Bell Let’s Talk Day

January 30, 2019 is Bell Let’s Talk Day, a day to come together to talk about mental health. One in five Canadians experience a form of mental illness, and today, Canadians across the country join the conversation.

Bell Canada promotes this annual campaign to raise awareness and important funding to support mental health programs. For every social media post using #BellLetsTalk Bell Canada will donate five cents to mental health initiatives.

It is important to join the conversation today and throughout the year, as so many people are affected by mental illness in some way, either directly or through a friend, family member or colleague. By sharing stories and experiences, we can challenge stereotypes, reduce stigmas and create a more inclusive community for everyone.

This campaign has started conversations across the country, and has helped millions of people, giving approximately 6,313,777 individuals access to mental health care in Canada. It has also created 534 community fund grants, to help established organizations continue to deliver essential mental health services.

In Halton, there are many supports and programs available to residents if you are struggling with mental illness. I encourage you to use the resources available to you to, such as the Canadian Mental Health Association Halton Region Branch and Distress Centre Halton to receive the support you need.

I also encourage everyone to continue to have conversations about mental health with your family, friends and colleagues. By breaking the silence together, we make Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Healthy living resources and supports for Halton residents

As a former professional hockey player, I know that many factors contribute to your overall health and well-being. Getting enough physical activity, eating healthy and living smoke-free are just a few of the keys to maintaining good health. Halton Region has the resources and supports to help residents achieve their health goals.

Add some fun physical activities to your daily routine

running

Increasing your physical activity can help prevent certain chronic diseases and improve mental well-being. Check out some of the great physical activity resources available for all ages at halton.ca.

 

haltonparentsiconcircleFinding the time to get active can be challenging, especially for today’s busy parents! Learn how your entire family can maintain a healthy, active routine by connecting with the HaltonParents team of public health nurses.

Build a nutrition plan to boost your health

familyhandholdingMaking simple, positive changes to your diet is an important step towards achieving any health goals. Whether you want to have a healthy pregnancy, or already have a toddler, preschooler, or child in school, Halton has the nutrition resources to support your family.

applestemCanada’s food guides are another great way to learn about making healthy food choices.

 

Get support and information to help you quit smoking

If you want to quit smoking, Halton has the resources that can help. Our Stop Smoking Clinic also offers personalized support from a health care professional to help you develop a plan to quit.

To find more healthy living resources, visit halton.ca. Halton supports the overall health of our community—you too can play a part by improving your health and your family’s and make Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. Wishing you and your family a safe and healthy 2019!

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Halton doctors continue to keep our region a safe & healthy place to live

Regional Council’s vision for Halton has always been to be a safe and healthy place to live enhanced by access to high quality health care services. Halton’s doctors play a significant role in achieving this vision.

PhysicianAppreciationWeekFrom April 30 to May 4, 2018 Halton Region is celebrating its 15th annual Halton Physician Appreciation Week. The week was created in 2003 by the Halton Physician Recruitment program, which aims to ensure that every resident in Halton has access to quality physician services.

Now, with more than 600 family doctors and 400 medical specialists across the region, we have a strong team of physicians providing exceptional care to our residents. Whether saving lives or providing everyday care, Halton’s physicians make our community a healthier and better place to live. Halton Region continues to provide support to our physicians and recruitment efforts to support our growing region and changing health care needs.

On behalf of Regional Council, I would like to thank our doctors for keeping Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire!

For a list of new doctors in Halton who are accepting patients, visit halton.ca/newdoctor or call 311.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

 

Halton makes it easy to stay healthy

Halton Region offers many programs and services to help you make healthy choices and live an active lifestyle all year round. The new year is a great time to set new goals for your health and well-being. So whether your goal is to get active, eat healthier or stop smoking, Halton Region’s resources and services make it easy for you to stay on track.

Make a plan

HealthyChoicesPlanning is an essential part of achieving any goal. Write down the reasons why you want to make a change, set concrete goals and develop an action plan to achieve those goals. Halton Region has plenty of online resources to help you get started.

Keep it simple

Set yourself up for success by taking small steps. If you’re looking to get active, start by walking to add more physical activity into your day and gradually build up your endurance.

We are building safer walking, running and biking paths across the region to make it easier to add physical activity to your daily routine. To learn more about improvements coming to your neighbourhood, visit halton.ca/activetransportation to learn more.

A simple change to your diet is also a great way to achieve your health goals. Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide is a great tool to learn about healthy food choices.

Include your family and friends

SkatingTalk to your family and friends and enlist their support in helping you achieve your goals. Take advantage of outdoor activities across the region that can be fun for you, your family and friends. Visit halton.ca/tourism to find skiing, cycling and hiking trails and outdoor skating rinks. The region offers something fun for everyone. You can also try eating together as a family to encourage healthy eating habits among your kids and get them off to the right start!

Halton Region is dedicated to supporting you in making active, healthy choices and keeping our region a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. For more information or to access our healthy living supports, visit halton.ca/healthyliving, follow us on social media or call 311.

On behalf of Halton Regional Council and staff, we wish you and your family a very happy and healthy New Year!

