Recent Event Highlights: Monday... 8pm EDT... must be #gettingreal time! Topic: Young people and cyber safety. Join the conversation! [ http] Have u seen the awesome work of young Aussie @terry_tierney ? He's raising awareness for depression & suicide prevention [ http] Federal Government announces $27m towards establishment of a CRC for Young People, Technology & Wellbeing [ http] Great piece on last night's #ROconsult by @nic_macbean via @abcnews Gov't grilled over #mh services [ http] @headspace_aus thanks guys! Was a great experience & wouldn't have been possible without the inspiring youth ambassadors from all the orgs!, We'll be posting some of the key takeaways in the coming days. This has been haasaard to keep up with! #ROconsult, and 108 more...
Created by carolyns on Dec 13, 2010
Last updated: 12/13/10 at 10:36 PM
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Who are you?Last time I've checked my name was DORIS!!!Where did you grow up?Sydney. Was born in Hong Kong though.A few words about yourself I
The end of the year can be a stressful time – waiting for exam results or worrying about work prospects or money. It can also be a difficult time for relationships with family, friends or a partner. Not to mention the issue of drugs and alcohol and the problems they can bring.
No wonder mental health is such a huge issue.
Where would you go if you were worried about your mental health, or the mental health of your friends?
What would be the best way to get help for more serious problems?
This is the topic of a discussion with the WA Commissioner for Children and Young People Michelle Scott at 7.30pm on Monday 29 November on forums.reachout.com.
The Commissioner is running an inquiry into the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.
Young people have been telling Michelle their ideas for staying mentally healthy, but she would like to hear more – especially about experiences young people (or their friends) have had with mental health services.
Michelle will be online to listen to your views, chat and answer any questions about her work on this topic.
Christmas and the surrounding holidays are a stressful time for everyone. There’s a rush to get everything for Christmas Day organised. Presents have to be bought and wrapped, there has to be enough food to make everyone feel like they will never need to eat again and enough reindeer antlers and Santa hats to share around.
Christmas is the biggest festive season of the year and the many stresses that arise around Christmas as families come together, such as financial and work stress, can lead to family tension. However, there are many easy things you can do to have a more relaxed and happy family Christmas.
The expectations around Christmas are always set very high and sometimes at unreasonable levels. There is so much pressure set around this one day of the year that everything has to be perfectly planned and there is no room for mistakes. Sometimes people raise their own expectations of themselves and set themselves unrealistic things to do that make them annoyed or disappointed with themselves when they can’t achieve them.
The simplest way to prevent you from feeling disappointed with yourself is just to assess your goals. If you can’t realistically achieve it then it shouldn’t go on your list of things to do. But if you think it’s possible, try to achieve it but have something easy to do as well so you will definitely achieve one goal.
When family members are arguing with each other at Christmas it is hard to feel the festive cheer and enjoy a day spent with your family. It doesn’t matter who it is that’s fighting, your mum and dad, aunt and uncle or even your grandma and the family dog; it affects everyone around them. However, having family members fighting isn’t always a bad thing. Something unpleasant or hurtful could have been said by accident or to be helpful.
The fact it happened around the festive season is very common as everyone is tense and on edge already and even the slightest thing can get someone angry. People become so focused on getting everything ready for Christmas they forget about the people around them and their feelings. Helping a family member around Christmas can really help to give them time to think and to relax, even if you only do something small like wrap presents or dress your pet up as Santa Claus.
The best way to deal with the situation is to give each other room and have a break every now and then. Even something as simple as texting a friend the lame joke in your bon-bon or dancing stupidly to your favourite song could help you relax.
Talk to someone else about the situation and how you’re feeling. It could be the person involved, another family member or a neutral person, Lifeline (13 11 14) and Kid’s Helpline (1800 55 800) have counsellors available 24/7.
Leave a comment below and tell me about your favourite way to relax over Christmas!
How are you feeling, right now? Difficult question to answer? Well how about we try labeling it with an emotion to help you describe your current state. Maybe you are feeling…
Happy - because all that random stapling and shuffling of paper has paid off, and your boss is letting you go home early. Angry - because your partner didn’t take out the trash, even though you totally took it out last week.
Relaxed - because after waiting the whole day, you have successfully avoided emptying your bowels at a public toilet and are finally home, sitting on your rightful throne. Regretful – Come on now, did you really need to upgrade that KFC ultimate burger meal to a large?
Inspired - because maybe, just maybe, after a few Karate lessons you too will be able to fight like Scott Pilgrim. You could be feeling any number of emotions right now. That is perfectly normal, because unless you’re the Tin Man you are feeling something.
