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Mental Matters It’s time to talk about recovery

Mental matters Issue 4

Mar 30, 2016



Holly McCormack

November issue of the Scottish based mental health magazine. Looks at student mental health and back at the Scottish Mental Health Film & Arts Festival. Ahead to the Mind Media awards also.
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Page 1: Mental matters Issue 4

Mental MattersIt’s time to talk about recovery

Page 2: Mental matters Issue 4
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1.Nulla vestibulumeleifend nulla.Suspendisse potenti.

2.Aliquam turpis nisi,venenatis non,WHO would

have thoughtthatNovemberwould creepup so quicklyon us all? It’sa stressfultime of yearfor manyespeciallythose withmentalillness - atime forsticking byeach other!

It’s been anexciting timefor themagazine aswe continueto develop. Ican’t thankeveryoneenough whohascontributedto MentalMatters andurge anyonewho wouldlike to,

please get intouch.

This issuewill focusprimarily onthemes ofstudentmentalhealth andalso reviewsomeperformances from theScottishMentalHealth &Arts festival.

Unfortunately - I couldn’tmake it allroundScotland onmy own butall I did seeandparticipate inmade meproud to beScottish andalso part ofthe mentalhealthcommunity.

Themagazinehas also setup AudioBooand YouTubeaccountsand we willbe producingvideos andaudio tosupplementthe mag.

Novemberawas lso isthe monthfor the MindMediaAwards. It’sgreat to havewon and Iwish all thenominees thevery best infutureprojects. Mentalhealthmatters.


4 Mind Media Awards

6 cycling for charity

10 recovery feature

14 student mh

15 battling ocd

15 smhaff festival


28 editors opinion

29 ruminations in mh

30 mh in the media

32 mind media WINNERS

33 letter to editor

This edition of mental

matters was first

published on November

15th. It was edited and

updated and released on

December 3rd.


Aliquam pulvinar?Contents


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IT WAS a real honour to attend theMind Media Awards in London lastmonth. Having come down specificallyfor the event, I attended knowing that Iwas in good company with many jour-nalists, programme makers and actorsdoing their best to smash the stigmainvolved in mental health and promoterecovery throughout their programmes.

Nominated in the Student Journalistcategory, I faced competition from can-didates across the United Kingdom. Theawards were presented by Scott Millsthis years and like everyone else nomi-nated in the many categories, I satthere nervous.

Never before have I attended an eventlike the Mind Media Awards and an im-pressive array of stars littered the seats.I'm proud of how far everyone has comerecently in doing their bit to promoteawareness. Shows like Casualty, Home-land, The Village were all nominated aswell as inspirational individuals likeJon Richardson, Stephen Fry and Cath-erine Nye.

Winning the award was beyond my ex-pectations and although many peopletell me that I'm a worthy winner,they've been blown away by this maga-zine before or whatever superlative go-ing – it still takes a lot for me to take itin and embrace the achievement.

Mental Matters is still improving andwith every edition we seek more conti-

nuity, articles and quality but that willonly come with continuing to work hardand make mental health a topical issuein Scotland. The struggle I face withrealising the success I've had lately ispartly due to my own illness.

I remain very critical of myself and findhard to take positives but with therapyI continue to work on myself but I'mhappy that I have achieved somethingby winning the award. For once, I'mproud of myself and that's ok.

The most rewarding part for me wassharing the award with my mentalhealth team who have never wavered intheir belief in my abilities. I owe every-one who has been involved in my careas a 'service user' a great deal, I contin-ue to as my journey in recovery is stillongoing but the important thing is itmoves in the right direction.

Also – the joy and congratulations fromlecturers in the Journalism departmentat the University of the West of Scot-land. George Adam MSP also placed aparliamentary motion to congratulatethe award – another great honour. Ithank you all for supporting me andbelieving me. Finally, this journey is notfinished and thanks to my friends andfamily for supporting me (and SAMH) –it means more than you know.

Holly McCormack

I can’t believe it…..Mind Media Award winner 2013

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THE LAST edition of MentalMatters gave focus to LewisStevens and his JOGLEcharity for the Scottish As-sociation of Mental Health(SAMH). It seems that thepopularity of Cycling is onthe up and joining Lewis inthe ranks for raising moneyfor the Scottish Charity isPeter Harrison. Sir ChrisHoy is proving to be a prof-itable role model both inincreasing the participationof Cycling across Scotlandbut also as ambassador forSAMH – that can only be agood thing.

Mental health and exercisehave their links and whilstgetting on a bike is not go-ing to cure a mental illness,it will benefit your mentalhealth and that's crucial. Itis important to rememberthat everyone has mentalhealth – just like they havephysical health and takingsmall steps like going for arun or saddling up can havea positive impact on yourmental health.

