Tackling mental health issues

first_imgOn March 31, 2018, Reona Payne was brutally murdered by her lover, Orwain Sandy, who was employed as a Captain in the Guyana Defence Force (GDF). Sandy shot Payne over 14 times as he went berserk because she was reportedly having an affair.As the tearful Army Captain made his way to the courthouse for arraignment on the heinous crime last Tuesday, his Attorney related to the media that his client will need to consult with a psychiatrist because of his condition. While the Attorney did not divulge much detail, it would appear that the GDF Captain may have been dealing for years with challenging mental health issues.And while nothing justifies or excuses his actions towards Payne and her murder, there is need for those in authority within the country’s high security agencies to place more emphasis on dealing condignly with the mental health and competency of their members.As Hamlet had stated in his writings, “I have of late – but wherefore I know not – lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercise; and, indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory…”Depression is part of the human condition and Hamlet’s description of its symptoms matches those in a modern medical textbook. The categorisation has become more precise, the treatments more advanced, but the illness is still badly understood and its consequences often hidden. Depression remains if not a source of shame, then at least bewilderment to those who suffer from it and those around them. Yet it is on the increase, neurotic disorders affecting one in six adults at some point in their lives. Society, and medical science, needs a better response.Back in 2010, UK Journalist and the Guardian’s head of special projects, who led a team of Journalists investigating international trends and issues, Mark Rice-Oxley wrote powerfully of his “decline from unremarkable working dad of three to stranded depressive sitting on the floor doing simple jigsaws”.His shock was not just at the crushing effect of a condition that seemed to come from nowhere, but the confusion about how to overcome it.The truth is medical advances have controlled many diseases, but depression in its different forms is either becoming more common or being detected more often – and perhaps both. Pharmaceutical treatments, while restricted in their effectiveness, are being used much more widely: 39 million antidepressants are said to be prescribed in Britain each year.These drugs have strong side-effects and treat the symptoms, not the causes, of depression. For many people they are an essential relief, but a society in which a growing number of people depend on expensive chemicals to control their mental state cannot be healthy. Nor, however, is one in which depression is ignored, or regarded as a passing private issue, different somehow from illnesses with physical causes and consequences. The world has got better at understanding that people with depression are genuinely unwell and need help, but not always at offering that help. The choice sometimes seems to be between self-cure and potent drugs. Four out of five people experiencing some form of depression get better without treatment, but for many the symptoms return, and for a minority, recovery does not come of its own accord.Part of the challenge is defining what it is to be depressed. The term has such a wide common meaning that it can be used to cover anything from passing grief to long-term illness. The Royal College of Psychiatrists lists typical symptoms: feeling utterly tired; feeling useless, inadequate and hopeless; and feeling unhappy most of the time among them. But there can be no medical exactitude to an illness experienced in different degrees and different ways by different people – only that you know it when it comes.There are reasons to think that depression is a disease of affluence, or a consequence of the way modern urban life is lived. This argument can run close to suggesting that people who are depressed but otherwise healthy, wealthy and secure have no business being ill and that their lot in life is still better than that of most of the planet’s population. But it is a real illness and has real causes, not fully understood. Drink, drugs, a lack of sleep, too little company, and too much work can all help unbalance the mind. Sunshine and exercise can help restore it. But there is something deep about serious depression which cannot be driven away immediately by counselling, a brisk walk, kind friends or great music, though such things can help.The human mind is the most extraordinary and least understood part of the body, the source of joy and creativity. It can also, as Hamlet knew, create the horror of depression: “This brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.”last_img read more

