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Issue 14  Winter 2014 mind.org.uk

for better mental health

John Whaite:

Bake Off winner on depression, kitchen therapy – and making Mary Berry angry

OCD

One member’s story

 Four-Page Focus: Reality TV How the media sees mental health


Issue 14  Winter 2014

welcome It’s a real pleasure for me to welcome you to the new edition of Mind Membership News. If you’re thinking that you don’t recognise me, that’s because it’s my first edition as the magazine’s new editor. I’m delighted to be here – and I want to start by saying thanks for the vital role you play in Mind’s work. Our members help people living with mental health problems in the UK to get heard and get noticed, so whether you’re a seasoned activist or you’re receiving this magazine for the first time, I want to let you know that you really do make a difference. It’s now my job to make sure this magazine is worthy of your efforts. I want to say, too, that this is your magazine. It’s a place for you to share your experiences and make your opinions heard, so don’t hesitate to get in touch. Whether you’ve got an idea for an article, or you’ve taken part in an event, or

you’d like to share your personal perspective of a mental health problem, if you want to speak, then we want to listen. In this issue, you’ll find articles on everything from mental health in the media to OCD to the considerable baking talents of Mind’s groups and supporters. I hope you enjoy it – and if you do want to let me know about anything that’s on your mind, email membership@mind.org.uk and I’ll get right back to you.

John Whaite

The 2012 Great British Bake Off champion opens up about his battle with depression and explains why spending time in the kitchen is his ultimate therapy.

On starting to bake…

On his favourite recipes…

I got into baking with my Mum when I was a little boy. For me, baking became a source of comfort. When my Mum and Dad got divorced, baking helped to take my mind off things. And when I went to Oxford University and was really, really struggling with a severe period of depression, cooking was one of the few things I felt able to do.

I can’t choose favourites: they say love doesn’t divide, it multiplies, and that’s how I feel about recipes. The ones that can bring real comfort to me are often simple though: melting chocolate over simmering water, making brownies or scones. Those recipes don’t take much thought: it’s hypnotic.

On the Great British Bake Off…

I’ve taken fluoxetine and citalopram, but I’ve never finished a course. I know they work for a lot of people but, for me, baking allows me to take control of my situation. Taking pills is the doctor telling me what to do. If I bake, that’s me making the decision for myself. However, it really is a case of each to their own.

I loved it. The whole experience was such fun, and it helped me learn not to take things too seriously. Things go wrong. Cakes burn. Mary Berry gets angry if you make a mistake. You’ve just got to go with these things and learn from them.

Matt Kurton Editor

On baking as therapy…

contents 03 opinion: John Whaite 04 mind news 06 me and my mind: Seaneen Molloy-Vaughan

07 four-page focus: Mental health in the media

11 your voice counts: The King’s Fund event

12 out and about: Baking groups

14 mental health in focus: OCD

15 webwatch: Twitter

Renewing your membership Paying by Direct Debit is the easiest way to make sure you never miss an issue of Mind Membership News. Contact Jess in the Membership Team to set up a Direct Debit on 0208 215 2348.

2

Mind Membership News is published quarterly by Mind (registered charity number 219830) © Mind 2014. Unless otherwise stated all images are the copyright of Mind. Mind, 15-19 Broadway, Stratford, London, E15 4BQ. T 020 8519 2122 F 020 8522 1725 Mind Membership News is printed on paper which is totally chlorine free. If you would like to update your personal details please contact the Membership Team at the address above or by phone on 020 8215 2348 or by email at membership@mind.org.uk Editor: Matt Kurton Designed by: redcow Membership Manager: Suzanne Page Printed by: Resource

When you have this destructive energy – which is how depression feels to me – you can either go further into that downward spiral or you can channel that energy into something constructive.

The process of baking itself is a very positive one, very constructive. When you have this destructive energy – which is how depression feels to me – you can either go further into that downward spiral or you can channel that energy into something constructive. Churchill used to build and paint walls to confront his depression; I go into the kitchen. It’s about organisation and control, and when you’re feeling whirly and whizzy, it enables you to operate in a sort of slow-burning way. Baking enables you to step into control.

On anti-depressants…

On supporting Mind… I support Mind’s work because it is so simple. It gives those who are suffering from mental health issues access to help, advice and mainly the objective support people need.

On his depression today… I still have the odd day. I’ve just had quite a bad bout of it recently, where I’ve not been able to get off the couch. What works for me is to have a plan for the next day. If I give in to my demons, it gets worse. But if I make a plan – and that plan always involves baking, every single day – I feel revived. John’s new cookbook, John Whaite Bakes At Home, is published by Headline in February. His first book, John Whaite Bakes: Recipes for Every Day and Every Mood, is available now. 3


Issue 14  Winter 2014

welcome It’s a real pleasure for me to welcome you to the new edition of Mind Membership News. If you’re thinking that you don’t recognise me, that’s because it’s my first edition as the magazine’s new editor. I’m delighted to be here – and I want to start by saying thanks for the vital role you play in Mind’s work. Our members help people living with mental health problems in the UK to get heard and get noticed, so whether you’re a seasoned activist or you’re receiving this magazine for the first time, I want to let you know that you really do make a difference. It’s now my job to make sure this magazine is worthy of your efforts. I want to say, too, that this is your magazine. It’s a place for you to share your experiences and make your opinions heard, so don’t hesitate to get in touch. Whether you’ve got an idea for an article, or you’ve taken part in an event, or

you’d like to share your personal perspective of a mental health problem, if you want to speak, then we want to listen. In this issue, you’ll find articles on everything from mental health in the media to OCD to the considerable baking talents of Mind’s groups and supporters. I hope you enjoy it – and if you do want to let me know about anything that’s on your mind, email membership@mind.org.uk and I’ll get right back to you.

John Whaite

The 2012 Great British Bake Off champion opens up about his battle with depression and explains why spending time in the kitchen is his ultimate therapy.

On starting to bake…

On his favourite recipes…

I got into baking with my Mum when I was a little boy. For me, baking became a source of comfort. When my Mum and Dad got divorced, baking helped to take my mind off things. And when I went to Oxford University and was really, really struggling with a severe period of depression, cooking was one of the few things I felt able to do.

I can’t choose favourites: they say love doesn’t divide, it multiplies, and that’s how I feel about recipes. The ones that can bring real comfort to me are often simple though: melting chocolate over simmering water, making brownies or scones. Those recipes don’t take much thought: it’s hypnotic.

On the Great British Bake Off…

I’ve taken fluoxetine and citalopram, but I’ve never finished a course. I know they work for a lot of people but, for me, baking allows me to take control of my situation. Taking pills is the doctor telling me what to do. If I bake, that’s me making the decision for myself. However, it really is a case of each to their own.

I loved it. The whole experience was such fun, and it helped me learn not to take things too seriously. Things go wrong. Cakes burn. Mary Berry gets angry if you make a mistake. You’ve just got to go with these things and learn from them.

Matt Kurton Editor

On baking as therapy…

contents 03 opinion: John Whaite 04 mind news 06 me and my mind: Seaneen Molloy-Vaughan

07 four-page focus: Mental health in the media

11 your voice counts: The King’s Fund event

12 out and about: Baking groups

14 mental health in focus: OCD

15 webwatch: Twitter

Renewing your membership Paying by Direct Debit is the easiest way to make sure you never miss an issue of Mind Membership News. Contact Jess in the Membership Team to set up a Direct Debit on 0208 215 2348.