Peter originates from Perth-shire and is currently stud-ying evolutionary biology atSt Andrews University. Thestudent was inspired byboth the trek of his girl-friend who is cycling fromLondon to Paris but also feltit was time to crank his owncycling ambitions up anotch and challenge him-

self. Passionate aboutsupporting a mentalhealth charity the deci-sion was made and thetraining schedule movedup a few gears

Away from the typicalJOGLE rote, Peter aimsto target an old routewhich will take him allacross Scotland. Themoney being raised isfor a Scottish Charityafter all – so why notcover the beauty of ourbeautiful nation fromLoch Lomond to LochNess. The journey startsalso at the tip of thecountry in JohnO'Groats but finishes inKirkmaiden just southof Stranraer.

A journey talked aboutby Scottish poets ex-plains Peter yet no high-profile charity driveshave been known totake this route. The pic-turesque route will takein the subtle sceneryScotland has to offerand avoid the drab pick-ings the A9 typicallyoffers those cyclingdown the country..

More people are talkingabout mental health and asa student Peter appreciatesthe impact it can have oneveryone. Backing a charitysuch as SAMH and raisingawareness of mental-illhealth is a positive and Peterexplains his reasons atchoosing the charity he didfor the venture.

He said: “Many of my friendsand colleagues suffer fromvarious mental health ill-nesses.“Some quite mild, some verysevere - I've always support-ed them and any charitiesthat help those suffering ortackle the stigma.“I recently had my first everpanic attack and it was terri-fying.“I'm not generally anxiousand I feel my attack wasbrought on by a specificevent (scared myself into apanic attack) but it was areal eye opener to experiencemy own brain screwing up -I struggled for a few weeksafter that then recovered.“But I have friends who haveto live with panic attacks ona regular basis, or they'redepressed, or they've beensuicidal. “When a friend wassuicidal, I was looking onlinefor advice.“SAMH was the best websiteI found and I liked that tack-ling the stigma was as im-portant an issue assupporting those suffering

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because of their mentalhealth.“ I'm fortunate enough tohave a fairly healthy brain,but I want others sufferingwith mental health to betaken as seriously as some-one with a virus or an inju-ry to a limb.”

Cycling has been a relativelynew challenge for Peter butone he is relishing as thetraining schedule increases.Although physically fit, it'llbe a while until the chal-lenge can go ahead. It willbe a solo trip with no sup-port and Peter hopes tocomplete within three days– taking in around 160miles a day.

Peter states that this maynot be much for a profes-sional cyclist but it's a ter-rific feat for anyone workingindividually and without ateam carrying around thesupplies throughout thejourney. Peter is preparedand will have cycled over4000 miles before the chal-lenge ensuring he is readyto complete the challengewhen the times comes.

The campaign now to raisemoney for the trip startsalthough it'll be next sum-mer before Peter gets goingon the bike. Although initialexpectation is to raise £500

– Peter hopes that throughlocal publicity and manypeople supporting his aimsthat he'll raise more thanthat for the worthwhilecharity.

Money raised will be put togood use by SAMH. Peteradds:“I trust SAMH to put themoney to good use.“I don't mind if it gets usedfor a specific campaign or ifit simply helps them keepdoing what they're doing.“I'm a strong supporter andI just want to do my littlebit for SAMH.“I'd be equally happy if themoney to went a stigma-tackling campaign orhelped an individual in alocal community. It's allprogress.”

Through social mediathe impact of howmany people are ex-periencing mental-illhealth is becomingincreasingly evident.The advent of Twitterallows people to con-nect and discussopenly their mentalhealth and treatmentplans. Peter hashighlighted that attimes, it can be seenthat awareness has along way to go andthat's another reasonhe is backingSAMH on his cyclenext summer.

Next Summer, Men-tal Matters will catchup with Peter and hiscycle but if youwould like to showyour support thanvisit his Just Givingpage and pledgewhat you can – avail-able at

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Everyone may experience an illness differently, what was it like for you?It was hard. Getting out of bed was a task. I went days, sometimes over a weekwithout washing, getting changed or interacting with people. I spent weeks andweeks inside, scared to leave the house. Even thinking about going outside ordoing something with a friend/family member was impossible. It brought on afear, a fear of everything. What could happen, what someone could say, what Iwould say, what they would think of me, what I would do wrong. In a sense, itwas easier to stay indoors and ignore the "real world" as much as possible. I'vespent many days sleeping till 5pm and only getting up to self harm before goingback to sleep again.

Stigma towards mental illness has improved but when you were first diag-

nosed - were you scared or perhaps ashamed to tell people?I was very wary to tell people. I kept it from my family and friends for a goodwhile. Eventually, my depression became worse and my close family noticedsomething was wrong, which was when I informed them of my diagnosis. Mymother is very supportive. She's suffered from depression in the past, so shecould relate a little to what I was feeling. My 18 year old sister wasn't so under-standing, often calling me lazy and shouting at me for "doing nothing all day".  Idon't live with my father so it was easier for me to hide it from him. He onlyfound out once I had to stay in hospital after self harming. It came as quite ashock to him because he wasn't aware of anything being wrong or me being un-well.

