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Feb 14: It’s Ester Howland’s Day

Terry Bell Writes

Yesterday, February 14, should not have been in celebration of St Valentine. And not only because such a person probably did not exist. Nor should it be a celebration of monogamous, romantic love, let alone a minor feast day in the Christian calendar.

Instead, it should be a day to celebrate entrepreneurs and retailers, especially chocolatiers, florists and others involved in the personal gifts business. And the individual to whom homage should be paid is Ester Howland, the 19th Century American artist, printer and cunning marketeer.

It was in 1850 that Ester, from Worcester in the state of Masschesetts, first hit on the idea of printing romantic cards in celebration of what was by then regarded as a day for romantically inclined gentlemen of standing to declare — usually anonymously — their love for the female they desired. Since the 17th Century this was done via bouquets of flowers or…

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Poverty and Mental Illness

Crick Lund is a Principal Investigator of the Africa Focus on Intervention Research for Mental health (AFFIRM) U19 NIMH Collaborative Hub, and CEO of the Programme for Improving Mental health care (PRIME), a DFID funded research consortium focusing on the integration of mental health into primary care in five low and middle-income countries. Crick holds a BA (Hons), MA, MSocSci (Clinical Psychology), PhD, and is Professor and Director of the Alan J. Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town.

Crick wants to create greater public awareness about the links between mental health and poverty, and what can be done to break the cycle of poverty and mental illness.