2

Mind Membership News is published quarterly by Mind (registered charity number 219830) © Mind 2014. Unless otherwise stated all images are the copyright of Mind. Mind, 15-19 Broadway, Stratford, London, E15 4BQ. T 020 8519 2122 F 020 8522 1725 Mind Membership News is printed on paper which is totally chlorine free. If you would like to update your personal details please contact the Membership Team at the address above or by phone on 020 8215 2348 or by email at membership@mind.org.uk Editor: Matt Kurton Designed by: redcow Membership Manager: Suzanne Page Printed by: Resource

When you have this destructive energy – which is how depression feels to me – you can either go further into that downward spiral or you can channel that energy into something constructive.

The process of baking itself is a very positive one, very constructive. When you have this destructive energy – which is how depression feels to me – you can either go further into that downward spiral or you can channel that energy into something constructive. Churchill used to build and paint walls to confront his depression; I go into the kitchen. It’s about organisation and control, and when you’re feeling whirly and whizzy, it enables you to operate in a sort of slow-burning way. Baking enables you to step into control.

On anti-depressants…

On supporting Mind… I support Mind’s work because it is so simple. It gives those who are suffering from mental health issues access to help, advice and mainly the objective support people need.

On his depression today… I still have the odd day. I’ve just had quite a bad bout of it recently, where I’ve not been able to get off the couch. What works for me is to have a plan for the next day. If I give in to my demons, it gets worse. But if I make a plan – and that plan always involves baking, every single day – I feel revived. John’s new cookbook, John Whaite Bakes At Home, is published by Headline in February. His first book, John Whaite Bakes: Recipes for Every Day and Every Mood, is available now. 3


Issue 14  Winter 2014

Mind  Membership News

mind news

Postal power Mind has joined forces with a range of UK charities and organisations to back the ‘Keep Me Posted’ campaign. The campaign calls on banks and utility companies to help customers make an informed choice about whether they want to receive bills through the post or via email.

Celebrating the Swim for James

“Mental health problems affect around one in four people each year, and there is a recognised link between mental health and debt,” said Beth Murphy, Mind’s Head of Information.

An inspirational team of Mind supporters swam the English Channel in August, braving chilly waters, jellyfish and giant tankers in memory of James Harley, who took his own life in 2012. James’ Dad Steve and several of James’ close friends swam from Dover to Wissant in France in just over 13 hours. So far, their incredible efforts have raised £13,178 for Mind’s work. “We did this for James but also for people like James so it might stop something like this happening again,” said Nick Sheffield, a friend of James’ who swam more than 200km in preparation for the team’s Channel challenge. “It’s letting people know they can go to all these different mental health charities for help.”

To find out more about the campaign, head to www.keepmeposteduk.com or write to Keep Me Posted, PO Box 72064, London EC4P 4DZ.

Mind Media Awards James’ Dad Steve (centre) with several of James’ close friends

Having made it across the Channel, a lot of people would be content to put their feet up, but not Steve Harley. He recently announced that he’ll be running the Virgin London Marathon in April to raise even more money for Mind. Our heartfelt thanks go out to Steve and his team. You can find information about suicidal feelings by searching for ‘suicidal feelings’ at mind.org.uk

Who are your local mental health heroes? Do you know someone who is always willing to support you with your mental health? Is your local peer support group making a genuine difference to your life? Then why not nominate them for a Marsh Trust local mental health hero award? Later this year, with support from The Marsh Trust, Mind’s membership will be launching two awards to recognise your local mental health heroes. It’s a great way to say thank you to the people and groups that make your life work.

4

“Through the Keep Me Posted campaign Mind is working to ensure people do not lose the option of having a paper record to help plan and make payments on time.”

Winners of the awards, as chosen by an independent panel, will receive £500 and a certificate to recognise their great work. All members will receive an email with a link to the nomination form in their inbox mid-March. So make sure we have your email address and keep an eye out for your form – and get thinking about potential award-winners in your life…

The Village, Casualty and the documentary ‘Jon Richardson: A Little Bit OCD’ were among the winners at the 2013 Mind Media Awards, held at the British Film Institute in November. Stars including Olivia Colman, Fiona Phillips and Frank Bruno gathered at the event to celebrate the portrayal of mental health in the media, and to salute winners including Charlotte Walker – who won the Mark Hanson Digital Media Award for her Purple Persuasion blog (and who also features on page 11 of this magazine). The event was hosted by Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, who described the awards as a chance to recognise people who had: “stepped up to the plate, recognised the stand they can take to crush stereotypes, and told the real story of mental health.” For a full list of winners, head to mind.org.uk and search for ‘Mind Media Awards’. Top Right: Paul Farmer with Olivia Coleman and Scott Mills; Bottom L/R: Jessica Fox with Lucy Dixon; Frank Bruno; Fiona Phillips.

Have you seen our webinars?

Have you seen our webinars?

Our latest ‘Taking Care of Business’ webinars took place in the autumn, with people across the UK logging on to watch our expert panel guests and to ask questions about mental health at work.

Our latest ‘Taking Care of Business’ webinars took place in the autumn, with people across the UK logging on to watch our expert panel guests and to ask questions about mental health at work.

The webinars looked at what line managers can do to support their staff and at how organisations can develop a positive mental health culture.

The webinars looked at what line managers can do to support their staff and at how organisations can develop a positive mental health culture.

All of our webinars are filmed and uploaded to our website, so head to mind.org.uk and search for ‘webinars’ if you’d like to find out more.

All of our webinars are filmed and uploaded to our website, so head to mind.org.uk and search for ‘webinars’ if you’d like to find out more.

5


Issue 14  Winter 2014

Mind  Membership News

mind news

Postal power Mind has joined forces with a range of UK charities and organisations to back the ‘Keep Me Posted’ campaign. The campaign calls on banks and utility companies to help customers make an informed choice about whether they want to receive bills through the post or via email.

Celebrating the Swim for James

“Mental health problems affect around one in four people each year, and there is a recognised link between mental health and debt,” said Beth Murphy, Mind’s Head of Information.

An inspirational team of Mind supporters swam the English Channel in August, braving chilly waters, jellyfish and giant tankers in memory of James Harley, who took his own life in 2012. James’ Dad Steve and several of James’ close friends swam from Dover to Wissant in France in just over 13 hours. So far, their incredible efforts have raised £13,178 for Mind’s work. “We did this for James but also for people like James so it might stop something like this happening again,” said Nick Sheffield, a friend of James’ who swam more than 200km in preparation for the team’s Channel challenge. “It’s letting people know they can go to all these different mental health charities for help.”

To find out more about the campaign, head to www.keepmeposteduk.com or write to Keep Me Posted, PO Box 72064, London EC4P 4DZ.

