“Without prejudice” is an article published in today’s Sunday Telegraph Magazine “Stella” about mental illness. “Mental illness-be it schizophrenia, depression, autism or OCD-needn’t be the end of a career” and 5 women, including me, were interviewed for our experiences.
I don’t have a link to an online article I can give you, but I will try and photocopy/scan it in tomorrow.
In the meantime, if you go out and buy the paper, the article appears on pages 54-59 of the magazine.
“Without prejudice” by Bridget Freer.
Photographs by Laura Pannack.
Thankfully, the last 6 months have seen my mental health stabilise and I have enjoyed a sustained period of “wellness”. I am still wary that low mood can take over again but as soon as I spot the signs I’m on the case immediately and take preventive measures to stave off a relapse. It’s not easy and it sometimes takes a lot of energy and determination but I’m getting there and feel that I have the dreaded “dog” under control. I have to admit that sometimes I am still forced to tell some little white lies to gain some precious “me time” but on the basis that in the medium and long-term my actions benefit everyone, I don’t feel at all guilty and see it as managing my health to the best of my ability in the circumstances. Sadly, there are still too many people who don’t understand the ups and downs and unpredictability of mental illness and I’m not prepared to jeopardise my recovery just to accommodate the stubborn few. I am definitely back on track.
As far as helping and motivating others to come to terms with their mental health issues, cascading information and being proactive is concerned lots of things happened last week which gave me a long-awaited kick up the bum and reinforced my concern that there is still a lot of work to be done and there are too many people out there just waiting for help.
Firstly, I have an interview on Friday with the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) to be appointed a lay-member of their Regulatory Advisory Board. This is an exciting and amazing opportunity for me to become more involved in the field of mental healthcare provision and I will be able to contribute so much…….as long as the interview goes well and I am successful. I hope that they will see how passionate I am about certain matters and give me the opportunity to voice my concerns and suggestions for improvement. My head is bursting with ideas and I need a forum to voice them and (hopefully) gain access to a pool of resource able to help me put them into practice.
At work I have been quietly looking for people who are prepared to join me as a Mental Health Champion on the Disability Steering Group and this week, I have found three people who can help drive my initiatives forward. This is so important as I already have a full-time job and cannot spend the time I would like in developing my ideas into practical solutions for our employees. Small changes can make a huge difference but I can’t do it on my own. More people = more success.
My interview for the Sunday Telegraph magazine went well but won’t be published until later in summer when they get back to normal after the holidays. I look at the delay as a positive as by delaying publication, we will get a wider readership and more publicity. That can only be a good thing.
I am working a 4-day week this week then I am on holiday for 10 days. I need the break and I am looking forward to having my son back in the UK after his watersports holiday in Spain, seeing my sister and my newly engaged lovely niece Pippa and meeting my nephew’s two new kittens (to date, nameless).
Roll on Thursday!