What was the most problematic thing to

deal with at that time?I guess for me it was very hard for me tocontinue studying and working. Depressiontakes your life from you, and I couldn't seethe point in going to work or college be-cause I honestly didn't believe I would bealive long enough to use what I was learninglater in life. It felt like a waste of time andthe very little energy I had.

Lara McDonald

Age: 21


Diagnosis: Depression

and Generalised Anxiety


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How did it affect work/relationships/education?It affected my work greatly as I worked as a waitress in a very busy restaurant.When i first began to experience the anxiety I used to hide in the toilets and dobreathing exercises to calm myself down, and when the depression hit I would crybefore leaving and often self harm  too. I eventually quit and took a more relaxedjob as an au pair, but after four months I left as my depression was at its worstand I couldn't cope with it at all. I was also struggling being away from home as Iau-paired in a different country.

I would say it affected relationships in different way. It affected my relationshipwith friends greatly as I isolated myself and in return lost a number of friends.But, as they say, if they don't stick around when you're at your worst, they don'tdeserve to be there when you're at your best. My relationships with family mem-bers wasn't greatly affected once they were aware of what I was experiencing. Theydid their best to let me know they were there for me. I would say it had a slighteffect on relationships of the romantic type. I was in a relationship when I was di-agnosed, and I told my partner. They were very understanding and a fantastic sup-port to me. The only way it was greatly affected was by the fact I was self harmingvery frequently and therefore I wouldn't even like to get changed in front of them,never mind anything else.

It had a great effect on my education too. I quit college around the same time asmy job as a waitress, because it was all too much for me. I really struggled withthe fact that I was experiencing the things we discussed in class, as I was studyingpsychology. Although I know it to be untrue now, I felt like the whole class knew Ihad all of these issues and were secretly laughing at me. I returned to college thisyear for 2 mornings a week, and it felt good to get some routine back into my life. Ihope to go to a full time college course this time next year.

Did you spend time in hospital? If so, what was that like and did you think it

was helpful?

I spent three months in hospital last year and have been in recently. I have foundit to be helpful as well as unhelpful. It's not a generally nice place to be; there arelots of people who are very unwell and sometimes this had an effect on me. Forexample, to see people walking around having self harmed would trigger me, or tooverhear people taking about suicide would increase my own urges. I see the hos-pital as a place I'm safe. I don't want a lot from it other than that. I feel like thethree months I was in last year wasn't helpful because I didn't want to get better. Iwas so stuck in the dark and I could see no way out at all. This time, I'm morepositive and I'm accepting the help offered and trying my best. If you don't want toget better, you're not going to, whether you're in hospital or not. I'm working withthe Doctors this time, rather than just taking what they gave me like last time. Themain thing I took out of my time in hospital was my Occupational Therapist as Iworked with her right up until my admission.

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What do you think helps to maintain good mental health for you now?

I have a list of things on my wall - "things that keep me well" and on the list iswalking the dog, taking my medication, getting showered every day, having a rou-tine, eating three meals a day, spending time with family, going to appointments,and seeing my OT. I know some of them sound really simple, but for me it's whenthe little things like not getting up at the same time every day, or not washing,when they start it tends to get worse and worse. Not showering turns into not get-ting changed, which turns into not leaving the house, which turns into stayinginside, which leads to not leaving bed and then not eating and then sleeping allday as I'm exhausted.

My appointments keep me well too. I see a CPN and OT weekly, GP monthly, psy-chiatrist 3 monthly. I'm also about to start working with a self harm recoveryproject.

What have you been able to do with your life whilst now in recovery that youstruggled with when at your most ill?

The things I enjoy most is just the little things. Going to the shop without having apanic attack, being able to take my sister swimming, going to the cinema withfriends, taking my Gran to a cafe for lunch. I also went on holiday this year toTurkey with my sister and I was able to fully relax, which wouldn't have been pos-sible before.

The diagnosis you were given has a lot of stigma attached towards it - do youthink that has changed for the better recently?

To be honest, I haven't personally seen a change in the stigma towards mentalhealth. I'm aware that there was more stigma in the past just by hearing theviews of my grandparents/elder relatives, but the only change I have seen is thedifference between their views and younger people's views.

What more can be done?

I believe the main thing that can be done is raising awareness of mental ill health,the signs and symptoms and what to do when you or someone you know experi-ences them. It would be good to see schools and colleges educate more on the sub-ject, and even workplaces too.

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At your lowest point, did you ever consider or attempt suicide? Did you feelthere is no way out?

I did attempt suicide last November, not long before my first admission to the acuteward. That was my only overdose that required a stay in a general hospital. I oftentook more medication that prescribed just to block things out for a while. AlthoughI wouldn't consider these an attempt to end my life, at the time I wouldn't havecared if it did.  I considered suicide on a daily basis during that time,  and I stillconsider it now, even though I would class myself as in recovery. I realise that al-though I'm recovering, it's okay to have these thoughts, so long as I don't let themwin. Thoughts are just thoughts, it's up to us whether we turn them into actions.What would you say back to that person now having enjoyed recovery now forsome time?

