Archive for the ‘Depression’ Category

Shattering the silence, breaking the stigma.

June 18, 2010

Can you imagine if only one out of every three of your friends sought help for a broken arm?

Well nearly two thirds of all people with a diagnosable mental disorder do not seek treatment…

Why is this? The stigma surrounding the subject of mental health has a large part to play in keeping many people from seeking the help they need. The negativity and misunderstanding that surrounds mental illnesses can create fear and cause shame, which in turn causes unnecessary pain and confusion.

This extract is from the website of Shatter the Stigma and you may well find it to be interesting on a range of mental health issues.

Click on this link to reach the  website:


Money and mental health

May 1, 2009

The following extract is from the Mind website, dealing with financial worries and suggesting ways of coping in the current recessions.

Welcome to Mind’s money and mental health section

With the current turbulent economic climate and the cost of living getting higher and higher many are finding that managing personal finances and good mental health go hand in hand. Struggling to keep control of income and expenditure can affect mental health. This section will help you look at issues that affect you and give you access to information and support about your money.Follow this link: if you would like to see the Tame your monster video, then click this link:

Living in Stigma…

October 24, 2008

Below is the link to a blog which may be of interest to individuals experiencing mental ill health and in particular bi-polar issues.

Employer interviews applicant who is honest about depression

October 20, 2008

Many of you have asked if I could locate this film again – and I have!

Charities and their Trustees

October 17, 2008

It may immediately occur to you that this is an unusual topic for posting on a ‘blog’ to do mainly with mental health.   However, with rising numbers of employees in both charitable and non charitable organisations suffering with mental health issues, many of which relate to stress and bullying in the workplace, then it does seem to be appropriate.

On 5/9/08 this blog provided information about the YouGov poll for the TUC into Bullying in the Workplace, and the link to the full report.  Then on 8/9/08 information was provided on ‘What is happening in the Voluntary Sector’ – and the link to the report provided by Charity Pulse/Birdsong.  Both these posts are stored under the heading Bullying elsewhere on this blog.

Charity Trustees have many responsibilities, details of which are provided by the Charity Commission on their website.   In carrying out these responsibilities, and particularly those of duty of care to the organisation and its’ employees, there is a logical need for the trustees to make themselves aware of what is taking place in the charity in their name.   They have a collective responsibility for knowing what is going on, and for the decisions taken.   It is a naive Trustee who relies entirely on third party information when reaching decisions.   And what of integrity?   Having been a Trustee and for some time the administrator of two nationally registered charities over some 25 years I have no doubt that it is essential that all Trustees take the time to become aware of issues affecting their employees (yes, their employees) as well as the organisation.   This can only be done by physically visiting the work sites of the organisation and becoming familiar with the variety of services being offered by the employees.   Without such interest and personally  collected knowledge how can decisions which affect the employees and the development or otherwise of the charity be reached with confidence and impartiality?   

Sadly, it is when trustees are not able to find the time to talk with employees and to observe the breadth of their duties that mistakes occur and morale drops.   Stress rises, and so does the incidence of bullying and the smoke screening of unacceptable practices.   In such situations mental health issues will occur and lasting personal damage become established.  Recently there was discussion about an employee of a charity who was suspended for several months while being investigated and then suddenly dismissed.  It is not being suggested that this was in any way illegal – the evidence for the detail of the investigation is not available – but what could be the justification for treating a long term employee in this insensitiive and very stressfull manner?   Did the trustees of the organisation think that was an appropriate and humane way to treat one of their employees and did they approve of the process throughout its duration?  Or were they guided by third party information?   Did they exercise their duty of care to the employee as well as the organisation?   It is hard to see how that could have been the case.   In another recent situation a charity used its age related policy to end the employment of a medium term employee.  That was a decision for the Trustees, and altho that decision was within their power, what also happened was that the most recent appeal of the employee against this decision has not been responded to for approximately three weeks.   This has increased stress for the employee and colleagues, and confusion, depression and loss of motivation have resulted.  And where is the Trustee’s duty of care in this case? 

