October is..

09 October 2014


There are three special focuses in October and 30 special days, as specified by the CIPD calendar.  The MYT youth forum decided to concentrate on two of the special focuses, breast cancer awareness and black history month, and one of the special days, world mental health awareness.  Please see below for their communications of these. 

Black History Month:
A summary of three important people

Rosa Parks

  • Refused to give up her seat for a white man on the coach (where white people had priority in terms of seating)
  • Was arrested after refusing to move from her seat, this unlawful act sparked mass meetings within the centre of the black community of the time, the church. These meetings subsequently led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott whereby black Americans refused to use the buses, thus denying the coach and bus companies extortionate income from their largest group of customers.
  • Soon after she became a national icon for the Civil Rights Movement within America, having gone from a powerless black woman without a voice to one of the most recognisable faces in America.


Mary Seacole

  • Set up a ‘British Hotel’ behind enemy lines during the Crimean War, the hotel in question really being a field hospital providing aid to wounded British Infantrymen
  • Her work was largely overshadowed by a similar woman working in the country at the time, a white nurse named Florence Nightingale (who came to be known as the ‘Founder of Modern Nursing’).
  • It was nearly a century that had passed after her death before she came back into the public light and was recognised for her works during the Crimean War, being honoured with the ‘Jamaican Order of Merit’.

Barrack Obama

  • First African American president.
  • Attended and graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School, a great social achievement when you think that no less than 60 years ago African American students were refused entry to Little Rock Central High School. They eventually had to be escorted into the school by 101st airborne troops after the governor of Arkansas sent troops to refuse them entry despite them having the legal right to enter the school.

Mental health focus: Anxiety Disorders


Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear that can be mild or severe.

Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam or having a medical test or job interview. During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal. However, some people find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily life.

Anxiety is the main symptom of several conditions, including panic disorder, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety disorder (social phobia). 

Common misconceptions:

  1. Anxiety disorders aren’t that serious. This myth persists because “anxiety is a universal and normative emotion,” said Risa Weisberg, Ph.D, Assistant Professor (research) and Co-Director of the Brown University Program for Anxiety Research at Alpert Medical School. However, anxiety “can be a hugely distressing and impairing symptom.”
  2. “I can overcome this on my own.” In her research on anxiety disorders in primary care, Weisberg found that nearly half of primary care patients with anxiety disorders weren’t taking medication or attending therapy. When asked about their reasons for not engaging in treatment, one of the most common answers was that they didn’t believe in receiving these treatments for emotional problems. Anxiety disorders have a chronic course and “the bottom line is that good treatments exist, so there is no reason to suffer on your own,” Weisberg said.
  3. Anxiety disorders are a character defect. “Anxiety has a genetic and neurological basis,” said Tom Corboy, MFT, Director of the OCD Center of Los Angeles.
  4. “I need medication in order to improve.” Though medication can be effective in treating anxiety disorders, “research suggests that in many cases, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is better or just as good as CBT plus medication,” said Jon Abramowitz, Ph.D, Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Director of the UNC Anxiety and Stress Disorders Clinic. CBT teaches patients the skills for lasting benefits


  • Agoraphobia: anxiety about or avoidance of places or situations from which escape might be difficult or in which may not be available in the event of having a panic attack or panic-like symptoms.
  • Panic disorder without agoraphobia: characterised by recurrent unexpected panic attacks about which there is persistent concern.
  • Panic disorder with agoraphobia: characterised by both persistent panic attacks and agoraphobia.
  • Specific phobia: characterised by clinically significant anxiety provoked by exposure to a specific feared object or situation, often leading to avoidance behaviour.
  • Social phobia: characterised by clinically significant anxiety provoked by exposure to certain types of social or performance situations, often leading to avoidance behaviour.
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder: characterised by obsessions (caused by anxiety or stress) and/or compulsions (to neutralise the anxiety).
  • Post traumatic stress disorder: characterised by the re-experiencing of an extremely traumatic event accompanied by avoidance stimuli associated with the trauma.
  • Acute stress disorder: characterised by symptoms similar to those of PTSD that occur immediately in the aftermath of an extremely traumatic event.
  • Generalised anxiety disorder: characterised by at least six months of persistent and excessive anxiety and worry.
  • Anxiety disorder due to a general medical condition: characterised by prominent symptoms of anxiety that are judged to be a direct physiological consequence of a general medical condition.
  • Substance induced anxiety disorder: characterised by prominent symptoms of anxiety that are judged to be a direct physiological consequence of a drug abuse, a medication, or toxin exposure.
  • Anxiety disorder not otherwise specified: is included for coding disorders with prominent anxiety or phobic avoidance that do not meet criteria for any of the specific anxiety disorders defined.


'Catching' mental illness:

NO!  Of course you can’t catch a mental illness, through secondary influences you may imitate the behaviour of someone with a mental illness but you can’t 'catch' it, it’s an illness of the brain formed through distressing events and other events on a person’s life. There is no way to 'catch' anxiety, anxiety is a very misunderstood illness and is commonly dismissed as serious or even an illness, with doctors saying "they just have a cautious/nervous disposition".

Breast Cancer Awareness



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