LGBTmentalhealth.ie is aimed at promoting positive mental health among LGBT people in Ireland. It provides signposts to the most relevant supports and services across the country for LGBT people and is particularly accessible to young people to help them reach the support they may need.
To coincide with the launch of the website three short animations are being released to highlight particular actions LGBT people can take to support their positive mental health.
The first animation deals with how stress can affect how you're feeling. Check it out here:
The other two animations will be released in the next few days and will deal with getting support and how telling someone will help. The website itself has resources on where to get help and ways to deal with issues such as bullying or harassment, coming out, a lack of support from friends or family, losing a loved one and relationship problems.
The launch of the website coincides with See Change's Green Ribbon Campaign, which aims to get Irish people talking about mental health.
"Irish LGBT people continue to face significant risks to their mental health as a result of difficult experiences such as homophobic bullying in schools, harassment in their daily lives and challenges in coming out", said Odhrán Allen, Director of Mental Health at GLEN.
Irish research shows that many LGBT people, and LGBT young people in particular, are vulnerable to a range of mental health issues.
"The online resource launched today, www.lgbtmentalhealth.ie, directly targets LGBT people with information on how they look after their mental health and highlights the services available if they feel they need additional support", continued Allen.
Cillian Fahy got seven straight As in his Leaving Cert in 2010. He then went on to sell his exam notes for €3000 on eBay. Cillian currently studies English and Maths at Trinity College Dublin and is a programme coordinator with OnlineGrinds.ie.
Onlinegrinds.ie is an interactive online grinds school where you can get grinds on Leaving Cert: Higher Level English, Irish, French, Maths, Geography & Physics. Ordinary Level Maths.
The grinds cost €10 for 70 minutes or €50 per month for unlimited grinds in unlimited subjects.
Diversity is in the deaf population (all ages), and many people don’t realise this. Moreover, in Ireland, the media tends to give a very one-sided view of deafness. This means when you're a differently-deaf young person, you must constantly advocate for captioning-support in education and in the workplace, which can be exhausting. Here's a good piece about the ‘different ways of being deaf’:>> Different Models of Deafness.
Ninety per cent of young deaf and hard-of-hearing (hoh) people in Ireland have hearing families
Most deaf/hoh teens speak English at home and at school, especially if they wear hearing-devices and are from a hearing family (90% are). Some may socialise with members of the (signing) deaf community, maybe via sign language. For young people, it's a personal choice to mix with hearing and/or deaf people – or to have friends in both groups. Just like everyone else, young people with hearing issues need to find their identity and place in the world, and to meet others like themselves.
Most deaf/hoh teens are verbal and do not use sign language (ISL)
Digital hearing-devices give wearers some access to spoken words (speech) around them and to incidental sounds, wherever they are. Some young people wear hearing-devices since they were babies. Accordingly, they're highly likely to be verbal and to chat away like everyone else. Again, it's a personal choice if sign language (ISL) is learned, or not. This depends partly on the person's family and education setting – if they went to a school for deaf students, they're likely to be fluent sign language users, and may speak, too.
In school or college, we may be classmates of yours
Deafness is called the “invisible disability”, so you may not even realise we are deaf! Most likely, we'll tell you after chatting for a bit, or you'll realise if we sound slightly different when we speak. Ninety per cent of deaf or hoh students are mainstream-educated, so we're likely to be in your classes. If we ask to read your notes, it's no biggie, we just want to make sure we haven't missed any vital study points – or any exam dates!
Our world is not silent: we just hear differently to others!
You know when someone's talking, and you just can't hear what they're saying? Maybe they're too far away, or there's music or people in the background? That's how we hear, some of the time! In a quiet setting, we maybe can hear what you're saying. Any background noise makes things more difficult. But that's when most of us turn to our lip-reading abilities
To hear music and phones, we pair ear-buds with our hearing-devices
Take it from us; Bluetooth is brilliant for pairing smart-phones and MP3 players with hearing-devices. That pesky background noise gets filtered out, and we hear straight from the source, whether it's Beyonce or our beloved. Heck, the lyrics are probably also on our phones or YouTube, so we can really get into the tunes.
