This week, the ‘Age of Anxiety’ is declared at the same time Emma Stone opens up about her therapy as a child to beat that exact thing. The modern world once again shows its true colours when researchers have to prove that hitting children is in no way beneficial and surprisingly affects (amongst other things) their mental health. In a short video, we also hear how suicide rates are on the rise in the shipping industry, and one man discusses the conditions which made him consider jumping overboard. If you’re unsure as to the importance of this, 90% of all global trade is carried by ship. And finally, police in Canada are showing that investing in mental health is a good thing – who knew?
Well, we have had the dark ages, the stone age, the iron age, the bronze, the digital age and now we appear to be in the ‘extremely overstressed, overpressured, damage our mental health anyway we can, age’. Mental illnesses are rising faster than any other illness, however, this revelation does have to be tempered by the fact that mental illness stigma is reducing and therefore more people are coming forward with their illnesses. If that is true though that means people have been hiding a lot of illnesses, which just goes to show how bad our mental health has been (and for longer than we thought). The doctor in this article really sticks his neck out and says patchy mental health care coverage is not helping.
Anxiety can be a lonely affair filled with dread, but now you can share the burden of the dread knowing even an Oscar-winning actresses needed therapy for the condition. If anything she has shown that anxiety doesn’t have to win and you can still achieve – if you can get help. Ah shit, that is the bit that costs money again. Sorry, what I mean to say is if you have money and can afford to get access to therapy then you might be able to win an Oscar one day. If you don’t have money then like always you just have to self-medicate, hide your feelings, pretend the symptoms are from something else and all in all lead a miserable life. One day I hope to bring the news that countries will offer therapy to both rich and poor people, until then you will just have to take heart from knowing it is treatable. Emma’s story is genuinely helpful and takes another step towards smashing the stigma though.
Now, there will be people reading this headline and coming back with things like ‘I got spanked and it did no harm to me’ or ‘I spanked my children and they turned out fine’. That is all well and good but this headline is weighted with 88 independent studies over a 62 year period – your narrow view is irrelevant here. If anything it just goes to show how lucky you were. That is because, amongst other things, spanking children damages their mental health. That is not opinion or speculation, it is demonstratable fact over a very long period of time. Not to mention it contradicts the UN Convention on Children’s Rights (not to be hit).
With 90% of trade done via the shipping industry, it is important to ensure we have a healthy cohort of workers to supply the thing we need and want. The BBC reveal that this much used but little-known industry is having a mental health crisis. Workers are often in cramped conditions without natural light and working long hours. People will say that is what they signed up for, and they did. I would say why not create working conditions which are not harmful to anyone who does them? Easier said than done on a ship, especially in an engine room which is under the water line and has no windows. It is not easy but getting to the moon wasn’t easy and we did that. I think we can create better conditions. The man’s story in the video is an open, honest account and well worth a watch, it is only 3 and half minutes long.
Police in Victoria, Canada have begun hiring specialised police units to deal with mental health crises. Rather than leaving mental health to emergency medical teams, the police are understanding the need to provide care at point of contact before it becomes a medical emergency. This approach has lead to a decrease in the number of service calls to the police as well as a decrease in acute emergency health care over the period it was trialled. It seems a proactive approach to mental health actually has longer-term benefits for society… instead of being an unsustainable burden. Hats off to Victoria Police.
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