Health & Mental Health

There are 8 posts in this category

Does “everybody” have the right to a peaceful death?

April 24th, 2020   

The right to a peaceful death may seem a strange topic when we’re all so intent on staying alive during the COVID-19 pandemic. But, many people I know who are highly conscientious about social distancing also support the idea of rational suicide. They are not, in fact, suicidal in the normally understood sense, but do want the right to a good death at a time of their choosing.
I was recently part of a panel discussion on mental health and rational suicide. This webpost includes the substance of my talk.

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Hovering over the opt-out button on “My Health Record”

October 11th, 2018   

It’s a lifesaver, so the politicians say, spruiking My Health Record (MHR), the centralised electronic health database. I have my doubts, and this webpost burrows below the political spin. My number one critic says it should come with a TLDR alert (at 4896 words), but I’m hoping you stay with me, consider your options, and add your comments.

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When ‘depression’ fills the knowledge gap and trauma loses its voice

May 25th, 2018   

Have you ever had the experience of going to a doctor, feeling unwell, only to be told there seems to be nothing wrong, but “I think you might be depressed”? Were you satisfied with that response? Did you question it? What sort of answers did you get?
In this post, I reflect on the knowledge gap that can arise when symptoms are unexplained, and argue against filling it with convenient labels that can cause harm.

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Save Medicare to cut emergency care

July 23rd, 2016   

The erosion of Medicare is an incendiary issue in Australia, and yet patients are urged to go to general practitioners instead of hospital emergency rooms. Stories collected in this post illustrate crucial barriers to this otherwise reasonable aim.

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More free play + less homework = better mental health + less medication?

March 31st, 2016   

If more free play and less homework are better for children’s mental health, what are we waiting for? Especially if that could mean fewer children taking less medication?

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Borderline Personality Disorder – a label with history and her-story behind it

September 9th, 2015   

As a young adult, Ann Kennedy says she was “given the label of Borderline Personality Disorder”. Her family history was not taken seriously and her self-mutilation was dismissed as “attention-seeking”. Her experience is not unusual. BPD is mostly diagnosed in women who mostly have histories of trauma. Understanding the psychological pain within its social context and personal history can be crucial for recovery….Joan Beckwith.

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FOR THE RECORD: (Another) letter to the (same) Prime Minister on (another) World Mental Health Day

October 11th, 2014   

DEAR PRIME MINISTER TONY ABBOTT, did you know 10 October is World Mental Health Day? And, do you remember I wrote to you last year on that day, Mr Abbott? I haven’t had a reply yet, you know (even though you claim you ALWAYS answer correspondence) so here are the main points again…Joan Beckwith.

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World Mental Health Day (Letter to PM)

October 10th, 2013   

Dear Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia’s 44th Parliament,
October 10th is WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY, did you know? I think you need to take it more seriously…Cheers, Joan Beckwith.

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