If I was Prime Minister…

Welcome to The Lounge!  Grab a drink, settle in and get ready to share a story.  This week the theme is ‘If I was Prime Minister I would…’.  Link up your posts at the bottom of this post and be sure to share the comment love!

Last week a report was leaked which contains recommendations to the current government for changes needed to the mental health system.  This report was commissioned in 2013 while the current government was in opposition and sources have said that the government has had the report since November last year but had failed to make the review public.

The main message of the review was the recommendation that funds, as much as $1 billion dollars, be redirected from inpatient services into services offered in the community.  At the surface, it looks like a great deal, funds would be injected into providing long term treatment options for people in the public mental health system.  However these funds shouldn’t be redirected at the expense of vulnerable people who need inpatient services when in crisis.

If I was Prime Minister, the first thing that I would do would be to give everyone a pay cut.  I mean really, their rate of pay increase is higher than most other professions and yet they aren’t doing more for us.  Also does a retired Prime Minister really need a $400, 000 pay packet for the rest of their natural life?  I think not, especially when many of these Prime Ministers are then going on to other occupations, meaning they are now receiving two generous incomes.

I would also get rid of the generous meal allowances, cap the free flights and the transport costs.  All of that alone would probably free up over $1 billion needed (and much more) for community mental health services.  There would be no need to redirect funds from a system that is already falling behind.

People are turned away from mental health inpatient units every day because there is just not enough beds.  They are in crisis but there is nothing that can be done.  When I was a teenager my parents had to travel over 16 hours to the nearest inpatient unit for adolescents and the closest adult one was over 7 hours away.  The adolescent psychologist serviced an area that spanned almost 1000km.

A band aid solution of hospital alone is not the answer either.  The community and the inpatient services need those funds.  The two work in conjunction.  A person who is mentally unwell should not have to be pushed back into a community that is not ready to cope with them.  The community doesn’t have the resources to allow the mentally ill to receive long term treatment.  A lot of people are left to get worse because there isn’t enough staff to do adequate follow up.  Things get to breaking point before anything can be done.

Funds don’t need to be directed from one struggling area to another.  The vulnerable of our society should not have to suffer while the rich line their pockets.  Something has to give, and it’s not the inpatient services.

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But why…

Lydia from Where the Wild Things Were has a post that she does semi regularly about the things that perplex her.  I am flogging the idea (again) for this post because since Mr 5 started school I have found myself answering a hell of a lot more questions and I want to ask my own dammit!

  • Why are super short shorts still a thing?  Unlike Raychael I am totally willing to rage war on the short shorts.
  • Why is there always one super noisy (also a little feral) family in the waiting room?  Also, why do they feel the need to bring 3 generations of relatives for one Dr appointment?  Have they not heard of phone calls?  Or cafes?
  • What could possibly be going through someone’s head when they set out to purposely hurt someone?  Do they lose sleep over the impact they have?
  • What pushes a government to believe that attacking the lower class, the more vulnerable and those who can’t fight back is the right thing to do?
  • I said this in the last question post but I saw Simon Baker in an early episode of Home and Away and how is it that the man hardly looks like he has aged?  He doesn’t look like he’s had work done either.
  • Why did I wait so long to track down more Australian crime authors?  Seriously, there is so much talent right here, I may never have to read another book by an international author.
  • Why do people think that information they find on the internet is better than what a medical professional has to say?  I mean, sure I understand questioning if you don’t feel you are getting the answers you feel you need, but get a second opinion, don’t rely on Dr Google.
  • What goes through a persons head when they yell shit out from their car?  Or maybe that is the issue, there isn’t much going through their head?
  • Why do I become friends with the toilet when I drink a milkshake and yet I am fine when I drink chocolate milk?  Is the chocolate milk not real milk?

What things have you scratching your head?

Have you read any great Aussie authors recently?

Linking up with Jess for IBOT!

Trend Setter

I must confess is touring around a few different blogs while Kirsty is off on her US adventure and this week it’s hosted by Raychael from Mystery Case.  This week the confession theme is Trends.

Now first off I must confess that I am not a trend setter or generally a follower by any stretch of the imagination.  I usually wait until others have tried something out and worked out the kinks before giving anything a try.  I also tend to wear clothes and shoes because they are comfortable, not because they are the latest style.  I think growing up in a small town, before social media, didn’t help either.

