Three out of four suicides in the UK are men. Every two hours somewhere across the UK a man will take his life. It is about time we started to address this. It is a complex issue but we want to bring it out of the shadows, strip down the stigmas that surround this challenge and start to look at it from a gendered and male perspective. At Movember, we believe that by applying a male lens on men's mental health issues, we will be better able to support men in seeking help and treatment earlier.
Why not attend? The government explanation for non-attendance - once you get beyond complaints that the conference goals are 'unclear' - is that the conference may talk about the possibility of a negotiated global ban on nuclear weapons. Our government doesn't believe that such a ban is negotiable. So herein lies the contradiction.
The recession means that, whoever governs we are now in the grip of austerity politics and will be for some years to come. Because we faced that challenge our economy is now recovering. But this makes that other challenge, the task of lifting children out of poverty, much harder and much more difficult.
Financial enfranchisement and saving is the most effective way to reduce the number living in poverty. For those living on less than $2 a day, which is less than my daily coffee, there are now grass roots programmes in place to create a savings culture.
Our report released today On the Edge showed a huge increase in children getting in touch about suicidal feelings. Last year (April 2013 - March 2014) we held 34,517 counselling sessions with children who talked about having suicidal feelings - 116% more than three years ago. Nearly 6,000 of these children had told a counsellor that they had previously attempted to take their own life.
Please before you pass judgement on anyone's quality of life, stop and think. Don't just claim "I couldn't cope", as I really think you could. Pain, like many other trials in life, can be beaten. It can be medically treated and psychologically mastered, with help, and so we need to have a sensible debate on quality of life before we go any further down a road that may be very hard to come back from.
Nisreen and her 13-year-old twin sons evacuated their house in Abasan, Gaza, during the recent 50-day conflict with Israel - and returned to rubble. "We found our house had been bombed and bulldozed. We couldn't even see where it used to be. My sons were so shocked, so sad," says Nisreen. "We lost everything."
Overwhelmed by emotions, I hid in an adjacent office. I broke down, my sadness manifesting itself in floods of tears. I was frightened in case anyone walked in and found me crying, potentially resulting in the discovery of my illness. The next week, preceding my initial appointment at the HIV clinic, was one of fear and, to a limited degree, suspense...
Language is key. Who says your perpetuator has to be in the frame? Why not yourself? Is it not more empowering to say, 'I am a survivor' without referring once to them by name, or identifiable detail? If their behaviour was that criminal, surely other people would work that out for themselves?
These bones from arid countries that have walked, run, climbed, crawled, sailed, clung on and hidden for two years on the journey from Africa and the Middle East to reach their promised land, the United Kingdom... when winter comes, having made it this far, if it is an unkind one, some will almost certainly die.
Perhaps the cruelest aspect of Alzheimer's is that it robs families of their loved ones before they are truly gone. Loss of memories and physical abilities frustrates patients and pains family. Every health professional who works with Alzheimer's looks forward to the day when patients can be told there is a cure.
Right at the beginning of Jerome K Jerome's masterpiece "Three men in a boat," the hero picks up a medical dictionary and discovers that he has the symptoms of every disease mentioned with the exception of housemaid's knee. The prescription he is given surprises him. After beer, steak, exercise and early bedtimes, it ends with the words "and don't stuff up your head with things you don't understand."
A third of children living in the poorest families said they had fallen behind at school because their family couldn't afford a computer or internet access.
Fighting cancer doesn't stop after remission. Not only must prostate cancer survivors adapt to post-treatment side-effects such as weight gain, sexual difficulties and depression, there is a wider and more serious trend that survivors are often blind to.
My brief story is completely tangential to this, but it did illuminate me as to how "generous" the system is. and just how easy it is to claim from it. I had never- like many; I was an observer- with opinions that labelled me as one of those "middle-class lefties".
2014 marks the twentieth anniversary of the first IRA ceasefire which triggered the Northern-Ireland 'Peace Process'. This marked the end of a vicious thirty-year conflict known as 'The Troubles'; the ethno-nationalist conflict which set those who wanted to see Northern Ireland remain a part of the United Kingdom against those who wanted to see it integrated into a 'United Ireland'.