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Saturday, June 29, 2013

New Haikus on the words 'Stay' and 'Tame'


Generation Y
Give up at the first hurdle
No staying power

Stay awhile longer
In post-coital slumber
Two souls united

Porridge and honey
Our winter morning mainstay
Sustains me till lunch


To tame your iPhone
In those moments of high stress
Turn the damned thing off

To tame emotions?
Even His Holiness says
We all get angry

Say the word 'tame' lots
It loses all it's meaning
That's what it may mean

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Monday Free pdf Download: Did the Death of Kurt Cobain influence young suicides in Australia?

We investigated this in Australia, comparing the five years before Cobain's death with the years afterward. Conventional wisdom suggested that the suicide of such an icon would increase risks for copycat. In fact, we were unable to establish this. There are a number of explanations, but the one we preferred was that Courtney Love had publicly denigrated the act to a crowd in Seattle, and her words reached all round the world. We suggested that the strategy might work more generally to stop copycat suicides. 

You can download a pdf of the original paper, which at the time made a major contribution to the literature on suicide prevention.

Family Concern Publishing

Then use 'Resources' to find this paper and 4 others.
Each week we will be adding a published resource to the store, All these are FREE of charge.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

New Haiku: Associations based on 'Quit' and 'Round'


The birthing process
Can't really quit half way through
Should have thought of that

The word makes you want to quit
It is so ugly

I gave up smoking
Long before the QUIT campaign
Saw light through the haze


A round of French cheese
Camembert or Brie perhaps
Need a real baguette

Just one of those kids
Pushing at the boundaries
Fell off roundabout

Round and round the Sun
The Earth's eternal orbit
Drawing warmth and light

Friday, June 21, 2013

Haiku on 'Own' and 'Practice'


For too short a time
His Holiness owned the stage
He who owns nothing

We own our own home
In truth the bank owns the lot
Lots of interest

I own very little
Not even my soul, really
Borrowed for a time


Medical Practice
You hope they're experienced
And you're not the first

Practice what you preach
A reverence for the words
And how they all fit

I'm just wondering
If I practice with Haiku
Will I get one right?

Monday, June 17, 2013

This Week's Free Monday pdf Download on Spirituality as Protection Against Suicide (June 17, 2013).

The free Monday pdf download is 
Spirituality and Suicide Prevention
This paper was a short editorial discussion reflecting on Spirituality as a force in the prevention of suicide in young people.

Go to 
and then Resources.
Choose the resource you want to download

Martin, G., 2002. Spirituality and Suicide Prevention. Feature of the Month. Suicide Information and Education Centre, No 11 (SIEC, Calgary, Alberta, CANADA). Previously published as an Editorial in Auseinetter, 15(2), July 2002, pp.3-4

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Haiku on 'Lend' and 'Make'


Please lend me your life
I just need to try it on
We are the same size

I lend you my heart
You want to take my whole life
Where is the mercy?

Blend your thoughts with mine
Slender lady of my dreams
Lend me your body

Lend me the day's word
In my simple way, I'll make
A thing of beauty


I was always taught
Make hay while the sun shines down

Seeing children hurt
Makes my soul shrivel inside
The future darkens

Time for morning tea
Make mine a soy latte please
Allergic to milk

Friday, June 14, 2013

Transverse Myelitis - my referred chest pain is so much better since acupuncture yesterday

Over the last few weeks, my referred pain has been getting more niggling, sharp enough to make my eyes water at times, and I have to admit I have resorted to a couple of paracetamol on some days. The pain starts to the right of my spine in the middle of my back - about T7 - and then radiates slightly down and round the right chest wall to the edge of my ribs in the front where (strangely) I have chronic numbness but also recurrent bouts of 'stinging' pain - sometimes just on breathing out, or on twisting, or after driving.
So yesterday I went back to my acupuncturist, who listened to the complete story (yes, there are other bits), and put needles in a variety of places - some of which were close to the pain, but most of which were way away.
After the treatment he stuck little squares (half a centimetre square) on my back which have a very short point attached to them. On moving you can sometimes feel the point, but it is not bad. I have five in my back from the spine down along the track, and two round the front in particularly sore spots. I have to wear these for 5 days.... (So I was a bit worried by the spa bath we had this morning, in case they washed off - which they did not!).
The result: I feel so much better, my movement is easier, I can breathe in and out more easily, and my sleep has not been troubled by the pains. So Western Medicine would demand the evidence? Well, N=1, I AM the evidence (as far as I am concerned). I really would like to know whether others have experienced this effect.

See Chapter 13 in Taking Charge: a journey of recovery for more about Acupuncture and my experience.

Transverse Myelitis -The strange thing is....

