How do we change our stress levels if they are not helping us to function well during the day or sleep well at night?

Stress levels that are both too low and too high can cause problems at different times of the day and in different situations. It is important to first figure out if your stress level is too low, too high or just right for the situation that you are in. The best way to figure out […]

How Do We Tackle Addiction and Substance Use Problems?

Ministry of Health Vanuatu July 2019 Mental Health Newsletter Why do people use substances? We are not entirely sure, but we do know that mind and mood-altering substances have been used for thousands of years and are present to some degree in every society throughout the world. Some researchers say that it comes from an […]

Do This: Straightforward Advice for Life From a Successful CEO, and Where This Advice Goes Wrong!

Derek Sivers seems like a pretty cool guy. On his website, he calls himself a musician, producer, circus performer, entrepreneur, TED speaker, and book publisher. He started a company called CDBaby and made millions from this. He then gave the company to charity, resulting in millions of dollars subsequently being used to help up-and-coming musical […]

Is it Better to be Completely Honest, a Strategic Truth-Teller or an Occasional Liar?

I used to lie a lot growing up. Not quite as bad as Holden Caulfield in ‘The Catcher in the Rye’: “I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It’s awful. If I’m on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I’m going, I’m […]

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 […]

Can We Develop Our Own Guide to Better Living?

The Making of a Genius? In 1726, at the young age of 20, Benjamin Franklin came up with a list of thirteen virtues that he wanted to live his life by. He then carried around a small booklet so that he could track his daily and weekly progress against these virtues. An example of this […]

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 […]

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 […]

March 2019 Newsletter: Positive Psychology and the Pursuit of Happiness

Ministri blong helt Vanuatu Niusleta blong Mental Helt Maj 2019 Positif Psychology mo Persut blong Hapines 11-13 Maj 2019 MoH I bin trenem araon 15 jej, women, mo komuniti lidas lo saet blo idaentifaem mo imployim Saeko sosol fes eid sapos oli kam akros sam we oli fesem mentol helt jalens lo respektif komuniti blo […]