ANTI BULLYING WEEK 13 NOVEMBER 2017

Anti bullying Week 2017 is being held between the 13th and 17th November and is organised by Anti-Bullying Alliance. Follow the events on social media using #antibullyingweek and #abw17. The theme will promote difference and equality in schools with the tag-line ‘All Different, All Equal’.

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Anti-Bullying Week runs from 13-17 November 2017

The theme for Anti-Bullying Week has been announced by the Anti-Bullying Alliance and will promote difference and equality in schools with the tag-line ‘All Different, All Equal’.

Find out more about how to get involved here

The idea is to help children and young people celebrate what makes them, and others, unique and help them understand why it’s important that every child feels included in school able to be themselves without fear of bullying.

The Anti-Bullying Alliance will be supporting schools with a range of free activities to help them take action to prevent bullying and create safe environments for their pupils with their pupils. They will also be launching a film competition for young people in the coming weeks.

The theme is based on the views of almost 600 children and young people who completed an Anti-Bullying Alliance survey, as well as consultation with ABA’s many members. The young people surveyed said they wanted to talk tackling bullying as a result of perceived difference.

WORLD PSORIASIS DAY 29 OCTOBER 2017

World Psoriasis Day is a global annual awareness day specially dedicated to people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Conceived by patients for patients, #WPD is a truly worldwide event that sets out to give an international voice to the more than 125 million people with psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis around the world. Formed by a global consortium of patient associations from around the world (the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations or IFPA), World Psoriasis Day aims to raise the profile of a condition that needs to be taken more seriously by national and international authorities.

Aims of World Psoriasis Day

Every day, people with psoriasis face immense barriers in society, including in the health care system, at work, in school and in social interactions. Through World Psoriasis Day, we hope to encourage our supporters to take part by pledging to do one or more of the following:

FIGHT prejudice, stigmatization and discrimination
RAISE awareness, understanding and hope
GAIN access to proper diagnosis, treatment and improved quality of life 

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The theme for World Psoriasis Day 2017 is “Psoriasis Inside Out” and it is all about showing all aspects of the disease and to give a face to pso/psa and to share stories. For that reason, IFPA and its members in 56 countries are organising awareness-raising and advocacy campaigns to improve access to treatment, increase understanding and build unity among the psoriasis community.

Psoriasis Myths and Misconceptions

Unlike other ailments, psoriasis can be seen on the skin and often people guess at what is wrong. They wonder if the lesions might be contagious, which they are not, or that the person who has psoriasis is unclean, overly nervous or high-strung, which they may be, but that is not the reason they have psoriasis.

Sometimes they may believe the person who has the skin disorder did something to cause psoriasis to appear; but that, too, is also false.

Psoriasis is a disorder stemming from a physical defect just like other disorders, such as arthritis, asthma,  diabetes or nearsightedness. It is very important to educate the public about psoriasis and not allow myths to spread.

Common myths about psoriasis:

Myth: “Psoriasis is contagious.”

Fact: Psoriasis, especially in moderate or severe forms, is highly visible. Because of the abnormal growth of skin cells, thick red scaly inflamed patches of skin appear. However, psoriasis is not contagious. You can’t ‘catch’ the disease from another person and you can’t pass it on to someone else by touching them or having close contact. Actually, psoriasis is as contagious as freckles!

Myth: “Psoriasis is just a skin disease. A cosmetic problem.”

Fact: Psoriasis is chronic disease of the immune system that causes the abnormal growth of skin cells. While a normal skin cell matures in 28 to 30 days and is shed from the skin’s surface unnoticed, a psoriatic skin cell takes only 3 to 4 days to mature and move to the surface, resulting in cells piling up and forming the scaly lesions. Psoriasis lesions can be painful and itchy, and they can crack and bleed.
About 30 – 50% of all people with psoriasis also develop psoriasis arthritis which causes pain, stiffness and swelling in and around the joints.
Skin inflammation in psoriasis is just the tip of the iceberg – there is increasing evidence suggesting links with serious health concerns such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, liver disease, depression and obesity

Myth: “Psoriasis only affects patients physically.”

Fact: Aside from the physical burden of the disease, there is also a significant psychological and emotional impact experienced by psoriasis sufferers. People with psoriasis often report feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, anger, frustration and even depression related to the appearance of their skin and how others react to their condition. Some patients with severe psoriasis have even experienced thoughts of
suicide. Many individuals react to their condition by wearing concealing clothing, curtailing everyday activities such as swimming or going to the gym if it means they will attract stares or negative comments. Psoriasis sufferers often compare the dysfunction and disability of the condition to that experienced by people with other chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.

Myth: “Psoriasis is caused by poor hygiene.”

Fact: Psoriasis is a disease of the immune system and has nothing to do with poor hygiene. Triggers that can influence the course of psoriasis include infections, stress or worry, hormonal changes, injury to the skin, alcohol, obesity, poor diet, and certain medications.

Myth: “Psoriasis can be cured”

Fact: Psoriasis is a chronic, life-long disease. There is no known cure yet, but with new options and improved existing treatments, people have a wide variety of ways to help manage the symptoms of psoriasis. Until a cure for psoriasis is found, pharmaceutical research continues to hold the best hope for increasingly more effective therapies leading to better overall management of psoriasis. Research into the immune system has led to the development of new biological drugs that target the underlying causes of the
condition.

Myth: “Psoriasis is easily diagnosed.”

Fact: Many conditions affecting the skin look alike, for example some early symptoms of psoriasis, such as itching and redness, look the same as eczema or atopic dermatitis. This can sometimes make the disease difficult to diagnose. It’s important to see a doctor who can do the necessary tests to make a proper diagnosis.