Mind Media Awards James’ Dad Steve (centre) with several of James’ close friends

Having made it across the Channel, a lot of people would be content to put their feet up, but not Steve Harley. He recently announced that he’ll be running the Virgin London Marathon in April to raise even more money for Mind. Our heartfelt thanks go out to Steve and his team. You can find information about suicidal feelings by searching for ‘suicidal feelings’ at mind.org.uk

Who are your local mental health heroes? Do you know someone who is always willing to support you with your mental health? Is your local peer support group making a genuine difference to your life? Then why not nominate them for a Marsh Trust local mental health hero award? Later this year, with support from The Marsh Trust, Mind’s membership will be launching two awards to recognise your local mental health heroes. It’s a great way to say thank you to the people and groups that make your life work.

4

“Through the Keep Me Posted campaign Mind is working to ensure people do not lose the option of having a paper record to help plan and make payments on time.”

Winners of the awards, as chosen by an independent panel, will receive £500 and a certificate to recognise their great work. All members will receive an email with a link to the nomination form in their inbox mid-March. So make sure we have your email address and keep an eye out for your form – and get thinking about potential award-winners in your life…

The Village, Casualty and the documentary ‘Jon Richardson: A Little Bit OCD’ were among the winners at the 2013 Mind Media Awards, held at the British Film Institute in November. Stars including Olivia Colman, Fiona Phillips and Frank Bruno gathered at the event to celebrate the portrayal of mental health in the media, and to salute winners including Charlotte Walker – who won the Mark Hanson Digital Media Award for her Purple Persuasion blog (and who also features on page 11 of this magazine). The event was hosted by Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, who described the awards as a chance to recognise people who had: “stepped up to the plate, recognised the stand they can take to crush stereotypes, and told the real story of mental health.” For a full list of winners, head to mind.org.uk and search for ‘Mind Media Awards’. Top Right: Paul Farmer with Olivia Coleman and Scott Mills; Bottom L/R: Jessica Fox with Lucy Dixon; Frank Bruno; Fiona Phillips.

Have you seen our webinars?

Have you seen our webinars?

Our latest ‘Taking Care of Business’ webinars took place in the autumn, with people across the UK logging on to watch our expert panel guests and to ask questions about mental health at work.

Our latest ‘Taking Care of Business’ webinars took place in the autumn, with people across the UK logging on to watch our expert panel guests and to ask questions about mental health at work.

The webinars looked at what line managers can do to support their staff and at how organisations can develop a positive mental health culture.

The webinars looked at what line managers can do to support their staff and at how organisations can develop a positive mental health culture.

All of our webinars are filmed and uploaded to our website, so head to mind.org.uk and search for ‘webinars’ if you’d like to find out more.

All of our webinars are filmed and uploaded to our website, so head to mind.org.uk and search for ‘webinars’ if you’d like to find out more.

5


Issue 14  Winter 2014

Mind  Membership News

FOUR-PAGE

Me and my Mind

FOCUS

I’ve written my way through the past six years.

Mental health in the media

In the first of a new section featuring the amazing people who get involved with our work, Seaneen Molloy-Vaughan explains how blogging has helped her find comfort, community – and even a career at Mind.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve kept diaries. So when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2006, five months after the death of my father, it seemed natural for me to write about it. My diagnosis came, as they often do, when I reached a period of crisis and was hospitalised. Overnight, and at the age of 20, my life changed. I had many questions, fears and worries. Those around me loved me but didn’t understand what I was going through. In 2007, I set up a blog to explore what was happening to me, to vent and to chart my progress. I didn’t expect anybody to read it, but they did. Through blogging, I got into mental health activism. I went to parliament to challenge ministers on their policies, took part in podcasts, spoke at conferences and blogged for charities. I wrote for the BBC and the Guardian. My blog was even turned into a Radio 4 play.

6

My online community I met others like me: people who understood the feeling of helplessness and isolation that mental health problems can bring, and the need to feel a sense of belonging.

As TV shows from Homeland to Bedlam put mental health issues in the spotlight, we examine how far the UK media portrayal of mental health has really come. Seaneen Molloy-Vaughan

I have written my way through the past six years. When I didn’t have the words to speak, I could find them to write. Whenever I was going through a hard time, someone else was going through one, too. I found strength in sharing. Through my blog, I made friends for life and found a solid community of people who heard my stories and shared theirs in return. The realisation that you are not alone can be life-transforming. Since April 2013, I’ve been part of Mind’s Elefriends team. Elefriends is Mind’s online peer support community, and I’m lucky to work on something I’m so passionate about. I believe nobody should have to face a mental health problem alone.

Being a blogger led me here: I know how powerful it can be to find a space where you can be yourself, and Elefriends is that space to over 7,000 people. What’s your story? To share your experience and tell us what Mind means to you, email membership@mind.org.uk.

Read Seaneen’s blog at thesecretlifeofamanicdepressive. wordpress.com. And join Mind’s Elefriends community at elefriends.org.uk.

It’s late November, 1993. A few dozen guests gather in London to celebrate the inaugural Mental Health Media Awards. There are a total of three prizes up for grabs. One category – Television Drama – has just one nominee. Jump forward 20 years and the situation looks very different. Nominees for the 2013 Mind Media Awards – as the prizes are now known – include national newspaper campaigns, celebrity documentaries and a major US drama series. Forty-five nominees compete in ten categories, with mental health activists and A-list celebrities mingling at the awards ceremony. Stephen Fry, who hosted the event in 2012, described the awards as “an opportunity to celebrate the pioneers who challenge audiences to think differently about mental health”. But while the awards themselves have changed considerably in the past 20 years, how far has the media portrayal of mental health really progressed? Beyond the audience-challenging pioneers, how accurately do journalists and scriptwriters portray the lives of people who live with mental health problems? And, in terms of building awareness of the reality of mental health, how much does it matter that the media get it right?

Casualty (above, left) and US drama Homeland were both nominated in the 2013 Mind Media Awards.

The picture in 2014 The most recent newspaper statistics, based on analysis of mental health coverage in national and local titles between 2008 and 2011, paint a mixed picture. On the one hand, the amount of ‘anti-stigmatising’ articles – those that portrayed mental health sympathetically, looked at the causes of mental illness, showed someone recovering from a mental health problem or promoted a positive image of mental health – increased significantly between 2008 and 2011. Over the same period, however, there was no notable decrease in the number of ‘stigmatising’ pieces – those that used derogatory language, expressed scepticism about mental illness, suggested people were responsible for their condition or portrayed people with mental health problems as hopeless victims, dangerous or a problem to other people. A recent report into mental health storylines in TV drama series, carried out by Glasgow University, found a similar divide. In that study, 45% of programmes analysed featured sympathetic representations of mental health, but the same percentage of shows featured storylines that portrayed people with mental health problems as dangerous.

7


Issue 14  Winter 2014

Mind  Membership News

FOUR-PAGE

Me and my Mind

FOCUS

I’ve written my way through the past six years.

Mental health in the media

In the first of a new section featuring the amazing people who get involved with our work, Seaneen Molloy-Vaughan explains how blogging has helped her find comfort, community – and even a career at Mind.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve kept diaries. So when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2006, five months after the death of my father, it seemed natural for me to write about it. My diagnosis came, as they often do, when I reached a period of crisis and was hospitalised. Overnight, and at the age of 20, my life changed. I had many questions, fears and worries. Those around me loved me but didn’t understand what I was going through. In 2007, I set up a blog to explore what was happening to me, to vent and to chart my progress. I didn’t expect anybody to read it, but they did. Through blogging, I got into mental health activism. I went to parliament to challenge ministers on their policies, took part in podcasts, spoke at conferences and blogged for charities. I wrote for the BBC and the Guardian. My blog was even turned into a Radio 4 play.

