Categories
Pop Culture

Former ‘Neighbours’ actor claims drug use on set

Australian drama, Neighbours has been hit with more scandals and accusations.

In her autobiography, Nicola Charles claimed she was offered drugs while on set. She also claimed she helped an unnamed cast member who passed out after taking speed.

The human inside me couldn’t leave her there alone on the couch, barely conscious and strugglimg. Her so-called friends on the cast had conveniently disappeared and washed their hands of the situation.

In return, Charles was offered speed herself the next day in the cast’s bathroom. She declined the offer.

The actress, along with other cast members took speed to keep their weight down.

These events allegedly happened in the late 1990’s. Charles accused Neighbours’ production company, Fremantle Media for turning a blind eye.

Neighbours plagued with scandal

Earlier this year, a number of former cast members claimed they’d been victims of racism and sexism.

In April, Shareena Clanton claimed she’d been a victim of racism and sexism while playing Sheila Canning.

Meyne Wyatt (Nate Kinski) and Sharon Johal (Dipi Rebecchi) claimed they also faced racism and homophobia on set. Johal alleged that some of the perpetrators were current cast members. She accused Neighbours’ production company, Fremantle Media of not taking allegations seriously.

When I first read about racism, sexism and homophobia claims, I was shocked. Neighbours have had a string of people of colour as cast members. To me, the characters of Dipi and Yashvi Rebecchi (Olivia Junkeer), were well developed. They didn’t seem like disrespectful stereotypes of Indian Australians. I could be wrong.

Were Indian Australians added simply for brownie points? Was it just about quotas? Of course, I can’t say for sure either way.

Since around 2010 (maybe 2011), Neighbours featured its first character.

Chris Pappas’ (James Mason) coming out was based on a real person. Pappas struggled with his sexuality during Year 11. He told Summer, whom he dated. The storyline explored homophobia in sport and being ‘outed’ without giving consent.

I rememberr watching the episodes of Pappas’ struggle and it hitting me. It was so raw. I related to it to an extent, having past struggles of my own. That’s when ai stared becoming a fan and regular viewer of the show.

Categories
Gender/ sexuality

Mental health and the need for asexuality inclusion in schools

Image: iStock

Trigger warning: This post deals with suicide and may be triggering for some readers.

In September last year, the worst nightmare for any parent came true. 13 – year – old, Lily Dowling had taken her own life.

Before her death, she wrote letters to her best friends and left them in thier lockers. 

Jane Hansen from Herald Sun described her as a “gorgeous 13 – year  – old with a love for Harry Potter books and the world at her feet…”

When speaking about her daughter, Emma Heeley said:

She was the kindest, most caring girl who was always looking out for others. She attracted really beautiful people and had a lot of friends. 

The warning signs

There were clues that Lily wasn’t coping. Lily had written a poem about her own death nine months before the tragedy. She’d posted it on Instagram. Unfortunately, Ms. Heeley only found the poem after Lily’s death. 

By August 2019, Lily had started to withdraw.

“I knew something was really, really wrong, but she would just close up and not talk to me”, Ms. Heeley said. 

Lily refused to go to therapy.

Lily’s death is only one of a string of suicides among young girls that have gotten worse over the last ten years.

Lily came out as asexual

Three months before her death, Lily came out on Instagram as asexual. (Kudos for Jane Hansen for properly defining it in the article). 

Professor Ian Hickie raised concern about young people feeling the need to put a label on themselves in such a sexualised culture.

It’s true that young people shouldn’t be forced to place a label on themselves before their ready. Sexuality can be complex, especially while growing up.

Having said that, young people, should be able to come out if they feel sure about how they feel. 

How many cases like this out there?

How many young asexual people feel lost, depressed and even suicidal? Studies suggest that young LGBT people are at least 2.5 times more likely to take their own lives than heterosexual peers. However, this data excludes asexual and non binary trans people. 

In a paper, Morag Yule, Lori Brotto and Boris Bolzaka guessed that asexual individuals may suffer worse mental health issues due to stigma than other groups.

It wouldn’t surprise me if this was the case. What I found the hardest growing up was the erasure. I was told that asexuality Leither didn’t exist or it was something that people grew out of. 

I’ve said before that I don’t blame the people that told me these myths. This was in the early 2000’s – from 2005 to 2007. But I do hope things are changing.

School counsellors and other mental health workers need to know about asexuality

Everyone should feel free to go to a counsellor. LGBTQ+ people need to have counsellors that are going to accept and validate their identities and experiences. They need to know they won’t be judged.

