Monday, 19 November 2012
Mental health problems are the least likely type to get talked about in the home or at the place of work. It is as if In certain homes and workplaces mental health is a taboo subject. Just taking about the subject to an understanding family member or friend can be enormously beneficial to a person experiencing a mental health problem. Here are some facts about mental health not generally known:
· A mental health problem affects 1 in 4 people in any given year.
· The assumption that people with mental illness cannot work is false. The chances are you probably work with someone with a mental illness.
· People with mental illness can and do recover from the condition.
· People with mental health problems are no different from ordinary people. We all have mental health problems from time-to-time just like we have physical health ones.
· People who have had a mental health problem and overcome it can emerge stronger the other end.
· While some people with mental illness can sometimes be violent or unpredictable, people suffering from this condition are more likely to be a victim of violence.
· People with mental health problems generally want to keep in touch with family, friends and work colleagues as a route to recovery. Interaction with a pet such as a dog or cat can also aid a person suffering from mental stress.
· If you think you don’t know anyone with a mental illness, it is more likely that someone you know or love has suffered from one.
· Nine out of ten people with mental illness suffer some form of discrimination.
If you know someone who has been unwell with a mental health problem, make a point of asking them how they are, and how they feel. By doing this you are letting them know that they don’t have to avoid the issue with you, and you are not stigmatizing it. By just spending time with the person taking about anything of mutual interest, not just health issues, can be of benefit to the person concerned.
If you want to talk to people about your mental health problem, here are some pointers: be prepared for different reactions dependent upon the person you are taking to; chose a good time and place when you feel comfortable and ready to talk; be prepared for lots of questions, as the person you are taking to might need to ask them to help them understand; at the start, keep the conversation light to help you both feel relaxed; if the other person asks you about your mental health, answer honestly bringing the issue into the open.
If you have a mental health problem, you can always learn from other peoples experiences. If you know of somebody who has come through such a problem, that would be a good place to start. Otherwise, you could learn from the experiences of how some famous people including actors, politicians and sports stars have coped with their severe periods of depression. Videos of such people taking about their mental health problems can be accessed here: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/take-action/people-experiences.
The following are some good websites to access regarding mental health problems: http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/expertadvice.aspx ; http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/ ; http://www.mind.org.uk/help/information_and_advice. If you are not computer literate, then you should consult your doctor or local health welfare services about your particular problem.
Tuesday, 6 November 2012
I have borrowed the title of today’s post from John Lennon. While the lyrics of Lennon’s famous song mainly relate to: “a brotherhood of man ……. sharing all the world” my words concern environmental, health, wellness and justice issues which constitute a similar proposition.
Imagine a world without pollution in which weather patterns are not distorted by emissions from dirty industries, oil based fuels for cars and transportation generally, into to the atmosphere causing global warming. The heating up of the planet is having the following influences on worldwide weather: leaving low-lying coastal regions and cities at risk of flooding from higher seas and storms; having an influence on global food production because of droughts in certain parts of the world and excess rain in others both having a disturbing effect on food production and making prices go up as a consequence; causing artic ice to shrink resulting in loss of habitat for animals and fish dependent upon it.
Imagine a healthier world without junk food, convenience food, street drugs, and the need for less prescription drugs. Lots of health problems could be prevented from occurring in the first instance if people had a healthier diet. The incidence of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and arthritis per head of the population has increased more than a hundredfold in the past 150 years as a consequence of the introduction of processed foods taking people away from nourishing basic foods. The introduction of sugar in all its different forms into foodstuffs and soft drinks has also greatly contributed to health problems. The medical establishment’s response to this compounded situation is prescription drugs. The latter at best only give a temporary respite from the symptoms, and do not address the root causes of problems which usually relate to a poor diet.
Imagine a world without famine. More than 10 million children under the age of five die in the world every year. Of those, more than 60% die from diseases brought on by malnutrition. Despite some developed countries giving generously to famine-stricken ones in the form of aid, a lot of the latter is taken by corrupt officials or armed groups in the countries concerned. It is much better to help people at a local level to invest in seed banks and distribution within a region in order to make the best use of the land. Any aid contributed should be channelled directly to local organizations, as far as possible, in order to avoid corrupt officials siphoning off money for themselves.
Imagine some of the injustices that exist in the world being sorted out. In recent days we have had the third presidential debate in the US election which concentrated on foreign policy issues. The two combatants, Obama and Romney, when discussing the Middle East agreed that American interests in the region exactly coincided with those of Israel, neglecting to mention at all the right of the Palestinian people to a homeland. Such an oversight only serves to further the views of those advocating armed conflict in order to bring the issue once again to world attention.
The United Nations are the only trans world organisation trying to sort out some of the problems highlighted above. However, they are hampered in some cases by their own rules such as the Security Council’s inability to secure a vote condemning Assad of Syria because of the need for all permanent members to agree on such a resolution. Church leaders, and especially Christian church ones, have failed to provide any guidance beyond their own narrow and generally prejudiced views of the issues facing mankind. Only the Bible provides hope in that when things get awfully bad on this planet, the Book of Revelation predicts an intervention from on high because of man’s inability to sort out problems of his own making.