Lip-reading rocks at parties, on the sports field and in forensic work
Legitimate eavesdropping can be hilarious, if you're certain what folks are talking about. At parties, you get to see who fancies who (reading body language too!) and maybe help a few lovebirds get together... And on the sports field, the opposition's tactics can be eavesdropped on – if they don't suss you out! Forensic lip-reading is a career option for the pros - but there's also money in lip-reading for scandal on live TV and footy events.
Hearing devices are worn for sports, dancing, and judo/martial arts
Never mind the medical 'advice' to not wear hearing-devices for sports, dancing, judo and martial arts! Most of us do, purely because we like to hear in our physical environments. GAA and rugby players have helmets with space and inbuilt padding for hearing-devices, while ballet headbands can double as device-retainers. And in several martial arts, the head is sacred – therefore it shouldn't be a target or have blows directed to it.
Careers and occupations are open to us, with new technologies
IDK know doctors, dentists, vets, pilots and software architects with hearing issues, who use technologies to level their fields of work. Our advice, if you're a young person with hearing issues, is to find YOUR passion and aim to study/work in YOUR field (within reason). Don't get boxed-in by parents' and teachers' ideas for employment. You're the one who has to do all the work in school, college and get inducted into workplaces!
Our goals, dreams and aspirations are the same as yours
Anything is possible, even if others try to put limits on your goals. Helen Keller is a shining example of how a person can maximise his or her own potential with the right environment and teaching. Like everyone else, young people who are deaf want to enjoy life, to have adventures, finish their education, to meet and share their lives with the right person, maybe to have their own families, and to see the world along the way.
Positive role models include Helen Keller, Marlee Matlin and Heather Whitestone
In Ireland, strong role models for young people with hearing issues are thin on the ground. But in the US, there's Marlee Matlin (the actress) and Heather Whitestone (Miss America, 1995). The profile of actress Katie LeClerc from the ABC TV series, “Switched At Birth” is also growing. And in the UK, there's Genevieve Barr, who featured in the BBC TV thriller, “The Silence” in 2010.
This information has been provided by Irish Deaf Kids.
Are you prepared for your big exam? The Leaving Cert is just around the corner, and with just a few weeks to go the stress and panic will be setting in. However, with a few simple steps you can feel more prepared for your big exam.
Set realistic goals
Remember to set realistic goals. There is no point aiming for an A1 in higher level maths if you have failed all your tests this year.
Group study can be helpful
Studying with a study buddy can be helpful especially if you need some help with a topic..
Break it down
Make a study plan. It's not too late to start studying but make sure you don't study in one big block. Break it down as your brain can only process so much information at one time.
If you are unsure of something ask your teachers. Now's the chance and no one will laugh at you for asking a question. The chances are that there is at least one other student is wondering the same thing and it's the teachers job to give you that information.
Get enough sleep
Don't do all nighters, You need your sleep you should be aiming for at least 8 hours a night.
Make sure you eat a balanced diet as it will give you a lot more energy.
Don't forget to relax
Have some 'me' time every so often. Sit back and relax for a couple of hours or hang out with your friends as it's important to relieve some of that stress.
And most of all good luck!
Check out SpunOut's video below for more study tips.
Exams are an inevitable factor in student life. The weeks before the exam can be very stressful, take some time to do exam prep and get ready, print notes, talk to the lecturer, anything that will help.
Study is the five letter word we dislike but it comes hand in hand with exams. One of the best ways of getting through exam time is to have a good plan for how to study well, look after yourself and manage your time.
Try downloading an app on your internet browser that can block various websites for a certain length of time.
What if I’m late for the exam?
Go to the exam room/hall and see if you will be admitted. Contact your department, the exams office and/or your Students’ Union if you run into difficulty.
What if I miss an exam or I’m too sick to sit the exam?