6

My online community I met others like me: people who understood the feeling of helplessness and isolation that mental health problems can bring, and the need to feel a sense of belonging.

As TV shows from Homeland to Bedlam put mental health issues in the spotlight, we examine how far the UK media portrayal of mental health has really come. Seaneen Molloy-Vaughan

I have written my way through the past six years. When I didn’t have the words to speak, I could find them to write. Whenever I was going through a hard time, someone else was going through one, too. I found strength in sharing. Through my blog, I made friends for life and found a solid community of people who heard my stories and shared theirs in return. The realisation that you are not alone can be life-transforming. Since April 2013, I’ve been part of Mind’s Elefriends team. Elefriends is Mind’s online peer support community, and I’m lucky to work on something I’m so passionate about. I believe nobody should have to face a mental health problem alone.

Being a blogger led me here: I know how powerful it can be to find a space where you can be yourself, and Elefriends is that space to over 7,000 people. What’s your story? To share your experience and tell us what Mind means to you, email membership@mind.org.uk.

Read Seaneen’s blog at thesecretlifeofamanicdepressive. wordpress.com. And join Mind’s Elefriends community at elefriends.org.uk.

It’s late November, 1993. A few dozen guests gather in London to celebrate the inaugural Mental Health Media Awards. There are a total of three prizes up for grabs. One category – Television Drama – has just one nominee. Jump forward 20 years and the situation looks very different. Nominees for the 2013 Mind Media Awards – as the prizes are now known – include national newspaper campaigns, celebrity documentaries and a major US drama series. Forty-five nominees compete in ten categories, with mental health activists and A-list celebrities mingling at the awards ceremony. Stephen Fry, who hosted the event in 2012, described the awards as “an opportunity to celebrate the pioneers who challenge audiences to think differently about mental health”. But while the awards themselves have changed considerably in the past 20 years, how far has the media portrayal of mental health really progressed? Beyond the audience-challenging pioneers, how accurately do journalists and scriptwriters portray the lives of people who live with mental health problems? And, in terms of building awareness of the reality of mental health, how much does it matter that the media get it right?

Casualty (above, left) and US drama Homeland were both nominated in the 2013 Mind Media Awards.

The picture in 2014 The most recent newspaper statistics, based on analysis of mental health coverage in national and local titles between 2008 and 2011, paint a mixed picture. On the one hand, the amount of ‘anti-stigmatising’ articles – those that portrayed mental health sympathetically, looked at the causes of mental illness, showed someone recovering from a mental health problem or promoted a positive image of mental health – increased significantly between 2008 and 2011. Over the same period, however, there was no notable decrease in the number of ‘stigmatising’ pieces – those that used derogatory language, expressed scepticism about mental illness, suggested people were responsible for their condition or portrayed people with mental health problems as hopeless victims, dangerous or a problem to other people. A recent report into mental health storylines in TV drama series, carried out by Glasgow University, found a similar divide. In that study, 45% of programmes analysed featured sympathetic representations of mental health, but the same percentage of shows featured storylines that portrayed people with mental health problems as dangerous.

7


Issue 14  Winter 2014

Mind  Membership News

Taking the long view

The impact of negative coverage

Comparing the situation today with the media outcry that accompanied the introduction of care in the community in the early nineties, however, Graham Thornicroft, Professor of Community Psychiatry at King’s College London, does feel that there has been genuine progress.

The Sun story is an interesting example because it highlights the challenges of trying to change the way the media communicates about mental health. The figures used in the report are ‘disputable’, as a joint statement from Mind, Time to Change and Rethink Mental Illness suggested in the wake of the story. In fact they are so disputable that, following a meeting with the chief executives of Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, The Sun published a clarification, explaining that many of the ‘mental patients’ referred to in the headline had never actually had any contact with mental health services.

“At that stage, access to the media was largely given to people who were coming out with stories of how people would be neglected and would end up in prison and would commit homicides,” he says. “There was very little coverage of people wanting to say good things about mental health, so the news was routinely of horror and neglect.” “We’ve come a good distance,” he adds, “but there’s still a long way to go”. Or, to put it another way, while both BBC3 and Channel 4 have recently screened seasons of programmes exploring mental illness, Sun readers can still wake up to front-page headlines like the one used on 7 October last year: ’1,200 killed by mental patients’.

THE BIG QUESTION:

Is the media portrayal of mental health improving? We asked four experts for their personal opinions. Here’s what they said:

This clarification and the inclusion of an opinion piece by Mind CEO Paul Farmer on the day of the story are signs of progress. It’s worth noting, too, that the main focus of The Sun story was actually on the need for better mental health services. But the damage caused by that inflammatory, unrepresentative front page headline is unlikely to be undone by a few column inches inside the paper. “Media coverage can have a lasting negative affect on public attitudes to mental health,” Graham Thornicroft says, “and it can have an adverse effect on people’s health and on how people with mental health issues see themselves. “I work with young adults in Lambeth, and people will come in and talk about how disheartening and demoralising it is to see negative or inaccurate representations in the media.”

Yes, but.... There are passionate individual journalists and news outlets that have made it their business, year-on-year, to push mental health up the news agenda. But there is still much work to be done for mental health to be seen on equal terms with physical health. Alongside politicians and health commissioners, the media plays a huge role in shaping perceptions of mental health problems. Not only do we need to see more said about it, we need our media to be at the vanguard of the fight to destroy the taboos and stigma that still cling to mental health. Yes, I believe they have this power. And the time to act is now. Alastair Campbell, journalist and broadcaster

Judging by one recent poll conducted by the Time to Change anti-stigma campaign, that’s a sentiment familiar to many people who live with mental health problems. Three-quarters of respondents said they had been personally affected by a story in the media, with one emphasising the exclusion that negative coverage can cause:

I’m sick of the media scaring everyone into thinking we are all monsters when a good percentage of people with mental health issues are very kind and loving human beings, who are being denied the chance to lead a fulfilling life due to ignorance and stigma.

Reasons for hope There are signs of progress, however. Workshops run by Time to Change to help journalists communicate effectively about mental health are increasingly well attended, and researchers from some of the UK’s biggest TV and radio shows are now in frequent contact with the Time to Change team.

That input enables screenwriters to develop more accurate and more plausible characters, who may have mental health problems but are not defined by them. And as the Time to Change team is also working with the producers of Hollyoaks, The Archers, Emmerdale and Coronation Street, the potential consequences are far-reaching. The influence of celebrities also makes a difference. When Mind President Stephen Fry discussed attempting to take his own life last year, more than 400 related articles appeared in UK media. Calls to the Mind Infoline doubled and more people visited our website than at any point since we started recording the stats in 2009. Graham Thornicroft believes this sort of ‘disclosure’ is a key factor in breaking down the stigma that can surround mental illness, although he acknowledges that the experiences of celebrities can also be difficult to relate to.

