Mental health awareness and acceptance has certainly come a long way in a last few decades. The freedom with which people now speak about it- both in open conversations and in seeking help from others- is a very positive development. For all that, it still remains so difficult to properly understand, let alone treat, and the almost chronic nature of some battles can be truly heartbreaking.
Ben Hirst is a passionate and tireless advocate and champion for mental health. His own site, Run for Mental Health, shares not only his running journey as he embarks on ever more unbelievable challenges, but also positive messages and advice about maintaining mental wellbeing. Because while Ben’s incredible courage and sheer running capacity is truly inspiring for me, there is something about him that I think is even more important. He doesn’t just run for mental health, he also walks the walk- honestly and openly showing others how he deals with his own difficulties.
You would have thought after last year, public figures would stay well away from any perception of exploiting ANZAC Day for your own political purpose. But you’d have been wrong.
In a televised advertisement for the gambling industry, Glenorchy RSL President, John Chivers, recently claimed that a ban on poker machines in pubs would mean the end of ANZAC Day in the Glenorchy area.
I have said previously that a ban on poker machines will not be without consequences so Mr Chivers had a number of possible consequences to scare us with. Some of them might have even been true, or at least plausible. But he chose ANZAC Day deliberately, wanting to maximise the impact of his words.
It’s no secret that Hobart traffic can be an issue at times. For the first time in my memory it is being spoken about as a major state election issue in the lead up to the March 3 vote, but the increasing problem has been readily apparent and much-discussed in the last few years.
There is also no mystery to the fact that when students go back to school this Wednesday congestion at peak times is going to increase further.
Both of these things are known (as is the high number of road works being carried out throughout the city), but I have no doubt the next month will see the usual upsurge in breathless discussion and almost indignation at our traffic woes through various media, with calls for tunnels, bypasses, light rail, ferries and all manner of other ‘solutions.’
Now some of the suggestions people will make to ameliorate congestion may make some sense, but most will require significant time and money to implement so let’s not hold our breath (although I would have thought making Macquarie and Davey Streets clearways would be a comparatively easy first step).
Aside from the painful chest beating, politicians artificially inflating their accomplishments and the vacuous uncritical coverage in the local media, what really annoys me are the sudden spending promises. Every election year there is a sudden change in the economic narrative that enables economic largesse and pork barrelling as both the Liberals and ALP compete to see who can promise more money. It would be less galling if you felt money was being splashed around where it was most needed, but we know it is being promised strategically in the way parties think will earn them the most votes.