Mental Health

67 Acts

On behalf of Arts Council England and the Southbank Centre a few weeks ago I pledged to campaign for mental health as part of the ’67 Small Acts for Big Change’ campaign. I will continue to do this through Dearest Someone, but I will be taking on a few other challenges/acts in order to promote general wellbeing and creativity. Make sure you watch this space!

PlanningI’ve a lot to be thankful for lately in terms of my Dearest Someone, mental health blog. I recently blogged for Time to Change and in addition to this I’ve been asked by several other campaigns etc. to ‘guest blog.’ So alongside planning for these posts I’m also in the process of planning new stuff for my Dearest Someone, blog. The nature of my blog posts via Dearest Someone, is often unplanned and solely focused on what I’m feeling at that present. However in the past I have posted several pre-planned posts about certain topics (such as the very popular post concerning the matter of Suicidal Thoughts). I’ve found that when blogging about mental health it’s okay to write as and when, I find that’s the best way for me to clearly portray my own experiences and to engage with current debates.

My most recent post Big Decisions: What are your tips? was an impromptu post I’d written this afternoon and has already received interaction over on Twitter. I find that blogging ‘naturally’ is a great way to fight stigma, and to add to the discussion of mental health. I personally think it keeps things honest and ‘human.’ That being said I have found myself planning ideas for the blog this afternoon (I have a lot of things that I want to talk about!) I think discussing mental health is so very important, and I want to do this in the best possible way. Which is why I’m currently planning new concepts and ideas that will open up the discussion to people further afield. I was very overwhelmed and humbled by the interaction with my Time to Change blog, and it’s opened my eyes to how powerful blogging can be. So… keep a look out for any new posts via Dearest Someone, and enjoy the lovely picture of my not-so-helpful cat Smokey (who was ‘helping’ me plan things.)


On Friday Time to Change (the national campaign to end mental health discrimination) published a blog I have recently written for them. Read more about it via. Dearest Someone,

Dearest Someone,

Time to Change

I’m feeling very overwhelmed, blessed and ridiculously pleased… so much so that I haven’t blogged via Dearest Someone, because I’ve been busy responding to everyone via Twitter and Facebook!

On Friday (17th July 2015) Time to Change, the national campaign to end mental health discrimination published a post that I’d written specially for their #StoryShorts campaign. Getting involved with Time to Change wasn’t a tricky decision at all, I feel very strongly about the work they do, and have often sought information from the campaign – and I regularly keep up to date with the blogs!!

My post: ‘Why I am sharing my PTSD story’ was shared across the campaigns social media streams as well as on the national website. I am still in slight disbelief at the incredible response from people who read the blog, loads of you got in contact via Facebook to say thank-you, and share your…

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Dearest Someone,

So, I just had an incredibly humbling moment (though I seem to be getting a few of these lately!) Several people have contacted me via Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest and of course this blog to share their own experiences of Post-Traumatic Stress, anxiety, and many other issues (as well as expressing your experiences with certain types of trauma.) And I just wanted to say thank-you! 

As I’ve often said – there’s several reasons as to why I created this blog:

(1) To make sense of myself, my struggles, and as a space to vent / share things.

(2) To keep the discussion of mental health issues authentic, human and honest – tackling stigma, and just generally discussing things.

(3) To help others who are going through similar things – I know I can’t change the world or anything – but I know how important and comforting it is to know that you are not…

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This is a reasonable response to my own blog post right?

Dearest Someone,

How do we feel about coffee? I’ve often been told (or read) that coffee is no good for you if you suffer from a panic disorder – more specific to me, PTSD. But I really don’t know where I stand with this – there are days (weeks) where I point blank have to avoid coffee, but there are also days where I can’t function unless I have a coffee in the morning! I’m not much of a caffeine fan though when it comes to other drinks such as tea, energy drinks etc. So I don’t know if it’s caffeine or just the taste of coffee… and yes I do know that decaff exists haha.

I just wondered how you felt about coffee when it comes to anxiety, PTSD , panic disorder or anything else! 

Meanwhile here’s some totally (ir)relevant images about coffee:

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Dearest Someone,

Things have sucked lately – no more than ever (that’s a lie), but the thing is – the annoying thing is – I know that I can deal with PTSD, and anxiety and all that jazz, but it is exhausting. I have felt more stress (general life stress) this past week than I think I ever have, and I think one of the main reasons is that I’ve had ridiculous amounts of work, but at the same time I’m trying to tackle some pretty tough stuff with regards to trying to come to terms with certain things.

I always joke that there are tell tale clues that warn me I’m really starting to feel things too much (or avoidance…):

  • Checking Taps – whenever I’m really stressed, or just annoyed and emotional I develop a deep panic, or need to check that the taps aren’t left running. And I mean I…

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I wrote a little something about a pretty ace book concerning mental health… check it out! 🙂

Dearest Someone,

Reasons to Stay Alive - Matt Haig Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig

I’ve just finished reading Matt Haig’s latest release ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ and it’s really pretty awesome! I’ve never read a book that’s focused solely on mental illness (health, or however you chose to determine the subject!)

What’s great about Matt’s book is that it’s a mixture of brutal reflections, honest thoughts and attempts to understand the way that depression and anxiety consumes us. But it also consistently tells you that it is possible to get through even the darkest, harshest, cruelest, confusing battles… 

I’ve never written a book review, and this isn’t my intention of this blog post, so I sorry if it comes across that way! But I really am a fan of this book, I cannot fathom how incredibly challenging it must have been for Matt to write this book, and to share it with the world (and of course…

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For my most recent Happy and Healthy Challenge over on Dearest Someone I expressed my gratitude toward Student Services at Birmingham City University. Read more here!

Dearest Someone,

“To write affectionately about the people in our lives that we appreciate.”

Dear Diary – Task Three (Mental Health Awareness Week 2015)

This one is easy, easy, easy, eaaaasy – I have an incredible support network, made up of friends, family, colleagues and professionals – all of whom have helped me through the toughest times and continue to support me. I recently shared a post over on my personal blog, about a recent awards ceremony – and expressing my gratitude to those at my University: 

I have continued support from my family and friends – and I hope they know how much they mean to me, and I wish to express my extreme gratitude to them… I love them to pieces. However, I’m choosing to share my appreciation toward those at my University within this post, as I never expected the level of support and empathy I’ve received from…

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