You are not alone. I am here with you. Lifelyrics: @Michael Jackson

You are not alone. I am here with you. Though we’re far apart. You’re always in my heart.

 

Life Lyrics : MICHAEL JACKSON

Running for freedom.

So as most of you probably know by now, this month I am running to raise money for the @Britishredcross as part of their #makeyourmilescount campaign but also to share the stories and plight of other humans who have been forced to flee their homes.

Today I ran for the young refugee children and their families that are currently being held in detention centres around the world. In particular I ran for those currently being held in Libya.

It’s hard to believe that other humans, small children are currently being detained simply because of their migration status in overcrowded conditions with a lack of access to sufficient food, water or medical treatment. A recent assessment of just one of these centres found alarming levels of malnutrition, with some people held in a room so small there was no space to lie down.

Today I have been researching what support is on offer to young refugee children and their families that are currently being held in detention centres around the world. In particular, those currently being held in Libya.

People are currently detained simply because of their migration status in overcrowded conditions with a lack of access to sufficient food, water or medical treatment. A recent assessment of just one of these centres found alarming levels of malnutrition, with some people held in a room so small there was no space to lie down. Worse still, one third of the people detained indefinitely in this centre were children.

The United Nations Teams are doing all they can to help, but in the long term, things are unlikely to improve for refugees and migrants as long as the UK and other European Governments continue to support policies which trap them in Libya.

The UK has long been a supporter of this policy: it has used public money to fund and train the Libyan Coastguard, who forcibly return people trying to escape these appalling conditions, and in some cases have threatened vessels trying to rescue people from drowning. @unitednations

https://donate.unhcr.org/gb/general/~my-donation?gclsrc=aw.ds&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2OLD39zr5AIVibPtCh37LALqEAAYASAAEgIlZvD_BwE

“What is needed now is not empty condemnation but the urgent and immediate evacuation of all refugees and migrants held in detentions centres out of Libya. Today, inaction and complacency has needlessly cost the lives of more vulnerable refugees and migrants.” Prince Alfani, MSF Medical Coordinator – Libya

 

What policies do we have in place to help to help support people?

The Red cross offer support to refugees both here in the UK and also internationally.

They rely on their volunteers and donations for the work that they do.

To support the British red cross you can head to their site where there are further details for you to donate your time or money.

https://www.redcross.org.uk/get-help/get-help-as-a-young-refugee-or-asylum-seeker

To support humans currently being held in detention centres in Libya. Young people and their famillies who are being subjected to torture, abuse, humiliation and public punishment.

You can sign the petition and ask the government to end its harmful policies on refugees and migrants.

We can support them by signing the petition below-:

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/259399/signatures/new

Although we are worlds apart; we must stay connected to each other; to our world.

We are 1 tribe. 1 family. Stronger together.


Why we need a shift in focus

This soul of mine will never break.

Lifelyrics @Shawn Mendes

Todays post is for the fifteen year old who dreamed of being a professional boxer but took his life last week.

Why is depression on the rise? Why are suicide rates on the rise?
Why we need a shift in focus.

Strong-gens is my commitment to this change.

There is broad agreement among scientists that there are three kinds of causes of depression and anxiety, and all three play out, to differing degrees, in all depressed and anxious people. The causes are: biological, psychological (how you think about yourself), and social (the wider ways in which we live together). Very few people dispute this. But when it comes to communicating with the public, and offering help, psychological solutions have been increasingly neglected, and environmental solutions have been almost totally ignored.

Steve Ilardi, a professor of psychology at the University of Kansas, summarizes the research on chemical antidepressants: “Only about 50 percent of depressed individuals experience an initial positive response to antidepressants (and only about 30 percent achieve full remission). Of all of those depressed individuals who take an antidepressant, only a small subset — estimated between 5 and 20 percent — will experience complete and enduring remission.” In other words: The drugs give some relief, and therefore have real value, but for a big majority, they aren’t enough.

Irving Kirsch, a professor of psychology who now teaches at Harvard Medical School, was initially a supporter of chemical antidepressants – but then he began to analyze this data, especially the data the drug companies had tried to keep hidden from the public. His research concluded that chemical antidepressants give you a boost, above the placebo effect, of 1.8 points on average on the Hamilton scale. This is less than a third of the boost that you get, by some estimates, from improving your sleep patterns.

Although antidepressant prescriptions have increased 500 percent since the 1980s, there has been no discernible decrease in society-wide depression rates. There’s clearly something very significant missing from the picture we have been offered.

Our focus on biology has led us to think of depression and anxiety as malfunctions in the individual’s brain or genes — a pathology that must be removed. But the scientists who study the social and psychological causes of these problems tend to see them differently. Far from being a malfunction, they see depression as partly or even largely a function, a necessary signal that our needs are not being met.

Everyone knows that human beings have innate physical needs — for food, water, shelter, clean air. There is equally clear evidence that human beings have innate psychological needs: to belong, to have meaning and purpose in our lives, to feel we are valued, to feel we have a secure future. Our culture is getting less good at meeting those underlying needs for a large number of people — and this is one of the key drivers of the current epidemic of despair.

Scientists now warrant that there are many factors in our lives which can cause depression (not just unhappiness: full depression). Loneliness, being forced to work in a job you find meaningless, facing a future of financial insecurity — these are all circumstances where an underlying psychological need is not being met. To know what to fight, we need to think harder about causes of mental malaise.

People suffer with depression for a variety of reasons. Seven are forms of disconnection: from other people, from meaningful work, from meaningful values, from the natural world, from a safe and secure childhood, from status, and from a future that makes sense to you. Two are biological: your genes, and real brain changes.

Ultimately we need to start putting in place programmes to support young people, all people. We should no longer have to feel isolated, mentally crazy, told to pop some pills or call the samaritans. With a little creativity and exploration I believe we can start to really challenge and reduce these alarming and increasing statistics of those coping with depression and contemplating suicide.


Greek Mediterranean recipe for a strong body and mind

Easy & Healthy Grilled Chicken Margherita

Quick, easy, and so delicious!

This perfectly juicy and seasoned grilled chicken margherita topped with gooey, melty mozzarella cheese, pesto and tomato basil relish is not only healthy but also absolutely delicious!

Ingredients

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to less than 1 inch thickness
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (OR ½ teaspoon dried oregano + ¼ teaspoon dried basil + ¼ teaspoon dried thyme)
4 slices mozzarella cheese
½ cup basil pesto (try my easy 5 minute pesto recipe – it’s the best!!)
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup packed basil leaves, very thinly sliced
cracked black pepper

1. In a large bowl combine chicken, salt and pepper, olive oil, garlic power, and Italian seasoning. Toss to combine.
2. Grill chicken over medium-high heat for about 6-8 minutes on each side until cooked through. Top each piece of chicken with a slice of mozzarella cheese and cook another minute or so until melted.
3. Toss tomatoes, lemon juice, and basil together. Top each chicken breast with about 3 tablespoons pesto, a scoop of tomatoes, and some freshly cracked black pepper. Serve immediately

Hope you enjoy!