GCCI calls for amendment of Prevention of Discrimination Act

first_imgAt an event held to commemorate the 33rd International AIDS Candlelight Memorial at the Catholic Life Centre, Brickdam, Georgetown on Sunday evening, Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) President Vishnu Doerga called on the Government to amend the 1997 Prevention of Discrimination Act.He urged that sexual orientation, gender identity and health status be included so that this would result in non-discrimination inGeorgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) President Vishnu Doergaemployment.Doerga told the seventh national Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Candlelight Memorial Vigil, which was hosted by the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), “We must seek to empower people living with HIV to stand up for their right to live a life free of stigma and discrimination. In this regard, it is important for us to ensure that our organisations are free from stigma and discrimination through workplace programmes for our staff.”He noted the value of engaging people, communities, governments, donors and the Private Sector in eliminating the scourge and supporting those living with HIV. The objective of the vigil was to bring together affected communities, policymakers, health professionals, religious leaders and members of the public to show solidarity and support for persons infected and affected by HIV, and to encourage people to continue to act together to end stigma and discrimination.It was highlighted by Doerga that to engage, educate, and embolden people living with HIV as well as marginalised populations would serve as a vital enabler towards achieving Guyana’s human rights goals, and enhanced equity for our people.The GCCI President believes that the Private Sector has the capacity to play an essential role in this and limiting the spread of HIV.“We have a responsibility to educate the current and next generation about HIV prevention, treatment and care, and how it affects our lives. Employers have a moral responsibility to ensure that employees are educated and have access to relevant information and resources,” he said.The GCCI President cited the barriers to accessing services for key populations as stigma and discrimination, noting the urgent need to end this since it affected persons living with HIV including sexual and gender minorities, sex workers and young people.Doerga indicated that the Private Sector, a key stakeholder, must take control and contribute to workplace education programmes in order to continuously address HIV in Guyana.“As the HIV response moves to long-term sustainability in Guyana, Private Sector involvement is crucial. I pledge the support of GCCI to join hands with all of you here in national efforts to bring an end to AIDS in Guyana.”last_img read more

Playing…

first_img…the race cardWhen you’re a two-bit, wannabe, tin-pot, Third-World dictator and you’ve run out of options to defend your illegal hold on power, what do you do?? Well, if you’re David Granger trying doggedly to walk in the footsteps of your dictator-mentor Forbes Burnham, you play the race card!! If patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, race is the last refuge of the ersatz dictator!!Stung by the Ambassadors of the US, UK, and the EU observing that his government was in “breach” of the Constitution for not proclaiming elections by September 18, and unless he does so pronto, they might just stop helping, he lashed out at them last Sunday. He’s skipped Church to address some core supporters gathered under the banner of the “International Decade for People of African Descent”. Said he:“Some of the authors of that crime against humanity have never apologised, have never paid reparations. They can pick up every comma and every semicolon, but they have never apologised for the crime they committed for four hundred years. Any of you know of whom I speak, you know who brought you here; never apologised but now they try to correct other people.”So, let your Eyewitness get this straight. Just because some Europeans once enslaved Africans to work on our plantations, this means they have to be quiet about the PNC – which is supported predominantly by African Guyanese – when they are violating the Constitution? So it was OK for those same Europeans to chastise the PPP Government of Donald Ramotar – whose supporters are mostly Indian Guyanese – when he dared to use a prerogative of the Constitution to stave off a NCM? It had to’ve been, since Granger and his PNC cheered lustily when the then British Ambassador did the chastising!!But what does he now say to the latest condemnation of Mr Granger’s constitutional indiscretions: “The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, urges the President of Guyana and all relevant stakeholders and institutions to restore constitutional rule in Guyana by immediately setting an early election date in consonance with its constitution, enabling elections to be held without further delay… In this regard, and in accordance with the ruling of the CCJ, a general election in Guyana is now constitutionally overdue. A general election should be held in accordance with the unambiguous constitutional imperative to do so.”Baroness Scotland is originally from Dominica and has proudly identified with the Caribbean. For what it’s worth she also evidently shares a common racial ancestry with Granger. Is she also disqualified to chastise Granger’s constitutional trespass?And for what it’s worth…the US fought its bloodiest war to abolish slavery, and sent none here. They get no credit?…the foolDavid Granger is really contemptuous of his supporters. He keeps regurgitating the patent falsehood about why he didn’t call elections by Sept 18. Said he: “This decision is not whimsical. I must be advised that the Elections Commission is in a state of readiness to conduct elections. It would be reckless of me to name a date for the holding of elections without ascertaining the Commission’s readiness to do so.”Now the US, UK, EU, Commonwealth, Christian Churches, Hindu Mandirs, Muslim Mosques, and the Opposition have all condemned Granger’s outlaw behaviour…so his only redoubt has to be the PNC faithful! But they also have to know that in our parliamentary democracy, the party in power can call “snap elections”…meaning without any prior warning to anyone. All he has to do – according to Art 61 – is dissolve the National Assembly and set a date three months hence.GECOM can THEN only balk (Art 162(2) and set a new date if they can show “hardship” or “danger”.…his name and natureOne obviously miffed ex-AFC supporter, who was obviously betrayed by his leaders after their opportunistic pandering to the PNC, wailed: “How low can Nagamootoo go?” Well, not lower than a snake.Which is what his name “Naga” means.last_img read more

