A weekly radio program about mental health, including issues related to mental illness, homelessness, and addiction. Broadcast live on Thursdays at noon and re-broadcast Sundays at 9 a.m. on CHLY 101.7 FM and streaming online at chly.ca .


Hunger for housing: Calling attention to a 'national tragedy'

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Vancouver housing activist Am Johal is coordinating a hunger strike to shame the federal government into reinstituting a national housing program. Canadians from coast to coast can participate by spending a week on a liquid-only diet. The hunger strike began on December 30th and it will continue through the coming B.C. election and the 2010 Olympics.

We speak with Vancouver housing activist Am Johal, and with longtime anti-poverty activist/author Sheila Baxter.

LISTEN   (17:45)

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Disability savings: RDSP comes into effect

Thursday, January 15, 2009

In what is considered one of the most significant disability initiatives since the International Year of the Disabled in 1981, Canada's federal government has launched a new tax-deferred savings plan--the Registered Disability Savings Plan--for people living with a disability. The government has also created the Canada Disability Savings Grant and the Canada Disability Savings Bond. 

We speak with Jack Styan, executive director of Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network in Vancouver, to find out more about RDSPs, what they are, and how they work.

LISTEN   (13:04)

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Youth anxiety: Local seminar on acute disorders

Thursday, January 15, 2008

Anxiety disorders are surprisingly common in children and teenagers, affecting approximately 10 per cent of them. Unfortunately, 80 per cent of anxiety disorders in this age group go untreated. To help parents learn how to deal with anxiety disorders in their children, AnxietyBC is bringing a skills-building seminar to Nanaimo on Monday, Jan. 19.

What are anxiety disorders? Why do they occur? What can be done about them? We speak with psychologist Dr. Melisa Robichaud, who is a board member with AnxietyBC and also practices in the area of anxiety.

LISTEN   (14:33)

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8 becomes 9: We look at the past and coming year

Thursday, January 8, 2009

We devote our full program this week to a review of some of the stories that made the news in 2008...month by month...from the perspective of social issues as they unfolded...primarily in the Nanaimo region. We also look forward to what 2009 might bring to the community. 

We're joined by former candidate for Nanaimo city council and current co-chair of the 7-10 Club, Gord Fuller, and by city of Nanaimo social planner John Horn.

LISTEN   Part 1  (18:15)

LISTEN   Part 2  (23:01)

LISTEN   Part 3  (07:16)

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Please note that Listen Again files are updated each week and generally offer opportunities to access live interviews from the previous two or three weeks. If you'd like to keep a file for your own use, please download it. 





Each week (usually on Wednesday morning) we send out an email newsletter with news and information for our listeners and other interested individuals and organizations.

The e-newlsetter includes a rich blend of information and news links to stories related to mental health, addiction, and homelessness issues.

It also describes what we’re planning for each week’s live broadcast.

If you enjoy using the web for information and would like to receive our weekly People First e-newsletter, contact us at [email protected] to request it.





People First Radio is a weekly live radio program broadcast on FM radio in Nanaimo, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island in Canada.

The program is carried by the Malaspina Radio Society’s CHLY campus and community radio station on 101.7 FM in the Mid-Vancouver Island region, and on the web at www.chly.ca.

Listen live each Thursday at noon (Pacific Time) for our one hour program focusing on issues related to mental health, including mental illness, addiction, and homelessness. The program is also re-broadcast on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. (Pacific Time).




In November of 2007 Columbian Centre Society of Nanaimo, B.C. launched a new public education initiative designed to educate the public and raise awareness of the issues associated with mental illness, addiction, and homelessness. People First Radio went on the air November 22nd with its first weekly broadcast on Nanaimo’s CHLY community and campus radio station—which broadcasts on 101.7 FM and is webcast at www.chly.ca.

The program has since provided weekly one-hour live broadcasts including in-studio and telephone guests and re-broadcasts of news clips from public broadcasting around the world. Over time, a weekly email flyer has been included, announcing the Thursday live broadcast content and also providing an extensive list of newspaper and online news headline hyperlinks and local event information.

“We wanted to offer public education in a unique way to the community...and radio has provided a doorway for us into both broadcast and webcast worlds,” said Tom Grauman, Columbian Centre executive director.

Jan Coleman, a former CCS staff member and board member, co-hosts the program and promotes it by word of mouth in the community. “I have been approached again and again by individuals in the community who have heard the program and have not only praise for what is being accomplished in the broadcast, but also feedback for what is most interesting, most appreciated, and most striking.”

People First Radio was inspired by a handful of similar community radio initiatives around the world, including Radio La Colifata (“Crazy Radio” in Buenos Aires slang), the first radio show in the world to broadcast live from a mental hospital.

Nanaimo’s Open Minds Open Windows Society is billed as a participating partner in the initiative, providing valuable feedback, support, and occasional guests to the show.

You can listen to People First Radio online at www.chly.ca every Thursday at 12 noon Pacific time. Additionally, if you would like to receive the People First weekly email flyer, simply request it from [email protected].