This is why acceptance of asexual people is so important. School counsellors, social workers and other mental health workers need to know that asexuality is real. 

 

Maybe this can be included in a professional development program. Or make it a part of social work and psychology degree subjects/ modules. You might be scoffing at this, but the time for erasure and ignorance needs to end. 

 

 

If you feel like you need assistance, you can call Lifeline: 13 11 14.

BeyondBlue: 1300 224 636 (you can also chat online. They also have LGBTQ+ resources. They include asexuality).

If you believe that you or someone you know is in crisis, contact 000 or your country’s emergency number. 

Please leave your thoughts or helpful mental health hotlines in your area in the comments below. 

 

 

Categories
Culture Film, TV

Australian TV needs to stop using diversity as a gimmick

TV shot of Brooke Blurton, Australia's 2021 Bachelorette

Australian TV will soon make “history”.

This year, The Bachelorette will feature Brooke Blurton. She is the show’s first Indigenous and openly bisexual (successful) star. Both men and women will be competing for her affection. People have expressed scepticism on social media. Many claim it’s a gimmick.I can’t say I blame them.

Producers refused request for an LGBTQ+ Bachelor

Producers of The Bachelor/ The Bachlorette Australia ruled out having an LGBTQ bachelor or bachelorette. This was less than three years ago, after Australia had legalised same – sex marriage. Host, Osher Gunsberg was all for the move. Their excuse was that it didn’t fit the “concept”.

The ‘concept’ apparently needed heterosexuality and monogamy. This excuse raised another issue; the idea that LGBTQ+ people couldn’t have relationships to cis – het people.

This excuse was made less than two years ago.

So, why now? Have ratings plummeted over the years? Is that why they’re using LGBTQ +  and Indigenous people?

I’m sick of this. LGBTQ+, Indigenous people, and people of colour in general, shouldn’t be just add ons. They shouldn’t be used to make a company, or a TV production feel better about themselves. And, frankly, that’s how the TV industry in Australia has been acting recently.

We should be past the idea of having people of colour or LGBTQ+ people in pop culture as revolutionary. Enough with the obsessions of the ‘firsts’..

Australian TV and its issues with diversity

Close up of black remote with white numbers on buttons
Image: iStock

The Bachelorette hasn’t been the only show to face issues with diversity.

Last month, former Neighbours actors Sharon Clanton, Meyne Wyatt and Sharon Johal claimed to be victims of racism, sexism and homophobia. They also accused the production company, Fremantle Media of not doing enough to prevent it. This shows that virtue signalling doesn’t work. Inclusion has to be genuine.

Will producers treat Blurton fairly?

I doubt I’ll watch the Bachelorette. If I do, it won’t be much of it. However, I do hope Brooke Blurton is treated and portrayed fairly.

I hope that the producers respect Blurton’s identities. I hope producers don’t erase Blurton’s bisexual or Indigenous identities. Let’s also hope they don’t make soft-core porn from Blurton’s sexuality, either.

Enough of ‘firsts’ and gimmicks

The Neighbours controversy (for me) proves that meeting a ‘quota’ is not enough. Having Indigenous or LGBTQ+ characters is not enough.

It’s time to normalise LGBTQ+ and Indigenous people in Australian pop culture. They should be included without causing a news story! Can we get to that point?

 

Just another side note, can we please not make Blurton’s identities into a debate? If Blurton claims she’s Aboriginal and bi, can we just leave it at that? So what if Blurton didn’t identify as bi three years ago? She can now if she thinks it fits her. Sometimes sexuality isn’t so clear cut. And her being or “identifying” as Aboriginal? I don’t want to get into that.

 

 

What do you think of The Bachelorette this year? Will you watch it? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

 

Categories
Pop Culture

ABBA hologram performance and new music announced

Get ready from a blast from the past! Well… kinda.

ABBA’s Bjorn Ulvaeus has promised fans that ABBA is planning on releasing new music. 

These new songs are the first recorded since Agnetha Faltskog, Annifrid Lyngstad Benny Andersson and Ulvaeus parted in 1981.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has halted ABBA releasing the songs, a TV special and Abbatar; a hologram – based live show. 

Despite the setbacks, Ulvaeus is convinced it’s going to happen. 

“It’s not a case anymore of it might happen. It will happen”, he told Newscorp

He even joked that it’ll be COVID safe, with no live singing. 

The show will be launched at a venue in London. 

