Kyle MacDonald: What's Really Behind our Rising Anxiety?
There is little doubt that anxiety levels are increasing, worldwide. And no faster than in children and young people. And despite what Fox News and various websites might want us to believe, for most of us the world is also getting safer, and we're living longer.
So, why are we getting more anxious?
Kyle MacDonald: Harvey Weinstein and What's Missing From Society
The recent revelations about Harvey Weinstein's sexual abuse and rape of women in Hollywood and its cover up is deeply shocking.
It's also lead to a necessary public conversation about sexual harassment and sexual violence, exemplified by the recent flurry of women I care about and respect posting #metoo on their social media timelines.
Kyle MacDonald: The Problem With Mental Health Awareness Week
Tuesday October the 10th is recognised worldwide as "World Mental Health Day" and this week is Mental Health Awareness Week.
I have a problem with Mental Health Awareness Week: It's still not clear to me what it is we're trying to do, what kind of awareness are we trying to raise?
Are the people who need to be more aware actually listening?
Mum seeks inquiry into mental health after daughter's suicide
The parents of a 15-year-old girl who took her own life two months ago are pleading with the Government to address mental health support.
Hana Reedy and Api Nasedra are presenting a photo of their daughter, Ariana Reedy, framed by the names of thousands of New Zealanders calling for an inquiry into mental health.
Kyle MacDonald: Is National Right About E-therapy for Mental Health?
Encouraging people who may already feel bereft of human connection to seek solace from a digital programme is like holding Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in a pub.
When National's record on mental health was questioned in the final Leaders Debate before the election, party leader Bill English made the bold claim that e-therapy works as well as face-to-face therapy. But does it? And what is e-therapy anyway?
Sometimes referred to as digital mental health care, e-therapy is any form of psychological intervention that is provided via a digital device. It includes guided video and text based treatment, sort of like an interactive self-help book. In some cases, it is aided by email or chat with professionals, or even video chat with a therapist or counsellor.
So does this work?
Kyle MacDonald: Why You'll Probably Vote for the Wrong Party
However, I've been challenging people I know to confuse themselves. There are a number of great political questionnaires that have been set up for this election that enable you to see which parties your values and beliefs actually line up with
A certain Bulgarian-Maori friend of mine has some wisdom he trots out when people ignore evidence: "Don't confuse me with the facts". Psychologists call it "confirmation bias".
Either way, odds are you're voting for the wrong party. How do you decide who to vote for? Policy; personality; team loyalty; favourite colour?
Kyle MacDonald: What are Political Parties Doing for Mental Health?
On the front lawn of parliament the "Yes We Care" Coalition laid out 606 shoes to represent those lost to suicide in the last year.
It was a year ago when the People's Mental Health Review started to collect stories from people who had direct experience of the growing mental health crisis in New Zealand.
We wanted to give voice to those who weren't being heard, as the calls for action grew.
Twelve months later we are now having a national conversation about mental health on an unprecedented scale. And mental health is squarely - smack bang - in the middle of the election agenda.
Kyle MacDonald: Where Mental Health Stigmas are Still Rife
"Do we still have a problem with stigma towards those with mental illness in NZ?"
I wonder what most of you think of now when I say "mental health". Depression? Maybe anxiety? We've done a great job at making knowledge about the most common mental health struggles more public, and more okay to talk about.
But what about the more "severe" problems? What do people understand about psychosis, bipolar disorder, chronic and complex post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorders or severe addictions?
Kyle MacDonald: Why Are People so Easily Offended These Days?
"People seem to get offended more easily these days, why is that?"
Is it true that people are more easily offended? Is it political correctness gone mad? Has anyone asked how pigs feel about makeup?
What does it mean to be offended by something, and how do we know when we are? Loosely put, it's a feeling. To be offended is to be that particular mix of hurt and angry where we feel that ourselves, someone, or something we care about has been attacked or put down.
Kyle MacDonald: Will Teaching Resilience in our Schools Work?
Teaching resilience without addressing the massive social problems we're increasingly facing is like teaching people to swim in response to rising sea levels.
Who wouldn't want to be more resilient? More able to cope with life's up and downs, better able to manage stress, less susceptible to negative emotions, to quickly bounce back from adversity.
On paper resilience training seems like a no-brainer. The current Government certainly seems to think so: it's made a resilience training in schools one of its (election bribe) mental health pilot programmes.