Artability is a free exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre, Melbourne, featuring visual artists of various culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and ages who have a disability or who live with mental illness. This piece is “Offering of Peace and Love” by Kishari Patwardhan.
Corporate culture stigmatises mental illness & risks executive liability. In a 2012 Chartered Secretaries Australia study of 300 ASX listed companies, the researchers found that 40% of participants did not see mental health issues as a risk to their organisation. The study suggests corporate culture & policies need to change.
How can you better address the experience of stress and work? Research shows that stress comes from many sources, but the cumulative effect can lead to chronic illness. Sane Australia reports that one in five Australians will experience some form of mental illness.
Many people manage stress in unhealthy ways because they don’t understand the resources available to them or because they don’t have…
Your Social Science Tidbit for the Week is about using social science to become more aware about mental wellbeing.
The ability to focus is like a muscle that you can train. Psychologist Wendy Hasenkam has conducted research on how to improve this mental focus. She finds there are four ways to achieve this, involving breathing and through better understanding of our thinking patterns. (more…)
Sudanese Australians use music to reflect on their war experiences. This group performed for the Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS) in Western Sydney. One performer says:
When you’re happy, you sing it out; when you’re sad, you sing it out… You talk to people, you make an announcement – anything at all, you make a song.
Another singer says:
It looks like fun, but it’s not fun… I’m not a young woman, I’m an old woman. I can’t come if it’s [just] fun. We want the people that doesn’t know what happened a long time in the past, and that is why we are here.
STARTTS Chief Executive says:
Dance brings people together, but also brings people together in a way that turns thoughts and feelings into action, and that’s tremendously therapeutic.
Dual Ethnicity and Depressive Symptoms: Implications of Being Black and Latino in the United States
This study investigated the expression of depressive symptoms in adolescents who are of Afro-Latino descent. Levels of expression of depressive symptoms were compared for four groups of adolescents in Grades 7 through 12 residing in the United States: European Americans, African Americans, Latinos, and Afro-Latinos. One hypothesis is that Afro-Latinos should exhibit higher levels of depressive symptoms than either African Americans or Latinos by virtue of being double minorities. An alternative hypothesis is that Afro-Latino youth will show lower levels of depressive symptomology because of their access to a broader repertoire of cultural resources when faced with stress and depression-inducing events. Results indicated that Afro-Latino females tended to exhibit higher levels of depressive symptoms than those of the other ethnic groups. Across all ethnic groups, adolescent females tended to show higher levels of depressive symptoms than adolescent males and older adolescents tended to show higher levels of depression than younger adolescents.
Indigenous culture has for a long time had a holistic understanding of mental health. Within this are concepts of the cultural importance of the connection between the mind and body as well as the land, ancestors and other spiritual connections…. What I admire most in my family and all the communities is Aboriginal people’s great resilience and generosity of spirit, not only to their own people but to everyone. Despite a terrible history that is still very close for Australia’s Indigenous people, this spirit of generosity and resilience are something to celebrate and acknowledge.
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that the content on this page may contain images and references to deceased persons. (Why this warning?)
The Council of Australian Governments has conducted a national review of Indigenous socio-economic outcomes. Its recent report finds that while some measures are improving, there is still a large gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. This post provides a snapshot of the findings with a focus on education and responses by the state. One of the solutions being offered to improve educational outcomes amongst Indigenous youth is to send them to boarding schools. I discuss this in relation to Australia’s colonial history and the Government’s paternalistic views on Indigenous welfare.
I review other approaches to Indigenous education, which focus on working to students’ strengths in order to improve outcomes. This means making curriculum more focused on applied skills, vocational training within remote communities, and ensuring knowledge is culturally relevant. At the same time, educational efforts must avoid “pigeon holing” Indigenous students and teachers. Instead, education needs to make leadership and career pathways more accessible, and ensure that Indigenous insights are being fed back into the education system.
Finally, my post explores how sociological teaching and activism needs to change in reflection of the history of Indigenous educational practices.
A woman from the audience asks: ‘Why were there so few women among the Beat writers?’ and [Gregory] Corso, suddenly utterly serious, leans forward and says: “There were women, they were there, I knew them, their families put them in institutions, they were given electric shock. In the ’50s if you were male you could be a rebel, but if you were female your families had you locked up.
Stephen Scobie, on the Naropa Institute’s 1994 tribute to Allen Ginsberg (via thisisendless)
Shiho Fukada’s Pulitzer Centre project on Japan’s “disposable workers” focuses on people who are precariously employed in casual and “dead end” jobs. They are underpaid, working long hours but without any of the benefits or sense of stability of full time employment. This affects people who are homeless as well as white collar workers who are driven to suicide due to mental and physical exhaustion. I see that Fukada’s photo essay offers an insightful visual critique of economic progress and the rapid increase of an “underclass” in one of the world’s most advanced societies. I argue that Fukada’s work might be understood through the sociological concept of anomie, a term that describes the social alienation that follows a society’s shift in morals and values. In this case, I explore how a cultural change in attitude means that workers are less valued in Japan, leading to socio-economic and mental health problems. I draw a comparison between the Japanese and the Australian workforce. I conclude by showing how sociologists seek to help governments, employers, developers and community organisations work together to better support a sustainable and ethical economic future.