Australia will also get the chance to see Abbatar. However, no dates have been mentioned. 

The band regularly discuss their ‘comeback’. 

Two titles of new songs have come out in the past five years: I Still Have Faith In You and Don’t Shut Me Down. 

Ulvaeus has refused to expose any more details about the new songs.

Next year will mark fifty years since the release of the single People Need Love. 

However, the band has no desire to physically tour again.

The hits that have never got old

ABBA’s music has stood the test of time. Almost everyone has heard at least one of these hits:

Dancing Queen (1976)

Mamma Mia (1975)

SOS (1975)

Waterlook (1974)

Waterloo won them Eurovision in Brighton, UK. It also kickstarted their career globally, especially in Australia. 

 

 

ABBA’s impact on pop music spans generations

You don’t have to be a child of the 1970’s to know who ABBA are. Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Gen Yers have heard of ABBA. 

I remember growing up listening to ABBA Gold. I also remember A*Teens covering Mamma Mia. 

Then, there was the musical Mamma Mia. It became a hit movie in 2008, starring Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth. 

 

Mamma Mia DVD featuring L to R: Julie Waters as Rosie, Amanda Seyfried as Sophie, Meryl Streep as Donna, Pierce Brosnan as Sam, Christine Barinski as Tanya, Stellan Skarsgard as Sam and Collin Firth as Harry.

The singing wasn’t the best. Key signatures were altered from the original. But the hits in the movie were recognisable. 

Ten years, later, MammaMia: Here We Go Again came out. It featured some of ABBA’s lesser known songs such as Adante, Adante, I’ve Been Waiting For You and My Love, My Life. 

ABBA turned metal

I kid you not. 

In the early 2010’s, power/ symphonic metal band ReinXeed, (now Majestica) did a number of metal covers of Swedish pop songs, including ABBA’s. 

Here are some of my favourites. 

Take A Chance On Me

Does Your Mother Know

Rock Me

 

ReinXeed/ Majestica haven’t been the only metal band to have covered ABBA. Yngwie Malmsteen did a great cover of Gimme Gimme Gimme.

 

No one can deny ABBA’s impact on music. They’re a once – in – a – lifetime band. There will never be a band like them. They definitely did an amazing job.

Maybe not too long from now, even more generations will be exposed to their music. Even if it’s in hologram/ virtual form. 

What is your favourite ABBA song? For metal fans, do you have a favourite metal ABBA cover? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.  

Categories
Pop Culture

Australian drama slammed for racism

Image: iStock

CW: racism

Former actors from Australian hit drama, Neighbours have opened up about experiences of racism and homophobia.

Earlier this month, Shareena Clanton and Meyne Wyatt made allegations of racism, homophobia and misogyny. They alleged that terms like “lil monkey” and “ni**er” were used. However, Herald Sun’s Rita Panahi claims that word was said by a person of colour quoting rap lyrics.

Wyatt has also accused cast of homophobia.

Sharon Johal, who had played Dipi Rebecchi, joined the chorus, claiming that she was a victim of “direct and indirect racism”.

In a lengthy statement given to Guardian Australia, Johal claimed she tried to “deny, bury and ultimately survive” racial abuse from unnamed colleagues.

She accused show’s production company, Fremantle of not taking real action to prevent further abuse.

Clanton claimed that when she called out yhe cast member for using the offensive word, another colleague would defend the accused. Allegedly, Clanton was also told to ‘take it somewhere else’ and that other cast members were getting ‘uncomfortable’.

The Guardian Australia reported that an unnamed cast member was removed after some racism incidents. The alleged offender was ordered to attend cultural sensitivity training.

 

Neighbours and diversity

When I first read about these accusations, I was shocked. In the past ten years (roughly), Neighbours has had a number of LGBTQ+ characters. And, unlike Home and Away, they didn’t have a gay character for one or two episodes.

Over the years, Neighbours has explored multiple issues facing LGBTQ and ethnic minority communities. In 2018, Neighbours featured the marriage of David Tenaka (Takaya Honda) and Aaron Brennan (Matt Wilson).

Neighbours has also had a number of people of colour. Episodes have explored issues like sexuality in Japanese culture, the Australia Day debate and Indian spirituality and meditation.

They have also fearured their first ever transgender character, Mackenzie Hargreaves. She’s been played by Georgie Stone. Stone became the youngest transgendender person in Australia to be granted the right to start puberty blockers.

Personally, as someone who watches Neighbours regularly, I find these allegations really disappointing. I mean, what’s the point? Have minorities just been used?

