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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]