Abuse and Addiction Are Devastating: I Choose Not to Be a Victim

Lauren Sherry shares a poignant family story of abuse, addiction and violence, and argues that such suffering needn’t necessarily lead to the misery of victimhood. From an early age I knew my dad was an alcoholic. He’d had an odd relationship with his parents. While I was raised smothered with affection, by contrast my dad Read more

Why Yik Yak is the Portsmouth Student’s App of Choice

Each morning Portsmouth University student Megan Langdon wakes up and has a stretch, before grabbing her phone and finding out the latest news from her friends. While she uses Facebook and Instagram a lot, she’s now convinced that the best app for staying up to date with Portsmouth’s student community is Yik Yak. Yik Yak‘s emphasis is hyperlocal, allowing its users to view posts Read more

Are GCSEs Bad for Portsmouth Students’ Mental Health?

This summer students will sit tougher GCSEs in English and maths. As the exam season looms on the horizon, Portsmouth GCSE student, Tanzeela Rahman, reports on the pressure on teenage students’ mental health as they prepare for exams. Balancing ten subjects all at the same time isn’t the easiest thing in the world. When every Read more

Is Austerity Bad For Portsmouth’s Mental Health?

S&C Contributing Editor, Maddie Wallace, reports on the impact of austerity on mental health services in Portsmouth and across the country. In 2012, amidst much media fanfare, David Cameron set out his vision for ‘Parity of Esteem‘ between mental and physical health. The Health and Social Care Act decreed that ailments of the mind and Read more

Where are my Human Rights? Mental Illness and Solent NHS Trust

A month ago, local resident Charlotte Farhan wrote an open letter to the NHS and Adult Mental Health Services asking for help with her ongoing acute mental health issues. She’s still waiting for it to arrive. Here, Charlotte explains what it’s like for people with acute mental health living without the support they need in Read more

Crimes of Austerity

As a woman, a mother, a cancer sufferer and a mental health patient, Maddie Wallace is a frontline victim of the Tories’ austerity measures. Here she pinpoints the damage that’s been done by ideologically-driven cuts and what we as citizens can do to stop it. Last month, the United Nations released a report criticising the British government’s austerity measures because they Read more

How a Dog Called Amadeus Could Change My Life

Charlotte Farhan is a local resident who suffers from Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of child abuse and sexual assault, which has left her agoraphobic and unable to leave the house alone for nine years. Here, Charlotte writes about why her best friend Lisa started a crowdfunding campaign for a psychiatric assistance dog, Read more

Portsmouth Writers’ Season: Christine Lawrence

We continue our Portsmouth Writers’ Season showcasing the best contemporary Portsmouth authors. Set in 1973, Christine Lawrence’s novel Caught in the Web tells the story of Karen, a mental hospital orderly whose obsession with an elderly patient draws her into darkness and danger. If you enjoy this first chapter read the rest of the story here. Chapter One May 1973 Read more

The Rolling Melon

Gareth Rees considers various methods of conquering the winter blues. Something triggers the blues and you blame the trigger. It’s like blaming the symptoms for the disease. Right now I’m blaming teeth or rather the ones that fell out during a white lightning cider stage in my life. The dental engineers have done marvels but Read more

Volunteers: Services on the Cheap?

Shelagh Simmons highlights the hypocrisy and myopia of the Council leadership’s sudden endorsement of volunteering. Promoting the city’s latest volunteering initiative, Portsmouth Together, Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones recently told The News how supportive she is of volunteering. I am sure she is. Not only is it a ‘great way to engage with local communities’, as Read more