Enough virtue signalling. Time for proper action

If the allegations are true, I think there is something we can learn from the Neighbours controversy. It’s easy to fulfill a quota; have one or a few token people of colour, LGBTQ+ characters, employees, etc.

It’s another thing to combat discrimination. Every work place, including in the entertainment industry, should have zero tolerance for discrimination. Written policies should be in place stating what is and isn’t acceptable.

I also think that all allegations should be at least investigated before it becomes a major issue. No allegation of any form of abuse or discrimination should just be dismissed or downplayed. After an investigation, appropriate action should take place.

If your in Australia and this has brought up any issues for you, you can contact Lifeline: 13 11 14.

If you feel like you’ve been a victim of racism, you can contact the Australian Rights Commission.

Categories
News Opinion/Commentary

Education Union calls for NAPLAN to be scrapped

School students taking test in hall
Image: iStock

 

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is  under fire.

Australian Education Union president Correna Haythorpe has called for the program to be abolished:

NAPLAN has been plagued by a lack of credibility with teachers and parents for years. It is time for the Federal Government to scrap NAPLAN for good and replace it with a new sample – based assessment strategy that has students and teachers at its heart.

The purpose of NAPLAN

Across Australia, students sit for NAPLAN tests in Years Three, Five, Seven and Nine.

student writing
Image: iStock

The tests focus on a range of skills such as comprehension, spelling and grammar, creative writing and mathematics skills.

NAPLAN was around when I was at school. I remember taking it in Years Three, Five, Seven and Nine.

Teachers used NAPLAN results to assess students’ abilities. They could also see the areas students needed help.

From helping tool to competition

The invention of the MySchool website in 2010, made NAPLAN contentious.

Rather than teachers focusing on improvements and struggles of students, school reputation was the focus.

In 2016, a Sydney public school came under fire when a student was asked to stay home in fear that the student would drag the school average down.

The parent of the child received a letter from the school about the request. The excuse given was to avoid “stress” for the student.

The Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) warns teachers not to exclude students.

Other recommendations from ACARA

On their website, ACARA endorses NAPLAN. Its recommendations for teachers and parents include:

  • Tell the students to do the best they can that day
  • Avoid cramming and coaching leading to the tests
  • Parents should ask teachers questions

ACARA and the media

The media have right to publish results by ACARA under Freedom of Information and Copyright Act 1968.

Any journalists who wish to report on results are responsible for gaining copyright clearances.

NAPLAN could have merit

I’m not an educator, teacher or education researcher. I took the NAPLAN tests in Years Three, Five, Seven and Nine.

When I sat for NAPLAN, I was average. One of my biggest weaknesses was comprehension and creative writing was my strength. I think that’s an accurate presentation of me, especially throughout school.

My primary school and high school didn’t worry or emphasise on results. It wasn’t a competition. The aim was to see where students’ strengths were and where they needed help.

I’m not sure whether NAPLAN itself is a terrible tool. But I think it’s original purpose is lost.

I think the MySchool website should be abolished. That’s when issues seemed to start.

NAPLAN’s focus should be on helping children in English and Mathematics. Any areas students struggle in should ne addressed.

NAPLAN shouldn’t be about the egos of schools. Unfortunately, I think what NAPLAN’s become.

Bring back NAPLAN’s original intent. Then maybe it could benefit ALL teachers and students.

 

What are your views on NAPLAN? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Categories
Gender/ sexuality LGBTQ rights

Aromantic: short and sweet explanation

Aromantic pride flag
Image: iStock

About ten years ago, there was  a mini – explosion in aromantic and asexual awareness in the media.

MamaMiaCleo Australia and Ten’s The Project all ran stories about asexual and aromantic people. Of course, they had their detractors.

Now, aromantic people are in the spotlight. This is in part because the Yarra council in Melbourne has placed the aromantic flag over Richmond, Fitzroy and Abbotsford town halls.

What is aromantic?

Think about this: Have you ever had a crush? Have you planned dates, romantic getaways and weddings with a loved one in mind?

Do you get butterflies or nerves, when you see or think of someone in particular?

Well, some people don’t. They don’t feel the ‘butterflies’ or the desire for another person to be their significant other. They are aromantic.

That’s the simplest way I can explain it.

Because romance and sex often go hand in hand in society, there can be confusion for asexual people. How do you define “romantic attraction” when it’s divorced (no pun intended) from sexual attraction?

