Freo's View

THANK THE LAW MY SISTER DIED WITH DIGNITY

 

Last night our time my oldest sister Marja died in the Netherlands. She was euthanised.

I am not sharing this with you because of narcissism but because the Western Australian government also want to legalise doctor assisted dying and I believe that is a very humane intent. There are community information sessions and community consultation and a very long online survey that took me 20 minutes, but is worth doing.

I am so grateful that my sister died in her own bed in her own home and with dignity and that she had plenty of time to receive family and friends and say goodbye.

The process she had to go through was lengthy and very thorough before an expert committee decided that she was eligible for euthanasia.

Legalising assisted dying is about giving people a choice instead of forcing them to commit suicide in awful and very lonely ways. It should not be politicised or being kidnapped by religious leaders.

There is no threat to religious or cultural values. No one can be forced to be euthanised and neither can doctors be forced to administer it. In my sister’s case her new doctor-the old one had retired-told her it was too early in his young career to feel comfortable assisting her so she was referred to an older colleague.

My sister Marja was assessed on her health and mental health by different practitioners who wrote reports which were considered by an independent panel. There was nothing easy or flippant about that process and not at all what some panel members at last year’s Notre Dame university forum claimed.

Call me an old cynic, but it comes as no surprise to me that the billion dollar age care industry and the billion dollar palliative care industry are against euthanasia, and so are those who believe that only a god can take a life. For those of us who are not religious the promise of heaven, paradise or nirvana is irrelevant, but euthanasia is our pragmatic and humane choice if life is coming to a painful, slow and unstoppable end. We don’t let animals suffer, so why not apply the same compassion to human beings.

It is astounding how unprepared we are for death. It is the elephant in the room that not many people want to talk about. We are not taught how to deal with it, so at the end we try to deal with it the best we can with empathy. I was lucky to be able to Skype with my sister often over the last couple of months and that was good for both of us.

Marja was just three years older than I am and was always there for me. She had inoperable cancer. I am so grateful that she was allowed to die with dignity. All her pain and worries are now over.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE CITY SPONSORS FREO STREET DOCTOR

 

 

The FPOL-Finance, Policy and Legislation- Committee  of Fremantle Council unanimously agreed on Wednesday evening to sponsor the Fremantle Street Doctor services for $ 20,000 and will also write to the State Government to seek reconsideration for ongoing funding, since the Health Department slashed all funding for this great initiative by the end of this financial year.

Councillors also agreed to lobby the members for Fremantle Simone McGurk MLA and Josh Wilson MP.

The Fremantle Foundation’s Impact 1000 could be perfect to sponsor the Freo Street Doctor, I believe.

The Mayor and Councillor Rachel Pemberton said that if the City sponsors these important social services it should make the community aware of it through a logo or something.

Your ratepayers’ money at work with the council logo would be great!

Roel Loopers

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WHERE IS REAL GOVERNMENT ACTION ON HOMELESSNESS?

 

One of the problems going to many forums about homelessness and (affordable) housing is that you have heard it all before and wonder when the action will start and the talk fests stop.

Nothing I heard last night at the Politics in the Pubs event by the Fremantle Network at The Local Hotel was new, but that isn’t the fault of the two speakers, who were equally frustrated about it.

Sam Knight of RUAH said the fundamental thing is that homeless people need homes, but they also need support workers to help with social, health and mental health problems.

The cost on the health system by not supplying sufficient affordable houses is enormous and governments fail to recognise that.

Victor Crevatin, the Director of Housing and Support Services at Fremantle’s St Patrick’s, said St Pat’s has been working with homeless people since 1971 and in 2017 had supplied 31,000 meals and 1,200 clothes to those in need, and 500 people were given accommodation.

Like Sam Knight, Crevatin said it is not just about providing houses, but that it needs support services to get people back on track.

There is the need to turn the generational NIMBY attitude around, and it is all about education to get rid of the bullshit myth about affordable housing and anti-social behaviour!

Sam Knight said it was also about offering the right mix of housing. We need to give choices about accommodation from shared accommodation to single apartments. “What are the best low-cost constructions we can do?” We need to recognise housing has a social and health aspect!

