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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Why Bother Overcoming Fears?

Last weekend I managed to successfully complete my PADI Open Water SCUBA Diver Course: PADI Temporary Card Open Water Diver Name: Damon K. Ashworth Diver No.: 1902AA8575 Cert Date: 16-Feb-2019 Instructor Number: 305944 Store/Resort Name:Big Blue Store Number:36279 This person has satisfactorily met the standards for this certification level as set forth by PADI. 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 […]

Why Do Some People Cheat in Relationships and Others Remain Faithful?

With the development of the internet, dating websites, social media, smartphones and dating apps, it is now easier than ever for someone to cheat on their partner or spouse. This same technology can also make it easier to get caught too, due to the potential digital trail that is created with each of these unscrupulous […]

Parenting is Tough, but Science Suggests Clear Strategies that Help You to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children

In 2018, the American Psychiatric Association identified what they considered to be the three major goals of parenting: “1. Ensuring children’s health and safety 2. Preparing children for life as productive adults, and 3. Transmitting cultural values” Many environmental and biological factors influence a parent’s and a child’s capacity to reach these ambitious goals. However, […]