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A group of Second Life avatarsThe Relay For Life of Second Life is proud to announce that due to the dedication and commitment of our volunteers and supporters, we have collected 1.5 million in US dollars (USD) since 2004 to support the fight against cancer. This is an increase of $500,000 since we reported $1 million In April 2011.

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As I’ve mentioned previously, I care for two disabled people, 24x7x365. That’s way fuller than full-time. That’s all the time, and I do other things where I can. Over the years, I’ve had plenty of exposure to people with mental health problems, as well as many GPs and mental health professionals in Victoria.

Now, unlike those professionals, I’ve had no training, nor do I carry any qualification. I just have to keep getting things right in good times, in bad times and during crises, when they occur. Time after time. I’ve had extensive opportunities to compare and contrast how I deal with people who have mental health problems against how the professionals do it.

And I can tell you right now, that at least seven out of ten professionals in Victoria’s Mental Health industry are no better at dealing with a symptomatic patient than any random Jane or Joe off the street.

I kid you not.

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SecondLie wants you to hate cancer.

SecondLie, the premier Second Life Twitter parody account, is raising money for cancer research as a part of the broader Relay For Life campaign.

If you’re a Second Life user, click the ‘love’ button on SecondLie’s post by the end of the month, and he (and 19 others) will donate one cent each towards cancer research. That’s currently 20 cents each time someone clicks, up to a limit of 10,000 loves on the post. (UPDATE: Now 40 US cents per love)

Hating cancer requires nothing from you, other than a mouse-click. Surely, you can hate cancer enough to lift one finger.

Actually, even if you hate SecondLie more than you hate cancer, you can add your love to the post and cost him some money. So, win-win, right?

Participants express satisfaction with learning stress-reducing techniques via Second Life online environment

A small study from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers found that online virtual communities may be an effective way to train patients in meditation and other mind/body techniques. The ability to learn and practice approaches that elicit the relaxation response – a state of deep rest that has been shown to alleviate stress-related symptoms – in a virtual environment could help surmount several barriers that can restrict participation.

“Our finding that a medical intervention – in this case teaching a mind/body approach that includes the relaxation response – can be delivered via a virtual environment is important because these environments are are richer and more rewarding than simply using interactive web sites,” says Daniel Hoch, MD, PhD, of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at MGH, corresponding author of the report appearing in the open-access journal PLoS One.

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