Every school/college has a procedure for instances where a student misses an exam. Contact your head teacher, department and your Students’ Union. Make sure to keep doctors’ notes, as you may need to submit a copy.
What if I sat the exam but I’m not happy with it?
If there was an issue with the paper, contact the teacher/lecturer responsible as soon as the exam is over. If you are unhappy with how the exam went for you, wait for the results before taking action. You can then talk to your teacher/Students’ Union about appeals and/or viewing the script. Remember, the Students’ Union and the exams office are there to talk and support you with exam results. And there is always the option to repeat the exams.
Who to talk to:
We all know who the party animals and cool kids are because, let's face it, we see their pictures appear in our newsfeed time and time again. Orange street lights, short skirts, glittery heels and blurred figures with red cups - the products of yet another drunken night out. It was only recently that it occurred to me that I had no social life. Or did I?
Is a social life now defined by the amount of sessions you go on, the lads you've been with and the amount of 'likes' you get on a photo? Surely there is more to life than that? Yet can seeing these popular socialites day in and day out have an effect on our self esteem?
Most young people today now strive to be a certain size and shape to match that of the popular kids. Being in any way different is considered wrong. When you say it out loud, you might think, "That's not me" but we're all guilty of wanting to lose a few pounds, tone our legs or get in shape.
Why do people think like that though? Who said skinny is the ideal body shape? Keeping up appearances all the time because you never know when people are going to whip out a camera and snap a few for Facebook is no way to go about your life. Even the popular kids that we subconsciously aspire to feel the pressure: that the whole world is watching them all the time and keeping up to date with their every move. A quiet night in with the girls is not acceptable anymore.
Low self esteem is a massive contributor to eating disorders and self-harm. So what causes low self esteem? By definition, self esteem is a realistic respect or favourable impression of oneself. So if someone feels worthless and inadequate we have to ask what could have caused this person's bleak outlook on himself or herself? We have to ask ourselves where has this person set the bar for being perfect. More people are becoming self conscious about their bodies, their clothes, how they look and how they act nowadays.
Whether we like it or not, society has issued an unspoken rule: Guys want girls with big boobs and big asses. The skinny side of the perfect female body idea actually comes from girls. Girls follow fashion and watch painfully thin models be labelled as beautiful. They then aspire to be like that. Then, girls expect guys to have the Taylor Lautner body with cuts, abs, pecks and the whole works, rather than the personality beneath the exterior. Once it is decided that is the 'perfect' body, there's no turning back.
Society has become dedicated to keeping up this appearance and it is destroying people's self esteem. Is it really that bad to break away from the monotonous ideals of other people? To be creative or original and to wear clothes you like, even if it breaks away from the latest fashion trend? Let your hair grow, cut it short, tie it up; do what makes you happy. Inspire other people with your ideas - don't oppress them. Make your thoughts and ideas known even if it's going against the crowd.
Listen to some original music; you don't have to like every mainstream rave song that you hear on the radio. Go home and pig out on ice cream every once in a while (Let's face it: ice cream makes everyone happy) and enjoy it. Don't freak about the amount of calories in it. Eat healthily; don't starve because you want to look a certain way. Be happy with the skin you're in, and if you're not, do something about it. Go for a jog at the weekend, take up a sport, push the tin of sweets away and eat an apple instead.
Do be aware that although you are exposed to this way of life every day on Facebook or Twitter, it doesn't mean it's the life you have to live. To the party animals out there, fair play to you. To everyone else, be yourself and don't be pressured into comparing yourself to other people and their ideals.
Although it seems like it's a crime to stay in and not even leave the house at the weekend when you're scrolling through endless pages of photos from a night out, you'll realise that it's the same people reappearing time after time. You'll begin to notice that in fact, not everyone goes out partying 24/7. Most people spend their holidays and weekends doing exactly the same thing you do.
We live in a generation where the internet plays a big part in our lives. Most of us use websites such as Facebook and Tumblr, and the list goes on and on. We all think that the online world can do us no harm, or that we know how to stay safe online. But how much do we really know?
