Tina Szymczak

March 16, 2021

Go Ahead and Call Me Fat

“I’m fat, old, and out of shape,” I said in a matter of fact way as I entered the van. “Honey, you’re not fat, you’re beautiful,” my husband said as he leaned over to kiss me. His comment made me stop in my tracks. Was my husband of almost 25 years saying being fat means you’re not beautiful? Are they mutually exclusive? Read More at Go Ahead and Call Me Fat – Her View From Home
September 10, 2020

World Suicide Prevention Day

Before I begin let me start by saying the 24hr crisis line  for Windsor Essex is 519-973-4435. Crisis Services Canada is 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645 The following post could be triggering as I speak about depression, suicidal thoughts and actions Nothing makes me more mad or frustrated than to hear people saying a suicide attempt is attention seeking or a call for help with disdain in their voice. It’s the judgement that makes me furious, the misunderstanding, the unwillingness to feel just an ounce of empathy or compassion. Of course suicide is a call for help. Of course a suicidal person needs attention. Just as someone suffering a heart attack or a blunt force trauma needs medical attention. Suicidal people NEED […]
August 21, 2020

Podcast with CMHA Windsor Essex

I was asked to take part in the CMHA Windsor Essex podcast Keep Connected which you can watch here: And here is a link to the Open Letter I wrote about Mental Health services in our community
July 24, 2020

Let’s Talk Zero Suicide Model

Last time I wrote about suicide statistics and the need for a Federal Suicide Prevention Strategy.  Today I want to talk about the Zero Suicide (ZS) Model put forth by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. This is a framework and resources to coordinate a multilevel approach to implementing evidence-based practices for suicide prevention. It is founded on the principle that death by suicide is preventable for patients in behavioral health systems. There are Four components (Identify, Engage, Treat, and Transition) that address aspects of clinical care, while the other three (Lead, Train, and Improve) concern administrative approaches. Let’s look at them in the order they are presented on the Zero Suicide website. Lead – There are two main […]
July 23, 2020

Let’s Talk Suicide Prevention Strategy

11 people a day die by suicide in Canada , that’s over 4000 a year. Canada is the only G8 country without a national suicide prevention strategy – indeed one of the few industrialized countries in the world without one. – Centre for Suicide Prevention What is a National Suicide Prevention Strategy? According to suicideinfo.ca it is a road map which works to reduce risk factors for suicide while enhancing factors that build resilience both on a public health or population level, and on an individual or mental health level. What would this mean for Canada? Why do we need federal support for such an initiative? An influential survey by Matsubayashi and Ueda (2011) of 21 nations from 1980-2003, found that suicide […]
March 21, 2020

COVID 19 in the Year 2020

When I first heard of Coronavirus I brushed it off like many others. It sounded like SARS – serious and the need to be cautious for certain people but I didn’t feel it applied to me or my family. People began to panic and clear out the stores and I still thought they were over reacting. I mean, who needs that much toilet paper for a respiratory infection? What I wasn’t thinking about was a long period of self quarantine. I wasn’t thinking ahead to what supplies we did and didn’t have in our home. Then it moved to Italy and all kinds of people began to die including the Italian actor Luca Franzese whose sister died while they were […]