Thursday, February 4, 2010

What's This About?

This is my first Blog and it is about me, my neighbourhood and why on February 1, 2010 I forked over $100 to run for City Councillor for Ward 18 (Davenport) in the west end of Toronto, Ontario, Canada which has a portion of the "ethnic enclave" known as Little Portugal.

Me? Ken Wood. A sixty year old man who has lived in the area for over 10 years and a resident of Toronto since 1973. A person with a disability (although it is a rather 'invisible' one). I am a recipient of ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program), one form of social assistance. I live on low-income (about $12,500/yr) and although I do not have to work, I want to. More about me later.

My disability? I have been repeatedly diagnosed as having major clinical depression, along with generalized anxiety disorder and a sleep disorder. Lots of jargon words and labels that are only truly understood by those that either share my affliction or are professionals in the mental health field. I hope I only have to say this once: I am not crazy, a loonie, or a threat to others. I have a chemical imbalance that causes my disability which is manageable with medication. Depression is something many people suffer from (at least 1 in 7 people). For more information on this see In Canada, according to the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) , 1 in 5 of us will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.

More about Ken Wood:

  • Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and psychology

  • Work career includes about 30 years in computers (operations, hardware, management) plus 5 years in human resources (personnel). Worked in both union and non union workplaces, from small to large.

  • Many additional educational courses in social work, counselling, etc

  • Activist and advocate for issues such as affordable housing, food banks, environment, animal welfare, democracy

  • Former board member (Director) The Daily Bread Food Bank

  • Former board member (Director) Mainstay Housing