If you would like to submit a contribution to our Readers Blog section then follow this link. Be sure to include your full name, address and contact number otherwise your submission will not be considered for publication. We will contact you prior to publication.

Dr Gaynor’s suggestions will allow mental health patients to re-engage with world

Dr Keith Gaynor’s comments about mental wellbeing, based on his new book, “Protecting Mental Health”, place welcome emphasis on humans as social beings, living in communities, families and societies (Irish Examiner, 26 January).

Human cognition and behaviour are so deeply socialised it is arguably nonsensical to consider any human being in isolation. We are deeply networked with others, and the human brain is so incredibly complex and inter-connected,our lives and wellbeing can only be considered in social contexts.

Improved mental health and wellbeing can be advanced by conscious effort, and Dr Gaynor’s suggestions are achievable and effective. His points about engaging and re-engaging with the world, meditating, exercising and volunteering are especially relevant, as new technologies present both enormous opportunity for social connection and enormous risk of atomisation and isolation.

Conscious strategies to promote mental health can, ultimately, help us reach a point of absorption in activity from which happiness flows.

Benjamin Disraeli wrote, in 1870, ‘action may not always bring happiness but there is no happiness without action.’

Brendan Kelly

Professor of Psychiatry

Trinity College Dublin


Lifestyle

A scientific study has found that the teatime treat is just as effective as shop-bought energy gels.You might want to swap your energy gels for mashed potato on your next run

We catch up with Bushmills’ master distiller, who tells Sam Wylie-Harris more about this liquid gold.Irish whiskey masterclass: 11 things you need to know

Temples, beaches, and several nations with new names.From Bhutan to Costa Rica, Lonely Planet reveals its top countries to visit in 2020

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers guidance to a woman who’s unsure how to manage her mother’s dying wishes.Ask a counsellor: ‘Is it appropriate to notify my mother’s friends of her death by email?’

More From The Irish Examiner