MENTAL HEALTH - READING AND COMPREHENSION
PART ONE: General comments on the chosen article and why.
I chose to read the article on ‘The secrets of happiness’ by Richard Layard.' The title alone was very attractive. Happiness is what I believe most people — if not everyone, are in search for. So as it read, the secrets of happiness, I was very curious to know what these secrets were and possibly learn from them. I want to be happy as well.
The article was an easy read. The writer used simple language and I did not spend a lot of time trying to understand what he was saying. He also used practical examplesof everyday life to better explain his points. This article seemed to be addressed to every or anyone because there were no medical terms or terminologies. However, I read the article twice. I found it very interesting and reading it again was just for me to see if I had left out any point(s).
PART TWO: A brief summary of the article.
Generally, people want more in their income. As society becomes richer, people are still not happy. Even though we now have better homes and better lifestyles, some surveys still show that people’s happiness is deteriorating.
The writer defines happiness as feeling good and enjoying life. Unhappiness as wishing things was better or different. The richer people are happier than the poor.
As a result, there has been an increase in clinical depression worldwide. Women about the age of 30 were especially affected, and over the years, age is reducing. For example, in 1982, women aged 36 were noted to be suffering from some sort of depression, but in the year 2000, that age had reduced to 30.
However, worldwide, if comparing countries were the average incomes were lower than some countries, then, we begin to see that happiness for those in the richer country will now depend on other factors.
Layard summarises toward the end with some simple facts which could help achieve happiness despite the income.
We eventually become used to what we have and learn how to do manage. We should be realistic in demands and needs. Limit self-comparison/envy practically; that can be achievable. In return, some people become motivated to better themselves. Finally, if that extra income does not make you happy, then concentrate on something else.
Research study planned into debt and mental health. By lan McMillan lan Mcmillan (July 2008) Research study planned into debt and mental health. Mental Health Practice, volume 11 no 10. 4. This article was a short read of about 200 words. It was also straight to the point with simple vocabularies.
This article was meant to be informative reading but aimed to raise awareness between the relationship between debt and mental health.
The writer points out two main facts;
- the fact that there seem to be a relationship between our financial stands andour state of mind, hence
-there have been instances where this has proven to be true but there is an ongoing research to prove this point.
The results will be used to create more awareness and help and come up with solutions for interventions against the crisis.
‘...the aim of the review is to use existing knowledge to inform and instigate effective action’
The articles go on to explain exactly how the research will be carried out, by whom and when. ‘
This article relates very well with my previous article about finding happiness. Both articles conclude that mental health is greatly affected and aggravated by poor financial situations.
ARTICLE 2 A breath of fresh air By Daniel Allen,
Daniel Allen (July 2008) A breath of French air. Mental Health Practice, volume 11 no 10. 8
The writer of this article used reaches as evidence and his personal Opinion to explain why and how fresh air and green is good and can be part of the therapeutic process for clients with a mental health problem.
The article elaborates on the various researches carried out worldwide and their results- including biological experiments.
The author goes further to suggest some factors (yet of nature) which can also be harmful; i.e. noise.
This article was also a simple read with a lot of information. It was descriptive with a good balance in the debate. The article cited sources which he criticised whilst explaining why his points were more relevant. ( a good example of evidence-based practice).
Unlike the previous materials, this article gives some suggestions on how we can use nature, which does not cost full for our benefits. I am very pleased with this suggestion and I believe it is about time, became close to nature.
Starting university was a concern for me at the beginning. I had been out of school or any form of the academic environment for a while. So I knew I had to practically start all over. However, being a pragmatic learner and to overcome any fear of failure, I was determined to work hard and improve on my weakness and strengths.
I soon realised the first step on this journey was being organised. My first assignment tested my ability to surf the computer and the internet. Then, choosing a topic to work on and consequently writing a summary. I can now say I am more confident in my writings and researches. I now have a better knowledge on how to do specific searching, referencing and essay writing. I remember feeling stressed during the first two activities. At university, I was expected to delegate my self-directed learning timetable. However, I was also unable to summarise the main points. Then, always confused about the differences between referencing and an annotated bibliography. Besides, I had to improve my vocabulary and grammar in my writings. Finally, knowing the right use of punctuations marks. All of these demands were challenging and I felt isolated.
Initially, I tried to see how my colleagues were getting on, but I got even more confused. Hence, I started looking for books and articles to help me improve my academic skills and widen my knowledge. The library saved me because I had almost all the help I needed. I was particularly grateful for the sessions where I could ask the tutor questions and get feedback. I am no longer frightened to put my thoughts in writing, whilst applying all the techniques I have let, to gives my writings a flow of thoughts and appropriate vocabularies. I still continue to read more materials to learn better writing styles and formats. I endeavour to plan and draft all my writings, whilst seeking for help as soon as possible when needed. I also know the importance of avoiding not using other people’s work and words without referencing it, and correctly.
To conclude, I am pleased with the changes, growth and experiences I have had to part-take, which has to enable me to acquire my achievements so far. In fact, whilst writing this reflection, I actually for the first time, looked back and analysed myself honestly.
Johns C (2004) Becoming a
Reflective Practitioner. Second edition. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.
Jasper M (2003) Beginning Reflective Practice. Nelson Thornes, Cheltenham.