“Absolute silence for 30 minutes on school buses as all girls are using mobile phones…”

The headline is a quote from Bloomfield Collegiate School principal Gary Greer in a letter to parents. Pupils were informed this morning in registration that a mobile phone ban would be put in place for the remainder of the term. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, we have real concerns about mental health and the lack of ability to socialise due to too much screen time during lock down. It has been reported to me that there is absolute silence …

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Where are we with mental health stigma?

On March 24th 2015, the world was hit by the news that a German aircraft had crashed into the French Alps, killing 150 people. Information quickly started to circulate about an apparently ‘suicidal pilot’ who had deliberately caused the crash. He would later be named as 27-year-old Andreas Lubitz: he had co-piloted the flight and locked himself into the cockpit while the principle pilot was in the bathroom. Prior to any formal investigation, news outlets reported that Lubitz had been …

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Northern Ireland’s mental health crisis

Mental health is a global challenge, but poor mental health is at crisis levels in Northern Ireland. That crisis is in part an ongoing impact from the Troubles, Siobhan O’Neill, professor of mental health science at Ulster University, says in the latest Holywell Trust podcast. “We’re seeing a rise in mental health problems in the Western world,” says Siobhan. “We know that around one in four or one in five people in Europe and the West have a mental health …

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Northern Ireland’s Mental Health Crisis

We’re in a mental health crisis. It certainly feels like that when five people died by suicide during the Christmas period and mental illness continues to claim the lives of people we love in 2020. There is much to struggle with in these recent deaths. An 11 year old child. Parents of young children. For anyone who hasn’t experienced mental and emotional pain so deep and chronic that it disorders your thinking and twists your reality, such events are utterly …

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Battle against mental health issues continues with AWARE /CIPR partnership

It has been estimated that one in six of the population in Northern Ireland have a mental health need at any one time, with rates of depression associated with unemployment, low educational achievement and social deprivation. Workplace stress can contribute to mental ill health. Children and young people are suffering anxiety and depression and perinatal mental health also contributes. Local charity AWARE has been supporting those in Northern Ireland affected by depression and mental health disorders since 1996. It now …

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The Germanwings tragedy. A personal reflection on mental health problems…

The media are reporting that the recent crash of Germanwings flight 4U92525 was a deliberate act by the co-pilot. Can this be so? Is this possible? Yes. I know no more than you about what happened, or the mental state of the co-pilot. There’s no doubt that similar incidents in the past were related to the mental illness of the pilot. There have been too many ‘single vehicle road traffic collisions’ where it’s abundantly clear that the driver of the …

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Scars

It’s still there if you look closely. Just under my chin. Can you see it? Just zoom in a bit.   Ten years ago I was at the top of my game. Money was great, family was great, loved my job, loads of good mates; it was fantastic. Then the darkness. I can’t really remember the first experience but it didn’t seem to creep up on me. It happened suddenly and I was very aware of it. It terrified me. …

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Naked Capitalism: The Great Depression and the Revolution of 2017

Entertaining, and sobering futuring at Naked Capitalism. President Kucinich also announced a new “Marshall Plan” for war-ravaged Europe, which has descended into near anarchy since the EU collapsed in late 2010. He called on the Italian Red Brigade army to end its siege of Berlin. He promised to begin an airlift of food for Europe’s starving millions, to be followed by industrial products to help European nations to begin to produce for domestic consumption. He called for an end to …

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