Life lessons from a sad tiger

Standard

This evening I read my son Matthew the most beautiful story. It is about a sad tiger called Augustus and he thinks that he’s lost his smile.

IMG_20160825_200123

He sets off to find it and  right at the end he realises this:

IMG_20160825_195905

Happiness is everywhere around him. And that’s true! There is beauty in this world and in life even when it is unbearable and overwhelming. We must celebrate simple happiness…the little things.

I read this recently:

Think today is just another day? You woke up. You heart’s beating. You can talk to anyone. You can try anything. Your day has infinite potential. Now that’s something to celebrate. – Lori Deschene

Wow. That’s something to think about.

Thank you, Augustus! ♡

 

 

Chilling images of mental illness in Africa

Standard

In some of the most war-ravaged countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, severely mentally disabled men and women are shackled and locked away for years on end. This photograph of a young man chained to the floor of Juba Central Prison in Sudan (now South Sudan) is featured on the cover of Robin Hammond’s book, “Condemned.” January 2011 photo by Robin Hammond/Panos

This series of photographs, published in a book called Condemned by photographer Robin Hammond, has been on my mind for days.

In war-ravaged countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, severely mentally disabled men and women – even children – are chained and locked away for years on end. Mental illness is a neglected issue everywhere – and it is horrific to think about how people are suffering. Many of these people – probably the majority – are undiagnosed and receive little or no treatment.

This is what the photographer had to say about his project:

“I’ve spent my career documenting human rights issues but I’ve never come across a more neglected or vulnerable group than the mentally disabled in African countries that are in, or recovering from, crises.”

These images break my heart. Wouldn’t it be amazing if people living with mental illness could experience the same kind of respect, compassion and access to treatment as people living with any other illnesses?