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In March 2014, Mustafa heard three bombs near his home in Sheran located in the province of Aleppo, Syria. At that precise moment, he knew his biggest fear was real: ISIS was at their door. This was his tipping point; his family packed a few belongings and tried fleeing to Turkey.
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I lost my older brother, Adam Wood, in the shooting in La Loche. Recently my family and I travelled to the remote community to remember him, the other victims whose lives were so tragically taken, and so many who still bear the wounds from that day.
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It's Eating Disorders Awareness Week in Canada (Feb.1-7, 2017). It has taken me about 15 years to ADMIT that I had an eating disorder (anorexia nervosa) as a child and teenager. If you know someone with an eating disorder, here are a few things to be aware of.
The Women's March is a reminder that there are many ways to support a positive future. You don't have to make a sign or scream really loud or join 60,000 people on foot. You can educate yourself and others, you can donate to causes that support equality and the environment, you can volunteer for organizations that improve lives of people in your community and you can make small changes in your lifestyle to better the future of others.
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We know that it takes more brain power to create positive thoughts and comments. Humans are using parts of their brain which facilitate the strengthening of logical reasoning and social emotions. This hopefully equates to more positivity and a transference to being kinder to others and being someone who stands up for others.
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In high school, I was placed in a special education program instead of regular classes because I couldn't learn like the other students. I felt I was being "left on the shelf" -- not important enough...
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What is it about the loss of childhood figures and teenage icons that seems to rock us to our core? It struck me that these memories from our past, brought up by the untimely passing of our idols, finds us transported back to a place and time before all of the real, hard to process sadness was let in; a time before grab em by the pussy, before nightclub shootings, and school shootings, and so many shootings.
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Hope is not just an aspiration, but a driving force of nature that takes on the world with a sense of determination, daring to take another chance at getting things right. It is the pitting of ourselves against the worst aspects of humanity and believing that we'll prevail. Hope is the better angels of our nature with their sleeves rolled up.
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News headlines throughout 2016 were unrelentingly mortifying, bleak and despairing. Just this week - a Russian ambassador assassinated live on camera in Turkey, shoppers run down at a Christmas market...
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It was 1991 and my first Christmas in my new home after my emotionally draining divorce. We lived in a depressed area. My family was 400 km away. I was struggling financially with a small business, helping in the community where I could, while nurturing my four-year-old who had some health challenges.
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Both of my boys have a rare neurological movement disorder called Dystonia. It causes painful twisting and contractions of the muscles. The episodic nature of it means that one minute they are running and playing like any other child and the next minute their hands and legs stop working. This means lots of falls and has made my six year old apprehensive about participating in team sports.And then he saw you play.
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Please, whatever you do, don't be afraid of talking about your symptoms or feelings with friends, family, or peers. This can be a great first step in addressing your own mental health needs and possibly identify any issues that you may be having in your life that may require psychiatric or therapeutic attention... Believe in yourself and your own internal strength.
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We know that time may be limited but that's no reason to stop living. So we celebrate that. Every good scan we have a little party or a high-five or a hug. Hugs are common in our clinic. There's much more happiness than people would expect.
Last week marked the 10th anniversary of An Inconvenient Truth, the Al Gore documentary that catapulted climate change onto the global agenda. Here's a quick look at developments over the past decade, both the inconvenient and the convenient.
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The night of the performance is one that will be etched in my mind forever. As Amanda, you always dreamed of being on a big stage surrounded by lights and music. In the performance piece called "My Name is Amanda Todd," that is what happened.
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Many moments will stand out when I remember my trip through war-torn Syria, neighbouring Lebanon, and Turkey. But the gift of a little box crammed with children's dreams is a memory that will certainly stay with me. That's because the red and white box filled with poignant pencil sketches says so much about this five-year-old conflict.
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Being single on Valentine's Day can be rough stuff. Since this is the time of year when the world conspires to tell you that there is something wrong with you if you are not happily paired, it may be tough to keep your spirits high. If you find yourself less-than-happily single, here are ten ways you can make Valentine's Day a little better this year, from someone who knows what she's talking about.
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Even if you started off the year with a heart full of good intentions, it can be hard to maintain your enthusiasm. To celebrate the fact that there are still 11 months left to make this your best year ever, here are 11 ways to give yourself a mid-winter boost.
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It's the most wonderful time of the year... for everybody else. At least that's how it can seem if this season you are dealing with less-than-perfect circumstances. Sickness, grief, and loss do not ta...
Joanne's health deteriorated significantly but her mettle remained strong. She so wanted to celebrate her last Hanukkah with Jack and the family. However as she entered the palliative care unit at Credit Valley Hospital we feared this would not be.
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Even better than all of the gee wow validations the medium provided, however, was the amazing sense of comfort I felt after the reading. I'd gone into it as a bit of a lark and came out feeling quite revitalized. Whether her words were heaven-sent or not, she gave me some excellent advice.
When you've survived trauma, it's unnervingly easy to slide back into the depths. When I tumble into that headspace, there are a few things that can almost always pull me back out. Hopefully they might be helpful
Now in my 50s, I look back over the last five years or so with quiet resolve. Four girlfriends have been diagnosed with breast cancer, all with different journeys. When the sobering statistics warn that one in nine women will get this dreaded disease, I know that cancer lurks in the shadows.
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Previous UN climate conferences have started with great optimism and hope but ended with underwhelming success at best, disappointment at worst. However, there are many reasons to hope that, finally, this one will be different.
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The film is, on the surface, about a botched space mission that leaves Matt Damon stranded on Mars. It's also a film for anyone who's found themselves thousands of miles away from the life they'd planned. If you've lost a child, lost a spouse, survived a crime, been disabled, been diagnosed with a critical illness, you likely have had moments when you feel alone on a strange planet with no guarantee of making it back home.
On Oct. 18, I will be running the Toronto Waterfront Marathon three times on the same day (126.6 km) in support of the #ItsNeverOkay campaign, a governmental and media campaign that reminds us that we all have a role in speaking up when we see situations of sexual violence or harassment.
Amidst the carnage of a failed marriage, as your days become consumed with prying the broken shards of glass from the wounds of a shattered life, it is hard to conceive that anyone will ever be worth the risk of going through all of this again. But a life without love is incomplete -- Love is always worth it.
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My children and I immigrated to Canada in 2010 as refugees. When we arrived, I was so happy that my kids were in a safe country. In Zimbabwe I remember not being able to cry or find comfort in anyone, because everyone was experiencing their own share of pain and shock. So in April of 2010, after being released from the most recent lock-up, I took my kids at midnight and headed for the border knowing that if I was caught I would be burned alive and killed. Even though I was living with the uncertainty of how my immigration hearing would pan out, watching my kids embrace Canadian culture strengthened me when I was at my weakest point.
What excuses are you making for not going after what you want? And do they really have to stop you? If you've really invested in your excuses, and their hold on you feels too strong, you may have let them break you down to the point of resignation.
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No one person or one group has the capability to solve hopelessness in our society, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. How do we begin to tackle an issue as all encompassing and unwieldy as hopel...
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As an addict, self-sabotage becomes a comfort-zone, failure a safe place to be. Predictability is key -- we know what will happen when we drink or screw up, and while it is painful, at least it is familiar. With success, I feel completely unprepared.
Why can't we seek a world where we rise to the occasion and confront our failings as a society? Why can't we demand better of ourselves and of our communities to create a place where all life is respected? Why can't the ingenuity of the human brain -- and limitlessness of the human heart -- foster a world where hope triumphs over hopelessness?