As you can imagine, the reasons for feeling the way you do can vary enormously. Okay, so we have established that right now you are feeling something, and there is a reason or reasons for feeling it. “Yeah, so what?” you ask. Well what does it mean if you are feeling the D word? No, not dithyrambic, the other D word.
Depressed. Feelings of depression can occur at any time, and at any stage in our lives. One thing that everyone can relate to is that at some point in our lives, we all feel down or sad. That is part of life. But what happens when these feelings stay around, lingering for days on end? First of all, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Forget for one moment the often inaccuracy of statistics, and attempt to take on board that an estimated 1 in 5 people will experience feelings of depression at some point in their life.
That figure may not seem like much initially, but consider that in 2008, it was estimated that the population of the world was 6,697,254,041 people. Staggering to think that at the time, approximately 1,339,450,808 had experienced or were experiencing depression.
No one is protected from depression; it doesn’t discriminate by race, age, gender, culture, financial situation or social status. To hammer this point home I am going to note (possibly to my own detriment) a few celebrities who have experienced or are experiencing depression.
First of all, I’ll start by saying “my goodness, Sydney is AMAZING!” On the 4th of November, I embarked on a journey to meet the Inspire team in Sydney for the first time - definitely a journey I will remember. The ROMP (Reaching Out to n MP) Workshop was an amazing experience for Youth Ambassadors both new and old.
The three day workshop filled with activities, guest speakers, information (and great food), was an opportunity to meet likeminded young people, to build a supportive network and to broaden our knowledge about youth mental health and the influence our members of parliament can play on the issue of Youth Mental Health.
Day 1: I arrived in Sydney after my first ever experience on a plane. Instantly when walking into Inspire, I was greeted by smiling faces and warm welcomes. Although I arrived late, each member of the group made me feel as though I had been there for the whole morning. INFORMATION overload! In saying that though, there was no question that went unanswered or a concern that was not dealt with.
The crew made it a pleasure to discuss politics; a topic that recently I would have cringed at. Never before had I realised that politicians were people who often share the same passions as we do. After a very long and tiring day, we were treated to a night out at Darling Harbour. Each of us, whether we had been to Sydney before or not, was astonished at the sights and perfection of it all. We were walking along the harbour when there was a monstrous roar of fire in the fireworks display along the water’s edge and Beyoncé started blasting through the speakers, even Natface couldn’t help but to bust a move!
Day 2: A day filled with more information and firsthand accounts of political process. We had two fantastic guest speakers, with different backgrounds and aspirations, but both as passionate about their work as one another. First, there was Eric Sidoti from the Whitlam Institute, and formerly Amnesty International. He spoke about his admiration for Gough Whitlam and about his work on abolishing the death penalty.
Eric was so passionate and informed us all, in many different areas. He influenced me greatly throughout the workshop. Senator Louise Pratt was the other guest speaker, a proud and passionate Senator from Western Australia. She was easy going, and supportive in our ventures of Reaching Out to an MP and gave us handy hints on the processes for effectively gaining the support of politicians. To put this all into practice, a pitching session for the YAs was a great opportunity to network with some key members of INSPIRE as well as the guest speakers. A gift of thanks was presented to our guest speakers by myself and fellow YA Ash; a thanks that could not have been put into words.
Day 3: Was an empowering and motivating day with productive outcomes. The Inspire team assisted in the development of our letters, and also some motivational advice on self-care. It was a great day, but a day I didn’t want to end. Finally, evaluation on the workshop from new and old YAs was one that left me blubbering like a baby. To be hugged and reassured by someone who was a stranger 3 days ago, was a liberating and strengthening moment for me. One I will never forget!
Winding back, a question I was asked in an activity at the R.O.M.P workshop was ‘how did you find out about ReachOut.com?’ I thought I wouldn’t be able to answer, but like word vomit, I told my emotional but truthful story. At 15, my brother and his girlfriend suffered from severe depression; they felt that life was not the better option and that to harm themselves was the only way to improve their lives and the lives of others. After suppressing emotions for quite some time, I then became the only support service for them.
It was terrifying to know that their lives and emotions were in my hands. As a youth worker myself, I too went through emotions of guilt for not recognizing the signs, fear of not being able to effectively intervene and sadness that it had affected people that I loved. I was crying out for answers, not only for them but for me too… How was I to support people, without knowing what to say? ReachOut.com was an amazing resource and something I could refer them to and know that the service would be delivered better than any other. It is fair to say that ReachOut.com may have saved their lives.
Summer was slow and languid in its approach to summer. December was spent restlessly watching clock faces in classrooms, feet tapping, underarms sticky with anticipation, until we were released, leaving a paper trail in our wake.
The panicked last minute Christmas shopping at the supermarket and the realisation that we had no wrapping paper on Christmas Eve were all part of our tradition. But this time, it was different. This time, everything had changed.
