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Blue November and World Diabetes Day

News item

Wednesday 14 Nov 2018

World Diabetes Day (WDD) was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225. It is marked every year on 14 November, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.

WDD is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people in more than 160 countries. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.

The World Diabetes Day campaign aims to:

  • Be the platform to promote IDF advocacy efforts throughout the year.
  • Be the global driver to promote the importance of taking coordinated and concerted actions to confront diabetes as a critical global health issue.

The campaign is represented by a blue circle logo that was adopted in 2007 after the passage of the UN Resolution on diabetes. The blue circle is the global symbol for diabetes awareness. It signifies the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes epidemic.

Every year, the World Diabetes Day campaign focuses on a dedicated theme that runs for one or more years. The theme for World Diabetes Day 2018-19 is Family and Diabetes.


Childers finds glass half empty on drinking water directive

News item

Wednesday 24 Oct 2018

Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, expressed disappointment at the lack of support for universal access to water from a majority of conservative MEPs.

Speaking from Strasbourg after yesterday’s vote on the review of the Drinking Water Directive in the European Parliament, Ms. Childers said:

“Everybody agreed that decades-old EU water quality and safety standards had to be brought up to date with scientific knowledge and environmental goals.

“Unfortunately, not everybody in Parliament agrees that vulnerable groups such as the homeless have a right to access to water

“The first successful European Citizens’ Initiative ever called precisely for European action to ensure water remains a public service and a public good.

“About a million people in 21st century Europe lack access to water, with close to ten times more lacking sanitation.

“This review was a wasted opportunity to listen to the voice of our citizens and enshrine universal access to drinking water in European legislation.

“I was part of progressive, cross-party coalition which pushed amendments to strengthen this proposal, and counted on the efforts of many colleagues such as my Dublin counterpart, Lynn Boylan, and the UK’s Rory Palmer.

“It is unconscionable to see cornerstone of those efforts scuppered by the commodifying mentality that, in Ireland, cost us millions in consultant fees that could have gone to works on atrocious leakage rates.”


Dying to Work Campaign #dyingtoworkEU

News item

Monday 24 Sep 2018

The European Parliament has recently adopted the report ‘Pathways for the reintegration of workers recovering from injury and illness into quality employment‘. The report includes the first explicit endorsement of the Dying to Work campaign and a call on the Commission to address the lack of data concerning terminally ill people in the workplace. Specifically:

  1. Recognises that people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness retain the fundamental right to work; further recognises that these individuals face a unique set of challenges relating to their employment, distinct from the challenges facing other patient groups, as there is often little time for them to adapt to their changing conditions and for workplace adjustments to be made; commends initiatives such as the Dying to Work campaign for raising awareness about this specific set of problems; encourages employers to maintain as much dialogue as possible with employees who have received a terminal diagnosis, to ensure that all necessary and possible adaptations can be made to allow the employee to carry on working if he or she so wishes; is of the opinion that, for many patient, remaining in the workplace is a personal, psychological or economic imperative and central to his or her dignity and quality of life; urges the Member States to support the reasonable adaptation of workplaces to the unique set of challenges facing this group of people; calls on the Commission to tackle the lack of data on the employment status of people with cancer and to support the collection of better data, comparable across Member States, in order to improve support services for them;

The full report can be found here.

This is a first formal recognition of the work of the EU  campaigns and a hugely positive step forward in highlighting this important set of issues.

The Dying to Work campaign would like to see terminal illness recognised as a ‘protected characteristic’ so that an employee with a terminal illness would enjoy a ‘protected period’ where they could not be dismissed as a result of their condition.

Such protection would give every person battling terminal conditions the choice of how to spend their final months and the peace of mind to know their job was protected and the future
financial security of their family was guaranteed.

Potential effects of losing your job following a terminal diagnosis:

  • Reduced income and loss of financial security.
  • Loss of stimulation, dignity and normality associated with being in employment.
  • Undergoing an inevitably stressful and upsetting HR procedure.
  • Loss of ‘Death in Service’ and ‘Life Assurance’ payments to family members and loved ones.