"I know it's hard, and I know you can't see a way out, but there is hope. You willget through this. You are going to overcome your illnesses and live a good life. Staystrong. Keep going. Believe in yourself. All this pain will be worth it. You'll come outof this a stronger person. It's going to be okay"

How long would you advise that you have felt stable and 'in recovery'.

Not long, a few months but I had a relapse last month. It's still a struggle for me,but I have regained hope and that has made a massive difference for me.

Is there any advice for anyone you have about perhaps being in recovery butbeing aware of the danger signs towards their own mental health?

My main advice would be to keep doing the things that keep you well. For example,if you go to therapy once a week, you might feel like you don't need to go anymoreas you're feeling better. But it's important to remember that going to therapy iswhat made you feel better. Be aware of your thoughts, feelings and actions and tryto notice when things start to deteriorate.

Recovery is a long process that most of us will go through for the rest of our lives. Idon't see such a thing as waking up one day and "being recovered". It doesn't workthat way. Recovery is something you have to work at day in day out. It doesn't havea day off.

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Managing Uni & Mental Health

IT TAKES a lot of cour-age to battle mental ill-ness and university butthat's exactly what Siob-han Fordyce has done.The student studied Bio-Sciences and Zoology atthe University of theWest of Scotland andproudly graduated with a2:1 honours degree earli-er this year.

Buoyed with the confi-dence the degree hasearned her – Siobhan haspicked up the pens againto further challenge her-self and embark on a parttime masters degree atthe Paisley campus.

Siobhan knew that theirwas an issue with hermental health beforestarting her course.

She said: “ I knew I hadanxiety but I buried my-self within my uni work. Iused that as focus strat-egy but when I was infourth year it manifestedwith a number of differentthings.“I managed things on myown as I've always hadto.”

Fourth year is the moststressful for studentsfacing the prospect of adissertation at Universi-ties all across Scotland.

Siobhan continues: “Everything manifestedtowards the end of mydissertation and I feltthat as soon as that wasaway – I fell apart.“None of my lecturersreally knew what was

going on although I think some had anincline.“I think that if you can find your trig-ger points or notice that there is goingto be trigger points somewhere downthe line or trying to find your copingstrategy.You should go and find someone totalk to and talk about it as soon aspossible.“As soon as I handed in my disserta-tion, I went on a downward spiral.”

It was a battle for Siobhan to handthings in and the onset of Bipolar dis-order during this stressful period madethe practical aspects of universitywork more difficult.

The Think Positive Campaign led bythe NUS in Scotland allows a forum forstudents who are experiencing poormental health to talk.

Laura Caven runs the project and alsoorganises free mental health first aidcourses for staff and students but morecan always be done.

Laura states: “We offer mental healthfirst aid training throughout the yearfor students.“If your interested in taking part thendrop me an email or visit the websitewhere you will also find details of re-cent campaigns.

“Last month, we ran a competition inconjuction with the Scottish MentalHealth and Arts festival asking stu-dents to produce a video within 48hours incorporating the themes of thefestival.“The event was a success and was wonby a group of students from Moray –all videos can be found on the web-site.”

Whilst a lot continues to be done inraising awareness it still seems to be adrop in the ocean.

Siobhan adds: “I think that universitiescould be doing more to raise awarenessof mental ill health and for everyone tobe seen as equal.“Definitely more needs to be done toraise more awareness for students whoneed to talk and to know that talking isgood and beneficial.“Go for your dream if you want to do it.“Don't let your anxiety or other issuesstop you - just go for your dream.“Even if you need to use it as a copingstrategy – sometimes that's the bestway.“Think positively.”

The key as a student to overcome diffi-culties with your mental health is tokeep talking and try not to isolate your-self with other students and lecturers.

Most staff are understanding and itcould help to ease some of the stressyou may be under with coursework.

It can be tough but students can and doget through it as Siobhan's experienceshows.

She adds: “I thoroughly enjoyed myexperience at University and I'd do itagain in a heartbeat.“Actually I am, as I'm studying WasteManagement and Clean Technologies asa Masters part-time.“Further down the line, I'd like to gointo the environmental sector to work.”

Vistit the NUS Think Positive Campaignonline and browse through all the filmscreated in just 48 hours -

Siobhan Fordyve tells her story by Holly McCormack

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"RISE and rise again tilllambs become lions.” I canremember without hesitationwhere I was when I first heardthat phrase coined.

I was sat in the cinemawatching a fairly dire attemptby Ridley Scott and RussellCrowe at recreating the leg-end of Robin Hood.

If I took nothing else positivefrom an otherwise very mun-dane movie, I attached myselfto that motto almost instant-ly.

It was, to me, the perfectmantra for living a positive,successful life. Never quit.That was what was conveyedto me by the film’s message.

Despite developing a liking forthe phrase and quoting it onmore than one occasion, nev-er in a million years did Ithink it would become a sav-ing grace that would drag meout of some of the darkestmoments of my life.

