Today's prison reform announcement from the Prime Minister comes at an important time for prisons, that have been facing increasing pressures for many years. As the departing Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick, put it - never before has drug use in prisons been such a significant threat to their security or to the chance of true rehabilitation for offenders.
I've been working in men's health, mental health and suicide prevention, for quite a while now and there is a tendency to try and 'fix and change' people (particularly men) to be 'better versions of themselves'. All in the spirit of healthier lives, etc., etc.
Left untreated, the consequences of poor mental health among children and young people can be devastating for a school community, and long-lasting. Some three quarters of adult mental health problems are present before the age of 18. Today, at the start of children's mental health week, we have a real opportunity to raise awareness of this growing issue and apply pressure on the government to take meaningful action to tackle it.
Spotting the signs of depression can be difficult - especially if your partner is unlikely or unwilling to talk about how they're feeling. But severe depression can make a man feel helpless or worthless - and it may get worse without treatment.
For a lot of people involvement in theatre, music and art can educate. It can battle isolation, loneliness and, as dramatic as it sounds, I believe that the love of art can be a reason to get up in the morning and live! Through the dark periods of my life, art in many different guises has been a glittering light in the darkness.
I decided to use the Children's Mental Health Week to find out what support is available to young people in my local area. I hooked up with Kerry Gibson-Yates, Coordinator of Herefordshire's Strong Young Minds project - and found a good news story to start the week.
It's very tricky to know where to turn though and find a safe space which isn't too overwhelming. It's a daunting prospect to approach others when wanting to talk about the challenge of caring for someone. There can be a sense that by speaking about the challenge you are somehow undermining your loved one's illness
As a young doctor, practicing in northern and Western Nigeria, I encountered mental illness in different cultural contexts, but it seemed that the stigma and the sense of shame attached to it was a common denominator. This did not change when I moved to the UK in 2001...
Back at school I was given a small yellow card that meant I could get out of class if I felt I was struggling emotionally in a lesson. Soon enough I was walking in and out of classrooms whenever I liked, whether I was sad or not.
There seems to be limited data but it is clear that the rates of schizophrenia in the Caribbean countries are the same as that seen among white British. It had been argued that some individuals who are prone to develop psychiatric disorders are more likely to migrate but that has not been confirmed.
Oh no, not another blogpost about Depression, I wish it would go away. Funnily enough so do a lot of us. But it won't. It's here to stay, this 21st Century disease, or could there be signs of similar dark phantoms in the psyche of our past?
Ultimately, if we cannot look after ourselves, we are unable to look after others. This is not me saying 'don't be an officer' or 'give me a break'. It is an appeal to everyone to take up the issue of mental health as a political priority. To talk, as well as act. The student movement will be stronger if we all put our minds to it.
There is absolutely no shame in struggling or finding it hard to be open and ask for help. There's equally no shame in not knowing how to approach and support someone who is battling with their mental health conditions. The key is to try and communicate as best as you can.
I was officially diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder at the age of 15 although it has been part of my life for a long time, I just didn't have a name for my thoughts and behaviours. It was around this time that I was also diagnosed with depression.
Alan Rickman died two weeks ago and I am broken, as is everyone else who knew him. I just wanted to share a few more words about him.
Today is Time to Talk Day - a day when many of us working or living with mental health issues make a particular effort to start conversations about mental health in a bid to raise awareness, reduce stigma and tackle misconceptions.