How To Manage The Grief That Comes With An Empty Nest

Empty Nest Syndrome

Over the next couple of weeks a strange and unfamiliar sound will ring out in homes all over the UK: the deafening noise of silence in an empty void once filled with other treasured and familiar sounds. This, for thousands of families, is the soundtrack of a newly-empty nest.

The next fortnight sees an exodus for more than half a million teenagers (682,010, if you want to be a stickler for accuracy) setting out on the next stage of their life journey and leaving behind what has been, in most cases, the 18-year emotional safety of family life.

One thing is certain. There will be tears. Tears shed silently (and maybe not so silently) behind the closed doors of halls of residence flats, along with t...

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What To Do If You’re Concerned About Your Friends Mental Health

Friends Mental Health
  For this blog I teamed up with the fantastic SOS Silence of Suicide Organisation ( and we wrote a Q&A together on how best to support someone if you are concerned about their mental health   1. What are some of the major red flags to look for which suggest your friends might be struggling with their mental health? 


Any unusual changes in behaviour. These may include drinking more than usual or other substance abuse, increased anger or anxiety, withdrawal and isolation, any marked decrease in time spent with fri...

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What Matters Most In Life Is How Well You Walk Through The Fire (aka Trusting Yourself)

Trusting Yourself

‘What matters most in life is how well you walk through the fire.’ – Charles Bukowski 

Charles Bukowski was an acclaimed author of fiction, poetry and non-fiction, and a rampant alcoholic. Consciously or otherwise, he knew a thing or two about self-trust. 

Widely regarded as one of the leading influencers of 1950s and 1960s American pop culture, his work represented a life-long exercise in self-exploration characterised by life choices and decisions that the majority of apparently ‘right-minded’ people would likely consider ill-advised even in today’s socially-entrepreneurial society.

In good mental health, self-trust...

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Why You Need To Stop Believing The Lie That Children Are Resilient

Childrens Resilience

There are many ways in which our lives have been altered – perhaps irretrievably – over the past year, and from the perspective of their impact on global mental health, many of them concern me greatly.

But of all the dangerous guff that’s been spouted, the notion that children are somehow completely unaffected by the pandemic and are able to simply shrug the experience off is by some distance the most worrying.

I’m not sure where the myth that children have an apparently impenetrable resilience originated. But it’s an insidious and damaging belief about child welfare that, unchecked, serves only to legitimise emotional abuse.

Resilience is a blood brother to fear, so in order to understand how resilience works it’s necessary to un...

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Radical Self-Care In Treacherous Times

Self Care

The arrival of lockdown number three has surely come as a surprise to absolutely no-one. Whatever your view may have been on the politics of the pandemic, the one thing that simply can’t be denied is the seismic upward shift in hospital admissions.

By the second week of December anyone with even half an eye on the rapidly growing trend could have foreseen the inevitable evaporation of the de-restricted Christmas we had been promised. 

As sure as night follows day, and just 24 hours after the Prime Minister’s December 18th proclamation that it would be ‘cruel’ to renege on that promise, so Christmas was cancelled. ...

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The Power of Acknowledgement

Healing A Broken Heart

I was talking to a friend of mine recently about conflict and how people often choose to deal with confrontation and disagreement by offering a non-apology – usually a version of I’m sorry you feel that way.

I’ve written about this before, so anyone who follows my articles and social feeds will know my thoughts on the importance of us somehow (no matter how painful it can feel) accepting responsibility for the way we might make another person feel.   It’s not easy but it’s so healing when you can hear each other.      

The friend I was speaking to – we’ll call him Steve – told me a story.


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Why This Government Is Acting Like An Alcoholic Parent

Broken Trust Concept

Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP)

Definition: A mental health problem in which a caregiver makes up or causes an illness or injury in a person under his or her care, such as a child, an elderly adult, or a person who has a disability. Because vulnerable people are the victims, MSBP is a form of child abuse or elder abuse.

Stockholm syndrome

Definition: A psychological response. It occurs when hostages or abuse victims bond with their captors or abusers. This psychological connection develops over the course of the days, weeks, months, or even years of captivity or abuse.


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How To Stay Sane In A World Of Heartbreak

Craig Mccann Mcmillan

Two years ago this month, I wrote an article about the current occupant of the White House and the future world of post-traumatic stress that he was wilfully and deliberately creating for migrant families through a policy of enforced familial separation.

I didn’t name him in that article and I have no intention of dignifying him by doing so now.

Recently, that individual has threatened to do what no American leader has done in nearly 30 years and deploy troops to tackle the violent protests that have erupted in the wake George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis last week.

It hardly seems coincidental that when George Bush Sen...

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What’s Your Apocalypse Style?

Zombie Apocalypse Survivor Against Hordes Of Undead

These last couple of  weeks I found that I own a pair of Fuck-It pants.

This discovery came as a bit of a surprise, because presumably like you and pretty much everyone else in the world who suddenly found the world had irrevocably changed, I had spent the first week of lockdown feeling really fearful about what the post-Covid-19 future might look like.

There was a time in those first few days when I wondered if there would even be a future.

It seemed like one moment it was gin o’clock and then, in the next moment, Armageddon had arrived, coming at full tilt and howling like a banshee.

There is absolutely no d...

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Why Caroline Flack’s Death Shames Us All

Screen Shot 2020 02 29 At 11.16.53

In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

These are not my words. These are the words Caroline Flack posted on her Instagram account in December last year after she was charged with assaulting her boyfriend, Lewis Burton, and the media enjoyed yet another field day at the expense of a celebrity caught in its crosshairs.

The former Love Island host committed suicide in her London flat a fortnight ago, just a couple of weeks before the scheduled start of her trial.

Since her body was discovered and the news broke, social media has erupted into a firestorm of moral outrage at the way Caroline Flack was treated by the UK media, not just in the eig...

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