurred in people between the ages of 5 and 24 years
of age. This statistic is reminiscent of the reported findings with
the 1918 Spanish flu: also an H1N1 influenza. Another similarity
is the susceptibility of our aboriginal peoples. For example, consider
that Nunavut reported more laboratory-confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza
virus on June 24, 2009 than did British Columbia, or the Atlantic
provinces. For Canadian information see the Public Health Agency
of Canada (PHAC) website at:
It is likely that novel H1N1 is spread by the same mechanisms as
is seasonal flu. Studies with seasonal flu indicate that people
may be contagious from one day before developing symptoms and up
to 7 days afterwards. Children, especially younger children, may
be potentially contagious for longer periods.
The spread of novel H1N1 virus is thought to occur in the same way
that seasonal flu spreads, thus the precautions are the same. Most
jurisdictions, including that of Nova Scotia, have focused on containment.
In Nova Scotia the responsibility for monitoring and practice protocols
lies with the N.S. Department of Health (DoH). Spread is primarily
from airborne contagion from sneezing and coughing from those infected.
People are advised to ensure they cough into a tissue or even their
arm. Contagion may also come from touching something that has flu
viruses on it and then from touching one's eye, mouth or nose. Thus
people are being asked to try not to touch their noses, mouths or
eyes. Hand alcohol based lotions are also being used in an attempt
to contain the outbreak of novel H1N1.
The first line of defence has been voluntary. Those people who believe
that they have the flu are encouraged to stay at home until they
are symptom free. Such advice is sensible and practical. However,
there is no way of enforcing it. In fact, a recent newspaper article
featured a couple with swine flu at their wedding ceremony. They
were advised to wear a face mask and to stay 10 feet away from the
wedding guests. Thus, it is not hard to imagine others believing
that it is not all that important to stay home.
Any voluntary stay-at-home condition will be in jeopardy if wages
will be cut because the individual stays at home. One of the reasons
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) became so difficult to
control in Canada was thought to be because some ill people refused
to stay home when it affected their wages, thereby continuing the
human to human chain of infection.
People with flu-like symptoms should wear facial masks and attempt
to keep separated from others until asymptomatic. The ill person
should be encouraged to wash hands frequently and follow respiratory
hygiene practices. Hand washing should be thorough and it is recommended
that hand washing continue for as long as it takes to sing Happy
Birthday twice. Hands should be dried thoroughly. See the WHO site
for techniques of hand washing. It is recommended that any one suspected
of having swine influenza should be administered empiric antiviral
Federal Health officials are warning should the Swine flu outbreak
continue to grow then expect that there could be widespread closures
of public services like grocery and other stores, schools, and businesses.
Presumably they envision something similar to what happened recently
in Mexico City. Thus, people are being advised to stock pile foodstuffs,
medications, etc. that may be needed but difficult to obtain if
there is a widespread shut down of services.
The Spanish flu became alarmingly deadly when it returned in September.
The second was a killer. Consider, in all, nearly 50,000 Canadians
died in the 1918 outbreak. The effect was worldwide. The 1918 H1N1
influenza returned in a third wave, which was not as deadly as the
second, but the death toll was still in the millions. All told the
1918 estimates suggest that as many as 100 million people died as
a result of influenza related illness worldwide. Then the population
was estimated to be 1.8 billion. In other words, the death toll
was roughly 5 percent of the world's population in less than one
The 1918 influenza seemed to aggressively target healthy young adults,
between the ages of eighteen and forty, mainly because their strong
immune systems vigorously overreacted – a so-called cytokine
storm – and killed them, often within a day. This occurs when
cytokine cells activate immune cells at the site of infection causing
more and more immune cells to come to the infection site. If this
occurs in the lungs it may cause damage sufficient to impair the
lungs resulting in death.
Given that the world's current population is much larger now, it
is conceivable that the novel H1N1 influenza could result in as
many as 350 million deaths worldwide should it mimic the 1918 pandemic
with more deadly subsequent waves. See: http://www.walrusmagazine.com/articles/2006.02-health-pandemic-fear/
The Government of Canada has been preparing large amounts of H1N1
specific antiviral medications such as Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) for
use. Fortunately novel H1N1 is susceptible to it and to Zanamivir
(Relenza). The Canadian and the US governments are also preparing
influenza vaccines, which should be available in the fall. The antivirals
are to be used only for those with influenza-like illness. All Canadians,
even those that were previously infected with the novel H1N1 influenza
but are now healthy, should be vaccinated in the fall. The vaccination
is recommended since influenza viruses rapidly mutate.
The organizers of the DoH response feel that there is no role required
for psychologists not employed in the Health system. However, it
should be pointed out, vigorously, that the current novel H1N1 pandemic
is continuing to infect people during summer, at the time when UV
light helps destroys flu viruses. There is a possibility that the
containment response could fail since it has already failed in the
midlands city of Birmingham in Britain. Health officials there are
moving to a mitigation phase.
