In The Bell Jar, published in 1963, Sylvia Plath describes Esther, a young girl full of potential in so many different career paths. Esther feels that if she doesn’t choose one direction, she’ll lose the possibility of choosing any at all: “From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future […]


Is social media a help or a hindrance for people experiencing mental illness? Erin Stewart investigates. When writer and comedian Ben Pobjie posts about his experiences of depression online, he feels apprehensive. “Usually it’s pretty stressful. The majority of my writing and posting on mental illness has been done during times when I’ve been suffering, […]


Each year 27 per cent of 18 to 25 year olds face a mental health issue. Erin Stewart is encouraged by grassroots action initiated by young people, who, like her, aren’t willing to accept things the way they are. A new, disturbing Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)report has found that suicide is now the leading […]


Are you ever haunted by memories? Something in the present reminds you of the past, and suddenly, you’re there. You’re a younger age, it’s a different season – it’s a different place altogether. Two recent releases, Out With It by UK-born Katherine Preston and The Impossible Knife of Memory by American author, Laurie Halse Anderson […]


Sometimes I play that game with friends where we all name what superpower we’d choose if we could have just one. Invariably someone mentions mind reading, and why not? It would probably make life easier to know the inner workings of others, you’d learn some embarrassing facts, and figure out where the tin of chocolate […]


When UK TV series Skins first aired in 2007, there was a lot of debate over whether the show provided a realistic portrayal of teen life in the suburbs. The characters completed their final years of school to a backdrop of rampant sex, abysmal family lives and pretty much every drug available. One Guardian review […]

waiting room

With Tony Abbott’s new cabinet ministry announced, Australia no longer has a Minister for Mental Health. This is far more than an aberration. A lack of accountability when it comes to mental health in this country constitutes a crisis, a crisis that has spanned decades. The Obsessive Hope Disorder: reflections on 30 years of mental […]


We’re getting closer to summer, especially now that certain parts of Australia are experiencing freakish heat waves. You could even say that summer is upon us. And with it – summer fashion, bare skin, bikinis. Summer weight loss ads on TV. Nowhere to hide, because it’s too damn hot. Self-consciousness is a natural consequence. A […]


Zac is a teenager from rural Western Australia. He likes kicking around the footy and working on his family’s farm under a stretch of blue sky. He has a crush on Emma Watson. Mia is a teenager from Perth. She gets birthday cakes with messages spelt out in Smarties. She feels distant from her friends […]


From the onset of Beatlemania to the advent of Beliebers, teen fangirling has historically been condemned as a silly waste of time. Fangirls – who, exactly as their name implies, are female pop culture fans – are often shown on TV crying and screaming, and audiences are encouraged to laugh at them. It’s generally made […]


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