My grandmother died in a nursing home last month, suffering from dementia and loneliness. In the week before her death, I watched her body shrivel up like a leaf. She had been trapped for five years, constantly yearning for her home in the mountains with her family where they were unable to take care of her.
She left behind her a fistful of memories, a tin of jewellery to be distributed among the girls in our family and a gaping hole in all of us. So we'll drag our feet in our trek into the mountains this year, unwilling to face the hard reality that the person who had always been there to hold us all together wouldn’t be waiting with a plateful of scones at the ready, or a hand which would always cling to you with iron-like grip.
We'll hug and kiss, murmur our Merry Christmases and sit in silence which was only disturbed by an uncle's snores from the corner, and our eyes will constantly skim over the place at the table where Nor Nor would have sat. But when Patty begins to cook the roast beef and stuff the turkey, the herbs and smells will waft about the house.
I'll be so reminded of Nor Nor, and how she tirelessly supplied us with a seemingly never-ending supply of food. For the main course, about three types of meat, spiced with rosemary and a secret stuffing, with potato salad and various other dishes. And even though we will have completely gorged ourselves on the mouth-watering meat that had been reared in the paddock not a kilometre away, we always seemed to find space for desert.
A sumptuous fruitcake, topped with brandy and lit on fire, much to the joy of my pyromaniac cousins. The dark richness balanced with the creaminess of the recipe Nor Nor made herself: mango ice cream. Then, completely sated, we will all take our places on lounges, beds and chairs to sleep in the stickiness of the hot summer day.
It will be through this that our memories of Nor Nor will emerge, and we'll be able to talk of her freely, and with love. To me, food the best way to relive my memories, and it brings family together. My mum, who felt the loss of her mother the hardest, believes in the healing power of food.
So as I leave you with a recipe that strongly reminds me of the woman I miss, I’ll pose this question: what dishes remind you of family or friends you’ve lost? I’d for love you guys to post the recipes; I’m interested to hear what they are!
Also, make sure you check out this fact sheet on ways you can deal with grief during Christmas: http://au.reachout.com/find/articles/managing-grief-at-christmas. It's got some great tips on how to cope with your loss during the holiday period.
Mango Ice cream
1.5L vanilla ice cream
60 grams raw macadamia nuts
2 or 3 ripe mangoes 2 teaspoons lemon juice ½ cup sugar
2/3 cup water 300ml carton cream pinch salt
2 kiwi fruit
1. Place macadamia nuts on oven tray, bake in moderate oven for 5 min or until light golden brown. Remove from oven, cool, chop roughly.
2. Place icecream in large bowl, beat with a wooden spoon until just softened, fold in chopped macadamia nuts. Spoon ice cream into a 6 cup mould, press around base and sides of mould, leaving a hollow in the centre; freeze until firm.
3. Peel mangoes, remove fruit from stone, chop roughly, place in blender blend until pureed. Measure 2 cups of mango puree, this is all that is required in this recipe.
4. Place sugar and water in small saucepan, stir over gentle hear until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil, boil uncovered 10 minutes; allow to cool.
5. Combine mango puree, lemon juice and sugar syrup, pour into a shallow try, freeze approximately 1 hour or until starting to harden around the edges. Beat cream and salt until soft peaks form, add to mango mixture, mix well.
6. Return ice cream to freezer, freeze until almost firm. Decorate with kiwi fruit and passionfruit sauce.
2 tablespoons of orange juice
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of grand manier.
ReachOut.com and ActNow are teaming up with Jack Johnson on his 2010 To The Sea Tour and All At Once, a social action network connecting nonprofits with people who want to become active in their local and world community.
Thanks to the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, we’re giving you the chance to win one of 4 double passes to the Sydney Jack Johnson concert on Saturday December 11th. We’re super sorry to those of you not in Sydney, rest assured we’ll try and do lots of cool things in other states and cities too in the new year!
We know that getting informed, feeling empowered and taking action improves your mental health. It strengthens community connectedness and creates a space for young people to inspire others and participate in important decision making processes.
ActNow will have a stall at The Village Green on the day of the concert, where we’ll be asking anyone who stops by to talk to us about how taking action can contribute to your sense of wellbeing.
So for a chance to win one of 4 double passes to see Jack Johnson, you just need to leave your comment below, telling us why you think taking action on things that you’re passionate about (whether it’s mental health, the environment, your local community, or anything else!) does great things for your sense of happiness and wellbeing! We’ll pick the best 4 comments, and those lucky 4 will be off to see Jack at the Domain on the 11th!
On top of the tickets, Jack is helping us with a bit of fundraising! He’ll match the first $2,500 we raise – how awesome it that? We’ve set a slightly higher goal: we’re trying for $5,000! Head to our Everyday Hero page here: http://www.everydayhero.com.au/reachouttojackjohnson and get fundraising for ReachOut.com, so we can continue to deliver great info and support to you all.