You should change your password regularly. We have all heard this rule, yet many of us never follow it. You should also try and use different passwords for your online accounts because if a hacker were to hack your email account they could easily hack your Facebook if you have the same password. Don't use an easy password like your date of birth, your second name or your dog's name. Try and make it hard for someone to figure out: add capitals, symbols or numbers to your passwords to make them safer. You should also type HTTPS (hypertext transfer protocol secure) before web addresses. Most websites automatically do this when you are putting in your password or when you're on websites for online shopping or banking, but you can change your settings on Facebook by going into the security settings.
Have you ever gotten a friend request from someone you have never met and with whom you have no mutual friends? Most of us would just decline the friend request. But this is not always the case; most people will accept someone if they have a couple of mutual friends. However, you should never accept someone on Facebook that you do not know in real life. It's like the old saying: 'Never talk to strangers'. If you wouldn't do it in real life, don't do it online.
As young adults we are a generation who have almost grown up with social websites like Twitter, MySpace and Facebook. Most of us probably couldn't imagine life without these websites. So for that reason we all think we know our way around these sites or how to protect ourselves, but the truth is we don't. Some things you can do to protect your privacy online are: making your page private (this stops people who you are not friends with going through your account), and avoiding putting personal information like the name of your school, where you live or your age on these sites.
Don't think that just because you're on the internet you can act like a different person. You should just be yourself; don't put up statuses you wouldn't want your parents, teachers or employers to see. Don't put up statuses that someone could find offensive or hurtful. Always think before you speak, or in this case think before you type. Remember everything you do online is traceable even if you delete it.
If someone posts something on your page or messages you something you are uncomfortable with/find offensive, save the comment by printing it out or saving it to your computer. Then unfriend, block or report the person. Do not message them back about how upset you are or how it doesn't bother you, as the bully will feed off this and the abuse might just get worse. You should tell someone like a school counsellor, teacher or parent about it immediately.
The internet is not all doom and gloom of course. There are upsides; you just have to know how to protect yourself.
“Hello! Konnichiwa!” yells a boy. I receive my usual greetings from the unofficial diplomats of Playstation-Land as I approach my front door. Every time I see the children in my neighbourhood, they stop and stare. They did not make verbal contact until recently however. I recall the last time they said: “Do you live in that house?” "No, I just have the keys because I am the Asian help to cook spring rolls and sew fake Gucci purses".
However, I shouldn’t be too bothered, they are just children and children ARE curious by nature. They have not yet learned the adult skill of masking it. Having said that, I still meet adults that could do with more lessons. On countless occasions I receive looks – no, stares from drivers and pedestrians, and the older the generation, the less subtle it seems to be. There was even a male truck driver that honked on the horn and pointed at me! It feels bizarre but at least so far, it has not gotten racial, except for the odd “Wahay China!” comment from a drunken adolescence.
I was born in Thailand and we moved to Denmark when I was six, so being different has never been unfamiliar to me. On the contrary, it is much the norm in my life. It is like an invisible blanket around me, but instead of keeping me warm, it puts me out in the cold. When I passed around Thai sweets in my class in 4th grade, you would think I had given them baboon asses from the looks on their faces. From that day on, I made a mental note to pass around Smarties the next time I wanted to be popular. I don’t think there was a time where I could say my name without someone asking, “How do you spell that?”
I have heard the worst and the best of people’s comments about me being non-Danish and now non-Irish. A psychiatrist could earn enough to buy a tiny island in Fiji if they wanted to try to solve my nationality identity crisis. I thought growing up in Denmark had prepared me for everything, but since I've come to Ireland, I realise I am not there yet. Apparently in a small town like the one I live in, people look funnily at you if you are in ANY way different. Sad (yet comforting), but that is how it is.
Diversity does not go unnoticed. Wherever I walk, a lot of people look at me as if I am a live Oriental show. This even comes from Asian people as well! Between the exchanges of glances, I look down my shirt to see if there is a ketchup stain somewhere or look backwards to see if there is a shoe sale that I have missed – even though I never miss shoe sales. Luckily I spotted a gothic girl in town one day and by God, did I sigh with relief. Someone being different and it was not me!
Making friends has proven to be a challenge as well, as people seem unsure of how to act around me. Some even keep their heads down when walking towards me. As if a normal “hi” and a sincere look in the eye could make me grow an extra head that spits out prawn crackers and miniature lady boys.
Due to this, I am extra-sensitive to any different treatment. I go into ‘paranoia mode’. Whenever I get strange looks or behaviour from other people I think to myself, “that’s because I am Asian”. Of course there are also people who are very welcoming and positively curious about my foreign background. They ask “so where are you from?” with such intensity, as if that question was building up inside them like overcooked spaghetti in a saucepan.
Eventually people get used to me and have realised that I am more western than my jet-black hair and brown eyes reveal. Yet there are still times when I feel like I am a runaway circus bear and that I should perhaps charge a fiver so I can go see that psychiatrist.
Living at home is a joy for some, while for others it is close to a nightmare! I’d hazard a guess that for the majority it probably swings between these two on a daily (if not hourly) basis. For most people under the age of 18, we simply have no choice but to live with our parents.
But for an increasing number of young adults, living at home is becoming compulsory for longer and longer periods, owing to financial and employment circumstances. I am one of those hapless victims of the recession. There is that old adage about not being able to choose one's family. In having the advantage of choice when it comes to picking one's friends, I think a more important freedom has been overlooked: the capacity to choose one’s flatmates!
Unfortunately for a lot of young people, we are losing that ability and we are left with no option but to accept our family as our flatmates, for the immediate future anyway. Living at home can be stressful at any age; you don’t have to be in your early 20s to get tired of your father’s incessant need to control the remote, as though it was some ancient animal instinct. That said, coming home from college or other situations where you have lived without your parent’s direct control on a day-to-day basis does present a number of extra, potentially conflict creating challenges.
Continuing the remote control conceit, our fathers might be a little shocked to find that having spent the year fighting for control of the channel swapping against any number of flatmates, we are less than willing to simply hand it over and sit through the Sunday match etc. It isn’t just the males of the households that can cause acrimony either. Okay, I get that it probably isn’t the best idea to eat a Domino’s pizza for dinner every night (and breakfast the next morning if there is some left over) and I suppose it would be better to collect my dirty socks every evening and put them in the laundry basket.
Seriously Mum, I don’t need you to prepare every meal for me and perform pre-dawn room raids just to locate the missing socks either. The simple fact is that having had the independence and freedom that living away from home brings, it is less than easy to simply fold back into the family unit as a form of subordinate house guest.
So what to do? You can’t really have an all out bust up like you would with ordinary housemates, no matter how tempting, but equally you shouldn’t just roll over and agree to return to a new form of childhood. Most parents will be understanding in this regard really. They know that you are a young adult and that your desire for freedom is not an act of random revolt, but that it is actually a sign of maturity and health.
The key is mutual understanding and respect. Talk with your parents and articulate your position and feelings. Remember too, that this is their house (in most cases hard earned), and it is only right that they want some control in it. Hopefully, you will be able to come to some kind of arrangement, but if all else fails; just padlock your door, get a mini fridge and use your window as your own personal entrance!
Bob Dylan once sang that ‘The times they are a changin’ and moving back home is quite the change! With the big, bad recession and consequent job losses, more and more people are moving back in with their folks.
Why do people move back home?
How to cope:
The positives of living at home:
Tips to make it harmonious:
How to get back on your feet:
We all dream about what we want to achieve in life. Some people want a big family; some a high powered career; some to climb Mount Everest and some to get rich. Well, life is about what you make of it, and setting goals can help you to achieve these dreams.
What is goal setting?
Why is it helpful?
Types of goals
Many people like to set goals in the following areas: