What’s Caught Our Attention – February 2019

Wilkinson and Pickett

Recently, some of the CAI team attended the launch of the book The Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone’s Well-Being at UBC Robson Square.

Internationally acclaimed health researchers Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett’s new book puts inequality at the centre of public debate by showing conclusively that less-equal societies fare worse than more equal ones across everything from education to life expectancy. The Inner Level now explains how inequality affects us individually, how it alters how we think, feel and behave. It sets out the overwhelming evidence that material inequalities have powerful psychological effects: when the gap between rich and poor increases, so does the tendency to define and value ourselves and others in terms of superiority and inferiority. A deep well of data and analysis is drawn upon to empirically show, for example, that low social status is associated with elevated levels of stress, and how rates of anxiety and depression are intimately related to the inequality which makes that status paramount.

Wilkinson and Pickett describe how these responses to hierarchies evolved, and why the impacts of
inequality on us are so severe. In doing so, they challenge the conception that humans are innately
competitive and self-interested. They undermine the idea that inequality is the product of ‘natural’ differences in individual ability as well. This book sheds new light on many of the most urgent problems facing societies today, but it is not just an index of our ills. It demonstrates that societies based on fundamental equalities, sharing and reciprocity generate much higher levels of well-being, and lays out the path towards them.

The Crackdown Podcast

On January 29th, 2019, the first episode of the Crackdown podcast was released. Crackdown is a Vancouver-based monthly podcast about drugs, drug policy and the drug war led by drug user activists and supported by research. Produced by Garth Mullins, each episode will tell the story of a community fighting for their lives. It’s also about solutions, justice for those we have lost, and saving lives.

New episodes are released on the last Wednesday of each month, and can be downloaded on most podcast apps, streamed at crackdownpod.com or via free download on iTunes.

Beyond the Stigma of Drug Use: People Who Use Drugs Speak Out

AIDS Network Kootenay Outreach and Support Society (ANKORS) has released a video series that aims to build awareness about the stigma that people with lived experience using drugs face in their daily lives.

These videos are meant to challenge the viewer to look closely at the people on the front lines of the opioid crisis and listen to their stories – drug users, service providers and community leaders – and leave feeling more compassion towards community members and work towards more inclusive community based solutions.

To view the videos, click here. The Nelson Star has also published an article on the videos series – it can be read here.

Kootenays’ first overdose-prevention site opens in Nelson

The first provincially funded overdose-prevention site in the Kootenays is open in Nelson. ANKORS received a $75,000 grant through stream two of the OERC-CAI grant initiative in October. The Nelson Star and CBC have published articles and a video highlighting the overdose prevention site’s operation.

You can read and watch the Nelson Star content here.

You can read the CBC article here.