To find out more about this issue please go to: https://www.dyingtoworkeu.org/


Digital copyright vote a step backwards for an open internet

News item

Thursday 13 Sep 2018

Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, expressed disappointment with the outcome of the 12th September vote on copyright rules in the European Parliament, where a number of proposals to reconcile the interests of creators with those of the online world were rejected.

Ms. Childers was the co-sponsor of a number of cross-party proposals which attempted to bridge that gap, particularly by simplifying licensing and facilitating the enforcement of publishers’ rights but without hindering the right of others to share summary snippets.

These also included provisions to prevent the systematic use of upload filters online while ensuring that large platforms that share video and music also share revenue with rightholders.

Speaking from Strasbourg after the vote, Ms. Childers said:

“I have had serious doubts about the implications of this copyright proposal for the online environment and for the freedoms individual users enjoy and that is why I voted to block it before summer.

“Unfortunately, even the attempts we made since to safeguard rightholders without causing widespread damage to the interests of individual users were rejected by a majority.

“As adopted in Parliament today, draconian provisions on liability for copyright infringement by individual users will force most platforms to preventively apply uploading filters so as not to fall afoul of the law.

“Likewise, this proposal fails to give users and platforms the legal certainty they need in order to quote and share snippets of news.

“I fully appreciate and support all creators’ right to remuneration for their work, but similar attempts in national jurisdictions have failed to make them better off.

“It is now the turn of EU national governments to have their equal say on this proposal. I hope they will revisit these issues and listen to the many academics and internet experts who oppose it, as I cannot support it in its current form.

ENDS


Borders, Boundaries and Mental Health Conference, 12th October 2018, Dublin

News item

Friday 31 Aug 2018

 

I am delighted to announce that I will be hosting a conference with the Irish Council for Psychotherapy (ICP) in Dublin on the 12th October 2018.

This conference will explore the issue of borders & boundaries and how they impact our mental health. The themes of the seminar will include:

  • Brexit: how has it impacted on identity and belonging?
  • Economic & Social boundaries which ensure the welfare of some and not others
  • Sexual boundaries and how they are being exploited
  • Social Media and the boundary between reality & fantasy

Who should attend?

Anybody interested in mental health, politics, social justice, sexuality and social media.

What can I expect from it?

Presentations and panel discussions from experts in their fields and a clear understanding of how psychotherapy can and does have an important role in helping society to understand the impact of borders & boundaries on mental health. The event will also provide an opportunity for individuals to network.

Programme:

9:15 – 9:45 Registration

9:45 – 10:15 Welcome

10:15-11:15 Brexit and Mental Health- Presentations and Panel Q&A

  • Nessa Childers, Member of the European Parliament
  • Pat Hunt, Vice Chair of the UK Council for Psychotherapy
  • Barbara Fitzgerald, Psychotherapist and Chair of ICP’s Psychoanalytic Section

11:15 – 11:45 Tea / Coffee

11:45 – 12:45 Economic and Social Boundaries- Presentations and Panel Q&A 

  • Rory Hearne, Policy Analyst, Writer and Lecturer
  • Cllr Gary Gannon, Social Democrat
  • Gerry Myers, Psychotherapist and Lecturer

12:45-13:45 Lunch

13:45 – 14:45 Sexual Boundaries- Presentations and Panel Q&A 

  • Julie Browne, Psychotherapist
  • Brian Finnegan, Editor of GCN
  • Dermod Moore, Psychotherapist and Psychosexual Trainer

14:45 – 15:45 Social Media Boundaries- Presentations and Panel Q&A 

  • Joanna Fortune, Psychotherapist and Sunday Times Columnist
  • Mary McGill, Researcher, Writer and Lecturer
  • Anne McCormack, Psychotherapist and Author

15:45 – 16:00 Closing Remarks

You can register through Eventbrite:

https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/borders-boundaries-mental-health-tickets-49467871736?ref=estw

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

#boundaries, #mentalhealth, #psychotherapy, #BBMH18

The conference is funded by the Group of the Progressive alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament