Category Archives: Grief

Bystander intervention

What is bystander intervention? “Bystander intervention” refers to the actions we take in order to keep spaces free from harassment and hate—something we all have a responsibility to do. Harassment is purposeful and repeated conduct that is unwanted and known to be offensive. Harassment, in the context of this introductory training, is different from microaggressions. Both are unquestionably harmful and offensive, but there is a distinction in terms of intent of the perpetrator; harassment is purposefully and explicitly meant to threaten, intimidate, and/or denigrate another person, while microaggressions do not carry the same explicit intent. Bystander intervention is about making sure people are safe from harassment and hate—not about educating the perpetrators.

Read more of this great presentation here.

Circulating Ideas – Teen’s Mental Health

This is a great interview from Circulating Ideas and Deborah Takahashi author of Serving Teens with Mental Illness in the Library.

I really loved the idea of Mental First Aid, and I attended a session on this a few years ago when I was working on the front desk of a rural high school. I highly recommend attending a course, you will learn a lot.

What Good Does It Do To Break A Child’s Heart? by Jo Knowles

A really compelling piece here on What Good Does It Do To Break A Child’s Heart? by Jo Knowles.

I’ve gone through my fair share of grief, and you know reading about grief, loss and all the other huge overwhelming emotions in the safety of a book, will never prepare you for it. But it will let you know, that other folk have gone through it, and will understand the way you are.

The High-Functioning Depressive: How Batman Copes With His Mental Health

Another great post to remind you that Comics have a role to play in our mental health via The High-Functioning Depressive: How Batman Copes With His Mental Health

100 years today

My Dad was born today 10 December 1918, to an unwed School Mistress in Yorkshire.

To my Grandmother for being the strong woman of her time, for her parents who supported her when she lost her job, for having a babe out of wedlock. I did not get to know you, but thank you.

To my Dad, a World War Two Veteran – thank you for your service.

Thank you for being there to dig the children out of the collapsed movie theatre during World War Two. For sailing far from home, to protect home and country. For getting back on the ships after being sunk on them. Thank you also for being part of Dunkirk, though you only spoke of it once, and to my sibling, I know you would have thought of it as doing your duty.

Thanks for being there throughout my childhood. We argued whenI became a teenager, and fought more than once. But you were a man of your times, and that you became in your own words “A feminist” helped me grow into one too.

We may have disagreed more often than agreed, and we were too alike to see eye to eye for long; you were still there after Mum died. You held her through the long fight with cancer, cared for her, and finally told her that you loved her. We held you as you cried that night after she died, the loss of the one constant in our lives.

Before the cancer and the madness, you met the one I would wed. You knew then, that they were a keeper. That they would provide the comfort and protection when your own cancer would take you. Thank you for welcoming them into our lives.

You didn’t get to meet our child, or see the grandkids you had then go on and have children of their own. I wonder, as does my child, what you would have thought of them. Whether your true colours would have shown through, or whether you would have been just glad that I had finally “caught” up with my siblings……

Your birthday is today, I’ve baked a cake to celebrate and honour you. I’ve lit a candle for you as well. I will gather my little family around, and we’ll sing you a Happy Birthday, for without you, there would be no us.

I miss you Dad.

 

 

Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

Catching Teller Crow.JPG

Nothing’s been the same for Beth Teller since she died. Her dad, a detective, is the only one who can see and hear her – and he’s drowning in grief. But now they have a mystery to solve together. Who is Isobel Catching, and what’s her connection to the fire that killed a man? What happened to the people who haven’t been seen since the fire? As Beth unravels the mystery, she finds a shocking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town, and a friendship that lasts beyond one life and into another.

Read it because:

Catching Teller Crow is an original tale that both surprises and informs. Told by two different narrators, whose different styles in narration are marked either by prose or verse, we are drawn into their worlds. I was carried forward through a tale of institutionalisation of children, missing girls, grief and loss.
The book for me is proof that you can tell a story with strong Indigenous female characters. Catching, Teller and Crow are drawn from the streets of every regional town I’ve been to. The authors have drawn a regional town that could be anywhere in Australia. A town, and society, that is still hiding the secrets of shame from its past and the presence.
The lead characters encounter racism, violence, terrible historic injustices and corruption within the police force, all of which are still current themes that need to be discussed openly. The last half of the book sensitively addresses what happens when people turn a blind eye to violence and allow it to flourish and destroy lives.
The topics of grief and loss are sensitively handled, and allow an opportunity to discuss how grief and loss are addressed in our society. Through the characters journeys we gain a better understanding of how hard grief is as an emotion to deal with, especially for those who have no coping mechanisms.
This is book that can be used to teach historical and contemporary themes, as well as opening up the conversation about violence to women. Catching Teller Crow can also be used to supplement the Australian curriculum topic of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures.

6 Reasons Why Comics Can Improve Mental Health

From The Comic Vault, a great post on the 6 Reasons Why Comics Can Improve Mental Health.

How many more?

Women killed in domestic violent situations

I cried last night watching the news, name after name, story after story of women dying at the hands of partners, ex partners…..The Women’s Agenda published this article and I agree with their description of this being a horror show. So many lives are being snuffed out, by perpetrators who feel they can use violence to gain an end.

We as a society must act, and stop this. Discuss with your loved ones, friends, work colleagues…we all must act together to stop the rot.

 

Teaching Australia: why Naplan doesn’t fix our problems

I came across a powerful and moving Memoir from GJ Stroud on the Griffith Review website. Teaching Australia describes first hand, when we allow the Testing system drive the education of our children.

For a long time I’ve wondered what benefit it is to have my child, have a teacher, teach specifically for the Naplan test. When education becomes a commodity, that is producing worker bees who will pass the Naplan, then I know the system is broken.

But what can we do?

Crow Country by Kate Constable

Crow Country.JPG

Beginning and ending, always the same, always now. The game, the story, the riddle, hiding and seeking. Crow comes from this place; this place comes from Crow. And Crow has work for you.

Sadie isn’t thrilled when her mother drags her from the city to live in the country town of Boort. But soon she starts making connections—with the country, with the past, with two boys, Lachie and Walter, and, most surprisingly, with the ever-present crows.

When Sadie is tumbled back in time to view a terrible crime, she is pulled into a strange mystery. Can Sadie, Walter, and Lachie figure out a way to right old wrongs, or will they be condemned to repeat them?

A fantasy grounded in mythology, this novel has the backing of a full consultative process on the use of indigenous lore.

Read it because:

You’re after an engaging and easy story for your class to read. I loved this book, it was a great well told tale. My favourite quote from it is:

The Dreaming is always; forever… it’s always happening, and us mob, we’re part of it, all the time, everywhere, and every-when too.”

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