Before the rapid and relent-less onslaught of OCD, Ididn’t need any specialphrases or mottos to help meget through my days.

I was happy and I was com-fortable with where my lifewas heading. But then men-tal illness hit me like a trainand everything I knew andhad planned disappeared in aflash.

Regardless of all the goodprogress I’ve made over theyears since this all began,part of me died that day andI’ve had to reinvent myselfreally to stay alive.Remembering that motto inmy bleakest moments whenthis nasty little parasite haskicked the shit out of me hasbeen all I have had to keepgoing at times.

I’m not a religious man byany stretch of the imagina-tion, but to me, it almost feelslike those eight little wordswere a message from abovefor me to draw upon when Ineeded them most.

It sounds daft, but I reachedout in the dark and foundthat phrase and foundstrength and determination Ihad no idea I possessed.

That is the one positive tocome from this illness.

No matter what happens dur-ing the rest of my life, nomatter how many potentiallydevastating setbacks I face,nothing can possibly compareto the internal battle I’vefaced in squaring up to thiscondition.

I’m not going to say every dayissues that drag people downare water off a duck’s back tome, but I can dismiss disap-pointment and rejection fairlycomfortably given what I’vebeen through.

My OCD BATTLE: Jamie MilliganWhen you pray for recov-ery and are willing to giveup everything you own justfor a bit of happiness, youfind that there’s not a lotthan can drag you downanymore.

Despite all this morbidtalk, I am recovering aswell as I have ever been.I’m in a position where Ican now help othersthanks to the challengesI’ve faced.

I’m a stronger, more deter-mined and less judgemen-tal person due to my trialsand tribulations.

That’s not to say therearen’t days where I’d walkthrough hell fire to reclaimmy old life, but you can’tfocus on the past.

Life changes and you haveto adapt. As I said, part ofme did die when this on-slaught began. I have tolive with that.

But I’ve found anotherpart of my character that Ididn’t realise existed.

For the rest of my life I willuse what I’ve learned andfound within myself to pro-mote and campaign formental health awareness.

That silly little mantrahelped give me a secondchance when everythingappeared to be lost.

I won’t waste it.

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Telephone: 0141 384 3809


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THE Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film festival is over foranother year.

Mental Matters has a look back at a few events which formedpart of the festival in October this year.

Theatre shows like Mess, Mental and Angus Weaver and reviewedby editor Holly McCormack as well as look back at events that hitthe Renfrewshire area of the festival.

Next year we will be looking to review more events from all acrossScotland, but well done to everyone involved with the festival andkeep up the good work.

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THE FESTIVAL kicked off for me with the now annual Ceilidh held at StMary's church hall in Paisley. The event allowed everyone to mix old andyoung and enjoy a little bit of culture on a Friday night. Not many eventsyou go to have the buzz this Ceilidh did – partially because it was aboutlocal Buddies joining together on a night out and doing it to support theirown mental health and that of others.

Having a dance to the traditional Scottish tunes proved to be a great way toblast the cobwebs of worry and just enjoy the moment. The family festivalCeilidh took part on the first Friday night in October towards the start ofthe festival and is now a regular feature in Renfrewshire.

The popular evening of music and dance was hosted by Celine & friendsplaying songs to dance from a Gay Gordons to a strip the Willow. The festiveatmosphere was buoyed with a performance from the 'Rockus' communitychoir who performed their reality themed song penned especially for thisyears festival, written by Charlene Gordon.

Renfrewshire is Rockin’...

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THE STORY of Angus Weaver was engrained in the festival this October withmany events encompassing the month.

Joanne Karr, from Caithness, was asked to reproduce clothes for the Theatreproduction of Angus Weaver of Grass.

Joyce Laing had met Angus in 1977 and was intrigued by the ex-soldiersunique talent at weaving grass into clothing products.

He was detained for over 40 years at a hospital in Inverness with only recentinsight realising that he was experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The show toured the country but ths unique technique could also bepracticsed with several workplaces taking part in paisley.

Theatre proudiction is reviewed also in Mental Matters.

Angus Weaver experience

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Renfrewshire drumming project continues to grow


THE BUDDY beat is a Renfrewshire ledproject which encourages rythmicparticipation in supporting patientsexperiencing mental ill health.

It was launched in September 2007 by bothDr Jane Bentley and lead occupationaltherapist at Dykebar Hospital, JeanetteAllan.

The initial aims were to promote drummingas musical therapy but the group hascontinued to evolve over the years and nowmeets weekly in Paisley.

It provides clients with the chance todiscover new skills, build new friendshipsand gain confidence.

Many members involved discovered theproject whilst receiving inpatient care inhospital but others have been encourage toparticipate by local Community MentalHealth teams.

As part of this years Scottish Mental HealthFilm & Arts festival - the group performedtheir original African drumming beat with DrBentley encouraging audience members torealise the therepeutic benefits of rythmn inpromoting positive mental health.

