What is Depression and How Can We Manage It?

Ministry of Health Vanuatu April 2019 Mental Health Newsletter What is Depression? Approximately 1-in-5 people will experience Depression at some stage of their lives. It is normal for people to experience short periods of sadness. Although some people may say that they are depressed if they feel sad at times, Depression, formally known as Major Depressive […]

Why 18 is the New 15: The Negative Consequences of Always Wanting Our Children to Feel Special and Safe

Back in 1970, children were thought to be ready to enter Grade One at Primary or Elementary School when they could travel independently around their neighbourhood for 4-8 blocks from their house. This included 6-year-olds being able to go to the shops and buy things by themselves, or walk or ride to school if it […]

To Trust or Not to Trust?

Recently, some things have come to light that I have found personally disappointing. A few people have behaved in a self-centred way and it puts me in an awkward situation. If given a choice, I always try to be kind, open, honest, respectful and co-operative with others. However, sometimes some people don’t play by these […]

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 […]

The Four Ultimate Concerns in Life

I’ve been afraid to say this for a while because of how it will be perceived, but my favourite book of all time is actually a textbook. Now before you think that makes me someone that you would never want to speak to, I’ll ask if you have ever read anything by Irvin Yalom, American […]

Mental Illness and Mental Health

MINISTRY OF HEALTH –VANUATU Mental Health Newsletter January 2019 Welcome to the first Mental Health Newsletter in 2019. The topic for the month of January is Mental Health and Mental Illness. What is Mental Health? The World Health Organisation defined mental health in 2014 as “a state of well-being in which every individual: realises his […]

How Do You Deal With Your Problems?

Throughout my schooling years, I was a horrible procrastinator. I would leave everything to the last minute, sometimes even having to take a day off high school so that I could finish an assignment that was meant to be due that day. Once I got to university, I couldn’t do this anymore, as the due date […]

Isolation & Loneliness: Which One Is More Damaging to Our Long-term Health?

Just the other day I was having a debate with a client about isolation versus loneliness. He believed that the amount of social contact we have with others was a more significant predictor of well-being, whereas I thought that how close we felt was more important for long-term health and happiness. In other words, he […]

Shame and Guilt: Which One is Helpful, and How Can We Effectively Manage These Difficult Emotions?

What are shame and guilt? In the fascinating and comprehensive book ‘Shame and Guilt’ by June Tangney and Ronda Dearing, they describe shame and guilt as universal human emotions that are functionally important at both an individual and a relationship level. Features shared by shame and guilt (Tangney & Dearing, 2002): Shame and guilt are both […]

How High is Your Physical Intelligence?

Physical intelligence is concerned with how different elements of our environment interact with our senses to influence or distort our perceptions, judgments, and emotions, which then affect our behaviours. In her excellent book ‘Sensation’, Thalma Lobel has neatly summarised all of the important findings that have accumulated so far in the emerging field of physical […]