Our Environment Makes More of a Difference to Our Health and Mental State Than We Realise

It’s been over 9 months now since I moved to Vanuatu to volunteer as a Clinical Psychologist with the Port Vila Central Hospital and the Vanuatu Government’s Ministry of Health. That means that I am over a third of the way through my volunteer experience. The first 1-2 months were challenging and a little overwhelming […]

The Importance of Sleep for Good Mental Health

Ministry of Health Vanuatu May 2019 Mental Health Newsletter The Importance of Sleep for Good Mental Health Sleep difficulties are a feature of nearly every mental health difficulty, including depression, anxiety, trauma, substance use issues, bipolar disorder and psychosis or schizophrenia. Take Depression for example. Up to 90% of individuals with Depression have sleep difficulties, […]

10 Bits of Advice I’d Give My 10-Year-Old Self

When I was ten, I was in grade four at primary school. I was one of the tallest kids in the class, and fairly skinny and uncoordinated. I loved sport and computer games. I enjoyed living where I did in the north-east suburbs of Melbourne and had some good friends that I spent a lot […]

How to Cope in Times of Disaster

Vanuatu Mental Health Newsletter February 2019 Latest Data on Mental Health in Vanuatu In 2018, Vanuatu’s Lifestyle Disease Unit conducted 13 screening sessions for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) across the island of Efate. As part of this screening, all participants were given a Kessler Distress Scale (K10) to assess their level of psychological distress. Of the […]

Which Archetype Are You?

Ever notice how any successful story throughout history tends to have a similar cast of characters? If you haven’t bothered counting, I’ll let you know that most characters will fall into one of 12 principal roles, and this explains why and how we can find favourite stories so relatable. Carl Gustav Jung, a famous psychoanalyst, […]

Do the Little Things We Do Matter?

I love the above quote by Lao Tzu. It really highlights to me that all of the little choices we make in life are important, especially in the long run. Not any one choice, or any particular action, unless it is unusually severe or unforgivable. I’m talking about the little things that we do on […]

25 Ideas That Could Change Your Life

1. KAIZEN A Japanese term meaning “improvement”. I think of Kaizen as ‘continuous improvement’ or ‘continual change for the better, one small step at a time’, as this is how I first heard of the term. A lot of the successful Japanese manufacturing companies in automobiles and technology have used this exact approach to obtain […]

Can Your Personality Type Change Across Time?

I tried out a new personality test website the other day called 16 personalities. I came up as an Advocate, or an INFJ-A. This is a Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) type personality test for those who aren’t familiar with the letters: The I means I am an introvert (63%) more than an extrovert (37%), and […]

Is Your Screen Time Eating Up Your Free Time?

How Did We Get Here? In the classic Sociology book ‘Bowling Alone’, Robert Putnam makes the compelling argument that social capital (reciprocal connections among people) has been in a steady decline ever since its peak in 1964. By the year 2000, the average American was 58 percent less likely to attend a club meeting than […]

The Error Called Nostalgia: Remember How the World Used to be Better? What if it Never Was?

One of my favourite movies of all-time is ‘Midnight in Paris’. Let’s just forget about the director of the film for a second, and focus on the main reason why I love it – nostalgia. The main character in the movie, Gil, played by Owen Wilson, is writing a novel about a character who owns […]