I don’t line up for hours to get the latest tech gadget or feel the need to upgrade as soon as a new model is released.  I do tend to be impulsive when it comes to buying new things though and often feel a lot of buyers remorse.  My current laptop was bought on a whim when I went in for a portable hard drive.

One trend that I did subscribe to in the 90’s was the inflatable everything.  I had a bag, a chair and a foot rest.  I’m not sure how often I actually used the chair though.  You see I grew up in a town that had 40 degree summers.  Plastic and sweaty, exposed skin tend to result in pain, lots of pain.

I think that my chair came to a sad demise one night when my brother and a few of his friends decided to jump from the lounge onto it.  It was 5 or 6 years old by that stage…it didn’t stand a chance.  The bag was donated to charity, those poor, poor charity shops.

Another trend which I reluctantly succumbed to was a the harem pants.  When they made their appearance back on the fashion scenes I was skeptical.  I have large thighs, why on earth would I want to dress in pants that seemed to accentuate that feature?  Then Kmart had them on sale and they were black so I decided to give them a try.

They were wonderful.  I really don’t care what they look like because they are so damn comfy.  I call them my lounge pants because they are perfect for lounging around the house in.  They are a trend that I am glad that I took up.

While I don’t think that I am a trend setter or that I follow trends very regularly, I am glad that there are trends that allow us to try new things out.  I just don’t understand the need to follow blinding anything that is new because a celebrity has recommended it or seen wearing/using it.  I guess I am just too skeptical for all of that.

Are you a trend setter or a trend follower?

Did you follow any trends when you were younger that make you cringe now?

April check in

Welcome to the meeting of the minds that is The Lounge!  Grab a drink, take a seat and make yourself comfortable.  This week it’s freestylin’ so anything goes.  As always please share the comment love and share the linky with anyone you think would love to join in!

I’ve found that having a list to take stock really helps me to realise that I am doing better than I think I am.  I have a wellness list with my psychologist which we check each appointment to see how I am really doing.  I really like Pip’s taking stock list because it’s a little different.

Making : I made the best roast dinner tonight.  I said to Paul that it was a once in a lifetime occurrence because the chance of me being able to get all of the components of a roast dinner just right twice is pretty slim.
Cooking :  The best roast dinner ever.  Ever.
Drinking :  Finally able to drink tap water again.  It was a pain in the arse having to make sure I always kept the bottled water in the fridge.  So much easier when I can just fill up when it’s empty.
Reading:  A crime series about a forensic pathologist by Kathryn Fox.  It’s really interesting so far.
Wanting:  My damn neighbours to stay in their own backyard.
Looking:  …at the clutter that is my kitchen table right now.  I seem to just get it under control and then it all creeps up again.
Playing:  I found a game on android called The Rats.  It’s a strange game but I become strangely addicted to it.
Wasting:  I have been wasting so much time these school holidays.  I have to admit that it’s been nice to not have to be anywhere this week.
Sewing:  I am really not crafty.  I think the last thing I sewed was back in year 8 home economics.
Wishing:  That the government would see how important it is to dedicate more funding to mental health treatment.
Enjoying:  I am enjoying spending time with Mr 5 these holidays.  I’ve been working on being more mindful about my tone and reactions and I have seen a great improvement from him.
Waiting:  I am waiting for the weekend to get here.  We’ve had visitors for the last two weeks, so it will be nice to spend some time with just the three of us.
Liking:  The progress Paul and I have made with decluttering my house.
Wondering:  …what goes through some peoples heads when they do stupid stuff.
Loving:  Melatonin.  Seriously.  It’s not always smooth sailing but I am so glad that those nights are not the norm anymore.
Hoping:  That the appointment with the pediatrician on Monday goes well.
Marvelling: At the creativity of some people online.  I am have started following a few jewellery pages on Facebook lately and the things they create are amazing.
Needing:  …more energy.
Smelling:  The roast is still lingering.  I am so glad that it tasted as good as it smelt.
Wearing:  The nights have started to get a bit cool lately so long pants have been making an appearance.
Following:  The drama of My Kitchen Rules.  It’s so close to the end now!
Noticing:  The difference in responses from Mr 5 since I have become more mindful of my language.
Knowing:  That I have to pull my finger out and get more motivated before school starts again next week.
Thinking:  I am doing better than I give myself credit for.
Feeling:  …relaxed for the first time in a while.
Bookmarking:  I am still on my quest to read Aussie Authors for the whole year so I have been bookmarking some great authors.
Opening:  Easter eggs…seriously.  At the current rate of consumption Mr 5 and I should be finished our Easter eggs before Christmas…maybe.
Giggling:  …at the things Mr 5 has been coming out with lately.