WRC driver Østberg interested in 2019 Safari

first_img0Shares0000Østberg won the 2012 Portugal Rally when driving a M-sport Ford Fiesta WRC and scored many podium finishes. He won the Norwegian NRC title three times in 2006, 2007 and 2008NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 3 – Former Citroen and M-Sport factory driver Mads Østberg has expressed interes in competing at the 2019 edition of the ARC Safari Rally.The 67th running of the Safari will count towards the fourth leg of 2019 FIA African Rally Championship (ARC), the fifth round of the Kenya National Rally Championship, and above all, a World Rally Championship (WRC) candidate event with the noble objective to return to the global circuit in 2019. The Safari Rally, which was incepted in 1953 as part of the coronation of the Queen of England, was part of the WRC until 2002 before it was dropped from the world series.Legendary rally driver Michele Mouton who is also the FIA Race Director is expected in the country to inspect the routes that have been earmarked for the candidate rally which will be held on the first weekend of July 2019.The Safari could be Østberg’s second event after Otago Rally of New Zealand.In response to a newspaper story which highlighted the growing interest of European works drivers for the forthcoming Safar, Østberg tweeted: “I will consider any option involving an opportunity to be behind the wheel of a rally car.”Mark Tufte said: “Actually, as I saw Tapio racing the Mini Classic Safari in a Kabras Porsche,  I asked Mads Østberg if he’s interested in racing the Safari Rally 2019 in July. He replied he’s really interested. I linked him to a Kenyan team but they couldn’t come to an agreement due to some logistical issues,”“As we’re both from Norway, it was easier for me to ask him if he would be interested to do the Safari. The idea came to me when he announced that he will do Otago Rally in New Zealand in 2019. Even when he was dealing his contract in Rallycross with Skoda, he got back to me many times to ask about the Safari Rally,”Østberg won the 2012 Portugal Rally when driving a M-sport Ford Fiesta WRC and scored many podium finishes. He won the Norwegian NRC title three times in 2006, 2007 and 2008He’s now searching for a contract with an official team in the WRCFIA African Rally Championship (ARC) 2019 CalendarFebruary 23-24-Rallye Bandama (Ivory Coast)-ROUND 1April 27-28-York Rally (South Africa)-ROUND 2June 8-9-Zambia International Motor Rally (Zambia)-ROUND 3July 6-7-Safari Rally (Kenya)-ROUND 4August 3-4: Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally -POAUR (Uganda)-ROUND 5September 14-15: Rally of Tanzania (Tanzania)-ROUND 6October 5-6: Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally (Rwanda)-ROUND 70Shares0000(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Tottenham told to forget about signing Bayer Leverkusen star

first_imgBayer Leverkusen have told Tottenham to forget about signing striker Stefan Kiessling.Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino revealed this week that he is chasing attacking reinforcements during the January transfer window to ease the burden on Harry Kane.That has led to speculation Tottenham may swoop for Kiessling, who has scored 50 Bundelisga goals in the past three seasons.However, Bayer Leverkusen boss Roger Schmidt has now poured cold water on that rumour and vowed to keep the Germany international.“This topic is zero per cent for both Stefan and myself,” Schmidt told Sport1.??“We have already lost many players in the summer who played here for a long time and it created a small problem in the first half of the season.“I am not at all thinking about selling the next experience player [in January] again.” 1 Stefan Kiessling last_img read more

