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Literacy is a luxury that many of us take for granted. We depend on written communication for information, guidance, and access to heath care information That is why SADAG created SPEAKING BOOKS and revolutionized the way information is delivered to low literacy communities. It's exactly what it sounds like.a book that talks to the reader in his or her local language, delivering critical information in an interactive, and educational way.
The customizable 16-page book, accompanied by local celebrity audio recordings, ensures that vital health and social messages can be seen, heard, read and understood..
We started with books on Teen Suicide prevention , HIV, AIDS and Depression, Understanding Mental Health and have developed over 30 titles, such as TB, Malaria, Polio, Vaccines for over 30 countries.
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Here is a very interesting study on Mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT). In this article patients were trained to employ mindfulness as a stress reducing, quality of life enhancing therapy. The results are quite compelling. Be sure to download the entire article at the bottom of this excerpt.
The impact of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) on mental health and quality of life in a sub-clinically depressed population
In a previous study , non-clinical participants showed to benefit from mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) in order to combat depression and anxiety, normally induced by a real stressful setting. Following this study, we employed an experimental, randomized-controlled design in a real field among sub-clinically depressed students, to examine whether MBCT is effective to enhance quality of life and also to reduce anxiety and depression naturally experienced before, during and after exam (a real stressful situation).
Traditionally rooted in Eastern culture, mindfulness proved to be effective in stress reduction programs  placing emphasis on non-judgmental attention in a certain way; namely, on purpose and in the present moment. Mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) integrates elements of cognitive– behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression  into the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) training program developed by Kabat-Zinn . As a manualized group-skills training program, MBCT is conducted in 8 weekly sessions of approximately 2.5 hours duration . People undergoing such training program learn to see thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations as passing events in the mind rather than self-evident truths or aspects of the self. In this way the skills learned from MBCT help people recognize and disengage themselves from habitual dysfunctional cognitive routines, which in turn protect them against future risk of experiencing anxiety and depression.
Teasdale and colleagues  compared a group of recovered patients with recurrent depression, receiving treatment as usual (TAU), with a group receiving TAU plus MBCT in a randomized design. They demonstrated that MBCT would significantly reduce the risk of relapse. Ma and Teasdale  replicated previous findings. They showed that MBCT training halved relapse rate (from 78% to 36%) in patients with 3 or more previous episodes. Cognitively speaking, the vicious cycle between depressed mood and patterns of negative, self-defeating, automatic thinking may result in a vulnerability to relapse of depression. In a recent study , MBCT proved to be an effective maintenance therapy with antidepressants in reducing relapse over a 15-months follow-up.
There are also studies showing that MBCT reduces excessive worry or anxiety symptoms , relieves insomnia symptoms by reducing worry associated with sleep problems in patients with anxiety disorder  and improves quality of life in the physical and psychological domains . There are studies showing that university students are prone to experience anxiety and depressive symptoms mostly related to exam [10, 11]. This, in turn, has been regarded as a serious factor which results in lower test scores and under-achievement . Anxiety management programs [13, 14] and cognitive behaviour techniques  have been successfully conducted to relieving exam anxiety.
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Mourning Robin Williams Suicide
I’m not one for celebrity gossip.
For the most part, I’m content to let the stars of Hollywood live out their drama in their own world of fame. There are very few actors whose lives I pay attention to, or whose deaths I truly mourn.
Robin Williams is one of the them.
And tonight I am saddened. I am grieved by the death of a man who made his living through his expression of joy and laughter, who lived with a kindness and dignity that is greatly admired.
I mourn a man who struggled with the massive burden of depression so deep that he simply could not find a way out, and took his own life.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS 2014
Teen Suicide Prevention Week
16 - 22 February
Bipolar Awareness Day
Substance Abuse Awareness Day
Mental Health Awareness Month
1 – 31 July
Panic Awareness Day
World Suicide Prevention Day
World Mental Health Day
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