Have you cooked a meal perfectly lately?

Are you surviving the school holidays?

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10 Lessons life has taught me

Some days I really feel like I am failing at the whole adult thing.  Then I smack myself up side the head and realise that I am doing this, and I am doing OK.  So, with that thought in mind, I decided to share with you the things that I have learned in my 27 years on earth.  life lessons

You CAN be loved while feeling unlovable.

There are so many motivational pictures getting around with the basic message of ‘you must love yourself before anyone else can love you’ or some shit.  I think that you is a crock.  Sure, you may look for love in the wrong places when you don’t value yourself, but you can also be shown what love is.  Some days, feeling loved when I absolutely hate myself is what gets me through.

Never shop on an empty stomach or straight after lunch.

On an empty stomach you will end up with more junk food than a kids sleep over.  However if you shop on a full stomach, like I often make the mistake of, you will end up with a hand full of stuff because you’re full and can’t stand the thought of another bite of food.  Oh and leave the kids at home wherever possible.

A lot of parenting is winging it.

No one has all of the answers, no one.  Having a child is one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do.  There is no goal post, and the constant pressure of knowing you are in charge of molding another human can be overwhelming sometimes.  However it is also the most rewarding things I have ever done.

Judgement often says more about the person judging than you.

It’s not always the case of course, but I have found those that are the most vocal about judgement are often feeling insecure about the very thing they are judging you for.  It’s like the kid in the playground who bullies another kid for being fat, despite being overweight themselves.

Holding people to your own expectations of behaviour will generally end in tears.

There is only one thing in life that we can ever control, and that is our reaction to other peoples behaviour.  That doesn’t make their behaviour ok, or that you have to put up with being treated a way that you find unacceptable, but it does mean that you have a choice to how you react to it.

If your actions don’t match your values, you will be unhappy, every time.

Our values are what help guide us through life.  They are the things that we accept in ourselves, and the things we will put up with from other people.  Values are individual and so what may be important to me, may not be so important to you.  In life we seek out people who align with these values, and when we find ourselves in relationships (friendships, loved ones etc) with people who do not meet these values, we will find ourselves increasingly unhappy.

Online friendships are just as important as face to face ones.

I hate the belief that friendships forged online, sometimes with people that you will never meet, are less real than ones you created face to face.  I share just as much with people who I talk to online as I do with those friends I see day to day.  I care about all of my friends, whether they live near or far.  The world wide web has opened up the world so much for me, and most of the time it’s a pretty awesome place.

A sleep dodging child does not make you a bad parent.

I could write a whole post on what not to say to a parent of a sleep dodger (hell I just might!) but one of the most annoying is ‘I wouldn’t let my child stay up that late’.  With a sleep dodger, there is nothing about letting them.  The child cannot sleep, at all.  They want to sleep, but they can’t.  They aren’t a bad child and they don’t have bad parents.

There will always be people who choose to be ignorant.

Sometimes, because clearly I hate myself, I read the comment sections on news sites or their Facebook pages.  It is never pretty and there is always ignorance.  They aren’t trolls, they just really believe that their point of view is correct.  It’s sad and sometimes it makes me so angry that my eyes twitch but I have to remind myself that like most judgement, their words say more about them than they do about me.

Choose your words wisely.

We’re all guilty of saying things in the heat of the moment, things that as soon as they are out of our mouth we wish we could steal them back.  Words can do so much damage to a vulnerable person, they burrow under the skin and fester like a sore.  It’s important to try to ask ourselves if what we are telling someone is helpful.  Is it something they need to hear?  What is the motivation behind needing to tell them?  It’s not about being positive all of the time, just being mindful of our words and the impact they can have.

What are your big life lessons?

Do you shop on a full or an empty stomach?

Linking up with Jess for IBOT!