As I heard a week earlier at the Fremantle Safety Forum, there appears to be a serious issue with support agencies not collaborating well and the state government should do something about trying to streamline that, so that there is better coordination and information sharing, to the benefit of those in need.

Comment: I have supported the Fremantle Network since it started and have very often found the meetings very good, but the nice bloke, who shall remain unnamed, who took over from Rachel Pemberton to organise the Fremantle Network loves hogging the limelight. Last night again his introduction of the topic and two expert speakers was far too long. Just a short and succinct intro will do instead of babbling on for 15 minutes. Participate in the Q&A as Rachel used to do, but don’t give a very long speech. It’s not about you!

Roel Loopers

WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY

Posted in city of fremantle, community, health, mental health, Uncategorized by freoview on October 10, 2018

 

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MENTAL HEALTH WEEK-WE ALL CAN HELP!

Posted in city of fremantle, communication, community, health, mental health, Uncategorized by freoview on October 8, 2018

 

Mental health week.

 

Mental health problems have been increasing for years now and affect young and old people, ale and female.

Being aware, asking R U OKAY? and caring and sharing better will all help. Don’t take your loved ones, friends and family for granted, make sure they are okay!

Roel Loopers

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WE LIVE ON A VERY LONELY PLANET

 

loneliness

 

We live in a world where we can communicate with anyone on earth within seconds, be that via computer, mobile phone or other means, so why is it when most of us connect many times a day on social media that so many of us feel lonely, according to a massive survey by England’s BBC.

The BBC started the Loneliness Experience on Valentine’s Day this year and 55,000 people from around the world responded to it.

The graph above by the BBC shows that it is not just old(er) people who feel lonely often, but surprisingly the top group is those between 16-24 years of age.

Depression and suicide have been increasing in the western world, as people feel unwanted, not appreciated, bullied and not loved. Social media contacts don’t replace touch, a hug, people who really care and share, and to cuddle up with someone you trust when you feel down.

We live in a society where many of us have become cynical of our political and spiritual leaders, and that has created the ME society, where others are not much of a priority for many people. We all long to be loved and cared for, and it all starts with respect, courtesy and sharing.

It appears to me from the above graph that we are not okay and as a community we need to make better efforts connecting with each other. R U OKAY?

Roel Loopers

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THE ART OF MENTAL HEALTH

Posted in art, city of fremantle, culture, health, mental health, Uncategorized by freoview on April 30, 2018

 

headspace art

 

There is an interesting new mural artwork in Fremantle on the corner of Queen Victoria and Parry streets.

The Share Your Headspace work was done by artist Rene Brink in collaboration with Freo student Kate Gunnel and is about mental health awareness.

Roel Loopers

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BULLIES ARE COWARDS!

 

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It’s the National Day Against Bullying and Violence  and that should be a reminder that we all need to stand against bullying in our society.

Bullying unfortunately has become the norm on social media, in schools, the workplace and basically everywhere else and has driven people to suicide.

If you witness bulling speak out! If you are the victim of bullying speak out! All together we can change this despicable attitude of the morons who engage in it. Do it now!

Roel Loopers

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WHEN I WOKE UP THIS MORNING…….

Posted in city of fremantle, mental health, Uncategorized by freoview on October 22, 2017

 

Kind off how I feel today. ; >)

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Don’t forget the Fremantle International Portrait Prize is on show at the Moores Gallery in Henry Street. See you there!

 

Roel Loopers

R U OKAY TODAY?

Posted in city of fremantle, depression, mental health, Uncategorized by freoview on September 14, 2017

 

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It is R U OK? Day today and a timely reminder for all of us to remain vigilant about our loved ones and work colleagues.

Mental health issues affect a large number of people in our society and they deserve our awareness and support. There is also a disturbing high trend of youth suicide.

Often just having someone who will listen without judging, to get a hug, a smile, and to not feel totally abandoned and alone in fighting the black dog, is so very important.

When that big black hole opens and the anxiety and depression takes over, it is a huge battle to try to pull yourself out of it, and sometimes it seems futile to keep on trying, as even getting out of bed in the morning is too much.

So ask the people around you if they are ok, because many of us just keep smiling while sinking deeper and deeper in the hole of no return. You could safe someone’s life today!

R.U OKAY?

 

Roel Loopers

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