The Importance of Mental Health Awareness in the Caribbean

In My Head with Simon

This post was written by Healthy Minds Jamaica. For more content on mental health, click the link to follow them on Instagram.

Mental Health has long been known as a taboo topic of discussion within the Caribbean region. As nationals of this region we pride ourselves as strong people due to the resilience from our unfortunate history of chattel slavery. The stigma attached to mental health labels it as a ‘weakness’ and this goes against our very nature as ‘strong people’. The reality is we are all affected by mental health whether directly or indirectly. In this essay I will explore the issues that encourage ignorance on mental health and how the region can collaborate to solve the issue.

I am a Jamaican and I know first hand how our society tends to ignore these issues and put bandaids on the problems that wound our well being. Living in…

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Open letter to Welsh brass band colleagues (No.2)

Music for You

Dear colleague,

I hope that you and your families are safe and well and are surviving these strange times. Please forgive the long post so you might want to get a coffee and settle down to read!

Owing to the pandemic, brass banding has, like many other activities taken a huge hit due to lock-down and the restrictions on playing brass/wind instruments indoors. It is now coming up to 5 months (March 22) since I tried to arrange a gathering of interested parties to meet in Cardiff, to discuss the formation of a unified Welsh brass band organisation. Sadly lock-down was implemented just before we were able to meet therefore we initiated Plan B and met online through a Zoom Meeting. This was admittedly with limited success owing to technical issues and was met with some scepticism and even derision from certain quarters.

Music For You A unified Welsh brass band organisation. Can…

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The time when … I realized I don’t love him …

Ellie the Crunch

You have heard of him, the bipolar.

I used to love him, we used to have a good time. We used to share my little studio and we used to take long walks all over Mahattan. We didn’t have much money and weren’t married yet. But we were happy.

We have been married 10 years.

2 difficult kids don’t help marriages.

He can be an amazing father as well as an a*hole father.

He can be an amazing husband as we as an a*hole husband.

I am kind of tired of this rollercoaster, I get dizzy on Rollercoasters, I don’t even like Rollercoasters.

He comes home most evenings late and stoned. If he is not stoned he makes sure to get stoned soon after he gets home.

Sometimes he is happy to see the kids, sometimes he just yells at them, you never know with him.

For example yesterday my…

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Go Dog Go Cafe’s-Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge

Self Care & Mental Health

Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda are currently hosting the Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge which was started by our star writer Christine Ray. We hope to offer all of you something that will spark your creativity and willingness to participate.

Go Dog Go Cafe

Walking in a dense thick snow fall,

Her mind, a blizzard of thoughts,

Unaware of her surroundings,

Numb, Insecure, Vulnerable.

Then, in a split second,

She heard the music.

As if time halted, she stopped,

And just danced.

The rest fell away.

Happy Tuesday!

Until next time

Stay Safe, Speak Life, and Spread Kindness

Nova Namastè

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The Bipolar Writer Podcast – Kim’s Interview

The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog

Today’s episode features an interview with the founder of Grounds for Clarity, Kim Johnson. Kim comes on The Bipolar Writer Podcast at my behest to share her story like all the interviewees that come on and share what she does for a living (life coaching) and sharing her wisdom. Doubt can always creep into our lives, and it can be hard to move on from the past. Kim discusses many essential topics connected to these things that include LivingWorks and how one conversation with her is perhaps what you are looking for right now, in the mental illness community like myself. I have firsthand experience with Kim’s brand of life coaching, and it has helped me be aware of life around me, be open to feelings and emotions, be vulnerable, find ways to live in the now, and work on the inner I. What…

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Lockdown Loneliness on Rise for Military Community

Mental Health Matters

Services’ charity SSAFA says its helpline for Forces personnel past and present – and their families – has seen an 80% increase in calls during the pandemic.

Its free and confidential Forcesline service saw requests for befriending and support from those feeling isolated by lockdown rise dramatically, with more than 300 people turning to the charity for help.

Forcesline acts as a ‘front door’ to the wider support services offered by the charity and beyond. The helpline can act as a telling indicator for the overall well-being of the military community: currently serving (regulars and reserves), veterans and their families.

The Forcesline team say that the other most pressing issues throughout the pandemic have been:

  • Mental health;
  • Urgent assistance with food;
  • Emergency need for housing;
  • Lack of human contact; and
  • The breakdown of relationships.

If you think the helpline could be useful, it is available 9am-5pm Monday to Friday on…

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What is Multiple Impact Therapy?

Mental Health Matters

Introduction

Multiple impact therapy (MIT) is a group psychotherapy technique most often used with families in extreme crisis.

It was one of the first group therapy programmes developed in the United States. In multiple impact therapy (MIT), families are seen concurrently by a number of multi-disciplinary medical professionals. The duration of the therapy is short, typically ranging from one to two full treatment days.

The focus of treatment is to find and evaluate structural patterns within the family, evaluate those patterns to see if they are the source of the problem, then modify the structure to alleviate the problem.

Background

MIT as a therapy technique was developed at the University of Texas Medical Branch in the 1950s. At the time, Texas had very few psychoanalysts and those that were available were unaffordable to most families. Because treatment was scarce, there were few specialised programmes for adolescents, many were admitted as…

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What is Helper Theory?

Mental Health Matters

Introduction

Helper theory or the helper therapy principle was first described by Frank Riessman (1965) in an article published in the journal Social Work. The principle suggests that when an individual (the “helper”) provides assistance to another person, the helper may benefit.

Riessman’s model has inspired subsequent research and practice by scholars, clinicians, and indigenous populations to address a variety of social and health-related issues plaguing individuals and communities around the world.

Refer to Peer Support and Skills and Abilities Required for Peer Support.

Riessman’s Formulation

Riessman’s seminal article explored how non-professionals supported one another in self-help/mutual-aid support groups based on Riessman’s observations of a sample of these groups, as well as his summary of the findings of research in the areas of social work, education, and leadership. This article suggested that although the “use of people with a problem to help other people who have the same problem…

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