Watford midfielder lined up for Ligue 1 loan return

first_img1 Abdoulaye Doucoure in action for Watford Nantes are eyeing up a loan move for Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure.The 24-year-old has made only four appearances in all competitions for the Hornets this season and he is hungry for more football.That, according to Foot Mercato, has sparked interest from Nantes and they are now exploring the possibility of signing the 24-year-old on loan.The French club know Doucoure from his time at Rennes and they are eager to bring him back to France – even if it is only on a short-term basis.Watford, however, may be reluctant to let the Frenchman leave during the January transfer window due to their mounting injury crisis.last_img

Man City’s Ederson to be assessed for facial fracture after Sadio Mane collision

first_img Ederson will be assessed after the heavy collision 1 Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson is being assessed for a facial fracture after a nasty collision with Liverpool forward Sadio Mane on Saturday.The former Benfica stopper was caught in the face by a high foot from Mane in the first half of the Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium.Senegal striker Mane was given a straight red card by referee Jonathan Moss before Ederson was removed from the pitch on a stretcher after eight minutes of treatment.City’s number one, who was replaced by Claudio Bravo, was then taken to the nearby Manchester Institute of Health and Performance to be assessed.It is understood that Ederson, who cost £35million this summer, did not suffer concussion but the club’s medical team are checking for fractures.Mane, meanwhile, can expect to miss Liverpool’s next three domestic games – against Burnley and Leicester in the Premier League as well as a clash against the Foxes in the Carabao Cup.last_img read more

Branson school for small business

first_img27 October 2005For the first time anywhere in the world, international tycoon Sir Richard Branson has lent his name to an educational institution – in the heart of Johannesburg.Cida City Campus, the country’s first virtually free tertiary institution, providing specialised accredited business administration degrees to disadvantaged students, officially launched the Branson School of Entrepreneurship on Wednesday.Entrepreneurship will be one of the 11 courses Cida students study in their first year at the foundation college, which bridges skills such as computing, mathematics and English, and will be offered as an elective course after that.A first batch of foundation year students has already put forward business ideas for which they will be given seed money.British entrepreneurs Tom Bloxam and Leo Caplan have each donated £100 000 (R1.2-million) to the school.“They will get a tiny bit of seed money in the first year, more in the second year and even more in the third year; and the best ideas will get even more at the end,” Branson said. The money will be in the form of a loan, which the students will have to pay back into the business seed-money kitty for use by those following them.Many of the students needed little encouraging, Caplan said at the launch. “I was at Cida this morning, and was ‘pitched’ by no fewer than four students,” he said.Walking in their footprintsTo mark the occasion Branson, with leading South African and British entrepreneurs, left his footprints behind when he placed his feet in concrete to represent “walking in the footprints of global entrepreneurs”. These symbols of inspiration will be placed at the entrance of the school at 27 Harrison Street.The building, donated and renovated by First National Bank, will be named the Nelson Mandela First National Bank Building, as it was here that the former president held meetings in his early years.Cida CEO Taddy Blecher said the school has been established to help qualified students start up and manage their own businesses.“The South African economy is dependent on entrepreneurial activity for creating economic growth and jobs, yet few young South Africans choose to start a business after their studies,” Blecher said.“A myriad reasons explain this, including the lack of role models, no access to capital or training to help them identify viable business opportunities, and the misconception that starting a business is for those who have no other choice. The school has been created to tackle these issues and arm financially disadvantaged students with entrepreneurial skill.”All students will study a module in entrepreneurship in their first year. Thereafter, they will able to specialise in entrepreneurship, entering the Branson School of Entrepreneurship in their second year at Cida.Social entrepreneurshipThe school will also focus on campaigns to boost the image of entrepreneurship as a viable career, and will offer students modules in social entrepreneurship to address social issues.“Being an entrepreneur is not only about making money,” Branson said. “You can also tackle social problems with an entrepreneurial mind. No one should develop Aids, no pregnant mother should be passing on HIV to her baby, and millions should not be dying of malaria. These are just some of the issues we will lead the school into discussing.”Branson pointed out that only 2% of entrepreneurs in South Africa have success with their businesses. “That’s a perilous situation, especially if you consider that many of them have some formal education in entrepreneurship.”Having a school like this will give people a better chance, he added. “Many will succeed and many will fail, but the confidence with which they leave there will be unparalleled.”Branson hopes that the students, by studying companies such as Virgin and working with their staff, will learn that taking a great idea and having the courage to run with it can build great 21st century businesses. “I believe that increasing entrepreneurship in this country is the golden highway to economic freedom – plus it’s an exciting and fun way to make a living.”Start-up funding for the venture comes from Virgin Unite, the charitable arm of Branson’s Virgin Group.“We have come a very long way in this country,” Blecher said. “We overcame apartheid, but the next stage of the struggle in South Africa is the need for economic democracy. We can only truly be free when we build an equal economy.”Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

