Food for Thought

On October 10th, it’s World Mental Health Day.
I only found out about this last week, although the World Federation for Mental Health says they’ve been doing it since 1992. I can’t help feeling bemused that “Breast Cancer Awareness” gets a whole month of promotion, and a hell of a lot of it too – while mental health issues which (at a guess) affect a hell of a lot more people only gets one day, and not very much promotion unless you’re looking for it.
When I heard about it, I did a bit of a search to see what I could write up here to promote it. The Mental Health Foundation have a campaign called “Make a Meal of it” – the idea being that we get together with friends and family for a meal. I was incredibly cynical about this – people with social phobias are going to love that idea, and the Foundation’s own research in 2001 found that one in three people felt that friendships had become strained or they had lost contact altogether. Rebuilding those bridges takes time and a hell of a lot of effort – something many people with mental health issues would feel to be overwhelming.
Eventually I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t these people that the MHF are targetting. Maybe they’re going after the people who sometimes go to their GP for a sicknote for “stress”, or claim they have depression because they’re feeling a bit down after a breakup or redundancy. I guess for many people, these simple ideas could work, but I’m not sure how this campaign is going to highlight awareness of mental health issues in a scopic way.
I want to take part – but don’t like this social eating idea. Then I remembered – I’m taking part in a knitted “teddy bear’s picnic” for National Knitting Week. I’m doing the food…

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5 thoughts on “Food for Thought

  1. Steve W says:

    I just have to say that you have more courage than I in documenting your mental health issues on your blog.
    I recently started my own blog. I also have OCD. You’d think this would be ripe blogging material and in truth, it is; some of my experiences have been pathetic, but to be honest most are rather amusing and would make great anecdotes as well as being somehat cathartic.
    But at no point have I been able to summon enough courage to blog about it, instead preferring a bunch of hastily-cobbled together posts about tv shows I’ve seen. I want to change this, and reading your frank appraisals of your own mental state has given me hope that I will at some point in the future have enough guts to do the same.
    All the best. And thanks for the unintentional spur.

  2. I came here via your comment on Dr Crippen`s blog.
    I am working my way through your posts, and wanted to say how much I admire you for highlighting the problems people with mental health issues face.
    Sadly I missed the Stephen Fry programmes 😦

  3. Chris Smith says:

    Hi B and Mr D, I’ve had a good read of your blog, and along with other commentors (is that a real word???), admire your pluck to be able to share with strangers. As we said on Saturday, mental health problems can’t be seen…. been there, done that and had the bloody tee-shirt! Keep banging away at it, you’ll win through in the end.
    Chris.

  4. It was great to meet you at the Forum last night. I had no idea that you suffer so much. You came across as a lovely, warm person and your sandwiches were fab! I have had post-natal depression on and off for 6 years I guess. I have found going knitting groups to be a great help. I’ve met so many nice girls who are as loopy as I am, so I know I’m not alone! Hope to see you again soon. Must go now to knit pizza!

  5. Mary says:

    hey, you’re in the news! Grauniad

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