For more information about the project - visitthe website

Listen to the Buddy Beat Mash here -

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Sandy Smith is Jack Flash


IT WAS the second year that Sandy Smithheld his ‘The Gambler and Jack Flash’ nightin Paisley - forming part of the Mental HealthFilm & Arts festival.

The night merged song, dance and Africandrumming to ensure that all revellers had agood time.

It was a night about promoting friendship,encouraging participation and some time-outfor everyone taking in the festival.

The event had a drumming experiencefeaturing the Buddy Beat who dished outmusical sticks and had the whole roommaking music and joining in the rythmn.

Tribute acts also took to the stage with Chersinging all her classics to the keep theaudience entertained.

Sandy Smith, who organised the event, alsotook to the stage to don a few numbers in hiscowboy hat.

Mic in hand he sang a few American Classicsto keep the festive audience on their toes.

The main message the night portrayed washow the Buddy Beat had helped manyexperiencing mental health difficulties andspreading the word of the valuable work theydo.

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MESS is a ground-break-ing play which tacklesthe stigma of anorexiaand forces those in theaudience to challengetheir own thoughts aboutthis illness. The theatreproduction aptly doesn'thave a definitive begin-ning, middle or end tomirror the real life effectof living with this mentalillness. The play was per-formed in both Paisleyand Motherwell as part ofthe Scottish MentalHealth Film & Arts festi-val in October and tookthe taboo to a captiveaudience. It was devisedand written by Oliviernominated actress, Caro-line Horton, who wantedto use her own real lifeexperience, transformingthem into a play andspreading the recoverymessage to others.

Horton put a team to-gether back in 2010 topull the play togetherand was involved in mostaspects except the songswhich feature through-out. It tells the story ofJosephine – the centralcharacter who has put onthis play and looks toengage with the audiencelistening to the story. Theother main characters inthis production are Borisand Sistahl who help andsupport her through the

journey of realising thatshe has a serious mentalillness but also stickingby their friend whentimes are tough, reapingthe benefits of supportwhen Josephine recoversand manages to get herlife back on track. Itshows how having beingsupported by friends tospeak to a Doctor, itproved to be a frustratingprocess with generic ad-vice and come back in afew weeks and we'll re-view things again. In theend, the central charac-ter of Josephine had togo and stay in an inpa-tient ward and face herdemons on a daily basis.

The play has a subtlehumour throughout withthe inclusion of Sistahl,played by Seiriol Davies,sitting in the corner andrepresenting a naggingvoice. At inappropriatetimes he buts in to sayhis piece which disruptsthe natural pace of theplay but as intended ithighlights the role ano-rexia can have to thoseexperiencing the illness,it will make it's selfknown when the timeisn't right and it isn't al-ways going to have some-thing good to see. It's aclever portrayal of howthe voice manifests in

people who experienceanorexia.

Support is also a crucialpart to recovery andwhilst you are at yourlowest point, it is all tooeasy to push away sup-ports. It's also difficult tosupport friends and fami-ly through difficult timesbut through the friend-ship of Boris – Messshows that although youmay not understandwhat your friend is goingthrough, the fact youcare is pivotal in showingsupport through thetough times. To preventthis play turning into alove affair, Boris wasplayed by a female, EmilyGoddard. The Australianactress encapsulatessupport and solidarity forher friend Josephinethrough turbulent times.

It is uncomfortable to seeanyone going through thetorments anorexia canbring. The play demon-strates that it isn't alsojust about the food andthere is always a reasonto trigger the offset of theillness. Use of humourthroughout always show-cases Horton's innerstrength and representshope throughout.

Horton explains that itwas her own experience


Page 24: Mental matters Issue 4

of anorexia that inspiredher to produce this play:

“The thing that made mewant to make a showabout my experiences waswhen I went back to myold school after I had fin-ished university and dra-ma school in 2007.“The headmistress hasasked people back to talkabout their experiencesfor prizegiving.“I talked about a lot ofstuff, how I changed mymind about what I wantedto do, how I had founduniversity and dramaschool, and struggling topay rent in London.

“I also mentioned that Istruggled with anorexiaand was trying to workout what recovery meantto me and was thenstunned by the amount ofpeople who wanted tochat to me after the pres-entation.“I think they were relievedthat someone had spokenout loud about it. Theyfelt relieved. I forgot howit felt and how difficult itwas to talk about it, howconfusing and difficult itcan be.“It inspired me to try andmake something out ofmy experiences.“It was some years laterbut always in the back ofmy head to produce thisplay.