Video: Freeman on Mandela Day

first_imgActor Morgan Freeman, who played the part of Nelson Mandela in Clint Eastwood’s film Invictus, talks about his love for the great man, and why he believes Mandela Day, 18 July, is important for humanity.Click arrow to play video.Source: City of Johannesburglast_img

No easy money for airlines as 2019 profit expectation slumps

first_imgIATA boss Alexandre de Juniac The International Air Transport Association has downgraded its 2019 profit forecast from $US35.5  billion to $US28 billion as slowing demand and rising costs squeeze airlines.Net profit for 2018 was also revised to $UA30 billion.READ Capacity crunch to hit another 100 airports.Airlines were warned there would be no easy money in 2019 with many financial measures expected to fall.The exception was revenue, which rose 6.5 percent to $US865 billion but still failed to keep pace with cost increases.The airline umbrella group said the business environment for airlines had deteriorated with rising fuel prices and a substantial weakening of world trade.Fuel prices (Brent) are now expected to be $US70 a barrel in 2019, 27.5 percent higher than 2017.IATA expects a 7.4 percent rise in costs to outpace the  6.5 percent increase in revenues, cutting the profit per passenger from $US6.85 to $US6.12.IATA director general Alexander de Juniac noted it was the 10th consecutive year that airlines would be in the black.“But margins are being squeezed by rising costs right across the board – including labor, fuel and infrastructure,’’ he said.“Stiff competition among airlines keeps yields from rising.“Weakening of global trade is likely to continue as the US-China trade war intensifies.“This primarily impacts the cargo business, but passenger traffic could be impacted as tensions rise.”On the plus side, de Juniac said airlines had broken the boom-and-bust cycle and a downturn in the trade cycle no longer plunged the industry into deep crisis.“But under current circumstances, the great achievement of the airline industry – creating value for investors with normal levels of profitability – is at risk.“Airlines will still create value for investors in 2019 with above cost-of-capital returns, but only just.”All regions were expecting profitability to fall with the exception of North America and Latin America.Asia-Pacific carriers are expected to deliver a net profit of $US6 billion, down from $US7.7 billion in 2018.IATA said the performance was diverse in the region but it was most exposed to the weakness in world trade because it accounted for about 40 percent of cargo traffic.Middle Eastern carriers will deliver a combined loss of $US1.1 billion, slightly worse than a $US1 billion loss in 2018.In Europe, airlines are expected to deliver a net profit of $US8.1 billion, down from $US9.4 billion in 2018.North American airlines are tipped to deliver the strongest financial performance of $US15 billion, up from $14.5 billion in 2018, while Latin American carriers will post a $USO.2 billion net profit, up from a $US0.5 billion loss in 2018.The expectation for African airlines was they would stay the same at about a $US0.1 billion loss.Steve Creedy traveled to Seoul courtesy of Korean Air and IATA.last_img read more