THE SPARK BLOG

#Songs For Sound Minds #22

Songs for Sound Minds #22 - 'Days Like This' by Van Morrison What are your thoughts when you first hear this refrain? ‘Well my mama told me there’d be days like this’ Are you thinking about the negative side of things?  The ‘chancers’ in life that your mum warned you...

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Why we fear change in relationships

‘There is nothing permanent except change’. Heraclitus This particular Greek philosopher had life pegged some 2,500 years ago: change is inevitable. The world around us changes, as do we as life progresses. Aside from the physical aspects of ageing, over time we...

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#SongsForSoundMinds #21

Songs for Sound Minds #21 – ‘Watching the Wheels’ John Lennon It probably comes as no surprise that John Lennon features on our Songs for Sound Minds playlist. But it’s not for the song you'd think it would be… Watching the Wheels by John Lennon John Lennon - bread...

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#SongsForSoundMinds #20

Songs for Sound Minds #20 – Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) Kelly Clarkson At The Spark we work hard to help people improve their relationships and build connections with each other. Sometimes though, trying to mend a broken relationship is not healthy for either...

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Male infertility and mental health

Men are in general pretty bad at talking about their feelings. They are taught from their earliest years – both explicitly and implicitly – to hold emotions in. Never cry, get on with it and barely whisper about what is upsetting you. When it comes to male...

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Social media & self image

One of the common problems presented by school pupils to our counsellors is the tricky issue of social media. Children and young people are the section of our society that first embraced social media platforms. The highs and lows of social media They have been the...

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#SongsForSoundMinds #19

Songs for Sound Minds #19 – ‘Any Road’ by George Harrison ‘If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.’ This may seem a statement of the blooming obvious if ever there was one.  However, how many of us have wasted time on fruitless activities...

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#SongsForSoundMinds #18

Songs for Sound Minds #18 - 'Phantom of Aleppoville' by Benjamin Clementine On the surface ‘Phantom of Aleppoville’ by Benjamin Clementine is a song about bullying. Dig a little deeper and it becomes a celebration of surviving and learning to be at peace with the...

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Pupils come first with counselling

The Spark is at the forefront of efforts to improve the mental and emotional wellbeing of school pupils in Scotland. It is widely recognised that a child's ability and readiness to learn can be compromised by difficult life experiences. Through counselling, education...

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Deputy First Minister visits The Spark

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney visited Abercromby Primary to see how the Pupil Equity Fund is being used to support the mental and emotional wellbeing of children. The Clackmannanshire school is utilising the fund to provide counselling to pupils via...

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Schools, children and mental health

The mental health of children and young people has rightly become a mainstream political topic this year. Barely a week has gone by without more worrying research about the mental health of children and young people. Indeed only this week a BBC report highlighted the...

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#SongsForSoundMinds #17

Songs for Sound Minds #17 - 'Blood on Blood' by Bon Jovi In the Songs for Sound Minds series we often pick tracks because of they have been crafted so that every line serves a very specific purpose. This week we have chosen a song on the basis of just 4 lines. Blood...

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The need for emotional first aid

When we experience aches, pains or a chesty cough where do we head? Straight to our local doctor of course. When it comes to emotional pain - guilt, loss, loneliness - what do we do? Most of the time we try to sort it ourselves. We (try to) keep calm and carry on....

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The benefits of online counselling

When we think of counselling most of us will picture people sitting together in a quiet room talking. For the majority of individuals, couples and families this is indeed what counselling looks like. But the growth of digital technology has opened up a new form of...

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Dementia and relationships

According to the Alzheimer’s Society over 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia. The impact of dementia on sufferers and their carers is deeply upsetting. In particular the effect on their relationship is a very emotionally and mentally painful feature of...

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These are bad for your health

Imagine a new product is about to be launched. This product has amazing capabilities. It has the power to make you dislike at least one aspect of your lifestyle intensely. Chances are it could leave you feeling deeply unhappy about your appearance, clothes or body...

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Parents guide to exam results day

Being a parent of a teenager is tricky at the best of times. High school exams are barely over when attention turns to the next stress-triggering milestone: exam results day. Parents can end up just as distressed as the kids who sat the exams. The near constant...

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Male postnatal depression is real

The idea that male postnatal depression exists has long been considered in the same terms as man flu. Reactions can vary from a raised eyebrow to thinly veiled contempt when the subject is broached. Familiar gender stereotypes entrench the belief that a dad ‘can’t...

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Low cost kids activities this summer

One thing guaranteed to create tension in a family is the long summer holiday and kids with nothing to do. Bored kids and parents trying to juggle time off with work commitments can be a recipe for a stressful summer. Kids activities like trampoline parks, cinema...

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Bad news, anxiety and the media

Escaping bad news and tragedy feels like an impossible task. War, terrorism, racism, persecution and fear dominate the news. Thanks to digital technology we are stuck on a 24-hour a day loop of breaking news and broadcasts from the scene of the latest tragedy. Even...

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