Author Archive: Geoffrey Ahern

I am a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Mental Health.and a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Master Instructor. I am also a freelance mental health educator with a passion to help people increase their understanding of holistic health, and empower themselves to take responsibility for their own well being.

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Chill Out: Disturbed Sleep Plays Havoc with Your Mood and Mind

Chill Out: Disturbed Sleep Plays Havoc with Your Mood and Mind

By Dorothy Bruck, Victoria University A poll by Lifeline released earlier this week shows almost two-thirds of Australians reported sleep loss because of stress relating to work or their finances. The findings went largely unremarked, even though a chronic lack of sleep has serious public health implications. Sleep theory tells us that there are two […]

Synthetic cannabis: even regular drug users don’t trust it

Synthetic cannabis: even regular drug users don’t trust it

By Sarah Macgregor, Australian Institute of Criminology For decades, cannabis has remained the most popular illicit drug among Australians. The strong demand among cannabis and other drug users for methods to evade detection and legal trouble has made online products such as “drug-free urine” popular. More recently, this demand has fuelled the influx of a […]

Meat vs veg: how does a vegetarian diet stack up?

Meat vs veg: how does a vegetarian diet stack up?

By Surinder Baines, University of Newcastle Ethical and environmental considerations are often the prompt for adopting a meat-free diet. But better health may also push some towards vegetarianism, with a new study showing vegetarians have a lower risk of premature death than their meat-eating counterparts. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study of […]

On Friends and Being Friendly

On Friends and Being Friendly

Recently I added a post to the website called, “Just Do It” which talked about getting up off your bum and doing something when you’re depressed.  Well, I want to follow up on that and talk about the joy of meeting new people and getting to know their stories. This last week I got to know […]

Just Do It

Just Do It

So, I’m going to go all Nike on you today and say you need to just do it.  I’m not really in to brand loyalty but I actually have a Nike T-shirt that I couldn’t resist buying when I saw it a few years ago. On the front it says, “Blah blah blah” and on […]

US President Obama Endorses MHFA

US President Obama Endorses MHFA

This article was first published on the MHFA Blog and has been reproduced here with permission. On January 16th 2013, President Barack Obama announced his “Now Is the Time” plan, which put forward a new series of executive actions and legislative proposals to help curb gun violence. The plan includes several mental health proposals focused on recognising and treating mental […]

How Yoga Breathing Exercises Can Help You Control Anxiety

How Yoga Breathing Exercises Can Help You Control Anxiety

When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady.  But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life.  Therefore, one should learn to control the breath. ~Svatmarama, Hatha Yoga Pradipika We all experience anxiety from time to time: fleeting moments of “nerves” before speaking, job interviews, trips […]

How to Use Mindfulness to Calm Anxiety

How to Use Mindfulness to Calm Anxiety

Anxiety sufferers don’t spend much time in the moment. When the mind is disturbed by high levels of stress and anxiety, it’s very hard to focus on where you are, or what you’re doing. The anxious mind is always clouded by shadows from past painful experiences or negative predictions about what might go wrong in […]

ADHD Drugs Harming Canadian Kids

ADHD Drugs Harming Canadian Kids

Most of us have been lulled into a false sense of security, believing that if the doctor gives you a script, surely it must be safe, but these are powerful, mind-altering, psychoactive drugs that ought to be prescribed with absolute caution and discretion, with the parents fully informed of the potential dangerous side effects. Scroll […]

Time with parents is important for teens’ well-being

Time with parents is important for teens’ well-being

Teenagers are famous for seeking independence from their parents, but research shows that many teens continue to spend time with their parents and that this shared time is important for teens’ well-being, according to Penn State researchers. “The stereotype that teenagers spend all their time holed up in their rooms or hanging out with friends […]

Mid-Life Men and Suicide: It’s Not Just About Mental Health Problems

Mid-Life Men and Suicide: It’s Not Just About Mental Health Problems

A guest post by Kate Kelland, reprinted from www.samaritans.org Middle-aged men in the lowest socio-economic group and living in the most deprived areas are 10 times more likely to commit suicide than those in the most affluent group, often because they have lost a sense of identity and masculine pride, researchers said on Thursday. In […]

Want to Wake up Jazzed About the Day Ahead?

Want to Wake up Jazzed About the Day Ahead?

“Want to feel as playful and vibrant as your children? Want to feel an abundance of energy?  Want to experience greater clarity in all you do? Want to wake up jazzed about the day ahead?  Imagine taking care of yourself in all the marvellous ways you take care of others. It makes sense that, if […]

By September 24, 2012 0 Comments Read More →
Time to Talk About Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Time to Talk About Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse

By Rhys Price-Robertson, Australian Institute of Family Studies Make a list of ten men in your life — perhaps your father, your partner, your friends, and some of your colleagues. It’s likely that at least one man on your list is struggling with the traumatic legacy of child sexual abuse. And the odds are that […]

By September 24, 2012 0 Comments Read More →
I’ll Be Happier When…..

I’ll Be Happier When…..

One of the biggest mistakes people make when seeking happiness  –  and how to avoid it……. It is true that we all have some idea of what makes us truly happy. Family fun, our good friendships, hobbies … Yet we humans are, sometimes, way off the mark. The problem is that we often invest into […]

By September 19, 2012 1 Comments Read More →
Postnatal depression: it doesn’t just affect women

Postnatal depression: it doesn’t just affect women

Men get post-natal depression too, right?  Now before any of you women reach through your computer screen and try to slap me across the face 🙂  have a read of this interesting article.  When I first read the title I was quite amused, then once I read it and reflected on what it had to […]

By September 11, 2012 0 Comments Read More →
Can a gut bacteria imbalance really cause autism?

Can a gut bacteria imbalance really cause autism?

Anyone who has attended any training I’ve run where I talk about managing depression will know that I talk about the importance of good quality nutritional intake.  This article, taken directly from The Conversation website, does a good job at explaining at least in part why we call the gut the “Second” or the “Little” […]

By September 11, 2012 0 Comments Read More →
Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day

G’day, Here are some of my reflections that I wrote on Father’s Day last week….. I’m sitting here alone, well almost.  My 12 year old is on the computer.  The 18 and 15 year old lads are surfing and skating and my lovely wife and daughter are out shopping, buying nice food for a Father’s […]

By September 11, 2012 0 Comments Read More →
This Way of Life

This Way of Life

I want to tell you about an amazing documentary that I saw recently, called “This Way of Life“. I had a most interesting reaction to this documentary.  Firstly, I was cynical and thought the family somewhat lazy, unrealistic, pathetic even.  My next reaction was to get angry.  I got up, walked out and carried on […]

By September 11, 2012 1 Comments Read More →
Project Unbreakable

Project Unbreakable

I was having a little look at Facebook the other day when I noticed that someone had posted a link to this, Project Unbreakable – The Beginning of Healing Through Art .  It’s the brain child of Grace Brown, a 19 year old photography student who decided one day that she wanted to do something to help […]

By September 11, 2012 0 Comments Read More →
Beyond Spirituality: The Role of Meditation in Mental Health

Beyond Spirituality: The Role of Meditation in Mental Health

By Jonathan Krygier, University of Sydney and Andrew Kemp, University of Sydney Meditation has traditionally been associated with Eastern mysticism but science is beginning to show that cultivating a “heightened” state of consciousness can have a major impact on our brain, the way our bodies function and our levels of resilience. Clinicians are increasingly looking […]

By September 11, 2012 0 Comments Read More →