I can’t believe that it has been almost a month since I last visited my Blog but that’s the Olympics for you. I was quite blown away and distracted by this amazing spectacle and I had to eat my words that GB could not put on such a fabulous show. From the moving and inspiring 10 week Torch Relay, the eccentricities of the Opening Ceremony to the cheesy music of the Closing concert, Seb Coe was spot-on when he said, “Britain did it right” and we should be very proud as a nation of the achievement. Let’s hope that we can capitalise on all that good work and leave a lasting legacy to a new generation, not just athletic and sporting stars, but every young person who cares to take up the challenge. I am now looking forward to the Paralympics which start on Friday and which promise to be every bit as exciting and awesome as the main Games.
Everyone has their favourite moments of the London 2012 Olympics, and I have many, but what stood out for me was the thought and preparation which went into the Games so that it really became something special. What we did better than any country before us was to focus on the performance, dedication, hard work, discipline and sportsmanship necessary to participate in the Games instead of the commercialism. This may come back to haunt us as there may not be enough coppers in the kitty to maintain our vision and efforts for future Games but for two weeks at least, we were shown what could be achieved. It gave us hope and with luck inspired everyone to dream a little.
“A dream becomes reality when you put a date to it”
Yesterday I took the liberty of putting a date to a young man’s dream. Rio 2016.
My next-door-neighbour is a very talented young athlete with huge potential to achieve big things if he works hard, gets the right training and guidance and goes to bed every night believing that he is good enough. I think he is. His coaches think he is and I hope that he believes in himself.
I hope I haven’t put too much pressure on such young shoulders by calling him “Phillips” ( Phillips Idowu-UK Champion triple-jumper) or booking my flights to Rio in 4 years time but only time will tell!
Tomorrow, December 3rd, is International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Is depression a disability? I think so, and so do many others who find themselves unable to function normally on a day-to-day basis. This was the conclusion of research carried out by the Depression Alliance and RADAR in support of a report entitled Depression, Disability and Employment sponsored by the Priory Group and launched at the Houses of Parliament back in October.
The Priory Group is now calling on the Government to class depression as a disability to improve people’s opportunities for employment and other forms of social participation.
In other words, depression should be treated as a disability in the same way as physical disabilities, and reasonable adjustments in the workplace made accordingly for those suffering from this illness.
Professor Chris Thompson, chief medical officer at the Priory Group said: “This important research clearly shows most people living with depression think it is disabling. Yet the stark truth is that our systems and services do not seem to have caught up with this recognition.”
Liz Sayce, chief Executive of RADAR and author of the report said: “People with depression face as many barriers as people with physical impairments. We need the mental health equivalent of the ramp and the mobility scooter – simply fair chances and support to live a full life including the chance to work and contribute. Often depression runs like a thread through lives affected by other challenges – from physical ill health to racial discrimination. Supporting people with depression helps people to turn their lives around.”
So, what will I be doing tomorrow?
I for one will be celebrating the achievements and unique talents of all my friends and colleagues that I know who have a disability be it mental or physical. In doing so, I hope to raise awareness of the unmerited stigma, discrimination and ignorance which shrouds this topic and show people that we may be disabled, but, with a little support, we are still very able.
Have a Good Day!
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