Here’s what I think about it. Romantic attraction is when you want to take a relationship beyond what is considered friendship. It’s when you want to date, be in  a relationship and maybe marry.

To muddy the waters, some aromantic people are in relationships that, on the outside look like romantic ones. They are known as queer – platonic. So, my personal definition above may not fit everyone.

Grey zones

Romantic (and sexual) attraction can exist on a spectrum. There are a number of terms that describe this spectrum:

  • Grey – romantic: simplest definition is someone who find themselves not 100% aromantic. Someone who is grey – romantic may feel romantic attraction rarely, in only specific circumstances (more on that later), or may be too weak to act on.
  • Demi – romantic: People who identify as demi – romantic don’t form crushes on strangers. They only fall in love with people they are close with, such as a best friend.
  • Fray – romantic: This is a less known grey – romantic orientation. Accoriding to LGBTA Wikia,  fray – romanticism is the opposite to demi – romanticism. They lose romantic interest after a connection has formed.

This is by no means an extensive list. This is only a few terms that are used to describe experiences of people on the aromantic spectrum.

 

My plea to skeptics

I can already sense people rolling their eyes. But please consider this. Many aromantic and/ or asexual people often grow up feeling isolated and “broken”. Having these labels (and more) give people language for what they do (or don’t) experience.

Often, people on the aromantic/ asexual spectrum to fall into self doubt and self – loathing because they don’t fit in. That’s why aromantic and asexual awareness is important.

 

Categories
Uncategorized

About Glycerine Queen Media in 2021

Glycerine  Queen Media logo

It’s been a month since ai posted on here. I didn’t mean to be silent for so long. Sorry about that. I’ve been busy and, if I’m honest, I’ve lacked motivation.

The plan for Glycerine Queen Media in 2021

This year, I’m thinking about going back to my original idea for this blog. That is, write a response to anything that grabs my attention, regardless of its source.

I want to write about issues. I want this blog to be a place where I can hopefully shed a light on things that are important. And I want posts to also spark discussion and debate.

Leaving culture wars behind

One wish I have for 2021 is to leave the culture wars behind. Repeatedly responding to LGBTQ+ issues is taxing. And I never know what to think about Black Lives Matter and have on.y limited knwledge about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues.

I’m not saying that I won’t write about these issues. I just want to do ot as little as possible.

This year, I’d like to talk about other social issues: childcare, mental health, education, etc.

Also, if you have anything you want me to look at and potentially write about, please tell me in the comments. I really want this blog to be more interactive. So please, don’t be shy.

So welcome for 2021. Stay safe.

Categories
Around the world

K-pop boy band shines a light on mental health

Image: iStock

K- pop boyband, BTS, made waves earlier this month. 

On 3 December, they performed at an online event. The concert was meant to start at midnight. The 4th was lead singer, Jin’s birthday. 

Two hours before midnight (Korean Time), Jin revealed a surprise new song, with a note on social media. 

The song, Abyss,  changed the course of the night, as it discussed mental health. 

Jin revealed that the sudden success of BTS’ English hit, Dynamite sparked burnout and a feeling of imposter syndrome. 

Jin’s anxiety got so bad that  he eventually sought professional help and guidance from his boss, Bang Si-hyuk. Si-hyuk encouraged Jin to put his feelings to music. 

 

Mental health in South Korea

South Korea is a powerhouse when it comes to health. It has one of the lowest obesity rates and one of the longest life expectancies.

However, according to Ozy, South Korea doesn’t fair well when it comes to mental health. In fact, it has one of the worst suicide rates among the OECD countries. Up to forty South Koreans a day die by suicide.

Stress is a massive issue among South Koreans. 95% claim to suffer it. For a third of people, it’s chronic. 

It’s not just young people that are facing a mental health crisis. 28% of older South Koreans are depressed. Unfortunately, few want to admit it and get help in fear of being seen as weak.

Alcohol use disorder is also rampant in South Korea. It has one of the highest alcohol consumption rates in the world at fourteen shots per person per day. 

A number of factors may contribute to this worrying trend. These include pressure to be successful and geopolitical tensions with North Korea. 

 

It’s clear that mental health needs to be discussed. Much work needs to be done to break the stigma. Fortunately, BTS has started the conversation.

 

Musicians/ singers open up about mental health

Over the years, a number of  male singers/ bands have been open about mental health. 

Paranoid – Black Sabbath (1970)

According to Songfacts, Black Sabbath bassist and lyricist, Geezer Butler told Mojo magazine that Paranoid was about depression.

