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The best way to gain appreciation for Canada is to leave the country.


I don’t mean sell your house, surrender your citizenship, and move to some other paradise.

Travel outside Canada.

Go to sub-Sahara Africa.
Visit southeast Asia.
Fly to Europe when the Westjet strike is over.

Better still, travel to Siberia, Ukraine, Jordan, Israel, Germany, Florida, or the Caribbean.

Granted, those countries were only destinations for Jocelyn and me, however, our reactions returning home always are, “Thank God for Canada.”

Take it from our new friends in war-torn Ukraine. They appreciate Canadian generosity. They know Canada is leading the way to repatriate over 20,000 Ukrainian children taken by Russia. Canada will provide $3.02 billion in financial and military support to Ukraine in 2024. There are over 200,000 Ukrainian refugees in Canada and 57,000 of them are in Alberta.

Count me among the older Canadians who tend to be a little bit more optimistic about the country.


Forty years ago, Canada was marked by political and economic discontents. Our country’s financial situation was grim: the recession of the early 1980s produced large-scale unemployment; the deficit was continuing to spiral upwards. Mortgage rates in 1984 were 12.5% for a one-year rate and 13.5% for a five-year rate. Those were down from the 21.75% rate in 1981.

What is deeply concerning is the 1.6 million children and teens in Canada dealing with a mental-health disorder.

Hold onto your heart. Financial costs of treating just anxiety and depression are $4-billion a year. The cost to families is incalculable. Substance abuse, and self-medication is escalating.

  • Opioid overdoses now account for more deaths in Canada than automobile accidents.
  • Over 4,000 Canadians die by suicide every year—an average of 11 per day.
  • People with mood disorders are at much higher risk of developing a long-term medical condition.
  • People with mental illness are two times more likely to have a substance use problem versus the general population.
  • People with mental illness and addiction are more likely to die prematurely versus the general population.

What can you do to make a difference?

Start with what you are responsible for. You. Your family. Those closest to you.

Seven Ways To Improve Mental Health In Your Family

Focus on the Family offers seven ways to improve mental health in your family.

1. Sleep. There is no substitute to a good night’s sleep or a good night prayer with kids at bedtime.

2. Reflection and Meditation. Develop emotional intelligence through healthy family interactions around the teachings of Jesus.

3. Spend time outdoors. And away from screen time. Observe the wonder of the stars at night.

4. Play dates. Form childhood memories.

5. Exercise. Your body is designed for activity and so is your spirit.

6. Eat well. Nutrients, hydration and regularly reading the Bible.

And the best of the seven.

Being held.

“We need to know who is holding us—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. One of the most significant contributions to improving mental health is a sense of belonging, which forms the basis of how we perceive our self-worth and value. Every member of our family must know that, even during the everyday chaos, we belong.”

Who are you holding close on Canada Day?

You can’t affect world events or political processes, but you can control how you love and support the people closest to you. “Bring them close” is a turning point slogan for the health of Canadian families like yours.

Happy Canada Day! Please take a moment to share this post and join the conversation by posting a comment below. Thank you.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

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