Lockdown Cabin Fever – Life in a Pandemic

At the time of writing, much of the planet is facing a ‘second-wave’ of COVID-19. The global economy is being challenged, the poor are getting poorer, the sick, sicker, and all our perceptions of thinking we have any level of ‘control’ are being fractured. But, is the outlook really all doom and gloom?

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Over 20,000 Antidepressants Issued to Under 12s: What can we do to protect our children?

Over the years, many parents have approached me asking for advice, or asking me to meet with their young one as they are concerned about their mental health. So, this is a very welcome piece from Shamir Patel who is a registered pharmacist with extensive experience in running independent high street pharmacies across the north west of England. Shamir also established Chemist 4 U way back in 2001, which is now one of the largest digital pharmacies in the UK.


Mental health is a prevalent problem in society. We recently carried out a study into antidepressants, from which we found that as many as 28% of the population identify as having a mental health condition. That’s huge.

The State of Mental Health in the UK

The disorders suffered by respondents included body dysmorphia, SAD, bipolar and many more besides, but the two main conditions identified were depression and anxiety. 68% of UK based respondents, with mental health conditions, suffered from depression and a further 59% also said they had anxiety. While all this was entirely shocking and arguably devastating to see, perhaps the most surprising element of our study was what was uncovered when researching into the ages of those struggling with their mental health. [Read more…]

Creating the Biology of Courage

The second part from her series introducing us to maternal mental health, we welcome back Anne Marie McKinley who is a Midwife and Birth Trauma Specialist at Afterthoughts NI. Here, Anne Marie explains how pregnancy is an opportunity to influence the future mental health and wellbeing of baby before birth and shares simple strategies to build resilience and interestingly, how imagination and visualisation can be of benefit.


The influences of external and internal factors on the health of the developing fetus and a growing baby have been widely researched. The belief that investing in psychological support for women who have mental health diagnoses and who report symptoms of depression or anxiety in pregnancy has evolved. Midwives, on booking, are encouraging women to appropriate pathways when symptoms are revealed. The importance of self-regulation, supportive environments, GP input, and psychological care are more prominent now than at any other time in the history of maternity care. [Read more…]

Charity Says Schools Must Make Mental Health as Important as Literacy and Maths

Traditional school subjects like English, maths, science and the arts are an important part of a child’s upbringing. But as the Mental Health Foundation Scotland (MHFS) points out, so too is a child’s mental health. The national charity is calling on schools all across the UK to give mental health the attention it deserves. The charity, in fact, believes it should be a key part of the curriculum, on par with literacy and maths – something I strongly agree with. [Read more…]

I have Dashed the China Doll Mould to Smithereens

Here, we are continuing the China Doll series by resident guest author, Tim. Need I say more?


Married in 1979 we both wanted to be a good partnership, and we both wanted children. My wife wanted a football team, I was happy with the idea of two, perhaps three. Nature served us up just one, and his arrival needed help at the creation. [Read more…]

Children: Mental Health and Teaching

Guest, Lucy Miller is a nutrition student, marathon runner, and a passionate writer for Mind Your Zen, a brain nutrition supplement brand. Here she discusses mental health of children and teaching.


Many children today are affected by a mental illness and National Institute of Mental Health estimates that “just over 20 percent (or 1 in 5) of children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental disorder.” [Read more…]

Children’s Mental Health: Recognising the Signs

Guest author, Alice Porter shares some insightful tips to help us recognise the signs of undiagnosed mental health issues in our young ones (sadly, something that I come across within my work as a counsellor). Alice, who is passionate about raising awareness of children’s mental health issues, is a writer for Lorimer Fostering and shares some great tips to help with recognising the ‘signs’. [Read more…]

Is your child unable to conform – or learn?

Do you have or know a “defiant child or adolescent”; are they being naughty, or is there something else?

“Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a diagnosis described by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) – (Latest revision proposed for DSM 5) – as an ongoing pattern of anger guided disobedience, hostilely defiant behaviour toward authority figures which goes beyond the bounds of normal childhood behaviour.  [Read more…]