No. What we now have is a double standard: positive stories about well-known (mostly white, middle/upper class) people who have overcome mental health difficulties alongside continuing misrepresentation of ordinary people affected by mental health problems. Black people, from Christopher Clunis to Philip Simelane, continue to be portrayed with vicious negativity. Some of the responsibility for this double standard lies with anti-stigma programmes and their promotion of celebrity ‘coming out’ stories glorifying individual drive and commitment. This bears little resemblance to ordinary citizens’ everyday lives, where we struggle not only to find support but also to survive blatant discrimination and hatred. The focus needs to shift if we are to see any real change. Jayasree Kalathil, Survivor Research

8

“We have an ongoing relationship with Eastenders,” says Jenni Regan, Senior Media Adviser for Time to Change. “We were absolutely instrumental to the research process for the storyline involving Stacy Slater, for instance, when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The Eastenders team would give us the story outline and we would feed into that and feed into scripts week by week. Storylines have changed and been discarded because of our input.”

continues overleaf 9


Issue 14  Winter 2014

Mind  Membership News

Taking the long view

The impact of negative coverage

Comparing the situation today with the media outcry that accompanied the introduction of care in the community in the early nineties, however, Graham Thornicroft, Professor of Community Psychiatry at King’s College London, does feel that there has been genuine progress.

The Sun story is an interesting example because it highlights the challenges of trying to change the way the media communicates about mental health. The figures used in the report are ‘disputable’, as a joint statement from Mind, Time to Change and Rethink Mental Illness suggested in the wake of the story. In fact they are so disputable that, following a meeting with the chief executives of Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, The Sun published a clarification, explaining that many of the ‘mental patients’ referred to in the headline had never actually had any contact with mental health services.

“At that stage, access to the media was largely given to people who were coming out with stories of how people would be neglected and would end up in prison and would commit homicides,” he says. “There was very little coverage of people wanting to say good things about mental health, so the news was routinely of horror and neglect.” “We’ve come a good distance,” he adds, “but there’s still a long way to go”. Or, to put it another way, while both BBC3 and Channel 4 have recently screened seasons of programmes exploring mental illness, Sun readers can still wake up to front-page headlines like the one used on 7 October last year: ’1,200 killed by mental patients’.

THE BIG QUESTION:

Is the media portrayal of mental health improving? We asked four experts for their personal opinions. Here’s what they said:

This clarification and the inclusion of an opinion piece by Mind CEO Paul Farmer on the day of the story are signs of progress. It’s worth noting, too, that the main focus of The Sun story was actually on the need for better mental health services. But the damage caused by that inflammatory, unrepresentative front page headline is unlikely to be undone by a few column inches inside the paper. “Media coverage can have a lasting negative affect on public attitudes to mental health,” Graham Thornicroft says, “and it can have an adverse effect on people’s health and on how people with mental health issues see themselves. “I work with young adults in Lambeth, and people will come in and talk about how disheartening and demoralising it is to see negative or inaccurate representations in the media.”

Yes, but.... There are passionate individual journalists and news outlets that have made it their business, year-on-year, to push mental health up the news agenda. But there is still much work to be done for mental health to be seen on equal terms with physical health. Alongside politicians and health commissioners, the media plays a huge role in shaping perceptions of mental health problems. Not only do we need to see more said about it, we need our media to be at the vanguard of the fight to destroy the taboos and stigma that still cling to mental health. Yes, I believe they have this power. And the time to act is now. Alastair Campbell, journalist and broadcaster

Judging by one recent poll conducted by the Time to Change anti-stigma campaign, that’s a sentiment familiar to many people who live with mental health problems. Three-quarters of respondents said they had been personally affected by a story in the media, with one emphasising the exclusion that negative coverage can cause:

I’m sick of the media scaring everyone into thinking we are all monsters when a good percentage of people with mental health issues are very kind and loving human beings, who are being denied the chance to lead a fulfilling life due to ignorance and stigma.

Reasons for hope There are signs of progress, however. Workshops run by Time to Change to help journalists communicate effectively about mental health are increasingly well attended, and researchers from some of the UK’s biggest TV and radio shows are now in frequent contact with the Time to Change team.

That input enables screenwriters to develop more accurate and more plausible characters, who may have mental health problems but are not defined by them. And as the Time to Change team is also working with the producers of Hollyoaks, The Archers, Emmerdale and Coronation Street, the potential consequences are far-reaching. The influence of celebrities also makes a difference. When Mind President Stephen Fry discussed attempting to take his own life last year, more than 400 related articles appeared in UK media. Calls to the Mind Infoline doubled and more people visited our website than at any point since we started recording the stats in 2009. Graham Thornicroft believes this sort of ‘disclosure’ is a key factor in breaking down the stigma that can surround mental illness, although he acknowledges that the experiences of celebrities can also be difficult to relate to.

No. What we now have is a double standard: positive stories about well-known (mostly white, middle/upper class) people who have overcome mental health difficulties alongside continuing misrepresentation of ordinary people affected by mental health problems. Black people, from Christopher Clunis to Philip Simelane, continue to be portrayed with vicious negativity. Some of the responsibility for this double standard lies with anti-stigma programmes and their promotion of celebrity ‘coming out’ stories glorifying individual drive and commitment. This bears little resemblance to ordinary citizens’ everyday lives, where we struggle not only to find support but also to survive blatant discrimination and hatred. The focus needs to shift if we are to see any real change. Jayasree Kalathil, Survivor Research

8

“We have an ongoing relationship with Eastenders,” says Jenni Regan, Senior Media Adviser for Time to Change. “We were absolutely instrumental to the research process for the storyline involving Stacy Slater, for instance, when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The Eastenders team would give us the story outline and we would feed into that and feed into scripts week by week. Storylines have changed and been discarded because of our input.”

continues overleaf 9


Issue 14  Winter 2014

Social media channels like Twitter and Facebook are playing an increasingly valuable role. They give people an unprecedented opportunity to hold media organisations to account, to let others know if they are unhappy with a media story and even to influence the news agenda. The recent story about ‘mental patient’ costumes is a good example of this. When Asda and Tesco were found to be selling ‘mental patient’ Halloween costumes, criticism on Twitter grew rapidly. Under growing pressure, the supermarkets took the products off their shelves – and mainstream news organisations raced to cover the story.

A brighter future? It would be naïve to suggest that the portrayal of mental health in the UK is anything other than a work in progress, but there is, at least, progress. And by international standards, the UK media is actually performing well. For the future, the onus is on journalists and screenwriters to listen to and share the stories of a far more diverse range of people with experience of mental health problems. Mental illness is neither exceptional nor unusual – far from it – so the stories of people who have experienced mental illness should not be exceptional or unusual either.

Influencing media coverage is a slow process, and easily undermined, but the signs of change are appearing. So we’ll continue to reward the pioneers who are depicting the reality of mental illness, while supporting efforts to target and reduce media discrimination wherever it occurs.

What you can do Write to the press – If you see good or bad coverage on TV or in the papers – locally or nationally – get in touch with them. Media organisations care what you think. Use your spending power – If papers or magazines don’t portray mental health issues carefully, you can always stop buying them. Join the Twitter debate – See page 15 to find out how to make a big noise online. Support mental health bloggers – Or even set up a blog yourself… Volunteer for Mind, Time to Change or your local mental health charity – share your experience and insight and help to make a genuine, lasting difference. Make a Mind Media Award nomination – Look out for more info later in the year.

