Act on children’s mental ill health or risk national crisis, warns expert | Society | The Guardian

Children’s and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition urges baby boomers to address needs of younger generation

Source: Act on children’s mental ill health or risk national crisis, warns expert | Society | The Guardian

Joy says, “There’s clearly a crisis in our country and something is going very badly wrong, especially for young people’s mental health. I wonder how we as a nation can start making changes to our fundamental view on life as well as our expectations of young people? The difficulties we face as a nation through community and family breakdown and ill-considered use of technology are things that trouble me deeply, particularly seeing their impact as I do.”

Domestic Abuse Storyline in the Archers

Rob & Helen from the Archers - domestic abuse

The Archers: What effect has the Rob and Helen domestic abuse story had?

Source: BBC The Archers: What effect has the Rob and Helen story had?

This Archer’s story has been timed and sensitively crafted to fit in with new legislation on controlling or coercive behaviour which came into effect in December 2015. Many news organisations have been reporting on the story’s significance, particularly recently when it reached a climax as desperate Helen sought to escape from her abusive husband Rob.

The powerful dynamics of relationships like these are often secret. Stigma, shame, fear and loyalty hold people like Helen in a powerful vice. And it’s not just women and it’s not just heterosexual relationships.

If all this feels painfully familiar ask yourself: “Who am I in this scenario? The victim, the perpetrator, the child of an abusive relationship, the friend or relative of someone struggling?” Sometimes we even have more than one role. As sufferers of abuse, we can then go onto abuse others.

With courage, your second question could be: “How am I going to break this vicious cycle?”
See the support agencies listed in the BBC article and contact Joy to get support with making sense of what is happening in your life and how you can find a way to safe and healthy relationships.

Anxiety: What Is It?

Contrary to what you might think, anxiety is a normal experience. It’s a protective mechanism which everyone has – and if we didn’t have it, then we wouldn’t function too well.

Source: Anxiety: What Is It? What’s It Like To Have It? And How Can You Cope With It?

This article that helps us understand how we can get caught up in the vicious cycle of avoiding situations and then becoming increasingly anxious and limited in our lives. Fellow sufferers share their stories and there’s encouragement as to ways forward through the pain and out the other side. There’s also help for you if you’re supporting someone struggling with panic and anxiety.

Election result trauma? A recovery guide

You’re probably still in shock. You’re most likely angry and you want someone to blame. But you’ve got to find a way to move on

Source: Traumatised by the election result? A psychotherapist’s recovery guide | Politics | The Guardian

Joy says, “The election result was an unexpected shock, whether you feel it was good, bad or indifferent. I was interested in a psychotherapist’s view of the emotional trauma she experienced when receiving the news, not because I think this is a common issue, but because she outlines some useful ways to help you recover from a trauma. Perhaps there is something here that will give you a hint of possible ways forward. Sometimes though, we need someone else alongside to support us in the process, particularly if our difficulties are prolonged and/or stem from childhood issues. It’s the very presence of that caring, supportive somebody, rather than any specific do’s and don’ts, that makes the difference. Take some time out for yourself and consider what you best need to resolve the issues you face. “

Sane New World?

Ruby Wax, "Sane New World"

I was privileged to see Ruby Wax live at the St James Theatre on the weekend, in her one-woman stage-show, “Sane New World”.  There she shared bitter-sweet laughter with the audience about human failings and our inability to manage our lives. Taboos on discussing mental health issues have crippled us for such a long time that it was refreshing to hear Ruby being so honest about her own struggles with deep, dark depression. Continue reading Sane New World?

Happy Mothers’ Day?

Everyone talks of “Father issues” but how was Mothers’ Day for you this year? For some mothers, it can be a wonderful time of being appreciated ‘for once’, or there can be disappointment that there isn’t the connection there that you would long for with your offspring. Alternatively, it can be an incredibly sad time, if you’ve lost a child or not been able to have children. At times like this, the flowers the rest of the world are buying and receiving are just excruciating reminders. Continue reading Happy Mothers’ Day?

“I can’t bear it, my child is hurting!”

It can be the hardest thing in the world to accept that our child or teen is struggling emotionally. We often unconsciously avoid admitting this because of the level of blame and responsibility we dread may be laid at our door.

It’s more straightforward to blame tiredness, school pressures or friendship problems than to look deeper and recognise that they are hurting and need our support. Finding a label such as ADHD may become important to us, linked as it is with the possibility of apparently simple treatment. However, there may be other more complicated factors involved and we may find it hard to face our own vulnerability and difficulty in coping. Maybe we weren’t able to bond with this particular child for whatever reason. Maybe preoccupation with our relationship breakdown has robbed us of time focussing on the needs of our child. Maybe we need them to be strong at the moment, so it’s easiest to believe that they’re coping fine. Sometimes we need help to face our own imperfections. We may need someone alongside us when dealing with the complexity of these feelings so that we can be our best for our child.

I’m pleased that the Duchess of Cambridge has opened the debate on these issues during this “Children’s Mental Health Week” . This is a cause very dear to my heart, as I’m in the final days of training for my Diploma in Child Counselling. Keep following me to find our more about the counselling work I offer to children from the age of 3 years old up. Please feel free to contact me to discuss how you can get the support you need on this journey.