Suicide prevention day is every day

Someone with depression is 20 times more likely to die from suicide than someone without it. Depression has been found to play a role in more than one-half of all suicide attempts. Suicide Prevention This year, World Suicide Prevention Day took place on 10 September. It was a day for all of us to think about those that had lost...

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Surviving the Darkness – Book Release

Here is the trailer for my first published book, Surviving the Darkness: Lessons learned from a battle with depression and anxiety, which was released on 5 August 2020. Surviving the Darkness is a concise, thought-provoking and inspiring narrative of the lessons learned from surviving a lengthy battle with depression and anxiety, laden with useful references and practical tips for carers...

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Suicide: Lessons from the tragic death of Shane Tuck

Michael Tuck is one of my heroes.  A seven-time premiership-winning legend of the Hawthorn Football Club who played a record four hundred and twenty-six (426) senior games for the club between 1971 and 1991. He is also a father that recently lost a son, Shane Tuck — an AFL legend in his own right — to suicide from the impact...

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Mentally healthy workplaces: A supervisor’s guide

Supervisors have a range of legal responsibilities concerning work health and safety and injury management under workplace health and safety legislation in Australia. Usually, these responsibilities extend to ensuring employees adhere to related policies and procedures, identifying and reporting on any incidents and hazards, training and management of injured workers returning to work. They also extend to ensuring mentally healthy...

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Workplace mental health: 4 key elements

The social and economic benefits of mentally healthy workplaces are indisputable. Correspondingly, the business case for implementing appropriate workplace mental health-specific policies, procedures, and practices to secure these benefits is somewhat of a no-brainer[1] — perhaps even a foregone conclusion. Recognition of this fact, however, renders the findings of a recent Australian study[2] challenging to reconcile. For example, it is...

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Co-worker mental health: How to save a life

With one in five working people in Australia experiencing a mental health condition[1], it is highly likely that you have worked, or are working, with someone with depression, anxiety or other disorder, perhaps even without knowing it. Addressing co-worker mental health is a key ingredient to maintaining mentally healthy workplaces.  During the working week (whatever that entails nowadays), people can...

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Dysfunctional boards: Symptoms and effects

Every corporate board has a degree of dysfunctionality. However, the extent to which dysfunctional boards impact performance depends on the steps it takes to mitigate associated symptoms. The adoption of effective governance frameworks and the implementation of a robust, team-based culture are examples of such steps generally considered characteristic of useful boards, even ‘great’ ones[1]. The symptoms A dysfunctional board...

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Stigma in mental health – it’s everywhere!

Apart from the obvious suffering endured by people with depression and anxiety, many people still have misconceptions about mental health problems[1]. The most common fallacies are that there is no treatment for mental health problems; mental health problems are caused by personal weaknesses; that people with mental disorders are incapable of making decisions for themselves or running their own lives;...

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24 things to say to someone with depression

Unfortunately, there are no magic words to help a person struggling with depression feel better. It does, however, help to acknowledge your understanding that depression is an illness—not a phase or some sort of attention-seeking behaviour.[1]  It is common for supporters to feel unsure about how to talk to people with depression or anxiety or to worry about saying the...

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13 things not to say to someone with depression

Choice of language when communicating with someone with depression ‘can have a big impact on how someone feels about their mental health condition or recovery process’.[1]  Carers and supporters should educate themselves about what not to say and adjust their use of language to accommodate the needs of the person they are supporting. Try to use language that makes the...

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10 practical tips for establishing effective advisory boards

In an increasingly complex and continuously evolving global business environment, the concept of what constitutes ‘good’ corporate governance and effective management has become a difficult and, at times, a tricky proposition for many business managers and governing boards of directors. One of the ways that business owners and company boards of all shapes and sizes have adapted to this issue...

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Mental health – It’s time to talk about it

Is it time to talk about mental health? Most people will have had some experience with mental health disorders (such as depression and anxiety), whether it is personal or through their family, friends, or work colleagues. In 2017, more than 971 million people of all ages were affected by mental health problems, equating to approximately 1 in 8 people in...

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Mentally healthy workplaces – 3 good reasons

A ‘mentally healthy workplace’[1] is one in which “risk factors are acknowledged and appropriate action taken to minimise their potential negative impact on an individual’s mental health whilst at the same time protective or resilience factors are fostered and maximised.[2]” Apart from the increasing impact of workplace mental health on workers, workplace health and compensation authorities and social welfare systems globally,...

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Definition of ‘mentally healthy workplaces’

Definition of ‘mentally healthy workplaces’. Recognition and management of workplace mental health is a relatively new concept in many countries around the world, including Australia. Given that about 971 million people live with a mental health disorder[1] equating to slightly less than one in eight people globally (12.9%),[2] this is surprising. In Australia, the figure is closer to 18% of...

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Why ‘practice makes perfect’ is BS

We’ve all heard it before. Many times. The phrase ‘practice makes perfect’. The notion that if you practice something enough, you will eventually be able to do it perfectly. Become an expert, a genius, a star. What BS. Since the mid-1500s, iterations of the phrase ‘practice makes perfect’ have been uttered by all sorts of people, some famous, others not...

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Generation X – Please be seated for your midlife crisis

Generation X followed that of the Baby Boomers and preceded the Millennials. It’s our time for a mid-life crisis. By no means, it is an exclusive club. Almost all of us will experience it in some form. Research suggests that men are more likely to experience it, but no-one is immune. Symptoms vary. Yours may be different, but here are...

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9 depression symptoms in COVID-19 front-line workers

9 depression symptoms COVID-19 is like nothing any of us are likely to have ever seen. Front-line workers like doctors, nurses, paramedics, hospital staff and police, are accustomed to the day-to-day stresses of their usual roles. It ‘comes with the turf’. COVID-19, however, brings with it unique strains, pressures and anxieties way beyond what these heroic workers could have expected...

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25 Lessons learned from my first 50 years

Colonoscopies are painless, nothing to be worried about, and very important to your health. If you’re over 50, make sure you do your initial bowel screening test and follow up with regular checks with your doctor or specialist. Prescription medicine can cure a lot of ailments. It can also help with things you might not have expected when you were...

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