Shaping the future At a recent event organised by health charity The King’s Fund, Mind members Andie Rose and Charlotte Walker joined mental health commissioners, providers, policymakers and trust executives to discuss the future of mental health in London. Here’s what happened… “It’s not every day as an activist you get to sit down with senior people from organisations that can make a difference,” says Charlotte Walker, Mind member and prolific mental health blogger. “I ended up plonking myself down at a table of chief execs. I very much felt I was listened to and taken seriously. It was a great event: positive and exciting.” Charlotte was one of ten Mind members who answered the call from The King’s Fund to share their opinions on London’s mental health priorities at a recent one-day workshop in the capital. “The King’s Fund has been commissioned to help shape a five-year vision for the city’s mental health services,” says Helen Gilburt, Fellow in Health Policy at the King’s Fund. “The focus of this event was to get everybody’s different views on the priorities for change and to understand what’s working and what’s not.”

Is the media portrayal of mental health improving? (continued from previous page)

Yes.

10

YOUR VOICE COUNTS

Yes.

In the 15 years that I’ve worked as a journalist, I’ve noticed a significant shift in the way that mental illness is covered. Not only is there more coverage, but there is more accurate coverage. Editors have realised that mental health is something of relevance and interest to the general public. However, there are still some mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia or personality disorders, that are rarely covered and continue to attract suspicion, misunderstanding and prejudice. Media outlets are also still too ready to promote quack remedies with no evidence base. And there is also a tendency to misreport, distort and sensationalise research and reports into mental illness – which can cause confusion, fear and worry.

I can only talk about the area I work in, but I do get a sense that things are changing. In the past, shows have taken peripheral characters and used them to develop storylines about mental health issues, but that’s not the case anymore. Certainly at Eastenders, the Stacy Slater bipolar disorder storyline generated a huge response. We had a lot of young people, especially, getting in touch to say they previously hadn’t understood bipolar disorder and that the storyline had helped. There was a real willingness from the audience to empathise, to embrace the issue and to engage with it. It felt very positive, actually; we had very, very few negative responses.

Max Pemberton, journalist

Simon Ashdown, lead writer, Eastenders

The value of preparation The feedback from the event has been “fantastic”, Helen says. The discussion ranged from access to crisis care to the importance of peer support groups to the need for more preventative care. Issues highlighted at this and several subsequent discussions will now be used to help The King’s Fund develop a clear plan for the next five years. One point raised by both Charlotte and Mind member Andie Rose, however, was that more information in advance would have been useful.

Charlott

e Walke r

“I’m definitely glad I went,” says Andie. “I’ve taken part in service user involvement for many, many years, and I know that if we all get together, we really can change things. “But I think what I’d say to organisers of events like this one is that a phone call to help people understand what to expect beforehand can be really valuable.” Charlotte’s experience was similar. “The first thing I did afterwards was to blog about the event and about five buzzwords that were used,” she says, “because I really want other people with mental health problems to go and take part in these events and you feel more empowered if you know the lingo.” “People definitely shouldn’t be put off though. Don’t be afraid to ask for information beforehand,” she says, “but remember that it is you providing the human aspect that is the powerful thing. And you can never get that wrong, because it’s your story.”

Ready to get your voice heard? Look out for your fortnightly Mind membership enews, which lists the latest opportunities for Mind members to take part in mental health events across the UK.

11


Issue 14  Winter 2014

Social media channels like Twitter and Facebook are playing an increasingly valuable role. They give people an unprecedented opportunity to hold media organisations to account, to let others know if they are unhappy with a media story and even to influence the news agenda. The recent story about ‘mental patient’ costumes is a good example of this. When Asda and Tesco were found to be selling ‘mental patient’ Halloween costumes, criticism on Twitter grew rapidly. Under growing pressure, the supermarkets took the products off their shelves – and mainstream news organisations raced to cover the story.

A brighter future? It would be naïve to suggest that the portrayal of mental health in the UK is anything other than a work in progress, but there is, at least, progress. And by international standards, the UK media is actually performing well. For the future, the onus is on journalists and screenwriters to listen to and share the stories of a far more diverse range of people with experience of mental health problems. Mental illness is neither exceptional nor unusual – far from it – so the stories of people who have experienced mental illness should not be exceptional or unusual either.

Influencing media coverage is a slow process, and easily undermined, but the signs of change are appearing. So we’ll continue to reward the pioneers who are depicting the reality of mental illness, while supporting efforts to target and reduce media discrimination wherever it occurs.

What you can do Write to the press – If you see good or bad coverage on TV or in the papers – locally or nationally – get in touch with them. Media organisations care what you think. Use your spending power – If papers or magazines don’t portray mental health issues carefully, you can always stop buying them. Join the Twitter debate – See page 15 to find out how to make a big noise online. Support mental health bloggers – Or even set up a blog yourself… Volunteer for Mind, Time to Change or your local mental health charity – share your experience and insight and help to make a genuine, lasting difference. Make a Mind Media Award nomination – Look out for more info later in the year.

Shaping the future At a recent event organised by health charity The King’s Fund, Mind members Andie Rose and Charlotte Walker joined mental health commissioners, providers, policymakers and trust executives to discuss the future of mental health in London. Here’s what happened… “It’s not every day as an activist you get to sit down with senior people from organisations that can make a difference,” says Charlotte Walker, Mind member and prolific mental health blogger. “I ended up plonking myself down at a table of chief execs. I very much felt I was listened to and taken seriously. It was a great event: positive and exciting.” Charlotte was one of ten Mind members who answered the call from The King’s Fund to share their opinions on London’s mental health priorities at a recent one-day workshop in the capital. “The King’s Fund has been commissioned to help shape a five-year vision for the city’s mental health services,” says Helen Gilburt, Fellow in Health Policy at the King’s Fund. “The focus of this event was to get everybody’s different views on the priorities for change and to understand what’s working and what’s not.”

Is the media portrayal of mental health improving? (continued from previous page)

Yes.

10

YOUR VOICE COUNTS

Yes.

In the 15 years that I’ve worked as a journalist, I’ve noticed a significant shift in the way that mental illness is covered. Not only is there more coverage, but there is more accurate coverage. Editors have realised that mental health is something of relevance and interest to the general public. However, there are still some mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia or personality disorders, that are rarely covered and continue to attract suspicion, misunderstanding and prejudice. Media outlets are also still too ready to promote quack remedies with no evidence base. And there is also a tendency to misreport, distort and sensationalise research and reports into mental illness – which can cause confusion, fear and worry.

I can only talk about the area I work in, but I do get a sense that things are changing. In the past, shows have taken peripheral characters and used them to develop storylines about mental health issues, but that’s not the case anymore. Certainly at Eastenders, the Stacy Slater bipolar disorder storyline generated a huge response. We had a lot of young people, especially, getting in touch to say they previously hadn’t understood bipolar disorder and that the storyline had helped. There was a real willingness from the audience to empathise, to embrace the issue and to engage with it. It felt very positive, actually; we had very, very few negative responses.

Max Pemberton, journalist

Simon Ashdown, lead writer, Eastenders

The value of preparation The feedback from the event has been “fantastic”, Helen says. The discussion ranged from access to crisis care to the importance of peer support groups to the need for more preventative care. Issues highlighted at this and several subsequent discussions will now be used to help The King’s Fund develop a clear plan for the next five years. One point raised by both Charlotte and Mind member Andie Rose, however, was that more information in advance would have been useful.

