Today is the first ever Time to Talk Day: 24 hours in which to start conversations about mental health, raise awareness and share the message that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, neither is talking about it.
Find out more about the day here http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/talkday
“I only felt pain – being numb was better.”
If Graeme Fowler, an English cricketer who scored a century against West Indies when that was something to ring church bells for, was talking about a broken thumb you would not bat an eyelid.
Injuries are occupational hazards in professional sport. Everybody gets them and everybody has to get over them.
But what if this is an injury you cannot see? What if the pain is in your head and you cannot tell anybody about it?
Fowler was one of the most exciting domestic batsmen of the 1980s and never looked like a man in turmoil at the crease, which was more than could usually be said of the national team.
This image of a man without too many cares was seemingly confirmed by his reputation as a dressing-room joker and later as a cheery presence in the BBC broadcasting booth.
But by 2004 his occasional bouts of dark introspection had become serious. He had not left the house for six weeks and was unable to do even the simplest of tasks. More … http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/24226844
This month is Mental Health Awareness Month, being celebrated in England between 23 and 30 May. With this in mind we have chosen Stephen Fry as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.
Stephen is well known for his variety of talents including; being an actor, quiz show host, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter, film director, activist, and board member of Norwich City Football Club. However, what is less known about Stephen is that he suffers from Bipolar Disorder. He was finally diagnosed when he was 37 years old having experienced mental health problems for much of his life.
He has spoken publicly about his experience with bipolar disorder, which was also depicted in the documentary ‘Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive’. During the programme, he was dismayed to discover the extent of prejudice surrounding mental health problems;
“I want to speak out, to fight the public stigma and to give a clearer picture of mental illness that most people know little about.
“Once the understanding is there, we can all stand up and not be ashamed of ourselves, then it makes the rest of the population realise that we are just like them but with something extra.”
He is involved with the mental health charity Stand to Reason and is a celebrity supporter of the mental health charity ‘Time to Change’.
April is Autism Awareness month and with this in mind we have chosen Luke Jackson as our Inspirational Diversity Champion.
Luke Christopher Jackson is a British author who rose to fame at the age of 13, when he wrote a book from first-hand experience about his life with Asperger syndrome. In the book, entitled ‘Freaks, Geeks, and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence’, Luke writes about his younger autistic and ADHD brothers, providing amusing insights into the antics of his younger years and advice for parents, carers and teachers of children with Asperger’s.
Luke’s main reason for writing was because “so many books are written about us, but none are written directly to adolescents with Asperger Syndrome. I thought I would write one in the hope that we could all learn together”. The book created a sensation and greatly increased general awareness of the condition.
Luke left school at the age of 14 “after completely having had enough”. He has since been singing and playing in a band, has written two further books and has appeared in documentaries about Autism.
ECU is currently running two surveys exploring how institutions can support staff and students experiencing mental health difficulties.
Respondents need to have experienced mental health issues personally, and be a member of staff or a student within higher education. The links to the two surveys can be found here: