THE SPARK BLOG

#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...

read more

#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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

#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...

read more

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....

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

Life hacks for mental health – part 3

In the final part of our life hacks series we are looking at how doing what you are good at, keeping in touch and asking for help can set you on the path to good mental health. Catch up on part 1 and part 2 of the life hacks series. Life hacks number 7 - Do things you...

read more

Infant mental health before birth

There is no denying that the mental health of children and young people is in decline. Last week further data was released confirming more children and young people are requiring support for mental health issues. Worse still NHS therapeutic services are struggling to...

read more

Bending the truth in relationships

In a society increasingly dominated by ‘alternative facts’ it is beginning to feel like bending the truth is replacing good, old-fashioned honesty. More alarming is the implied acceptance that bending the truth or even lying outright no longer carries with it...

read more

Life hacks for mental health – part 2

Welcome to part 2 of The Spark’s life hacks for mental health series. This time we are looking at how getting active, putting the cork back in the bottle and looking out for others can boost mental health. Catch up on part 1 of the life hacks series – covering healthy...

read more

#SongsForSoundMinds #16

Songs for Sound Minds #16 - 'Swim' by Madonna There are times when we just want to find a place to switch off, take time out and chill. At the end of a hard day we crave the comfort of curling up on the sofa with a box set. Or soaking in a hot bath and letting our...

read more

Life hacks for mental health – part 1

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Most of the time we try to keep our bodies healthy because we know it makes us feel better about ourselves and helps lower the risk of illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. Whilst we are busy pursuing the...

read more

Relationship breakdown and suicide

At The Spark we relish opportunities to get involved in community-based initiatives. A great example is our involvement in the North West Glasgow Suicide Prevention forum and it’s ‘Suicide Safer Communities’ project. As a social enterprise, we are always looking for...

read more