Charlott

e Walke r

“I’m definitely glad I went,” says Andie. “I’ve taken part in service user involvement for many, many years, and I know that if we all get together, we really can change things. “But I think what I’d say to organisers of events like this one is that a phone call to help people understand what to expect beforehand can be really valuable.” Charlotte’s experience was similar. “The first thing I did afterwards was to blog about the event and about five buzzwords that were used,” she says, “because I really want other people with mental health problems to go and take part in these events and you feel more empowered if you know the lingo.” “People definitely shouldn’t be put off though. Don’t be afraid to ask for information beforehand,” she says, “but remember that it is you providing the human aspect that is the powerful thing. And you can never get that wrong, because it’s your story.”

Ready to get your voice heard? Look out for your fortnightly Mind membership enews, which lists the latest opportunities for Mind members to take part in mental health events across the UK.

11


Issue 14  Winter 2014

Mind  Membership News

Ready… Steady…Bake This month’s cover star John Whaite isn’t alone in believing that cake-making and bread-baking can have a therapeutic effect. Mind groups and supporters across the UK are rolling up their sleeves and staging their very own Great British bake offs.

Doncaster “Baking is very relaxing and it takes away things that are on my mind,” says Debbie, a member of the Doncaster Therapeutic Baking group, which cooked up these tasty-looking treats (right). “I would recommend baking for anyone with depression. It has helped me to come out of my shell and meet new friends.”

Newcastle Mind member Sarah Bailey was inspired to bake by her mum and grandmother. “Baking helps my moods, boosts my confidence and puts a huge smile on my partner’s face. It gives me a sense of purpose and a feeling I’m helping others.”

Southampton Frances Heather set up the ‘Tasty Options Bakin’ Company’ to teach baking, break down mental health stigma and create delicious cakes to generate income for her other mental health community work. As she rightly says: “Baking provides a stimulation for all the senses and a great end product!”

“Baking helps to focus your thoughts and as a bonus you end up with tasty cakes! I started baking to elevate my mood and enjoyed it so much that neither me nor my boyfriend could eat any more cake!” Fiona Meaney, aka The Mental Baker, who now sells the cakes she makes online to raise money for Mind.

Get baking for Happy Monday

Barnet Chef Kelly Richardson, pictured above, has set up baking courses in Barnet, teaching everything from muffin making to icing techniques. Some – but not all – of the cakes her groups make are sold at the Barnet community café. “We also take great pleasure in eating some of what we make!”

12

Happy Monday is Mind’s brand new fundraising event, planned for 10 March. It’s a simple idea – get together with friends and family to share the food that improves your mood while raising money for Mind. So if you’ve got the baking bug, email membership@mind.org.uk and we’ll send a Happy Monday fundraising pack your way.

Hull & East Yorkshire “We arranged our own Great British bake off,” says Sue Giblin, Hull Mind’s answer to Mary Berry. “We had eight entrants, and our CEO, Housing Manager and Finance Manager did the judging. When you see people go from having no confidence whatsoever to making amazing cakes and buns, that’s fantastic.”

lisha iona and A F er k a B l , Menta bers James Mind Mem king day photo shoot. t ba at a recen

13


Issue 14  Winter 2014

Mind  Membership News

Ready… Steady…Bake This month’s cover star John Whaite isn’t alone in believing that cake-making and bread-baking can have a therapeutic effect. Mind groups and supporters across the UK are rolling up their sleeves and staging their very own Great British bake offs.

Doncaster “Baking is very relaxing and it takes away things that are on my mind,” says Debbie, a member of the Doncaster Therapeutic Baking group, which cooked up these tasty-looking treats (right). “I would recommend baking for anyone with depression. It has helped me to come out of my shell and meet new friends.”

Newcastle Mind member Sarah Bailey was inspired to bake by her mum and grandmother. “Baking helps my moods, boosts my confidence and puts a huge smile on my partner’s face. It gives me a sense of purpose and a feeling I’m helping others.”

Southampton Frances Heather set up the ‘Tasty Options Bakin’ Company’ to teach baking, break down mental health stigma and create delicious cakes to generate income for her other mental health community work. As she rightly says: “Baking provides a stimulation for all the senses and a great end product!”

“Baking helps to focus your thoughts and as a bonus you end up with tasty cakes! I started baking to elevate my mood and enjoyed it so much that neither me nor my boyfriend could eat any more cake!” Fiona Meaney, aka The Mental Baker, who now sells the cakes she makes online to raise money for Mind.

Get baking for Happy Monday

Barnet Chef Kelly Richardson, pictured above, has set up baking courses in Barnet, teaching everything from muffin making to icing techniques. Some – but not all – of the cakes her groups make are sold at the Barnet community café. “We also take great pleasure in eating some of what we make!”

12

Happy Monday is Mind’s brand new fundraising event, planned for 10 March. It’s a simple idea – get together with friends and family to share the food that improves your mood while raising money for Mind. So if you’ve got the baking bug, email membership@mind.org.uk and we’ll send a Happy Monday fundraising pack your way.

Hull & East Yorkshire “We arranged our own Great British bake off,” says Sue Giblin, Hull Mind’s answer to Mary Berry. “We had eight entrants, and our CEO, Housing Manager and Finance Manager did the judging. When you see people go from having no confidence whatsoever to making amazing cakes and buns, that’s fantastic.”

lisha iona and A F er k a B l , Menta bers James Mind Mem king day photo shoot. t ba at a recen

13


Issue 14  Winter 2014

Mind  Membership News

s u c o f in h lt a e h l menta ) D C (O r e d r o s i D e v i ls u p m o c e v i s s bse

O

orgina Lord Mind member Ge ces as we en shares her experi focus on OCD. What is OCD?

parts: er. It has two main rd so di ty xie an an OCD is pulsions. obsessions and com thoughts. unwanted, recurring e ar s on si es bs O  ve left the • thinking that you ha m fro e ng ra n ca another They that you might push g in ry or w to , on cooker at you have a train, to feeling th person in front of by germs. been contaminated ed to repeat. tivities you feel forc ac e ar ns io ls pu • Com s are a ith OCD, compulsion For people living w used ca al with the anxiety way of trying to de include mon compulsions m Co . ns io ss se ob by frequently, ashing or cleaning w , ns tio ac g in at repe ses. ific words and phra and repeating spec

Georgina Lord

The cycle of OCD

rying obsessions, like wor or in m ve ha le op Many pe ed. But OCD has been left unlock that the front door pulsions take obsessions and com n he w d se no ag di is y, cause a lot nt of time each da ou am t an fic ni sig up a ay life. in the way of everyd of distress and get ns and ows how obsessio The ‘OCD cycle’ sh ked: compulsions are lin

bsessive fear o an ad h I l, o o h At sc minate my that I would conta y day when I got bedroom. So ever n my whole bag ea cl to ad h I e m o h with antiseptic s k o o b y m f o l al and ld take a shower wipes. Then I wou in the wash. es th o cl y m f o l al and put y compulsions. m f o e n o as w at h T

Anxiety e Obsessiv thought

Compulsive behaviour Temporary relief

Myth Buster

because ey are ‘a bit OCD’ th y sa ht ig m e pl There’s ‘Peo alphabetical order. in Ds DV r ei th ve ating they ha how serious, debilit of s es en ar aw of a real lack ly is. ng the condition tru and anxiety-provoki asked I had OCD and they ne eo m so ld to ce cause ‘I on tidy their house be d an go to d te an me if I w ’t believe it. ld enjoy it. I couldn they thought I wou Georgina I was so offended.’