The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) has been active along
with other interested groups in trying to offset the possible surge
effect often seen when people are faced with overwhelming trauma
such as was seen in Hurricane Katrina or even in the Swiss Air 111
recovery. You may wish to access the CPA website for current information
on precautions to use in this pandemic.
The Post-Trauma Services Committee of the Association of Psychologists
of Nova Scotia (APNS) believes that psychologists could be of help
in a pandemic. It seems plausible that civic authorities and services
will quickly be overrun and overwhelmed.
From a psychological point of view it is well-known that many more
people are affected psychologically than are affected physically
whenever large scale traumatic events occur. There is a recognized
need to deal with these victims as well as those with physical injuries
since surges of people can occur at treatment sites causing disruption
and chaos. It is conceivable that the same may occur should a large
number of deaths associated with novel H1N1 should occur as happened
in the 1918 Spanish influenza.
It is known from trauma research that some people are more vulnerable
for psychological reactivity to the threat of novel H1N1 than others.
Those who may have an increased likelihood of developing an adverse
reaction to the threat are those people who tend to worry excessively
about their health, or who have experienced a previous or recent
traumatic event, who live alone, or who have few social supports.
Psychological victims will need attention. Psychologists may be
amongst those who are best prepared in terms of training and experience
to assist. We should be ready to help out even if the eventuality
is that we are not needed.
If centres can be developed where the psychological victims are
triaged and contained then the provision of good, accurate, communication
about the dangers, information about the use of proper mask (for
those ill) and hand-washing hygiene (for everyone) becomes truly
important. Then it would make sense for psychologists and others
to provide psychological first aid and related techniques to help
curtail hysteria and psychological hyper-reactivity.
SURVEY SHOWS HOLIDAY STRESS PUTTING WOMEN’S HEALTH AT RISK
Added Holiday Stress Increases Women’s Reliance on Unhealthy
Behaviors More Often than Men
Nearly half of all women in the United States experience heightened
stress during the holidays at great risk to the health of their
minds and bodies, according to a recent national survey released
by the American Psychological Association (APA). Compared to previous
surveys on stress, APA found that women are actually doing less
to address the increased stress of the holiday season. Despite repeated
warnings about the effects of stress on both psychological and physical
health, women are relying more on unhealthy behaviors to manage
stress during the holidays and the rest of the year.
Juggling work and added family responsibilities, such as planning
for holiday gatherings, shopping for gifts and cooking leave most
women feeling like they can’t take time to relax during the
crunch to get everything done for the holidays. Survey findings
show that added holiday stress, on top of already disproportionately
high stress levels in women year round, makes it hard for women
to relax. This increases the likelihood that they will turn to unhealthy
behaviors like using food to deal with stress (41 percent) or drinking
alcohol (28 percent).
“People who cope with stress by engaging in unhealthy behaviors
and lifestyle, regardless of the time of year, may alleviate symptoms
of stress in the short term, but end up creating significant health
problems in the long run, and, ironically, more stress,” says
Dean Perry, M.Sc., R.Psych, Public Education Co-ordinator, Association
of Psychologists of Nova Scotia (APNS).
“Research shows that stress, and the unhealthy behaviors people
use to manage it, contribute to some of our country’s biggest
health problems such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. So
it’s imperative that people take steps to address issues like
holiday stress in healthier ways.”
A national stress survey conducted by APA in January 2006 found
that, during the year, 31 percent of women turn to food to manage
stress compared to 19 percent of men. The holiday stress survey,
conducted by APA in October 2006, showed that comfort eating rises
by ten percent at the holidays as a source of stress relief for
women (versus a six percent increase for men), indicating that holiday
pressures are having an impact on women’s behaviors.
“The effectiveness with which people manage stress —
especially women during the holidays, given their increased stress
levels — is critical to long-term mind and body health,”
says Perry. “It seems that women, in particular, view holiday
stress and their ways of coping with it as a normal part of the
season.” Results from the January 2006 survey show that women
report stress affects them more than men do (51 percent versus 43
percent) and that women are more likely than men to report multiple
stressors. The same is true during the holidays. Women (44 percent)
are more likely than men (31 percent) to report an increase of stress
during the holiday season, citing lack of time (69 percent versus
63 percent), lack of money (69 percent versus 55 percent), and pressure
to give or get gifts (51 percent versus 42 percent) as primary stressors.
While stress is an important health issue for everyone to take note
of, survey findings indicate that identifying healthy strategies
for managing stress is critical to the mind/body health of women.
The January 2006 survey shows that stress does have an effect on
overall mind/body health. Adults who experience a great deal of
stress rate their psychological and physical health lower than adults
who are not experiencing stress. Women under stress are more likely
than men to report that they are in fair or poor health. People
very concerned with the level of stress in their lives are more
likely to report a number of specific ailments and symptoms.