So, get your fundraising hat on, and let’s get Jack to give us $2,500! And if you’re in Sydney (or can get to Sydney!) get commenting below and we’ll let you know by Wednesday 8th December if you’re one of our lucky winners!
To find out more about other ways you can get involved, visit www.AllAtOnce.org to check out what you can do before, during, and after the show.
HIV is not something we think about everyday. But today is the day that we should. Last night the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge was bathed in a red glow, marking the countdown to today.
Do you know anyone living with HIV?
World AIDS Day is one of the most globally recognised event of the year. World AIDS Day is celebrated across Australia to raise awareness in the community about the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS.
The theme for World AIDS Day 2010 is Take Action. No Discrimination. The aim is to encourage all Australians to be aware of the prevalence of HIV and AIDS; to take action to reduce the transmission of HIV by promoting safe sex practices; and to accept individuals living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.
HIV positive people need to be empowered in society to strengthen community spirit, feel included and educate on HIV and AIDS. They have the right to participate in the community free from stigma and discrimination.
To get some facts about HIV and AIDS, the WAD website is a great source of information.
Check out the official website to get details on events happening in your area.
What is peer pressure and how do you deal with it? Do you know how to help a friend who has drunk too much or is overdosing on drugs?
We will be discussing these topics tonight Wednesday 10th of November from 7.30pm EDT for our info bus on Alcohol and Drugs.
Joining us tonight as a special expert guest speaker will be Professor Ian Webster. Professor Webster is the director of the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation as well as a physician and emeritus Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine of the University of New South Wales. He is Patron of the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia, Chair of the National Advisory Council on Suicide Prevention, Chair of the NSW Expert Advisory Committee on Alcohol and Drugs and President, Governing Council of The Ted Noffs Foundation. Needless to say he is a very busy man and we are extremely grateful that he is taking the time to talk with us tonight about these important issues. I hope you can join us.
If you are unable to join us tonight why not check out this section of our site on drugs and alcohol and related issues: http://au.reachout.com/find/issues/alcohol-other-drugs
And these fact sheets on peer pressure too: http://au.reachout.com/find/articles/peer-pressurehttp://au.reachout.com/find/articles/managing-peer-pressure-to-drinkhttp://au.reachout.com/find/articles/managing-pressure-to-take-drugs
Looking forward to hearing all of your thoughts on these important issues.
See you tonight
Roisin - RO Crew
The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, the Hon Mark Butler and ReachOut.com would like to invite ALL young people to come along to share your insights, stories and recommendations about everything to do with youth mental health and mental health services. That’s right – If you’re between the ages of 14 to 25 the Minister for Mental Health wants to hear from YOU!
This is an awesome opportunity for you to have YOUR SAY about mental health and the services that affect you, your friends, family and community. What’s been your experience with the services out there? What works? What doesn’t? As well as everything in between?
Why are so many young people not accessing help when they need it? What do you think needs to be done to improve youth mental health in Australia now and in the future? For the first time ever we have a Federal Minister for Mental Health and this is a chance to tell the government what you think needs to be done!
This youth consultation will form part of a broader consultation with organisations and individuals all over Australia – the input and information from these sessions will assist Minister Butler and the Government in planning for the future.
To participate or watch the discussion head to our forums at 6.30pm AEST on December 8th, Here is the link
If you are not able to join us, you can still take part in the conversation by posting your questions, suggestions and insights on this blog post OR if you are feeling really creative, whip up a YouTube vid of your story and recommendations on the ReachOut.Aus youtube channel www.youtube.com/user/ReachOutAus If you want don’t want to post publically – you can send your contribution to email@example.com - the ReachOut crew will make sure all posts and emails are passed onto the Minister.
If you have not already registered for the Reachout.com forums you can do so here: http://forums.reachout.com, we suggest that you do this the day before to familiarize yourself with the forums prior to the actual discussion. If you have any questions about the discussion or trouble registering you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We really look forward to seeing YOU on Wednesday the 8th!!!
Cheryl – Inspire Crew
This is a photostory by Luke Dubbelde a talented photographer and 2010-2011 ReachOut Reporter. If you find yourself with a friend that is heavily intoxicated, how would you help? With holidays fast approaching we often find our social life becoming more chaotic then ever. The more parties we attend, the more often we socialize and celebrate with alcohol. Sometimes we don't like hearing it but excessive drinking can have a negative effect on us, not only physically, but socially and emotionally as well. This doesn't mean we can't have a good night out. It's just important to know your own limits. By drinking in moderation and having sober and supportive friends close by, one can have a happy and safe night out.
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