It is against this sort of background that the reports of YouGov and Charity Pulse have to be considered.  The work of Trustees is demanding, unpaid and responsible and every charitable organisation owes it’s trustees gratitude.  However, if Trustees cannot find the time to carry out their responsibilities with full knowledge of the issues, then it is better that they retire from the role.

World Suicide Prevention Day – 10th September

September 10, 2008

World Suicide Prevention Day – 10th September


2008 – Think Globally, Plan Nationally, Act Locally

(Click the link above to find World Suicide Prevention Day flyers in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese, and to find a listing of activities from around the world.)

Think Globally – Extent of the Problem
Think Globally – Collaboration
Think Globally – Research
Plan Nationally – Strategy
Plan Nationally – Evaluation
Plan Nationally – Collaboration
Act Locally – Implementation of Programs
Act Locally – Community Initiatives
Act Locally – Advocacy
What You can do to Support World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day is held on September 10 each year as an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), and is co-sponsored by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The 2008 theme is “Think Globally. Plan Nationally. Act Locally.” This phrase, first used by the movement to save the environment, can equally well be applied to suicide prevention:

  • to develop global awareness of suicide as a major preventable cause of premature death,
  • to describe the political leadership and policy frameworks for suicide prevention provided by national suicide prevention strategies,
  • and to highlight the many practical prevention programmes that translate policy statements and research outcomes into activities at local, community levels.

This year’s theme “Think Globally. Plan Nationally. Act Locally”, is an opportunity for all sectors of the community: the public, charitable organizations, communities, researchers, clinicians, practitioners, politicians and policy makers, volunteers and those bereaved by suicide, to join with the IASP and WHO on World Suicide Prevention Day in focusing public attention on the unacceptable burden and costs of suicidal behaviours with diverse activities to promote understanding about suicide and highlight effective prevention activities.

Think Globally – Extent of the Problem

The WHO estimates that one million people die in the world each year by suicide. These figures represent an annual world mortality rate from suicide of 14.5 per 100 000 population. The reality is that every minute there are two more deaths by suicide.

In many developed countries suicide can be either the 2nd or 3rd leading cause of death among teenagers and young adults and is the 13th leading cause of death worldwide for people of all ages. In addition to those who die by suicide, many millions make non-fatal suicide attempts in the context of emotional distress and suffering for the people involved and their families.

There are substantial variations in suicide rates among different countries. However, one must be cautious in comparing suicide rates between countries since some countries report accurate suicide data and others fail to count a significant proportion of their suicides. Suicide rates, as reported to the WHO, are highest in Eastern European countries including Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus and the Russian Federation. These countries have suicide rates of the order of 45 to 75 per 100 000.

By contrast, reported suicide rates are lowest in the countries of Mediterranean Europe and the predominantly Catholic countries of Latin America (Colombia, Paraguay) and Asia (such as the Philippines) and in Muslim countries (such as Pakistan). These countries have suicide rates of less than 6 per 100 000. In the developed countries of North America, Europe and Australasia suicide rates tend to lie between these two extremes, ranging from 10-35 per 100 000.

Suicide data are not available from many countries in Africa and South America. In 2009 IASP will provide an opportunity for countries in South America to highlight the problem of suicide and to share knowledge in order to expand suicide prevention activities at its 25th International Congress in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Most suicides in the world occur in Asia, which is estimated to account for up to 60% of all suicides. Together, three countries – China India and Japan – because of their large populations, may account for up to 40% of all world suicides. However, because of the sheer size of their populations, some of these countries do not have complete national registration systems for deaths, including suicide, and may lack comprehensive medical verdict or coronial systems. Official mortality data which are reported to the WHO may be based on a sample of the population which is not necessarily representative. In addition, accurate suicide data may be difficult to establish if suicide remains stigmatized, criminalized or penalized.