“It turned into a long de-velopment process to cre-

ate Mess, I assembled ateam including directorand performers and in-cluded medical director.“Before we tend to makeit, I would talk a bit.“We would then improvisearound it – home I'd headhome and draft morescenes.It is clear that althoughmany in recovery can be-come comfortable in talk-ing about their ownexperiences, it can be areality check at timeswhen speaking to a groupwho are not familiar onthe topic of mental illnessand to many it still feelslike a taboo. Horton took inspirationfrom the hope and willing-ness to talk of others andturned the relief someonewas talking about an ill-ness not many know a lotabout and transformedinto this hit play. As rep-resented in the play, itisn't clear or defined whyanyone starts to becomeunwell. Horton furtherexplains:

“My take on this is that Iam not clear why I be-came anorexic.“Nothing horrendous hap-pened to me, I had greatfriends.“It was just the waythings went for me.“The play is deliberatelysaying that there is nobeginning when it comesto mental illness.“Others who have seenthe show and can relate

to the notion that there isno beginning.”

Laura Hughes works inRenfrewshire as a dieti-cian and helps who havean eating disorder. Shesaid:

“I was sitting there watch-ing the play and I wasshocked at the attitude ofthe GP in the play.“I hope to goodness thatthings have moved on.“You do have the right tosee a specialist.“It is a terrible time to sayyou need to help whenyou are at your worst.

“I hope dieticians can bepart of the solution, andpeople need different helpat different times.“One thing you say mayhave an impact on some-one and in them wantingto turn their life around.“My role in the local teamis to be there when some-one needs me, at the pacethey are ready, and sup-porting people to takecontrol back.”

The overriding message of'Mess' is that recovery ispossible. Seek out theright supports, don't befobbed off by medical pro-fessionals as everyone hasa right to be heard.

If you would like moreinformation on eating dis-orders then please

Page 25: Mental matters Issue 4


MENTAL by the VacuumCleaner!

IT was with great antici-pation that I boarded atrain and embarked to anunknown location (to me)in Glasgow to watch 'Men-tal.' The mere notion ofcoming out my own com-fort zone to watch a playwhich took a look at Bor-derline Personality Disor-der (BPD) kept meengaged with what was tocome.

Having this illness myself,I didn't quite know whatthe next hour of perform-ance would bring, exceptthe warning that it wouldbe potentially triggeringand warnings heededfirst and foremost lookafter your own mentalhealth, avoid triggers, andkeep yourself safe.

The Metropolitan Policecalled him a domestic ex-tremist. The 'NHS' havedescribed him as highlydisturbed and labelledhim with Borderline Per-sonality Disorder. Al-though – he – prefers theterm 'Mental.'

The play portrays over tenyears of battling with thisillness where James, thesolo performer in the play,accounts a biographic taleof his experiences. Thestory was told through hisown psychiatric records

and police surveillancereports which had beenobtained through the Da-ta Protection Act. An inti-mate setting, James layon a bed and told his sto-ry through a series of doc-uments projected onto ascreen with music addingto the narrative and dra-matic setting. The chaos,confused emotions, blackand white thinking andimpulsive behaviours wereechoed throughout theplay, mirroring the impactBPD has on those diag-nosed. The reality of selfharm is also portrayedthroughout showing thedesperation people canfeel

It was written and pro-duced by the 'vacuumcleaner' who took the orig-inal concept from Tania ElKhoury. The conceptforced viewers to watchoutside their comfort zoneand embrace an intimateenvironment with shoesoff, cups of tea and carrotcake.

The cake represented thelast meal he wanted tosaviour before an attempton his life. It's a reminderof the torments mentalillness can take you andalso a celebration that theartist and audience canall enjoy the cake and teaand be thankful for thesupport services out thereand the ability to recoverfrom mental illness, in-cluding BPD.

“Mental is my first autobi-ographical show. It con-trasts official languagesagainst poignant anddarkly humorous personalrecollections,” explainedJames, the man behind‘the vacuum cleaner’.“Spanning 13 years of myadult life, the show de-scribes my experiences ofsevere and debilitatingmental illness, suicide,social isolation, stigma,police and corporate sur-veillance because of myactivism and art.”

Held in the intimate set-ting of a bedroom, a limit-ed audience of fifteenpeople per show are invit-ed to join him under anoversized duvet. Accompa-nied by an OHP and vinylrecords, the artist pro-vides a welcoming envi-ronment for you to explorehis pertinent experiencesof the dynamics of power.“Although the show is in-tense, many of the tabooswithin the show need tobe talked about,” saidJames. “For example, thehigh rates of suicide inmen under 35, currentundercover police opera-tions and the length thatbig business will go tosilence its critics.”

Mental was performed inGlasgow as part of theMental Health Film & ArtsFestival at the Tramwaytheatre in October.

Page 26: Mental matters Issue 4

ANGUS MacPhee wouldsit in the grass fields out-side the hospital he wasinstitutionalised in, inInverness, repeatinghand motions with grassand subtly creatingclothes and other inspira-tional designs from grass.The story has repeatedseveral times in this edi-tion of the magazine butit formed a key part ofthe Scottish MentalHealth Film & Arts Festi-val in October this year.The story has beenturned into a book, creat-ed weaving workshops, asong by Donnie Munroand also this smash hitplay: Angus Weaver ofGrass.

