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Alcoholism and the Holidays by Rob Huntley - Diseases and Disorders - InsidersHealth.com

Alcoholism and the Holidays by Rob Huntley - Diseases and Disorders - InsidersHealth.com | substance abuse | Scoop.it

With everyone talking about what a joyous season this is surround the holidays; it can be hard to imagine that this can be the hardest time of the year for some ...


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Nutrition and mental health

Nutrition and mental health | substance abuse | Scoop.it
User-friendly and evidence-based information on eating well: nutrition and mental health, produced by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RT @ManchesterMind: Here's some info from @rcpsych on eating well and mental health

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The problem with food stamps is that people need more than food

The problem with food stamps is that people need more than food | substance abuse | Scoop.it
Claudia Wood: Prepaid cards have their use, but prescribing what they can buy is folly – what use is food when your boiler has broken down?

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Web therapy: 4 startups overcoming mental health taboos with technology

Web therapy: 4 startups overcoming mental health taboos with technology | substance abuse | Scoop.it

For a new generation of patients, could the laptop — or even cellphone — replace the stereotypical shrink’s couch? A crop of new startups wants to take psychotherapy into the 21st century.

 

About one in five Americans will experience a mental health challenge during their lifetime, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association. But experts say that 60 percent of them will never seek help. The lack of available care, inconvenience and cost are all barriers to access, but so is the fear of prejudice and discrimination from friends, family and even employers.

 

“Stigma and shame is a huge factor – maybe the most important one,” said Oren Frank, founder of mental health startup Talktala. “People who have been to regular therapy are less ashamed of it, but people who are newcomers are paralyzed by fear.”

 

Online options enable people to receive therapy on their own turf and terms, without needing to update others on their whereabouts – and they offer the benefit of anonymity.


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malek's comment, May 6, 2013 7:11 AM
anonymity vs patient-doctor relationship
Online Therapist's curator insight, May 6, 2015 1:50 PM
Learn more about Online Mindfulness Therapy for the treatment of Anxiety and Depression: http://www.counselingtherapyonline.com.Visit my YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/pdmstrong.
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Weighing In on Mental Health and Violence | CableTechTalk.com

n the wake of the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, in December, the nation has been focused on remedies to curtail gun violence and other ways to address violent behavior in our society.

 

The cable industry is working hard to make a positive contribution to that national dialogue.  We joined recently with Hollywood, the broadcasting industry, movie theater owners, and other groups in launching a nationwide campaign to help parents manage media consumption by their kids and families.  This effort is designed to remind parents of the tools at their disposal to block or filter out TV shows and movies they feel are too violent for their children, or otherwise inappropriate for family viewing. 

 

Another topic central to the issue of gun violence is mental health.  Mental illness appears to have contributed to recent mass shootings in the U.S. and around the world.  We applaud and agree with policy makers and advocates who have called for greater attention to mental illness and stronger efforts to provide mental health solutions to those who need them. 

 

So it was a good day this week when Associated Press (AP) announced it had revised portions of its legendary style guide, the AP Stylebook, to help journalists report with more clarity on issues endemic to, and surrounding, mental health.  We believe that better, more comprehensive, and more concise reporting of stories on mental health and mental illness will lead to a greater understanding of the impact of mental health on society – and could play a key role in designing better solutions to mental health problems.

 

Click headline to read more--


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Building Kids’ Vocabulary Doesn’t Have to Involve Words

Building Kids’ Vocabulary Doesn’t Have to Involve Words | substance abuse | Scoop.it
The stronger a child's vocabulary, the more successful she tends to be in school, and new research shows that the word-building can begin before kids start talking.

