Sir, – Congratulations once again to The Courier for highlighting the state of mental health services in Fife and the usual placatory replies made by the Scottish Government that we have come to know so well.
Perhaps we should be asking questions such as why are we becoming a more anxious society and working backwards to solve these issues.
Here’s a few pointers from someone who has been both a mental health service user and someone who has also used teaching as therapy for fellow sufferers before the funding was inevitably cut.
It is a fact that the poor are more likely to face poorer mental health as they strive to make ends meet in a society that increasingly favours the rights of the haves over the have nots.
To help the poor, the Government should end its obsession with favouring large overseas corporations over ordinary people. These corporations don’t pay their fair share while they exploit the current economic climate for their own profit.
We should aim to end the cycle of the working poor. The lack of stable employment means no decent future for those caught in the poverty trap and their children will begin life in poverty as well.
We can end this by making employers pay a real living wage. If they can’t pay one, remove all their subsidies, rates incentives and tax breaks.
We should aim to end social injustice. Ordinary people are consistently told to abide by the rules while they watch the rich and famous flout them on a daily basis. This breeds envy, anger and resentment and ultimately leads to people feeling worthless. This is a major cause of mental health decline.
We should stop just talking about mental illness and start doing something about it.
4 Weavers Crescent,
Clear benefits of vegan lifestyle
Sir, – I was interested to read the article about your reporter Nadia Vidinova going vegan for a week.
Every time we make a vegan choice, we make a difference.
Therefore, I was very pleased to read about Nadia’s experiment.
I recently turned vegan myself and am familiar with the challenges that come along with it.
Using the vegan label may seem restricting, but realising that you are using your personal choices to vote for or against animals, the environment, and your health in day-to-day cases feels very empowering.
Some people claim that they could not imagine going fully vegan.
This shouldn’t deter anyone from trying to make a change for the better.
Rather, I want to encourage readers to be proud of each time they choose a dairy, egg and meat-free meal.
Living a vegan lifestyle for just one week saves 31,000 litres of water, 70 kilogrammes of CO2 and eight animal lives. And don’t worry, there are vegan chocolate bars.
Petersburger Strasse 74c,
Rocky road to EU membership
Sir, – First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made crystal clear last week her true goal is an independent Scotland within the European Union.
And there, regrettably for Ms Sturgeon, lies the rub.
While a few European Union bureaucrats have submitted to being photographed embracing the nationalist leader, one European country leader after another has told her Scotland exits the EU along with the remainder of the United Kingdom.
That of, course, leaves her with no option but Scotland joining as an independent country.
But post-oil boom Scotland’s 9.5% annual deficit – and growing – means that for us to meet the EU’s 3% upper limit requirement, the SNP would need to inflict many years of financial misery upon us in the form of aggressive tax rises and public services cuts.
The impact of Tory austerity would seem inconsequential by comparison.
Public spending last year was £1,200 per head higher in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK as a consequence of our comparatively poor health levels and scattered population, funded by the UK taxpayer via the generous Barnett Formula.
While Ms Sturgeon may well be tempted at some stage during 2018 to 2020 to risk it all once more with a second referendum, she will surely realise the rocky financial road to EU membership means it is highly probable the electorate will once more reject her independence dreams, preferring the UK economic security blanket.
Strong feline for Claud Monet
Sir, – The Monet pastel shown in your December 20 issue used to be in the Aberdeen Art Gallery. It is a lovely picture and fascinating because the bottom of the cliff is clearly the head of a big cat.
Aberdeen’s loss is Edinburgh’s gain.