From violence against the LGBQ+ community, to YouTubers making donations to mental health charities, we share five of the top stories from this weekend that you may have missed
First LGBTQ+ Pride Parade held in Polish city despite violence
Saturday’s first-ever LGBTQ+ equality march in Bialystok, Poland, made headlines as riot police ringed the 1,000 pride goers.
Unlike their celebratory counterparts around the world, pride goers marched past thousands of nationalist football “ultra” fans and members of far-right groups, as flash bombs, rocks and glass bottles were thrown at them. An estimated 4,000 individuals were involved in demonstrations against the march, police have said.
Over 30 other protests, the majority in opposition to the pride march, were registered to take place on Saturday. 25 people have since been arrested by Polish police following attacks on the LGBTQ+ march. Many have continued to express concern over the stance of Polish cities on the gay community, as the government ramps up ‘hate speech’ and calls them a “threat to Polish identity, to our nation, to its existence and thus to the Polish state”.
This weekend’s events were followed by messages of both hope and despair.
Many LGBTQ+ supporters across Europe have since called out attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community as “unacceptable”.
60% of Londoners have skipped work as they were unable to afford their commute
A new nationwide survey has revealed nearly two-thirds of those living in London have skipped work because of money problems. Across the country, an average of 39% of us has missed work due to money worries.
The survey, commissioned to look at how employees survive financially each month, revealed an overwhelming 89% of respondents in London have had to take out loans, use credit cards, or dip into personal savings to make it through to payday. As a nation, we aren’t doing much better, with 82% of us needing to source additional funds to make it between paydays.
If you are worried about your finances, discover how to manage money problems through periods of bad mental health, or discover tips on how to open up about money worries with loved ones.
Hundreds of children across England may become homeless this summer
Over 300 children are expected to be placed into temporary accommodation over the summer months thanks to a housing crisis, councils have revealed.
The Local Government Association (LGA) has estimated that approximately 320 children across England could be placed into temporary accommodation over the next six weeks. Currently, there are more than 124,000 children living in temporary accommodaion, thanks in part to a shortage in suitable social rented housing. The LGA is urging the next government to introduce measures to help tackle homelessness.
Housing Minister, Heather Wheeler, said: “No child should ever be left without a roof over their head, and we are working to ensure all families have a safe place to stay.”
Mindfulness meditation may help treat anxiey, unlearn fear responses and associations, new study reveals
New research may help explain why mindfulness meditation programmes have shown positive results in treating anxiety. According to the study, mindfulness meditation shows signs of helping to remove fearful associations.
Study author Gunes Sevinic explains: “Mindfulness interventions have been shown to reduce stress and improve emotion regulation skills in numerous studies, however, the neural mechanisms are still largely unknown.
“One of the proposed mechanisms is based on the idea that mindfulness meditation provides a context similar to exposure therapy. During exposure therapy, individuals are exposed to otherwise avoided stimuli in a safe environment and gradually learn that these stimuli are no longer threatening.
“Mindfulness meditation provides a similar context and thereby may create an opportunity to learn that certain thoughts and sensations are not dangerous.”
Participants completed an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction programme, including meditation and yoga, while a control group took part in an eight-week stress management education programme focusing on the impact of stress, as well as taking part in light aerobic exercise.
Results suggest that mindfulness training could help improve emotion regulation by changing our neurobiological responses associated with our ability to remember that a stimulus is no longer threatening. In essence, mindfulness may be able to help us to break anxiety habits.
YouTuber PewDiePie donates £8,000 to mental health charity in honour of Etika
YouTubers don’t often make headlines for positive reasons. Traditional media can have a habit of focusing only on the negative actions of the few and tragic incidents, rather than the positive impact these creators and influencers are having on fans and for charity.
Felix Kjelberg, better known by his YouTube moniker PewDiePie, has donated $10,000 (£8,000) to a content creators mental health charity, following the death of fellow gaming YouTuber Daniel Desmond Amofah, better known as Etika.
Felix’s personal donation is not the YouTuber’s first for charity. This past weekend, together with Jack Black, Felix held a charity livestream. Their GoFundMe page reads: “During the past several years, celebrities, YouTubers, streamers, and influencers face tremendous public pressure that leads to a toll being taken on their mental health.
“Because their careers require them to be subject to public scrutiny, many of them are among the most vulnerable to the challenges that social media has created for mental health.
“All donations will go to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), an organisation that is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organisation dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.”
When the news was confirmed that Daniel had completed suicide in June, Felix took to social media to share his thoughts, as well as words of support for those who may be struggling with their mental health.
Donations can still be made via the GoFundMe campaign and fans can catch the recorded livestream from Jack and Felix.
Influencer mental health has become a growing cause for concern. How the media reports on mental health can have a huge influence on public attitudes towards mental health. YouTubers have begun speaking out and opening up about their own mental health journeys, raising money and awareness to help encourage their fellow creators to seek help and support.
If you are concerned about your own mental health and wellbeing, there are places you can seek support. Visit Counselling Directory to find a professional near you, or enter your location in the box below.