Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Big Issue

I was told that I should worry that of all the places I could sit on the bus I chose the seat by the man who was talking to himself and what's more he was the one to get up and leave. I hadn't even noticed but it reminded me of The Big Issue I had bought earlier and wondered if he was homeless.

The Big Issue provides 'opportunities for people facing homelessness to help themselves'.

SHELTER: Info on homelessness & avoiding it, who can get help from the council & where to get help if you're sleeping on the streets.


Mental health
- Mental health problems are up to eight times more common in the homeless population.(The Health of Single Homeless People, Centre for Housing Policy University of York, 1994)
- Mental health problems are nearly 4 times as common among hostel residents as in the general population. At least 1 in 5 homeless people have severe mental health problems; these problems are likely to have played a significant part in the circumstances which have caused them to become homeless.(Crisis, Pressure Points, 1999)
- Nearly 1 in 3 (60 per cent) of people sleeping rough have mental health problems (OPCS, The Prevalence of Psychiatric Morbidity among Homeless Adults, 1996)

Young People
- 25% approx of rough sleepers are aged between 18 & 25 (SEU, July 1998)
- 86% of young homeless people are forced to leave home rather than choose to

- People who sleep rough are 35 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population (Crisis, Still Dying for a Home, 1996)
- Rough sleepers have an average life expectancy of 42 years, compared with the national average of 74 for men & 79 for women Crisis, Still Dying for a Home, 1996)


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Clocks Go Forward

I just realised it was today last year I started this. There must be something about this time of year for me...maybe the promise of more daytime. More time to do what I want and need to do. My first post was like a New Year's Resolution and I think I have kept to it but just haven't recorded my endeavours.I hope this year will be better. I can only try. Thats all any of us can do.

This time of year I feel more hope. I used to think, like others that conditions such as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)meant that this time of year would mean less depression, therefore less suicide, but I was wrong. This time of year there is an increase which peaks in May and drops to a low in mid-winter. It is thought that this is because we are 'dormant' that time of year, nothing is expected of us but in spring it is a time of action or growth, this is when people try to change. It may be why I started this blog this time last year and am again drawn to it now. I worry though about the people who won't make it this year.

So we choose to show charm
A facade hiding the broken
Inside we choose self harm
For the pain that is unspoken

And if we are young Americans
More of us will decide on suicide
Than have our lives taken
By others in homicide

Who says European traffic
Kill less than our own hands
2001 world war and homicide
Left more alive than suicide sands

Sands of time can last
But we have to have ways
To protect the breaking hour glass
And keep intact our living days

Every three seconds someone in the world tries to take their life…every forty seconds someone succeeds. (ref)

World Health Organization (WHO)Information
More WHO Information

If you need help or you know someone who does

Rudiment of Wisom Guide to Suicide

Mother's Day...Easter...Opportunities to Boycott

Do we really want to celebrate Mother's day by buying products for her which could contribute to the death of babies? Do we want to give our children easter eggs from a company which doesn't seem to to hold children's lives in as much esteem as profit.

Do the luxuries we give and take mean that others in the world do not have the bare necessities or basic human rights?



CORPORATE WATCH: a small independent not-for-profit research & publishing group doing research on the social & environmental impact of large corporations.

CORPORATE SWINE: http://www.corporateswine.net/home.html

NO SWEAT: An activist, campaigning organisation, fighting sweatshop bosses, in solidarity with workers, worldwide.


Saturday, March 25, 2006

To Boycott or Not to Boycott

A Talkaoke conversation from Tuesday and again today reminded me of some local and global boycotting that I have experienced and even encourage at times. A young person mentioned how in our local Woolworths young people are followed around at times as if they were about to commit a crime and it was suggested that they don't go to Woolworths anymore in protest...a very valid argument save for the fact that they then are the ones losing out on being able to use this retail outlet and begs the question, "Would Woolworths even notice?"

It made me think of Sams a newsagent where I witnessed similar prejudice towards young people. I heard the person behind the counter say to a young person who was with his friend buying something that he had to leave because he wasn't buying anything. I asked the shopkeeper if I had come in the shop to buy something with a friend who wasn't buying anything would my friend be treated the same way? He said "No". The conversation ended with me saying that I wasn't going to shop in a placeh which descriminated against people on the grounds of their age. I haven't been back since. I don't know if it has made any difference and it has caused me inconvenience at times but I would feel worse going in there. Maybe I need to do more. I tell people. People listen.

Some Boycotts I participate in...


UNICEF says: "Marketing practices that undermine breastfeeding are potentially hazardous wherever they are pursued: in the developing world, WHO estimates that some 1.5 million children die each year because they are not adequately breastfed. These facts are not in dispute.

Baby Milk Action says: "Reversing the decline in breastfeeding could save the lives of 1.5 million infants each year. Where water is unsafe a bottle-fed child is up to 25 times more likely to die as a result of diarrhoea than a breast fed chid. Nestle is responsible for more violations of the marketing requirement for breastmilk substitutes than any other company."



Coca cola according to Ethiscore has issues to do with, pollution, the environment, animal testing and rights, opressive Regimes, workers' rights, irresponsible marketing, genetic engineering, political activities, human rights and an investigation into a bottling plant opponent’s death.

KILLER COLA: http://www.killercoke.org/

ETHISCORE:a project of ECRA a not-for-profit workers' co-operative to 'provide information on the companies behind the brand names and to promote the ethical use of consumer power.' http://www.ethiscore.org & www.ethicalconsumer.org is the website of ECRA - the Ethical Consumer Research Association.