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

 

Protecting yourself during flu season

the_Flu_ends_with_U2We now have many choices for where residents can get their flu shot. The Halton Region Health Department, local pharmacies and physicians are working together to offer residents convenient access to flu immunization. This year, you can protect yourself, your family and your colleagues from the flu by getting immunized at a:

  1. Local pharmacy – More than 100 pharmacies across Halton are providing flu shots to people older than five. Find one close to you by using Ontario’s Flu Clinic Locator.
  2. Family doctor – No matter what your age, you can visit your family doctor and some walk-in clinics to receive the flu shot. If you need a family doctor, go online or call 311 to find a list of Halton doctors that are accepting new patients.
  3. Halton Region Family Flu Clinic – If your family has a child under five years of age, you can book an appointment at Halton Region’s Family Flu Clinic either online or by calling 311.

In addition to getting immunized, it’s also important to take everyday precautions by washing your hands with soap often, using an alcohol-based sanitizer (if soap and water are not available) and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth. If you are sick, stay home from work or school to prevent the flu from spreading to others and talk to your doctor if your illness worsens or doesn’t begin to get better after a few days.

METROLAND_Oct12_8x91_Flu_9119_FS

For more information on the flu or to find a location near you that offers the flu shot, visit halton.ca/flu or call 311.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

 

Get ready for back to school by updating immunization records

At Halton Region we want to make getting ready for back to school as easy as possible. Some immunizations are required to attend school, so it is important to make sure immunizations are up-to-date and reported to the Halton Region Health Department.

ImmunizeReportHalton has made it easier for parents and guardians to report and request immunization records:

  • You can now report immunizations using our online reporting form – you can even take a picture of your immunization record and send to us through our webpage!
  • If you’re unsure what immunizations the Health Department has on file, you can fill out the convenient online immunization records request form to request a copy.
  • You can also update your records on-the-go by downloading and using the OneHalton app.
  • If your child is unable to get immunized or if you choose not to, you must have a notarized exemption on file with the Health Department in order to meet school attendance requirements.

As always, parents or guardians can also report or request records in person or by dialing 311.

Look for important letters from the Halton Region Health Department

As we continue to enforce the Provincial Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA), the Halton Region Health Department periodically sends letters to students in target age groups who have outdated immunization records. In spring 2017, we sent out letters to families of students born in 2008 and 2009; we’re currently sending letters to families with students entering grades 9 to 12 this school year. If you received one of these letters, please report your child’s immunizations as soon as possible to the Health Department to avoid possible school suspension.

If your child requires certain immunizations, please visit your family doctor. If you are in need a family doctor, please visit halton.ca/newdoctor.

Working together, we can protect ourselves, our children and our community from vaccine preventable diseases. Thank you for helping us keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Staying safe while enjoying summer

Summer is great time to get outdoors and explore our beautiful region. Whether it’s going for a dip at the beach, hiking one of Halton’s many trails, having people over for a barbeque or enjoying a picnic at a local park, it’s important to remember that making smart choices helps keep you safe. Below are some tips and information to keep in mind while you enjoy all that Halton has to offer this summer!

Beach safety

We are fortunate to have several recreational beaches located throughout the region. Beginning in June, our Health Department staff sample Halton’s beach water to determine if the water is safe for swimming and water activities. The beach water quality results are updated weekly at halton.ca/beach and you can check to see if it’s safe to go swimming before heading to the beach.

Air quality and heat safety

You can help protect yourself from the health impacts of extreme heat and poor air quality by getting environmental alerts delivered to your inbox. This is especially important for people with health concerns such as asthma, families who have children in outdoor summer camps or people who work outside. Sign up to receive alerts at halton.ca/airquality.

As we get closer to summer and higher temperatures, it’s important to drink plenty of water, take frequent breaks from activities and use sun protection. Also remember to visit family members, friends and neighbours at risk from extreme heat to make sure they are staying cool and hydrated. To learn more, visit halton.ca/heat.

Food safety

Summer means firing up the grill and barbecuing. Make sure your food is safe by following these four tips:

  • Clean
  • Separate
  • Cook
  • Chill

After a day of visiting our local farms or farmers’ markets, remember to properly wash and store your fresh fruits and vegetables. To learn more, visit halton.ca/foodsafety.

Mosquito safety

Halton Region staff work hard to help protect our communities from mosquitoes that can carry West Nile virus (WNV). The Halton Region Health Department monitors and helps control the mosquito population to reduce the risk of West Nile virus in the region. Residents can also protect themselves by:

  • wearing insect repellent with DEET or Icaridin;
  • avoiding being outdoors at dusk and dawn;
  • covering up: wearing light coloured clothing that covers your arms and legs; and
  • removing areas of standing water from your home

Practice tick safety when travelling

While the risk of tick-borne diseases in Halton is low, it’s important that residents are aware of how to protect themselves. If you will be around wooded, brushy or tall grass areas, or traveling to areas identified at risk for Lyme disease, you should be especially cautious and know how to avoid tick bites. Halton residents can also submit ticks found on themselves or family members for identification and testing through the submit-a-tick program.

By working together, we can help keep our community safe and healthy, and ensure that Halton continues to be a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. Wishing you all a fun summer in Halton!

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.