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Nutrition and mental health

Nutrition and mental health | substance abuse | Scoop.it
User-friendly and evidence-based information on eating well: nutrition and mental health, produced by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RT @ManchesterMind: Here's some info from @rcpsych on eating well and mental health

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Rescooped by Kristten Buttermore from Mental Health NEWS
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Mindfulness therapy might help veterans with combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder

A new study shows that veterans with PTSD who completed a mindfulness-based group treatment plan showed a significant reduction in symptoms as compared to patients who underwent treatment as normal.

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Kat Tansey's curator insight, April 19, 2013 11:54 AM

So much is being discovered about the benefits of meditation for the military, in healthcare, and in the schools -- it is time to pay attention to these studies and support these breakthroughs.

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» The Vicious Cycle of Poverty and Mental Health - World of Psychology

» The Vicious Cycle of Poverty and Mental Health - World of Psychology | substance abuse | Scoop.it
There is a vicious, self-reinforcing cycle of poverty associated with mental illness. You become poor. Sometimes through circumstances well beyond your control,

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Eliza Koh JL's curator insight, February 4, 2013 9:13 AM

People who live in poverty are at increased risk of mental illness compared to their economically stable peers. Their lives are stressful. They are both witness to and victims of more violence and trauma than those who are reasonably well off, and they are at high risk of poor general health and malnutrition. The converse is also true: When people are mentally ill, they are at increased risk of becoming and/or staying poor. They have higher health costs, difficulty getting and retaining jobs, are less productive at work, and suffer the social stigma and isolation of mental illness. There are different types of interventions undertaken in several low and middle-income places. The authors first looked at programs intended to improve individual or family economic status and monitored changes in measures of mental health including stress and depression in adults, childhood behavior problems, childhood cognitive development, and adolescent self-esteem.

 

Iris Lee's curator insight, February 4, 2013 9:53 AM

Poverty not only affects the person physically but also mentally as the person will feel more stress with the unknown future, whether they will live or die.  Since their fate cannot be controlled by them, they will have the insecurity and would be more prone to suffer from mental illness. I think that these people should at least be given a chance to earn some money. It is saddening when you see all those people living in poverty lying at the sides of the streets. However, do the people feel this way for them? 

Hilal Iryandy's curator insight, January 25, 2014 4:06 AM

This article shows that poverty led to both mantal illnesses and diseases. They have suffer hunger and stress causing both diseases and emotional breakdowns.They lost their family, friends and belongings. I just wonder what can be done to make their lives happy.

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Poverty is a psychological state, not just an economic condition

Poverty is a psychological state, not just an economic condition | substance abuse | Scoop.it
Bradley Ariza: The cuts get personal: My days are filled with hunger and thoughts of budgeting. Am I a victim or a parasite? How can I work more and feel better off?

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Marilyne Kubath's curator insight, March 19, 2013 1:12 PM

I find it hard to understand the hunger as food was always bought first. Though it was often the cheapest and probably the worst health wise. The cheapest shoes which only last a very short time and the need to keep buying the cheapest shoes.

Marilyne Kubath's curator insight, May 2, 2013 5:38 AM

Marilyne Kubath's insight:        

I find it hard to understand the hunger as food was always bought first. Though it was often the cheapest and probably the worst health wise. The cheapest shoes which only last a very short time and the need to keep buying the cheapest shoes.

Rescooped by Kristten Buttermore from Empathy Magazine
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Is modern treatment of mental health lacking compassion?

Is modern treatment of mental health lacking compassion? | substance abuse | Scoop.it

Study survey shows that compassion is vital to a patient's full recovery...

 

‘For most clinicians, compassionate care matters because it is fundamental to the practice of medicine, ethically sound and humane,’ according to Beth Lown M.D., the lead author.

 

‘However, there is also strong evidence that compassionate care improves health outcomes and quality of life, increases patient satisfaction, and lowers health care costs. Particularly as our health care system faces such intense pressure to reduce costs, we must make sure that this critically important element of health care is not lost,’ Lown added.

 

To ensure that all patients receive compassionate care, the Schwartz Center recommends that:...

