13 Reasons Why Not

By June 5, 2017 Blog

We’ve just finished watching the series ’13 Reasons Why.’ It’s about a teenage girl, Hannah, who kills herself; and the 13 people she blames for her decision. My feelings on it are mixed. It graphically depicts issues such as self-harm, rape, addiction and suicide; all of which need to be discussed. It also teaches us how to spot warning signs in vulnerable teenagers and to ask, ‘what would I do? How could I have helped?’ These are vital questions; but there …Read More

Life and Death

By January 30, 2014 Blog

In yesterday’s post, I touched on the issue of suicide.  Here are a few of the comments: and a powerful reminder of how complex and painful this issue can be: “As a youth worker I have often begged troubled young souls to stay on the planet long enough to access help, talk things through, see life improve. Most have. Some haven’t. Several close friends and family members have taken their own lives and dozens of suicides have taken place locally: …Read More


By January 29, 2014 Blog

“Suicide is the greatest of human freedoms, underwriting all the others, for it gives us the possibility of defying every thing and every one there is. The possibility of suicide is what makes life voluntary and each new day an act of will. No wonder the faith community gnash their teeth at suicide. God Himself, if He existed, would gnash His teeth at suicide: the supreme act of defiance, the final rasberry. The knowledge that I’m here by choice, that …Read More

Dangerous Faith

By April 12, 2013 Blog

How big is our God? Big enough to deal with floods? With cancer? Big enough to deal with abuse – or addiction?  Big enough to deal with child soldiers and genocide? With divorce and bereavement and childlessness and suicide and grief and loneliness and singleness and anarchy and democracy? Big enough to deal with Jimmy Saville?  Big enough to deal with regret and shame and anger and sorrow and bitterness? And how loving is our God?  When He looks at …Read More

When It’s Murder Being A Man

By November 21, 2011 Blog, identity

What does a ‘real’ man look like? The guy on the billboard, all pecs and ego? The metrosexual with guyliner and man-bag? A misogynist brute, enslaved to his hormones? Mr Fix-it, good with his hands?  The sports-mad Jock, just one of the lads? Is he the darling of rom-com hero:  sensitive, soulful and close to his mum? Or an all-action hero: hard as nails,  with no time for sentiment or weakness? Each day we’re presented with wildly differing images of masculinity. What we’re rarely shown is …Read More

The Forever Choice

By April 5, 2011 Blog

A very good friend of mine tried to kill herself recently.  It wasn’t a cry for help. She’d thought it through and planned it well in advance.  She’s doing a little better now, but is still in a very dark place. Every minute of every day is a struggle for her – an abyss of despair that is difficult to comprehend.  She’s in the battle of her life.  And how  thankful I am that she’s still fighting. It’s brought home …Read More

Fear of Vomiting: ‘I’d rather be dead’

By March 9, 2011 Blog

Fear of vomiting. Or ‘Emetophobia’, if you want the technical term. You may never have heard of it, but get this – it’s one of the top five phobias. Let’s start with what it’s not. It’s not something trivial.  Nor is it ‘not really liking’ throwing up.  (As if anyone enjoys it). Instead, this is a fear of throwing up  that can leave sufferers being desperate and even suicidal. It is – Embarrassing.  Frightening.  Little understood. And sometimes serious. Here’s …Read More

The Price of Perfection

By January 25, 2011 Blog

Women who undergo plastic surgery have a much higher risk of killing themselves, say experts in the journal, Current Psychiatry Reports. Cosmetic surgery patients also had a three-times higher rate of death due to self-harming acts, such as binge-drinking, drug overdoses and reckless driving. Their conclusions were based on five large-scale, independent studies, which found that the suicide rate is up to three times higher in women who have had breast implants. Another report published in the journal Plastic and …Read More