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Role models: which ones do we want?

Role models: which ones do we want?

During the recent Olympic Games, sports presenter Jake Humphrey posted an interesting tweet. It was not about Usain Bolt or Team GB’s medal haul: it was about role models and Joey Essex. Humphrey was maligning the fact Britain’s (new) most-successful Olympian, cyclist...

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Who cares for the carers?

Who cares for the carers?

Despite being one of the richest countries in the world, the UK struggled to attend to the emotional and mental wellbeing of the long-term ill. Science and medicine have allowed us to make great strides in dealing with the physical symptoms of long-term illness. How...

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5 ways to be happier at work

5 ways to be happier at work

The research is in and being sick is the only thing that makes us more unhappy than work. Apologies if you are reading this at work as we have probably made your day that little bit harder. But fear not, we are offering up 5 ways to help make you feel happier at work....

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Parents & the post-summer struggle

Parents & the post-summer struggle

As Scottish schools head back for a new term and summer holidays end, many parents will be left with the same troubling question: after time off with my family, why do I feel further apart from my partner? This is a common query posed to our counsellors in the weeks...

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Partnership working in the 3rd sector

Partnership working in the 3rd sector

The third sector has increasingly become the key to effective partnership working in Scotland. Many vital health and wellbeing services – for both the public and private sectors – are now delivered by strategic partnerships with third sector organisations. Open for...

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Why did they have an affair?

Why did they have an affair?

When an affair brings a couple to counselling, a common early indicator of problems is when one partner has taken intimate, emotional issues outside the relationship. Even if the emotional connection does not progress to sexual intimacy, severe damage can already have...

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Early mental health and adulthood

Early mental health and adulthood

If you are interested in ‘what makes people tick’ you cannot help but have noticed the mass of TV programmes focused on the development of humans from childhood to adulthood. From The Secret Lives of 4 Year Olds to Bringing up Baby they examine how early mental health...

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Brexit – dividing families since 2016

Brexit – dividing families since 2016

Emotions were still raw in Scotland following the Independence referendum when the matter of Brexit came along. The 'remain v leave' campaigning and the referendum result itself have left a legacy already tangible: economic uncertainty, a devalued British pound,...

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Parents’ guide to exam results stress

Parents’ guide to exam results stress

The wait for Scottish high school exam results is likely to be almost as stressful for parents as it is for their children. In the second part of our exam results blog, we offer our advice for parents about coping with exam results stress. Looking for advice for young...

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Exam results – a young persons’ guide

Exam results – a young persons’ guide

Thousands of young adults across Scotland are about to receive their high school exam results. Naturally, it is a time that often brings with it stress, anxiety and other negative emotions for youngsters and their parents. In the first of a two-part blog, we offer our...

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Top 5 free things to do with kids

Top 5 free things to do with kids

The summer school holidays are looming on the horizon and parents up and down the country are seeking answers to the big question: how do we keep the kids occupied today? Taking them to the cinema or ten-pin bowling every other day will break the bank and the...

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Supervision for professionals

Supervision for professionals

The Spark works extensively with professionals employed in customer facing roles within social care, education, housing, HR, employability and social work. In this blog we take a look at the key role supervision plays in helping both customer facing staff and the...

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Relationship breakdowns & lawyers

Relationship breakdowns & lawyers

Entrepreneur Stephen Moore blogs about supporting the work of The Spark, relationship breakdowns and working with lawyers. The trauma of relationship breakdowns Relationship breakdowns are traumatic for all involved and all of us know someone who has suffered as a...

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Seeking better Infant mental health

Seeking better Infant mental health

The Spark joined like-minded organisations last month to highlight the field of infant mental health during the inaugural Infant Mental Health Awareness Week (6-10 June 2016). The week – created by the Parent Infant Partnership UK (PIPUK) – was hugely successful and...

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Literally searching for answers

Literally searching for answers

Every day we pose thousands of difficult questions about many of life’s most challenging issues. But in 21st-century society, we do not put them to close friends, scientists, professional counsellors or medical professionals. We put them to Google. That’s right – we...

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The good and bad of school holidays

The good and bad of school holidays

When we think about summer school holidays we imagine families playing on a sandy beach. We hear the laughter of kids enjoying days out with their parents and the smell of barbeques and suntan lotion. Basically, we imagine all the best bits of a travel agent’s TV...

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The taboo of men’s mental health

The taboo of men’s mental health

Great strides have been made in recent years in the promotion and awareness of men’s physical health and wellbeing. Multiple forms of cancer and the likes of heart and lung disease amongst men have started to lose their taboo status. Consequently the discussion of...

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When football takes over

When football takes over

When it comes to the start of a new football season, transfer deadline day or a major championships (usually without Scotland) fans of the 'beautiful game' will be glued to TV screens and stadium terraces. For all the excitement and spectacle a season or tournament...

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What does debt do to relationships?

What does debt do to relationships?

These days it is easy to become immune to the scale of the statistics quoted by news programmes, websites and in the media. Those concerning debt are a prime example. Consider this: according to research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, in 2015 1.25m adults and...

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Infant mental health & our earliest relationships

Infant mental health & our earliest relationships

Most mental health work in the UK focuses on reacting to problems once they have arisen. By contrast infant mental health initiatives look at the foundations of our relationships – our earliest years of infancy. By taking a ‘best start’ in life philosophy, it is...

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