 

By Liz Lockhart


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Kayalvizhi Mathivanan's curator insight, July 22, 2014 7:43 PM

Even though new methods of treatment are being developed constantly, it is important to note the basics of healthcare, be it mental or physical. Compassion during treatment, as outlined in this article, has been shown to be a significant predictor of patient satisfaction and recovery in several studies. If coupled with new treatments and continued into the recovery period for a patient, it may also help prevent relapse in mental issues. This is because patients will be more willing to make an effort to listen to their healthcare providers and follow their advice correctly.

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Empathic Parenting

Empathic Parenting | substance abuse | Scoop.it

What is so special about empathic care? Why can't a conscientious parent serve an infant well by supplying a careful regime of temperature control, feeding, holding, stimulating, bathing, grooming, and diapering, without persistent positive attachments, attentive awareness, tenderness, and sensitive resonance characteristic of empathic care? Anna Freud addresses this question as she observes:


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Begin to see the Different Ways of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment

Probably the most complex sections discussed in the area of mental illnesses is alcohol and drug abuse treatment. In many studies, individuals who become dependent on alcohol and drugs also acquire emotional problems. Almost 50 % of the human population is associated with alcohol and drug addiction, which regularly starts with self-medication. As you go through this article, you will get information on steps for proper alcohol and drug addiction treatment, which could stem from beliefs and values of the society. There are many types of drug and alcohol abuse treatment but it's important to regard the key reason behind misuse or intoxication. Stages in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment It can be a bit complex to comprehend the different processes associated with alcohol and drug addiction treatment. Most of the time, it is important to gain knowledge on what to anticipate on these treatment options, to be able to harvest the most from each plan for treatment. The very first process involved with drug and alcohol abuse treatment is detoxing in rehabilitation facility. In most rehabilitation centers, it is important to go through a detox procedure wherein the body excretes the toxins made by long-term contact with addictive substances. To find a detox facility, experts say that the very best are those who include withdrawal support. Some of the withdrawal signs or symptoms can be very dangerous which makes an inpatient treatment the very best drug and alcohol abuse treatment option to select. Education in Substance abuse Following the procedure for detox, the following procedure involved with alcohol and drug addiction treatment is education on addiction's effect with body and mind procedures. Detox is the first step because it will help pay off the mind by normalizing the brain chemistry disrupted by long-term alcohol and drug abuse. Education concerning the supply of addiction is importance because it can help you see the factors that trigger the relapse stage. Additionally, professionals state that the learning process in drug and alcohol abuse treatment can help a person realize which coping skills work well in preventing relapse. Understanding the risks and factors related to addiction will help you succeed with drug and alcohol abuse treatment. Along the way of detox and education, counseling is also added in the treatment process. As mentioned earlier, drug addiction is often associated with mental disorders or emotional problems unresolved in the past. Counseling can help a person steering from dependence on maintain the firm behavior against alcohol and drugs. Moreover, the person who destroyed relationships to gain consistent substance abuse can help restore the family or friend ties with guidance. Take note of the procedures including the substance abuse treatment and then try to include the concerns associated with the drug addiction. To obtain the full story and all of the specifics, just go here for much more details.


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Rescooped by Kristten Buttermore from YES for an Independent Scotland
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“The revolution starts in the ATOS smoking area” - on welfare, addiction, and dependency

“The revolution starts in the ATOS smoking area” - on welfare, addiction, and dependency | substance abuse | Scoop.it

“The revolution starts in the ATOS smoking area” - on welfare, addiction, and dependency
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A blog about welfare reform from a social care worker's perspective, and the creation of the "welfare addict" as a recession-era scapegoat. Inspired largely by today's Novara show, and the people I work with.
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I've got a personal grudge against a colleague of mine. I know this is bad for workplace solidarity. A month ago I sat in the office filling out a service user's DLA1 application based on the notes I'd taken in my last hour-long session with him. My service user (let's call him Jamie) has learning difficulties, cannot read or write, is recovering from a heroin addiction that started in childhood, has chronic physical health problems as well as mental health problems. He's one of the most resilient people I've ever met. As I filled in the last few boxes on the form, writing the names of the various professionals involved in Jamie's care, I mentioned to our prescribing GP that I was putting her name down on the form.

“Oh I don't think you are, I want to see what I'm putting my name to, I stay out of all this benefits stuff”

I assured her she wasn't putting her name to anything, that I wasn't asking her for a statement, that it was me who was responsible for the form and not her.

“Well I don't know about that. I've got mixed feelings on all this kind of thing”

Oh really? Do go on...

“Well, once people get these benefits they become dependent on them, he'll never go to work”

But this is for DLA, and you can get that if you're in work or not.

“Even so. He'll become dependent on it.”

I filled in the form, silently raging about this woman, who earns at least six times what I do, and almost thirty times what Jamie was living on at that point. I imagine if she had to live at home with only £71 a week for the foreseeable future, she'd become a little “dependent” on that money too.

The DLA form submitted, next comes a date for Jamie's ESA2 appeal. Jamie appealed against the decision reached after his Work Capability Assessment which found him fit for work. But the appeal failed and he had to go to a tribunal, on the other side of town. There wasn't enough time to arrange for a representative to accompany Jamie, and he can't read directions or maps or road signs – he would never have made the tribunal alone. He phoned and asked them for a taxi, they refused. The tribunal was held in his absence, he was declared fit for work, his ESA was stopped, he was given no advice as to what to do next.

Now, I'm not new to navigating the infuriating contradictions and inadequacies of the Department for Work and Pensions, as either a claimant, a carer, or a support worker for people with complex needs. Even so, I can barely believe the words I'm saying when I explain to people that it is perfectly possible to be declared “fit for work” by one arm of the DWP, whilst simultaneously deemed “unfit for work” by another, and thus shut out of any possible source of benefits.

Jamie's 6-month sick note from his GP counts for nothing up against the health professionals3 who met Jamie for less than 10 minutes and declared him fit for work. If you don't qualify for ESA, your other option is JSA4, but you must be actively seeking and available for work to qualify. Whilst the ESA decision makers disregarded Jamie's sick note5, the note is still on Jamie's file6, making Jamie “unfit for work” for the next 6 months, and ineligible for JSA. With his DLA claim still being processed and no guarantee of future payments, Jamie now has no money coming in.

Jamie is vulnerable. He is precariously housed, he is a recovering heroin user, he is abstinent for the first time in 16 years, he lives next door to someone who sells valium for 50p a pill. His risk of relapse is pretty fucking high, and anybody who's ever experienced the cold bureaucratic violence of benefits being sanctioned or withdrawn completely can probably relate to the feeling of sheer panic and desperation that follows. Sitting listening to the holding music on the DWP phone line7 in one ear, trying to reassure Jamie while knowing there's little we can do, my call is answered, and I'm told to phone the tribunals service, after explaining the predicament. The tribunals service listen patiently before saying there is nothing they can do, and telling me to call the DWP, who tell me to call tribunals. I argue, I explain, I ask to speak to a manager. After an hour of this, we're told that Jamie needs to re-apply for ESA if he wants any money. Start from scratch, except because he's within 6 months of failing a work capability assessment (or maybe he passed, depends which side of the fence you're on I suppose), he needs to present new evidence of his inability to work – a joyless task if ever there was.

