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Whole People

coaching, counselling and training in Worthing (UK) and online with Pat Spink

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bereavement

Alone or Lonely?

alone or lonely

On one of my seafront walks recently I noticed someone sitting by themselves on the beach, gazing out to sea – much like the person in the photo here.

Given my particular interest in suicide prevention I needed to make a judgement call as to whether this person seemed in distress and, if so, whether I would approach them. In this case they seemed just fine.

But it started me thinking – they were there alone, perhaps by choice, but maybe not.

Continue reading “Alone or Lonely?”

Appy Days & Restful Nights

apps

I’ve written previously about the negative effects of technology on our lives – but there is good in there, too.

This was highlighted by the ‘Tech4Good’ awards for which Anna Bawden was a judge and about which she wrote recently in theguardian.com.

Amongst these are apps helping people to:

  • communicate and navigate – taking account of particular impairments such as deafness, blindness and partial sight
  • call emergency services if in distress or danger and unable to speak – particularly useful in instances of breathing difficulties, allergies or domestic abuse
  • manage neurological and physical physiotherapy
  • identify and express feelings
  • support mental health recovery

Continue reading “Appy Days & Restful Nights”

Missing You

On the topic of missing people who have died, at just over 3 minutes, I think Hussain Manawer performing ‘The White Rose’, his poem about the loss of his mother is worth a watch:

She died after losing her battle with cancer…

This was the news this month re Dame Tessa Jowell, a former UK Cabinet Minister.

Almost without exception, the media coverage I heard and read talked about her ‘losing her battle with cancer’ or her ‘brain cancer fight’.

These words bother me.

I’ve wondered for quite a while now whether when we talk about cancer in this way we put pressure on everyone who receives a similar diagnosis to ‘fight’.

And, then, when they do die, the implication seems to be that they’ve somehow ‘lost’ or ‘failed’ – and maybe didn’t try hard enough… Continue reading “She died after losing her battle with cancer…”

The Support (We Think) People Want or Need During Difficult Times

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Commonly known as ‘The Golden Rule’, versions of this sentiment can be found in many cultures and religious and moral frameworks.

It has a strong humanitarian message and seems to work well in a lot of situations.

However, the underlying assumption is that the treatment or behaviour we want or expect from others is the same as they would want from us – and there’s the rub. Continue reading “The Support (We Think) People Want or Need During Difficult Times”

How Do Men (and Boys) Grieve?

Last month’s BBC documentary ‘Rio Ferdinand: being Mum and Dad’ was very powerful, I thought. It’s currently on YouTube:

Continue reading “How Do Men (and Boys) Grieve?”

Paper Still Has a Place in Our Digital World

I read an interesting BBC article recently: ‘Why paper is the real killer app.’ paper-153317_1280.png

Even though I use my laptop, phone and tablet a lot for work and socially, writing the old-fashioned way – using pen and paper – still has its place in my life.

And it seems there are plenty of people who agree with me. Continue reading “Paper Still Has a Place in Our Digital World”

Five Ways to Wellbeing

‘Five ways to wellbeing’ was developed by NEF and is currently being promoted by Mind, the UK mental health charity. Simply put, it’s a framework to help us look after our mental and emotional health:

  • Connect – with other people, a fundamental human need
  • Be active – physical activity helps our mental and emotional state, as well as our bodies
  • Take notice – of what’s going on around you, now
  • Keep learning – learning new things helps keep us engaged and active
  • Give – doing something to help someone else makes us feel good

Continue reading “Five Ways to Wellbeing”

What Really Matters at the End of Life

As you may know, I work at our local hospice with people who are been bereaved, and with people who are anticipating bereavement. Because of this, as well as because of my own personal experiences of death of friends and family, I was interested to hear what B J Miller has to say in this TED talk. Continue reading “What Really Matters at the End of Life”

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