A recent study attempted to overcome some of these problems to estimate suicide rates more accurately. This study was conducted in Tamil Nadu, India, and used trained lay interviewers to conduct ‘verbal autopsy’ interviews with family members for 39 000 deaths. Using this approach, the study found that suicide rates were 10 times those reported officially to the WHO. If these findings are applicable to other countries they suggest that global suicide deaths may, in fact, be much higher than the near one million previously estimated.

Bullying in the workplace – YouGov poll result for the TUC.

September 5, 2008

According to a YouGov poll, published on Friday 5th September, and carried out on behalf of the Trades Union Congress, 1 in 7 employees, or 3.5 million people, say that they have been bullied in their present job, and I in 5 say that bullying is an issue where they work.   Although this Blog often receives interest from people who are being bullied at work, the number of people claiming to have this damaging experience is greater that was expected.


The General Secretary of the TUC, Brendan Barber, commented that the percentage of people being bullied at work is ‘completely unacceptable’.  Mr Barber also said that it is particularly worrying that the greatest number of people complaining are employed in the public sector.  And the urgent action that Mr Barber wants to see implemented now?   ‘ Every organisation needs to have an anti-bullying policy, and every manager should ensure that there is zero-tolerance of bullying either by line managers or workmates.’      Well said, but will it become reality?

So, what are the figures for different groups of employers?    The research shows that while about 8% of workers in the voluntary sector complain, it is 12% for the private sector, and a whopping 19% in the public sector.   Gender is also a factor, with 16% of men complaining as opposed to 12% of women.  The relationship with age is that 19% of 45 – 54 year olds and 17% of 35 – 44 year olds are the most likely to be bullied.    Perhaps surprisingly only 8% of the 25 – 34 age group complained.  Could it be that the source of bullying lies more heavily with the younger group in relation to older colleagues?     The research also claims that the people most likely to be bullied are in professional and similar jobs.   It also points out that there is a large professional grouping in jobs such as teaching and health services which may influence the figures obtained.   So what about salary influences?  Well, it may surprise you to know that 17% of those earning between £20 – £60k report bullying or, again, is this the largest responding group?

Whayever, bullying in the workplace, at school, at home and in the community is totally unacceptable and that message needs to be endlessly repeated for those with cloth ears.

Elsewhere on this Blog, under Links, I have previously provided a link to the Andrea Adams Trust – which campaigns ceaselessly against the bullying issue and also offers help and support to those who are suffering.   This year the Ban Bullying at Work Day will be held on 7 November.   Also, if you use the link to the TUC website you will find resources and encouragement to take part in activities of 7th November, and to challenge the bullies who may be making your lives a misery.

Here is the link:

September 4, 2008



Are you a young person who has experienced depression?

Or do you know a young person who has?


YouthHealthTalk is part of the UK health charity DIPEx that produces the award-winning website for young people;;   On the site you can watch, listen or read young people’s real life experiences of health, illness and lifestyle and find reliable information about different health conditions. The site gives a VOICE to young people and helps them know they are not alone with their concerns.

(Sorry but I just cannot get this link to ‘work’  No matter, just type or copy and paste it into the address bar and all should be well.  Let me know if not.)


We are now looking for young people help us put together a new site on YOUNG PEOPLE & DEPRESSION. We’d like to hear from young people who are: aged 16-25 have experienced depression or ongoing low mood and would like to share their experiences through an interview or a video or photo diary.  Every individual  can choose whether they want video, audio or anonymous text version of their interview. They can even have an actor speak their words!


For more information about the project, please contact Ulla.  If you then decide you don’t want to take part – no problem!  Sharing your experiences can help others in a similar situation to know they are not alone.

Thank you!



phone  01865 289324

text      07805 828792 


This information provided by Journeys who have been asked to make it available as widely as possible.


029 2069 2891


Change of name and web address.

June 19, 2008

Thanks to Andrew for reminding me that Depression Alliance Cymru has now changed its name to Journeys, and the new web address is   The Link pager has been updated.

Stop Bullying Resources – For Children & Adults.

May 25, 2008

Follow this link if you would like to access this resource about bullying – provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services.   A site for young people to explore and also for adults worried about children who are being bullied, or who are bullies.