Mental Health Challenges Aplenty in 2020

Over the past six years, I have written at least 20 blogs about mental health and my particular affliction, anxiety/depression. The Black Dog Institute says one in seven Australians will experience depression in their lifetime. It carries the third-highest burden of disease (in terms of cost to the community), in the country. So if it has never affected you, be aware. The Black Dog can sneak up on you, as we can see: One in…

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Odd socks stamp out mental health stigma

My choice to wear a matchless pair of socks today was a deliberate tribute to Mental Health Week. Odd Socks Day is just one of the many events sponsored through October to remind us that one in five Australians suffer a mental health disorder in any 12-month period. I’d never heard of Odd Socks Day, but spotted a flyer in a café somewhere and tucked it away for future reference. It’s a national anti-stigma mental…

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Talking to the empty chair

A good few decades ago, I’m having time off work; my more attuned friends describe it as ‘having a rest from his mind’. Friends have come to visit. Some kind of coincidence, the four of them – all psychologists – sitting around the table on the back veranda. I’m wearing the top half of a pair of pyjamas, a Sulu (Fijian garment) and slippers. I’m doped to the eyeballs – diaze-something, a blobby sponge soaking…

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