The lack of urgency to make a positive change to the world of mental health treatment in this country terrifies me. Children's mental health cannot continue to be undermined or neglected. The government is failing our next generation, as well as the 1 in 4 adults who suffer from a mental illness. Change NEEDS to happen, not just talked about. After all, actions speak louder than words.
As well as one-to-one counselling we want the issue of children's mental health to be discussed throughout school, including at assemblies. This will ensure youngsters know it's something they can talk about, as well as allow them to learn and develop self-confidence, a secure understanding of their own wellbeing, and techniques to look after themselves and others.
It is too easy to pathologize bad behaviour with psychobabble and in this instance it hurts real people; it is just highbrow name calling from someone out to make a fast buck at the expense of a vulnerable group of people. Donald Trump isn't what mental illness looks like but his 'diagnosis' is certainly what stigma looks like, and often that stigma is the worst part of having a mental illness and the biggest challenge to recovery from it. How can a person truly recover when no-one will employ them for example?
Most people only know two things about George III. He lost us America and he went mad, although those with a degree in Advanced King George Studies might have heard that he wasn't actually mad, but suffering from a metabolic disorder called porphyria. A new BBC documentary, showcasing the Georgian Papers Programme, an academic partnership between Royal Archives and King's College London, made possible by personal permission of the Queen herself, challenges all this.
Being unpopular made me tough as hell. I got used to incessant criticism, of myself and everything I did. It stopped bothering me to the same degree. When you are the class whipping girl, every aspect of your existence is a problem to someone. It taught me to pay attention to the misfits, the people on the fringe, the purple cows. After all, I was one of them. I still am.
As someone who holds this issue close to my heart I have seen the ins and outs of every different reaction to mental illness you can imagine, the good and the bad. "We all do that," in relation to my obsessive panics about germs or "we all get a bit down sometimes" in relation to my suicidal tendencies.
The message of our new campaign is one that I hope will make people not just stop and take notice, but stop and take action: 'It's time to swear to take on mental illness in young people'. Why swearing? Because it perfectly encompasses how so many of us feel about the state of mental healthcare today.
For some months those of us in the mental health sector have known there was the possibility of a major announcement from the Government brewing, and so I was delighted to accept the invitation to hear the Prime Minister talk at the Charity Commission on Monday, for what had been a well-trailed speech.
I don't think many parents actually read my blog so this might be completely pointless, but I decided that as this is something I'm particularly passionate about, I needed to write it anyway. Also, maybe some of the readers closer to my age will remember this post when they come to having children. Hopefully...
In speaking openly about Annie this week, I have noticed a few things. Some people, don't get it, and are probably my reason for writing this. Annie is convinced she wants everyone to know she is here. They love you and want you happy and carefree, and to them it looks like you are driving yourself mad, like this is a thing YOU do that YOU must stop. If only YOU could stop.
Cognitive diversity means valuing ways of thinking outside of an apparent normal. It means supporting and keeping people through periods of illness, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because a homogenous workforce creates a vulnerable culture and set of capabilities. To promote cognitive diversity, leaders should consider the following:
May promises the younger generations that no longer will they suffer quietly and lose out on life opportunities' due to inadequate services. But she also leads a government characterised not by the humanity which informed her speech, but by a culture of inequality. Will May deliver on her promises? Or will another variety of conservative society and mental health approach, be filed under ineffective?