§ 59 percent report feeling nervous or sad
§ 51 percent report symptoms of fatigue
§ 56 percent report inability to sleep or sleeping
§ 55 percent report lack of interest, motivation
§ 46 percent report headaches
§ 48 percent report muscular tension
§ 32 percent report frequent upset stomach or indigestion
§ 37 percent report change in appetite
§ 29 percent report feeling faint or dizzy
§ 26 percent report tightness in chest
§ 23 percent report change in sex drive
“My advice to both men and women is to pay attention to what
causes their stress and to find healthy ways of managing it. Everyone
responds to their stress in some way. The key is handling stress
in a manner that doesn't make things worse,” says Perry.
The holiday stress survey was conducted October 2-5, 2006 by Greenberg,
Quinlan Rosner Research for the APA, with the objectives of exploring
stress during the holidays, the causes of stress and how holiday
stress differs from other times of the year, as well as what people
do differently during the holiday season to manage their stress.
The telephone poll reached 786 adults, 369 men and 417 women, 18
years or older and was weighted by gender, age, race and education.
For tips on managing holiday stress or to learn more about stress
and mind/body health, visit the American Psychological Association
The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington,
DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing
psychology in the United States and is the world’s largest
association of psychologists. APA’s membership includes more
than 150,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and
students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and
affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial
associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a
profession and as a means of promoting human welfare.
2009 - ORGANIZATIONS
RECEIVE PSYCHOLOGICALLY HEALTHY WORKPLACE AWARDS
Program Rewards Employers for Creating Workplaces
That Foster Employee Health and Well-being While Enhancing Organizational
Halifax, Feb. 5, 2009 – Three organizations will receive recognition
from the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award Program in Nova
The award winners are the College of Physicians and Surgeons of
Nova Scotia, Staples Contact Centre and NB Power.
The psychologically healthy workplace program honours organizations
across Canada and the U.S. that show a commitment to the psychological
health and well-being of their employees, create a positive work
environment, and demonstrate high organizational performance.
“It always makes sense -- both common sense and business sense --
to treat employees well. In times of economic uncertainty, this
type of treatment becomes increasingly important,” says Arla Day,
chair of the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Committee in Nova
Scotia. “We are recognizing
these organizations for their outstanding accomplishments, and sharing
their best practices to inspire other companies to create healthy
When you give to your employees, they give back to the organization.
And what does this “giving” to employees entail? These best practices
involve basic, cost-free activities (for example, treating employees
with respect, encouraging communication and feedback) to novel practices
and programs, such as sponsoring corporate sports events, offering
flextime, health funds, and tuition reimbursement, and providing
lunch and learn series.
“Employers who understand the benefits of a workplace that is sensitive
to their employees' psychological well-being will have a competitive
advantage,” says Kevin Kelloway, director of the CN Centre of Occupational
Health & Safety. “They can serve as models for other employers.”
The health and safety of Nova Scotia workers are critical issues,
and organizations should be acknowledged for their efforts in promoting
employee safety and health. The benefits of a healthy workplace
include increased productivity, employee retention, recruiting advantages,
enhanced company image and a better workplace atmosphere, as well
as workers who are less stressed and happier.
The organizations were judged on: whether they are “family friendly”
and the steps they take to reduce work stress; how they encourage
employee growth and development; the extent to which theyinvolve
employees in decision-making; how they recognize and support employee
and initiatives; and the extent to which they promote physical and
psychological health, safety, and wellness.
The Award Recipients:
• The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia is being
recognized for Excellence in Developing a Psychologically Healthy
Workplace. One of the site reviewers, Dr. David Mensink, noted how
impressed he was by their many healthy practices, such as a health
fund, flextime, and tuition reimbursement. “The atmosphere during
the site visit was warm, engaging, and yet the employees were very
busy and active in their work responsibilities. The overall impression
is that this workplace displays a culture of excellence.”
• Staples Contact Centre (Lower Sackville) is being recognized for
Excellence in Employee Involvement and Recognition. They have worked
to improve communication, develop member surveys, and provide individual,
group, and organization recognition awards. Debby Vincent, Senior
Contact Center Manager is thrilled with the award. “To be recognized
Excellence in Employee Involvement & Recognition is a wonderful
way to end the year. Over the 10 years that we have been open, so
many of our initiatives have been a result of the great ideas contributed
by employees. We are proud of the commitment of our entire team
to make Staples a Great Place to Work.”
• NB Power will receive a Special Consideration Award, and is being
recognized for Excellence in Employee Health & Safety. NB Power's
dedication to the physical and psychological wellbeing of their
employees is evident from the array of health and safety programs
they offer, such as a fresh fruit program, integrated wellness services,
a Healthy Workplace Plan, the HEAL program, and personal health
The awards will be handed out at a reception at The Westin Nova
Scotian on Thursday, Feb. 5 from 4:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.
For more information about the Psychologically Healthy Workplace
Award, please contact:
Dr. Arla Day