I have spent a time on various Facebook sites linked to Transverse Myelitis, and the strange thing is there are so many people suffering from this supposedly rare illness.
The second thing is that when people write about their experiences, I can recognise so much of what they are saying. Of course we are all different, but the similarities are what are most striking.
The third thing is how many people bewail the fact that their physician either does not seem to quite understand or accept what they are going through, OR labels it in ways that may not be helpful, OR actually blocks people from actively seeking services such as a pain clinic assessment.
Finally, there are some people who, like me, added a range of alternative approaches to the standard medical approach and found benefit. BUT, there are also so many people who have not considered these approaches - particularly acupuncture.
So there seems to be a place for me to keep advertising my book...
If you know someone who might benefit from a personal story, please recommend the book

Taking Charge: A journey of recovery

Yes, of course I want to sell lots of copies - even though I would not wish this cruel illness on anyone...

Haiku on 'Juggle' and 'Known'


All up in the air
He juggled priorities
Dropped the ball on life

Seasonal juggler
Keeps rainclouds up in the sky
Drops making feet wet

Juggles work and play
Eventually he stopped
And made his work fun


He'd really known her
More in the Biblical sense
Never truly loved

A spring in his step
He had known winter would end
Once he met Summer

What is truly known
Cannot really be unknown
Just lost in science

Wish I had known you
Really could use some wisdom
Great great grandfather

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Haiku on 'Hinge' and 'Instant'


Verandah board creaked
Fly screen door hinge squealed out loud
His heart skipped a beat

Derelict farmhouse
Unhinged gate, crazy angle
The story of drought

Where to find some peace?
Nightly portrayals of war
Unhinge my poor mind


Instant camera
Shutter the blink of an eye
Where did we take that?

Instant noodle lunch
Shovelled down with lack of taste
Prefer an apple

Generation Y
Instant gratification
No time for losers

Monday, June 10, 2013

Haiku on 'Fidget' and 'Gesture'


At front of the class
To improve concentration
Still fidgety Phil

Assuaging his guilt
He wore a hair shirt by day
Fidgetted in church

Afghanistan front
Patrol on heightened alert
Fidgets with trigger


It would be nicer
If 'gesture' was spelt 'jesture'
Then we could all laugh

A polite gesture
Allowed her to enter first
Gallant gentleman

Filling the cauldron
The witch made an odd gesture
An incantation?

The Monday Free Download pdf: Suicidality and Sexual Abuse in Young People

This often cited research paper describes results from a large study of young people. Clearly, sexual abuse is a precursor risk factor for suicidal thinking and behaviour.
Martin, G., Bergen, H., Richardson, A., Allison, S. & Roeger, L., 2004. Sexual Abuse and Suicidality: Gender Differences in a Community Sample of Adolescents. Child Abuse and Neglect, 28:5, 491-503.

There are two previous weekly downloads: one on Graffiti and its correlates, and one on Postvention in  a school after a completed suicide.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Haiku on 'Dimension' and 'Edge'


There's height, breadth and depth
And time, the fourth dimension
Structure for living

Me in the mirror
Not dimensions I might choose
But then I'm not God

Though love fluctuates
Yet we sense the dimensions
More or less in depth


He had a slight edge
For the examinations
He had read the book

An edge to your voice
Have I done something wrong, love?
You know what you did...

Edge of sanity
Feeling like I've lost my mind
I saw it somewhere...

Transverse Myelitis: apparently I am NOT alone

I have been attempting to make people aware of my new book. The story of my partial recovery from Transverse Myelitis, a paralysing spinal condition that left me with ongoing loss of sensation and power in both legs, and a range of other frustrating handicaps. ‘Taking Charge’ follows my journey from the first horrifying days in hospital, through a dedicated Spinal Unit, to my return to home, work and life. You can buy it at:
My hope was always that it would help other people; an intensely personal report of a journey that might make people both laugh and cry.

My thinking was to advertise the book through Twitter and Facebook and all sorts of other places. My thinking must have been a bit closed. Because...
I have had TM now for over 3 years, and had not really reached out for support my self- except of course through my family and friends.
I put 'Transverse Myelitis' into the ?? box on Facebook. TM is rare, affecting perhaps up to 7 per million people pa. So imagine my surprise to find some active, supportive and joyful support groups - who have already helped me to feel welcome, but also not 'strange'

My sincere thanks to 

Transverse Myelitis Awareness

Transverse Myelitis Society

People living with Transverse Myelitis

Apparently I am not as alone as I had thought.... Just love the internet and modern communications....

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Haiku on 'Beaten' and 'Crushed'


Beaten back by flames
All he could do was to watch
As history burned

He stood in the ring
After ten grueling rounds
Beaten, but not bowed

Beaten as a child
Stealing, in absence of love
Found love, but not wealth


One crushed garlic clove
The twilight zone of vampires
I am protected

Dark blue crushed velvet
Swirling across the dance floor
Midnight rendezvous

His spirits were crushed
The minute he saw her face
The answer was 'No'!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Monday Free Download: Paper on Graffiti and young people

This paper on graffiti is one of very few that describes correlates in a group of young people.

Go to 'Resources'
Martin, G., Richardson, A., Bergen, H., Roeger, L., & Allison, S., 2003. Family and Individual Characteristics of a community sample of adolescents who graffiti. Online Proceedings from the Graffiti and Disorder Conference, Australian Institute of Criminology in conjunction with the Australian Local Government Association. Brisbane, 18-19 August  Accessed 17.10.2012.