mental health

How do we do it better?

How do we do it better?

Recent statistics report that our suicide rates continue to climb. Psychiatric hospitals are bursting at the seams, mental health hospitals are understaffed and staff are overwhelmed. It’s difficult unless you are in the most urgent need of care to get psychiatric help. The burden is often left to families to cope with the struggling person - if the struggling person is lucky enough to have a family member to support them.

It’s all a little depressing (no pun intended). So what’s so wrong with what we are doing? And how do we do it better?

Curiosity for Health Sake

Curiosity for Health Sake

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW). Although we may not suffer from mental illness directly - we all have days and times in our life where we are in excellent mental health and well-being and times that - well - we are not. Mental health is on a continuum - at the one side there is mental illness - and at the other side - mental well-being. There is an awful lot of goings on in between.

Sometimes the ‘not so good’ end of the scale can last for a significant amount of time. And although we may not be officially diagnosed as being depressed or anxious - we can get into a bit of a rut - and struggle to find our way out. This may be due to

Alternative treatments for mental health and well-being

Alternative treatments for mental health and well-being

According to the Mental Health Foundation, “one in six New Zealand adults have been diagnosed with a common mental disorder at some time in their lives (including depression, bipolar disorder and/or anxiety disorder)”. (1) The percentage of 15 to 24-year-olds in New Zealand struggling with what is considered high or very high psychological distress has been steadily increasing, affecting five per cent of this population five years ago, 8.8 per cent in 2015/2016 and 11.8 per cent in 2017. (2) This trend is expected to continue, according to the World Health Organization, with “depression set to become the second leading cause of disability in the world by 2020”. (3) The rates of suicide in New Zealand are also continuously increasing, with 668 for 2017/2018, the highest number recorded since 2007/2008. (4)

As a nurse who

Recovery from Depression

Recovery from Depression

Depression is a subject I've been avoiding for a while; it is deeply complex and for those suffering, a deeply personal and seemingly insurmountable thing to deal with. It is fraught with both self induced guilt and also an air of 'there must be something wrong with me'. It is debilitating and soul destroying.

It is not a simple as a chemical imbalance, and certainly not a lack of 'Prozac, Nortriptyline, Sertraline or Citalopram'.