Finding support

doctor will d with OCD, your If you are diagnose ch as talking atment options, su discuss different tre treatments. therapies and drug s booklet t OCD, read Mind’ ou ab e or m t ou d To fin sorder or ssive-compulsive di Understanding obse rg visit w w w.ocduk.o aring her k Georgina for sh We’d like to than story or like to tell us your insight. If you’d magazine, bject for a future su a d en m m co re g.uk bership@ mind.or please email mem

webwatch:

Twitter: bringing people together Can hashtags and 140-character updates be good for your mental health? Our digital expert Carl Burkitt thinks so… If you’ve not used it before, Twitter can seem daunting – an unfamiliar world of retweets, hashtags and people talking about what they had for dinner. Spend a bit of time with it, though, and you’ll find some wonderful people and organisations sharing news, views and tips on the complex world that is mental health. Twitter can also be a great place to link up with charities and individuals eager to stamp out the stigma surrounding mental health. You might have heard about the ‘mental patient’ scandal last September, when retailers were stocking Halloween costumes that portrayed mental health patients as aggressive and violent. The mental health community took to Twitter to post pictures of what real mental health patients look like: ordinary people. It was a powerful, spontaneous campaign, and the supermarkets apologised and took the costumes off the shelf as a result. And that’s what’s beautiful about Twitter: the people. Following, and interacting with, like-minded Twitter users can be great for the soul, and you can develop a valuable community of people who will share their own experiences while listening to yours. One word of warning, though. Anything you write on Twitter can be seen by everyone, so only share what you feel comfortable with and stay safe. Keep that in mind, and the wide world of Twitter is waiting for you!

Carl Burkitt

Carl’s Twitter favourites @mentalhealthcop – Award-winning blogger Michael Brown, focused on policing, mental health and criminal justice. @bipolarblogger - Passionate and knowledgeable activist Charlotte Walker (as featured on p11 of this magazine). @timetochange – Great source of info for all things mental health.

@mrjonnybenjamin – Witty and compassionate author of ‘Pill after Pill: Poems from a Schizophrenic Mind’.

@mentalhealth – Social worker and mental health pro sharing a wide range of news and information.

Don’t forget to follow @MindCharity. And look for your local Mind group and Carl himself – @carlburkitt – on Twitter too!

Georgina

14

15


Issue 14  Winter 2014

Mind  Membership News

s u c o f in h lt a e h l menta ) D C (O r e d r o s i D e v i ls u p m o c e v i s s bse

O

orgina Lord Mind member Ge ces as we en shares her experi focus on OCD. What is OCD?

parts: er. It has two main rd so di ty xie an an OCD is pulsions. obsessions and com thoughts. unwanted, recurring e ar s on si es bs O  ve left the • thinking that you ha m fro e ng ra n ca another They that you might push g in ry or w to , on cooker at you have a train, to feeling th person in front of by germs. been contaminated ed to repeat. tivities you feel forc ac e ar ns io ls pu • Com s are a ith OCD, compulsion For people living w used ca al with the anxiety way of trying to de include mon compulsions m Co . ns io ss se ob by frequently, ashing or cleaning w , ns tio ac g in at repe ses. ific words and phra and repeating spec

Georgina Lord

The cycle of OCD

rying obsessions, like wor or in m ve ha le op Many pe ed. But OCD has been left unlock that the front door pulsions take obsessions and com n he w d se no ag di is y, cause a lot nt of time each da ou am t an fic ni sig up a ay life. in the way of everyd of distress and get ns and ows how obsessio The ‘OCD cycle’ sh ked: compulsions are lin

bsessive fear o an ad h I l, o o h At sc minate my that I would conta y day when I got bedroom. So ever n my whole bag ea cl to ad h I e m o h with antiseptic s k o o b y m f o l al and ld take a shower wipes. Then I wou in the wash. es th o cl y m f o l al and put y compulsions. m f o e n o as w at h T

Anxiety e Obsessiv thought

Compulsive behaviour Temporary relief

Myth Buster

because ey are ‘a bit OCD’ th y sa ht ig m e pl There’s ‘Peo alphabetical order. in Ds DV r ei th ve ating they ha how serious, debilit of s es en ar aw of a real lack ly is. ng the condition tru and anxiety-provoki asked I had OCD and they ne eo m so ld to ce cause ‘I on tidy their house be d an go to d te an me if I w ’t believe it. ld enjoy it. I couldn they thought I wou Georgina I was so offended.’

Finding support

doctor will d with OCD, your If you are diagnose ch as talking atment options, su discuss different tre treatments. therapies and drug s booklet t OCD, read Mind’ ou ab e or m t ou d To fin sorder or ssive-compulsive di Understanding obse rg visit w w w.ocduk.o aring her k Georgina for sh We’d like to than story or like to tell us your insight. If you’d magazine, bject for a future su a d en m m co re g.uk bership@ mind.or please email mem

webwatch:

Twitter: bringing people together Can hashtags and 140-character updates be good for your mental health? Our digital expert Carl Burkitt thinks so… If you’ve not used it before, Twitter can seem daunting – an unfamiliar world of retweets, hashtags and people talking about what they had for dinner. Spend a bit of time with it, though, and you’ll find some wonderful people and organisations sharing news, views and tips on the complex world that is mental health. Twitter can also be a great place to link up with charities and individuals eager to stamp out the stigma surrounding mental health. You might have heard about the ‘mental patient’ scandal last September, when retailers were stocking Halloween costumes that portrayed mental health patients as aggressive and violent. The mental health community took to Twitter to post pictures of what real mental health patients look like: ordinary people. It was a powerful, spontaneous campaign, and the supermarkets apologised and took the costumes off the shelf as a result. And that’s what’s beautiful about Twitter: the people. Following, and interacting with, like-minded Twitter users can be great for the soul, and you can develop a valuable community of people who will share their own experiences while listening to yours. One word of warning, though. Anything you write on Twitter can be seen by everyone, so only share what you feel comfortable with and stay safe. Keep that in mind, and the wide world of Twitter is waiting for you!

Carl Burkitt

Carl’s Twitter favourites @mentalhealthcop – Award-winning blogger Michael Brown, focused on policing, mental health and criminal justice. @bipolarblogger - Passionate and knowledgeable activist Charlotte Walker (as featured on p11 of this magazine). @timetochange – Great source of info for all things mental health.

@mrjonnybenjamin – Witty and compassionate author of ‘Pill after Pill: Poems from a Schizophrenic Mind’.

@mentalhealth – Social worker and mental health pro sharing a wide range of news and information.

Don’t forget to follow @MindCharity. And look for your local Mind group and Carl himself – @carlburkitt – on Twitter too!

Georgina

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Join us on 10 March for a Happy Monday Mind  Membership News

Start your week with a smile and hold a fundraising get-together at home, work, college, university, outdoors or in your community. The money you raise will help Mind give advice and support to anyone with a mental health problem.

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Mind Membership News January2014  

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