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?

[Read more…]

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…]

Birth Trauma: Part 1 of 3

The fourth from her series introducing us to maternal mental health, Anne Marie McKinley (a Midwife and Birth Trauma Specialist at Afterthoughts NI) focuses her next 3 parts on various aspects of trauma response in birthing.


Birth trauma is still represented as though it is a surprise in some parts of the world. Even with pain relief, and the intention towards active management of normality, women still develop PTSD in the postnatal period. These next three (4-6) contributions will focus on various aspects of the trauma response in birthing and suggest some very practical interventions which may assist in prevention or amelioration of symptoms.

[Read more…]

My Journey Through Treatment and Recovery

Dealing with an addiction or addictive behaviours are some of the most difficult to process, accept and work through. Our guest, Kevin Repass is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic and has written many articles to help others. Here, he briefly shares his journey through treatment and recovery in the hopes to encourage others who are experiencing a struggle with drugs and/or alcohol to seek support.


From the age of 14 until 30, I struggled with drinking and drug use – for half my life basically! A lot of people tried to tell me I had a problem, but I always failed to listen and regardless of the consequences, I didn’t care. Ultimately, it was an idling and failed three-year relationship, a battle with severe depression, suicidal thoughts, my family watching me drink myself to death, an overdose of pills and a trip to the emergency room that led me to agreeing to go into a detox and treatment centre. My drinking and drug use had already ruined half my life and it almost ended me for good. [Read more…]

There is NO shame! #JustTalk

It just so happens, this joint campaign coincides with various other events worldwide as many organisations are raising awareness about suicide prevention. My aim here, is to reach out to individuals to stop and think before deciding upon any action. As you will see, or already know, this is an area close to my heart – it affects us all – myself, my peers, colleagues and friends – and yours.

 

[Read more…]

Suicide: A Permanent Fix to a Temporary Problem #JustTalk

I find myself yet again sadly reminded of the pain associated with learning of an individual’s death via suicide – and the effects it has on friends, colleagues, and loved ones. I don’t know why exactly, but this time the news has triggered me to consider pushing the issue even further into the public eye with #JustTalk.

Because we all still need to make further attempts to end the stigma, I’m going to demonstrate that it is safe to share, to talk, and there is no shame necessary. * May contain triggering subject matter. [Read more…]

Tips to Identify Mental Health Issues When Feeling Exhausted

Is exhaustion starting to get the better of you? Our guest, Amanda shares tips to identify some of the underlying reasons why we may be feeling inexplicably exhausted.


Wherever you live, mental health issues are likely prevalent. There are so many who are tormented by symptoms which often seem to appear out of nowhere and even though there is much more awareness, many still feel ‘shame’ which hinders them seeking help to deal with a difficult situation.

If you feel like you, or someone in your family, is possibly going through a mental health issue, here are a few things you need to know when it comes to identifying mental illness in its early stages and seeking the appropriate help sooner rather than later. [Read more…]

Mental Health in the Workplace

For several years, workplace wellbeing has been an area I feel passionate about. Having personally experienced the pressures, and witnessing firsthand the effects of stress in the workplace, and how many of workplace policies are lacking to support the ‘workforce’ I continue to be an advocate for improvements and supporting individuals by using mindfulness to improve their wellbeing. [Read more…]

The Year-end Post from Counsellor Bob Brotchie

It’s probably fair to say 2017 was another turbulent year for humanity! Driven by their own sense of inadequacy, copycat terror was once again evident as individuals and groups tried to force those of democracy and of opposing views to cow down to the radical and extreme (non) faiths and ‘beliefs.

[bctt tweet=”Where there is disaster, look for the helpers.” username=”BobBrotchie”] [Read more…]

Recognising Depression in Older People

Even though depression can be part of the ageing process, the physical and mental health of our older loved one’s is of paramount importance. Keeping communication, and contact, open can help an older person immensely with their physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. This lovely infographic, provided by Be Independent Home Care – an Irish home care company 100% owned and managed by nurses, and helps us identify any signs of depression in our older loved ones and looks at the differences between depression and dementia. [Read more…]