Myth: “Psoriasis cannot be inherited.”

Fact: While many patients with no family history develop psoriasis, there is a genetic link in approximately 40 – 60% of patients with the condition. Numerous studies point to a genetic predisposition, or inherited tendency, for these patients to develop psoriasis. Having the genetic predisposition, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that an individual will develop the disease. Other contributing factors, such as injury or infection, may act in conjunction with several genes, or specific patterns of genes, to set in motion the chain of events resulting in psoriasis.

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BABY LOSS AWARENESS WEEK 9th – 15th OCTOBER 2017

Each year 9-15 October is Baby Loss Awareness Week. Throughout the week bereaved parents, their families and friends, unite with each other and others across the world to commemorate their babies’ lives.

Baby Loss Awareness Week also provides a chance to raise awareness about the issues surrounding pregnancy and baby loss in the UK. This year we are calling for improved bereavement support for families affected by baby and pregnancy loss.

In the UK, Baby Loss Awareness Week is a collaboration between more than 40 charities.

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Join us for the Global Wave of Light

Baby Loss Awareness Week finishes each year on October 15th with the global ‘Wave of Light’. October 15th is also International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and is recognised across the world.

We would like to invite you to join with other families across the world and take part in the global ‘Wave of Light’. Simply light a candle at 7pm local time and leave it burning for at least 1 hour to join us in remembering all babies that have died too soon. This can be done individually or in a group, at home or in a communal space. Wherever you do this, you will be joining a global ‘Wave of Light’ in memory of all the babies who lit up our lives for such a short time.

This year we’re also inviting you to join a digital Wave of Light at 7pm local time on October 15. To get involved, take a photo of your candle and post it to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #WaveOfLight at 7pm local time.

 

World Mental Health Awareness Day 2017 – male depression

Well it wouldn’t be a mental health awareness blog without some more mental health awareness would it 😊

Today is mental awareness awareness day or 10th October 2017 to the rest of you. This day is used to help raise awareness of a multitude of areas connected to mental health. It isn’t a day to start pointing the finger at people and calling them names!!

At some point you or someone you know will suffer from a mental health illness. Whether it is stress, depression, anxiety or something much more. We all need to to work together to tackle the stigma. Mental health illness does not make you weak or inferior. It doesn’t just affect women a lot of men suffer in silence afraid of what others may think. Guys if real men wear pink then even realer men reveal their emotions! Go on let out a cry if you need too and talk to someone about it!

I am using today to raise awareness of men’s suffering. Why should they suffer? What makes them different from women? Well to be honest I can’t personally speak for every man out there and clearly I’m not one but I suspect it comes down to gender stereotyping. Men are expected to be all macho and never reveal their emotions – well perhaps dodgy humour is permitted in some circumstances. However, generally the ‘man of the house’ is to be the bread winner, the one who chairs his household like a godfather. Everyone comes to him with their problems and he has all the answers. Well the truth is men you’re not so dissimilar to us women. We’re ‘expected’ to know the answers (think childcare etc), were suppose to keep the house together (housework).

We shouldn’t conform to any gender stereotyping we should just be who we want to be. Some women are more dominant in their family and the men more care givers. Nothing wrong with this!!!

Men you can cry, laugh and shout out loud. You are allowed to have breakdowns although we’d prefer it that you seek help before that happens. You can feel insecure about your body (by the way the ideal man in most women’s eyes isn’t some 6ft body builder, most of us like a man with the six pack in the fridge). You can feel down in the dumps, stressed etc just talk to someone. Communication is key to getting better. You wouldn’t leave a broken foot unseen so don’t try to stick a plaster over your mind and assume it will heal by itself.

I’m obviously no mental health expert or therapist but I encourage people to just talk to their peers. I can guarantee you are not the only one in your friendship circle to be suffering in silence.

Possible triggers (no particular order):

  • Marriage / relationship breakdown
  • Domestic violence
  • Abuse
  • Bullying / harassment
  • Redundancy
  • Illness
  • Bereavement
  • Self esteem / body issues
  • Change in family (new baby, marriage)
  • Parents divorcing
  • Alcohol or something balance abuse

Nothing above is any different for a man or woman to suffer depression it’s just men don’t talk about it.

Us women are great talkers (ok not all of us), we have a natter with our girlies and generally try to put the world to rights over a cuppa tea. Men you tend to kick a ball around or have a pint or two but not generally talk feelings it’s more shop talk (sex, that woman’s boobs, tv, sport etc). Now correct me if I’m wrong but it’s rare that’s I’ve known men to have a heart to heart with the lads about their marriage breakdown, girlfriend troubles, erectile dysfunction, grief etc. You seem to pop those issues on a shelf to gather dust and let it get worse and worse. Why? I would really like for you to reach out to me and explain why. Is it because you are deeply private individuals or is there more to it. Is it more to do with gender stereotyping that men shouldn’t talk about these things? In today’s society I believe men and women are equal to talk about their feelings. It’s natural to talk (some more than others). If the second in line to be king of England can share his feelings with the nation then surely you can open up to your best mate. Even if you don’t want to talk to your wife / girlfriend or partner at least chat to your bestie that’s what friends are for. True friends won’t judge you and probably relate to you more than you think. It’s like that old age phrase ask the question because you can guarantee someone else is thinking the same. There’s also no such thing as a stupid question just one that’s left unanswered.

So men reach out and have a chat with your nearest and dearest (or GP). You’ll not be locked away and thrown in a padded cell for having voices in your head. You can be helped but only if you choose to seek help.

If you’re a man suffering with depression and would like to reach out and share you’re story why not get in contact with me. I could always do with a regular male voice on the blog.

Katherine xo