In the song, the protagonist is clearly paranoid. Butler admitted that he didn’t know the difference between depression and paranoia at the time.

If you look at the lyrics, hints of depression are obvious:

Finished with my woman cos she couldn’t help me with my mind

People think I’m insane cos I’m frowning all the time. 

And:

Make a joke and I will sigh 

And you will laugh and I will cry

Happiness I cannot feel 

And love to me is so unreal. 

 

I never cry – Alice Cooper (1976)

Alice Cooper has been very open about his mental health battles over the years. A number of his songs, including I never cry speaks about his battle with alcoholism.

How are you going to see me now deals with the fall out of his addiction on his family. 

In 2017, Cooper joined Canadian mental health campaign Bell: Let’s Talk. He spoke frankly about his battles with alcoholism and depression. 

He addressed his 1991 hit, Hey Stoopid, saying that it was written to discourage youth suicide. 

 

His Definitive Hits album has a number of songs where he addresses mental health struggles.

Alice Cooper Definitive hits CD
A number of Alice Cooper’s hits bring mental health into the spotlight.

 

Runaway train – Soul Asylum (1993)

The clip to the 1993 hit is well – known for raising awareness to missing children. However, lead singer, Dave Pirner has stated that the song is about his battle with depression. 

 

If this post has brought up any issues for you, please seek help. For Australians:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

If you are in immediate danger, contact 000 or other national emergency number.

 

Categories
News Opinion/Commentary Uncategorized

Australian children face a mental health crisis

Mental health image of brain
Image: iStock

According to Natasha Bita in the Herald Sun, Australian children and teenagers are facing a mental health crisis. (Mental Health 360: Shocking rise in Aussie teens being medicated, 2 December 2020).

1 in 13 teens are taking antidepressants and/or other psychiatric drugs.

Health and youth experts claim COVID-19 is a factor to this worrying trend. 87,781 primary school – aged children and 134,439 teenagers were prescribed medications for various mental disorders over 2018/2019.

What diagnoses children are receiving?

Not surprisingly, anxiety and depression are major issues facing a number of children. What’s worrying is that primary school and preschool – aged children are also being diagnosed.

Yourtown chief executive, Tracey Adams told Herald Sun that domestic violence is exacerbating these rates.

Children are also being diagnosed with other conditions, including ADD/ ADHD, psychosis and conduct disorder.

The increase in conduct disorder diagnoses has surprised and alarmed me. How can more children be diagnosed? Is it over diagnosis; an accusation commonly aimed at ADD/ADHD?

Or is it something else? As I wrote before, alarms surrounding domestic violence have been raised. According to Better Health Channel, parental aggression (particularly from the father) and domestic violence are risk factors that can trigger the disorder.

Government response

To be honest, I think that the Federal and State governments have failed in this area. It’s too little, too late.

Only now has the Government offered Kids Helpline extra funding for fifty more counsellors. Why wasn’t enough support put in before the pandemic hit?

I think this exposes the great flaws in the Australian mental health system as a whole. There isn’t enough support for those who need it, but haven’t reached breaking point.

Parents play vital role

Psychologist and founder of Parentshop, Michael Hawton told Herald Sun that most anxiety in children is “learned”.

If kids are surrounded by parents who are highly rushed and speaking and behaving anxiously, it’s hard for them to not pick up on that.

He also suggested that parents teach children about facing problems head on rather than avoiding them. Emotional reactivity should also be minimised.

Blaming social media and anxious parents doesn’t solve the problem

Many commenters on the Herald Sun article have blamed social media (surprised?). But to me, the issue is much bigger.

There are obviously children and teenagers that need ongoing help. Some may need different therapies, like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). There may be children that need to be removed from violent or abusive homes. Victims of bullies need support to have their self – esteem built back up.

Psychologists and/ or Masters qualified Social Workers need to be employed in all schools.

Also, I really do think the Australian mental health system needs an overhaul. Medicare is grossly inadequate in funding mental health.

The Australian mental health system seems to help two types of people: those who don’t need ongoing professional help. Or, the other extreme: those who are at high risk of harm or suicide.

Both State and Federal Governments have failed in dealing with psychological costs of lockdown and COVID-19. Counselling services should have been properly funded in the first place. It isn’t good enough.

Lastly, all mental health costs should be covered by the Government. If not through Medicare, through other means.

 

What are you thoughts? How can people with mental or behavioural conditions be helped?