Reader letters of the week: Mental health, Halloween and fox hunting

The fox hunting debate goes on. Photo PA/Kirsty Wigglesworth.

The fox hunting debate goes on. Photo PA/Kirsty Wigglesworth. - Credit: PA

Here are some of the best reader letters we have seen so far this week, you can join the discussion by commenting below.

• Worthy campaign

Monday November 2

J Forsdyke,

Market Street, Shipdham.

Well done EDP for launching another worthy campaign: Mental Health Watch. It has been a great concern to me, for some time, that so many find it difficult to face life as they find it. Your list of 'signs of depression' was very revealing. What struck me, as a Christian, was that so many of these distressing emotions find an answer in the Christian faith. I give some examples of what the Bible teaches in regard to these anxieties: Tiredness and loss of energy: 'Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on the wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint' (Isaiah 40.31). Loss of self-esteem: Talking of sparrows, Jesus said that not one falls to the ground without our Heavenly Father knowing; adding 'Fear not . . . ye are of more value than many sparrows' (Matthew 10.29,31). Feeling anxious: 'Cast they burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain thee' (Psalm 55.22). Helplessness and hopelessness: 'Why am I so sad? Why am I so troubled? I will put my hope in God and once again I will praise him, my saviour and my God (Psalm 42.11). Sleeping problems: 'I will lie down in peace and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety' (Psalm 4.8). Feelings of guilt: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness' (I John 1.9). Suicidal thoughts: Jesus said 'I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full' (John 10.10). Jesus said: 'Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest' (Matthew 30). He wants us all to enjoy that 'life to the full' that he came to bring. I am enjoying it, and long for all these troubled souls to find it in Jesus. I would recommend all to 'Seek the Lord while he may be found.' (Isaiah 55.6).

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• Is this good for us?

Tuesday November 3

C Nevin,

Rathgill Park, Bangor.

Each year we see Hallowe'en decorations and merchandise in shops and even restaurants and hotels, something similar to the garlands and lighting for Christmas, usually in orange and black and looking as ghoulish as possible. 'Hallowe'en' means 'hallowed (or holy) evening' (even = e'en) as it preceded All Saints Day on November 1, but there is very little hallowed about it these days as manufacturers make items to look as scary as possible. I remember when I worked as a chef in a residential home for the elderly where many suffered from dementia and in October the place would be extensively and garishly decorated for Hallowe'en. I saw one elderly lady approach a closed fire door with a huge cardboard skeleton hung on it and the poor lady nearly jumped out of her skin. Are these horrific decorations and toys really good for our children and vulnerable, or any, adults? Just recently a supermarket was taken to task for stocking a zombie's head with a half-eaten rat hanging out of its mouth, which mothers complained was upsetting their young children. Is such horror really good for our infants? The Bible says the opposite of course. In Philippians 4:8, Paul the Apostle says: 'Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are lovely, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things. And the peace of God , which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.' (vs7). This is the opposite to Hallowe'en – focusing on good, rather than evil. Even some churches celebrate this holiday, which is absurd.

• A good time to clear up some myths about fox hunting

Wednesday November 4

T Quinn,

Campaigns director, League Against Cruel Sports

As the traditional fox hunting season gets under way, it's time to clear up a few myths about foxes and fox hunting. It's been 10 years since hunting with dogs for sport was banned. It's a popular law amongst country dwellers and townsfolk alike, with eight out of 10 people keen for it to remain in place. It's also very successful, with the highest number and percentage of convictions of any wildlife animal welfare law in the UK and even better, has successfully reduced animal cruelty. Yet still hunt supporters will cry foul play and tell you that fox hunting is necessary for wildlife management. But a world expert on foxes reveals that hunting is an unnecessary and even counter-productive activity because foxes are not the pests that hunts like to claim. A new report from Professor Stephen Harris, from the University of Bristol, shows that hunting does not reduce fox populations and killing foxes can in fact increase their numbers in a given area as more turn up to compete for the vacant territory. He also shows that fox predation does not have a significant impact on farmers. In fact, farmers can benefit because of the number of rabbits taken by foxes. The government tried to weaken the Hunting Act earlier this year but gave up due to the public outcry at such a move. Now is the time to ensure the law is respected and upheld. If, like most other people in the country, you support the ban on fox hunting and want to see it properly enforced then write to your MP and let them know. Animal cruelty like foxhunting has no place in modern Britain.

•Send your letters to The Letters Editor, EDP, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

Fax: 01603 623872. Email:

•You can also have your say in our comments section below.

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