Disabled is not a word I would chose to describe myself, society describes me that way and I accept that. I am proud of who I am, my body has given me gifts and strengths where if I was born with both hands - I might not have had.
I was around 11 years old when I began to believe life would be easier for me and for everyone around me if I just - wasn't around. Heavy I know. I didn't have a clear idea of what "not being around" would look like, that came later. At that point, that thought was the fire I played with, the tip of the iceberg, and it surely did snowball.
London is in the midst of nothing short of a health crisis. Over 2,000 schools are within 400 metres of roads carrying more than 10,000 people per day - we are quite literally poisoning our children. The cost to the NHS is likely to run into the hundreds of millions, if not billions. And yet all the time, the number of cars on London's roads continues to climb. Only a radical solution of the kind set out by the Mayor on Friday will ensure London is cleaner, healthier and safer in the years to come.
There is a pill that can prevent HIV. I'm not referring to something that could potentially change the lives of future generations, one day, after decades of further research. This 'miracle drug' is real, it's ready now, and it is called Pre Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP.
To reach everyone everywhere by 2030 with safe water, decent toilets and hygiene will require coordinated efforts from governments at all levels as well as from those working on education, health and human rights. It's an ambitious goal - but the costs of failure will be even higher.
When you live each day with regimented and disciplined training, diet and conditioning, it's very hard to adapt to normal life afterwards. Strangely you miss the training regimes, the camaraderie and working as part of a team. In a very small way, I can relate to that camaraderie, the team work and the bond that the military have...
The Queen's speech suggests that the government is sticking to its plan, in which case we must remain vigilant to stop any backsliding on the absolute ban on torture and other universal rights through political sleights of hand.
When you think of a soldier being wounded, what first springs to mind? A physical injury, scars from the battlefield, an amputation? While these may be more immediately apparent, what many of us likely don't realise is that a significant number of the Armed Forces community are struggling with a burdening wound that's less obvious to the eye - mental illness.
Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) and many in Europe have a lot to celebrate... Over on the eastern edge of the continent, however, things have been heading quite a contrary direction this year.
It's difficult to imagine living in the modern world without the internet, but that's a reality a lot of visually impaired and disabled people have to live with. Not because they don't have internet access, but because the internet isn't accessible to them.
One sunny autumn afternoon 18 months ago, two policemen showed up at my doorstep to tell me that my son's body had been found nearby. Apparently Saagar had ended his own life. They handed me his belongings but I was convinced they had made a mistake. This was not within the realm of possibilities. He is a handsome talented young man of 20 with a fabulous education and everything to live for. How could this be? He had a recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder but the doctors had me believe that he was getting better. No one ever mentioned the word 'suicide' to me.
Tonight, 64,000 children across the UK will go to sleep in the safety and security of the loving home of a family who have made the commitment to foster - and The Fostering Network's Foster Care Fortnight is a unique opportunity to celebrate those 55,000 foster families who make this possible.
An unacceptable inequality still exists between care for people with physical health issues and those with mental health needs. Nowhere more so is this reflected in the fact life expectancy is much shorter for people with learning disabilities than the rest of the population. Their risk of death overall is greater too.
When we talk about mental health, we talk about the diagnoses. The depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar. We talk about the illnesses and the labels. But that's only a part of the conversation, and why I'm so pleased that next year's London Marathon, a large scale event, will focus on the mental health conversation.
I am in pain. I have been in pain ever since I became ill with tubercular meningitis in prison in 2010, which left me paralyzed. Ever since then, I have not been able to move from the waist down - I cannot even go to the toilet myself, and need medicine every day. I am dependent on others for everything, and it's very difficult... I have a faith, and believe everything is written in destiny, so when the time will come I will die - nobody can stop it. But I still pray that everything will be alright - I will not be executed, but will live until my natural death.
Nationally, despite the devastation caused by every suicide - to the friends, family, colleagues and all those working 'at the coalface', the topic has yet to make it as a central public issue. Which it should be. With an average of 12 men a day, according to published figures, male suicide costs the country £20million PER DAY. A cost which excludes suicide attempts.