Review of Mental Health Act Announced

So mental health is in the news again. I receive this with both amusement and anger. I had a deep depression/breakdown nearly 50 years ago. I got better with the help of a wonderful psychiatrist and medication, plus time out. This illness was met with ideas about me of weakness, inadequacy and ‘perhaps she’s mad.’ I learnt it takes a certain type of courage to recover from the effects of that sort of illness. So lack of understanding and bigoted ignorance hasn’t changed even after 50 years if companies are being encouraged to up their game and support those with a mental illness. An illness that can affect anyone. When I went for promotion a couple of years after my recovery, my mental health was in question. I was recovered enough to meet this head on and got the promotion. Still the poor relation of our poorly National Health I hope for improvement in resources for mental health issues in all areas. Certainly it seems it was better all those years ago when I was ill.

by Ros Lucas

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In Praise of the Simple Sentence

Children in primary schools today are encouraged to load their writing with complex sentences.  The received wisdom these days is that the quality of one’s writing is improved by an increase in the use of complex sentences.

The impact of a simple sentence is all too often overlooked in the modern classroom.  It goes without saying that complex sentences have their role to play in writing. Variety is the to be encouraged. However, all too often after a lesson on complex sentences, children feel they need to overload their writing with a range of subordinate clauses.

It seems children are expected to jump through hoops when they write. They comply with an imaginary tick list of techniques which will please the teacher.

“Have I used enough fronted adverbials?”

“Have I used any subordinating conjunctions in my writing?”

Consequently, style is often the loser in children’s writing. They lose sight of the impact a simple sentence might have in their writing.