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This is Jock, not schizophrenia

This is Jock, not schizophrenia
My brother lives with schizophrenia. Now before you judge and run away, allow me to introduce him.

This is my big brother John, or 'Jock', he does not have a split personality, just one, and it's loving and kind.
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Madness, poetry and the search for meaning

Madness, poetry and the search for meaning

I was a young twenty-three year old graduate when I was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1976. I was told by clinicians that with every psychotic episode I had, I would go further into unreachable madness from which I would never recover.

The diagnosis was a death-sentence. Any thoughts of a future and a career were crushed by this awful mental illness and an equally awful assumption that my life would amount to nothing.

There was no presumption of capacity, no expectation that I would blossom like my friends around me who were getting on with their lives and forging successful careers. I felt irrelavant, and worse, invisible in the world. I describe it as walking in the shadows of others and casting none of my own. I was left with no identity, no sense of self and no hope. They were dark days.

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Guest Blog: What about the ME in Mental Health?

Guest Blog: What about the ME in Mental Health?

Silence is the absence of noise, as peace is just the absence of war. Silence defined me for so long. It was a strategy and a symptom all rolled into one.

I do not want to be silent any more. I want to say all those things I could not in my youth.

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Four tips to help mental health services when responding to suicide bereavement

Four tips to help mental health services when responding to suicide bereavement

It is a sobering fact that suicide is one of the most common causes of premature death among people with mental illness.

Loss caused by the suicide of a loved one with mental illness has a profound effect on families and friends. The bereaved often have to deal with a range of complex emotions including confusion, despair and anger both at themselves and at mental health services.

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The 80:20 rule

The 80:20 rule

When people think of recovery from an episode of illness – whether physical or mental – they often think solely in terms of hospitals, doctors and nurses.

Clinical care is essential of course, but it’s not the whole story, as David, explains . . .

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10

Five important lessons from people who have attempted suicide

Five important lessons from people who have attempted suicide

Last year I had the privilege of interviewing 31 people who had attempted suicide.

We talked about a range of issues, including the triggers that led them to feeling suicidal, support received (both helpful and unhelpful), the challenge of talking with others about their experience, and the progress they had made developing coping skills.

These interviews were the basis of Lessons for Life, a research report that highlights what helps and hinders people who attempt suicide. Throughout the process participants shared their invaluable insights into areas of critical importance, these included . . .

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Busting two common myths to help you quit smoking

Busting two common myths to help you quit smoking

Every year, on 31 May we mark World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health risks of smoking, and supporting policies to save lives by reducing the smoking rate.

A smoker’s belief about the perceived benefits of smoking will have an affect on their quit attempts. If you are worried your mental health will suffer when you quit smoking, read on, because I’m going to debunk two commonly-held myths.

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Do pets have an impact on our mental health?

Do pets have an impact on our mental health?

Did you know that Australia has one of the highest levels of pet ownership in the world?

Around 36% of households own a dog and 23% include a cat as part of the family. And then there are horses, guinea pigs, fish, birds . . .

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Death may be the end of a life – but not a relationship

Death may be the end of a life – but not a relationship

The grief people experience due to mental illness and death by suicide raises very complex topics. Many participants in the SANE Mental Illness and Bereavement workshop are particularly interested in new ways of thinking – or ‘models’ – of grief, and challenging the old assumption that people should simply ‘move on’.

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Working in a mentally healthy workplace

Working in a mentally healthy workplace

Little things go a long way to support a mentally healthy workplace.

When these little things occur regularly it demonstrates to employees that your organisation takes mental health seriously, it also encourages people to engage, buy-in and help create a mentally healthy workplace.

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