None of this should have happened. Jamie was in the support group for ESA8 until he was remanded for an offence committed by somebody else, after which he was released and had to start over with a fresh claim. The tribunals service could have chosen to postpone the first tribunal, on the grounds that there was no representative available. They could have postponed it on the grounds that the claimant was not present. When I wrote to them requesting they set aside the tribunal's decision on grounds their own policy presents as valid reasons to set aside and postpone tribunals, they could have agreed and given us a new date. Instead, they wrote back saying it was “not in the interests of justice”9 to set aside the decision, citing Jamie's attendance at his WCA last year (held just up the road from where he lives) as evidence he was perfectly capable of travelling an hour or more across town to an unfamiliar area by himself. Now we are waiting for a “statement of reason” from the Judge, after which we must apply for permission to appeal to the upper tribunal, which we may or may not be granted.

This will continue for months. This isn't my job, my job is to work on relapse prevention strategies with Jamie, but all we've been able to do for weeks is deal with his benefits – there is no one else who can do this, and as far as I'm concerned, income maximisation is a pretty good short term relapse prevention technique.

Let's get one thing straight. If I don't make any money today, it's my fault, not yours.

Meanwhile, my GP colleague is still concerned about the risk of Jamie and others like him becoming “dependent” on welfare. She claims to be genuinely concerned that the promise of £71 a week is the only thing standing in between her patients and a lifetime of dignified, gainful, liberating employment. As if, in its absence, her patients will finally pull themselves up by their bootstraps, get on their bikes and find one of those many, many jobs that are eager to hire adults with criminal records as long as your arm, physical and learning disabilities, childcare commitments, no qualifications, and little to no work experience. If only that “safety net” wasn't there to catch them, these most vulnerable of adults would finally be able to become economically independent, if only we let them. Fuck off with that.

But my colleague isn't alone. Liam Fox just a few weeks ago denounced Britain as “welfare dependent”, Iain Duncan Smith declared in 2011 that “it's time to end this addiction to benefits”, conflating the sneering, ill-informed judgement of those who misuse substances with the frothing demonisation of benefit claimants to form some kind of recession-era folk devil par excellence – the welfare addict that you - yes you, honest taxpayer! - are enabling. Weaved into all this hideous rhetoric that casts those on low incomes as wanting “something for nothing” or as products of “entitlement culture”, that casts “generations of worklessness” as something which actually exists10 whilst imagining away the many complex material realities which leave people with little choice but to claim benefits, there's a particular disdain for the “addict”11.

The present waking nightmare of welfare reform divides the “deserving poor”, or “people incapacitated through no fault of their own”, from the “undeserving”, with a particular emphasis on the drug and alcohol dependent. Plans to sanction claimants who do not engage with treatment for drug and alcohol problems are included in Universal Credit12; local authorities are turning to food stamp systems in the absence of the DWP's social fund, and making sure these can't be used for alcohol or cigarettes. Not only does the amount of money in claimants' pockets matter, what that “money”13 can be spent on is also now everyone else's business.

All those negative beliefs churned out again and again about “addicts” - they lie, they steal, they care only for themselves, they are bereft of any moral responsibility whatsoever, they are slamming your taxes into their femoral veins £100 at a time – this is the language being extended to anyone claiming benefits. And the cure for all these ills? Some good old fashioned work ethic, “taking responsibility”, working not begging, of course. Big Issue founder and arch neoliberal Tory-flatterer John Bird's latest publicity stunt with Saatchi includes the declaration “Let's get one thing straight. If I don't make any money today, it's my fault, not yours.”. The rhetoric of irresponsibility and dependence shifts the blame for poverty right back onto the poor, who just need to work harder. As if work was in itself a route out of poverty. As if work was in itself a solution.

“The revolution starts in the ATOS smoking area”

The extent of the impact of welfare reform scares the shit out of me. That so many people are being attacked on so many fronts, that legal aid is gone, that the help and support once available to claimants, inadequate to begin with, is being cut to shreds, that most claimants don't have a support worker or anyone else to help them navigate a system so confusing even the DWP's staff seem to be on the back foot, makes me despair beyond fucking words. It's hard to feel hopeful or optimistic when thinking of ways to fight back.

At work, I'll keep doing my thing and trying to support my service users to fight their battles against the DWP, but this is no kind of solution. It's not even the tip of the iceberg, it's a tiny snowflake somewhere near the iceberg. More encouraging was the assertion of a friend of mine, after accompanying one of her service users to a work capability assessment with the dreaded ATOS, that "the revolution will begin in the ATOS smoking area". The WCA was of course horrific, with a doctor interrogating a woman on the extent of her suicidal ideation, laughing at her when she said she found his questions difficult to answer. But the tiny bit of hope came with “the feeling of solidarity in that waiting room”, with claimants swapping tips and sharing cigarettes and talking each other through the process, total strangers realising that they're not alone in this bullshit. Of course, this isn't enough. Whilst I nearly lept for joy when another service user rang to cancel his session with me so he could accompany a neighbour to an ESA tribunal, this isn't enough. As disabled people are chucked off DLA and denied it's replacement, PIP14, as rent arrears accrue and housing associations start to evict due to the bedroom tax, as more and more people are stuck in the no-man's land between ESA and JSA like Jamie, we need to do more than bitch about the present conditions in the smoking area. The Boycott Workfare campaign is claiming small victories as companies pull out, select local authorities are pledging not to evict due to rent arrears built up through the bedroom tax, but the violence of welfare reform cuts deeper than that. I'm inspired by groups like Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty, who provide support and information for claimants in a non-hierarchical, claimant led environment, but I'm not aware of many other groups who do this kind of work. In terms of tactics to resist this, I'm drawing a bit of a blank.

    1. Disability Living Allowance – a non-means-tested benefit intended to cover the additional costs of having long term care or mobility needs. If you qualify for DLA, you keep it whether you're in work or not
    2. Employment and Support Allowance – designed to replace Incapacity Benefit and Income Support for those too ill to work.
    3. not necessarily doctors – ATOS employs a wide range of health professionals to carry out WCAs
    4. Jobseeker's Allowance – don't get too comfy with ESA and JSA however, these “legacy” benefits will be phased out from October 2013 and replaced with Universal Credit
    5. technically these are now called “fit notes” but just fuck off with that disgusting ideological semantics
    6. or database or magical dressing up box or whatever fucking ridiculous system they have to keep track of all this
    7. they're overhauling the entire welfare system, just not that fucking holding music, which remains the same for decades despite the grand march of economic progress
    8. the holy grail of ESA decisions, where you're told you are not expected to go to work and don't have to take part in “work related activity” - hardly anyone gets into this group
    9. a fantastically slippery and subjective statement
    10. it doesn't: http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/cultures-of-worklessness
    11. Of course, the welfare addict is not a new creation, and he's invoked every time you hear someone not giving money to beggars lest they spend it on booze and drugs.
    12. From my own experience at work it seems nearly impossible to secure ESA for people with drug or alcohol dependencies, but under Universal Credit it will become possible to sanction claimants with drug and alcohol problems who do not undergo treatment. This is fucking terrifying. We've already been approached by the DWP at work to see if we will accept referrals from Jobcentres and report back on people's attendance, we've told them “no”, and I hope that sticks. There are many serious flaws to linking treatment for addictions with benefits payments and I'll keep that for another blog some time, but of particular concern is Iain Duncan Smith's praise for the AA/NA model, often the only game in town unless you live in a city, AA/NA offers a “treatment” model with absolutely zero cost to the tax payer whatsoever. They wouldn't accept government funding if it was offered, whilst the combination of substitute prescribing (methadone, suboxone etc), 1:1 psychosocial support and possibly residential rehab offered through statutory and voluntary service partnerships is astronomically expensive. AA and NA will also happily report back to courts and presumably Job Centres on people's attendance.
    13. food stamps aren't money after all
    14. Personal Independence Payment – more semantic fuckwittery to window dress a target of reducing disability payments by at least 20%


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3MenInABlog's curator insight, April 3, 2013 4:52 AM

Brilliant and devastating article