Performed in Paisley aspart of the festival, theestablished play has per-formed all across aroundScotland. It tells the storyof a life dominated byillness. Born in South

Uist in 1915, Angusspent his early life in aremote environment,putting his hand to theskill of weaving in whatwas a solitary existence.This was an era whentypically grass was woveninto ropes and with An-gus being born into acrofting family, his skillswere invaluable at a timewhen grass was stillplentiful and weavingskills valuable.

During the Second WorldWar, he took to the bat-tlefield in Faroe and likemany soldiers was deeplyaffected by the pearls ofWar and was transferredto Craig Dunain psychi-atric hospital in Inver-ness having been senthome from the battlefield.At this time, nobodyquite knew how to reactor understand Angus. Hewas feared by individualson the island who at that

time, thought anythingthat wasn't the norm wassomething to be feared.Diagnosed with Schizo-phrenia whilst institu-tionalised, it is nowthought that in actualfact he was experiencingPost Traumatic StressDisorder (PTSD) but littlewas known about thisillness at the time. Itseems almost unbelieva-ble but Angus MacPheespent over 50 years inthat hospital – talking tono-one.

The Horse and Bambootheatre group were in-spired by the story andsought to transform thisinto a play. The grouputilised many differenttechniques includingpuppetry, masks and en-compassed Gaelic songand narrative. It startedwith a showing of the filmHidden Gifts, directed byScottish BAFTA nominat-


Page 27: Mental matters Issue 4

ed and UWS Creativelead, Nick Higgins. Thetheatre show was thenperformed using the rangeof techniques to showcasethe story of Angus wholived a life full of tradition,mental illness and creativ-ity through his woven gar-ments made of grass. Itwas moving to see pup-pets used to tell this storyand apt as Angus neverspoke during his time inhospital and the power ofthe silence is clearthroughout the play.

Johnny Quick forms partof the horse and bambootheatre group:

“All four of the performersin the play are just in-volved in performing theshow – it was created byour Director, Bob Frith.“We are involved in per-forming with the masks,puppets and also thetechnical roles of the playbackstage like sound andvideo.“This is our second year oftouring this play, it start-ed in the Edinburgh Festi-val last year before headedout on the road.“Bob Firth heard of An-gus's story about 20 years

ago, he came across thestory on the islands beforemeeting Joyce Laing andshe sent him the book, sothe story had been bub-bling away for about 20years.”

Although Johnny is a per-former for the theatregroup, he finds the tale ofAngus Weaver an inspira-tion. He continues:

“It's really interesting thatthe style of theatre weuse, visual theatre, oftenuses no words at all andmasks means it is quiteappropriate to tell the sto-ry of a man who chose notto speak.“There is a lot of mysteryand magic about Angusthe man as he never toldhis side of the story.“The way we tell storieswork so well with this par-ticular story.“People come to watch thestory of Angus from diffi-cult points of view. May beinterested by the weaving,the mental health side,the islands or the Gaelic.“It touches people in dif-ferent ways which isamazing for a man whosaid so little.”

George McBride fromGlasgow gave histhoughts on the perform-ance. He said:

“I enjoyed parts of the per-formance, it was good tosee the film to set thebackground and the useof masks was well done.“Although, I also foundthe fact the puppets werethere, slightly awkward,and would've preferred itall to be done withmasks.”

Jacqueline from Forresalso enjoyed the perform-ance. She remarked:

“I liked everything aboutit, the film gave the basicbackground and how ithad been interpreted wasphenomenal.“There was no way youweren't going to recognisethe characters from themasks having seen thefilm at the start.“It was so emotional buthad lighter moments andit should be seen.“It's good to see eventslike this raising awarenessabout mental illness.”

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I'VE been concerned at somearticles hitting newspapers inthe last couple of months. Aspart of my University Disser-tation, I'll be taking a look athow certain newspapers inScotland are reporting Sui-cide and analysing if they doso responsibly. At the mo-ment – nothing much hascaught my eye to cause con-cern but the recent trend oflive bogging crisis situationshas set alarm bells ringing.

This isn't about naming andshaming the papers responsi-ble but asking both Journal-ists and sub-editors toconsider carefully the contentthey promote. The guidelineswhich direct Journalists re-porting on suicide were draft-ed up for a reason. InBridgend, many copycat sui-cides were reported and thiswas mainly blamed by thesensationalist reporting in thepress. Why now then arepapers still thinking that thisis acceptable? Irresponsiblejournalism may trigger anoth-er individual into a similarsituation – we need to showresponsibility.

Words within articles haveimproved and we don't oftensee the stigmatising headlinesof old yet it still happens.The main issue I've noticedrecently is the content beingposted on online blogs bynews organisations who haveseem to have forgotten thedirectives of avoiding sensa-tionalism. So what is the sto-ry? A police incident has ledto a road or bridge to closeand many commuters havebeen disrupted as a result. Of

course – that's fine to reportas you need to keep the publicinformed about events whichaffect them locally. What youdon't need to also include isthe name of a vulnerable per-son involved in an incident,live commentary on twitter onwhether the said person hasjumped and certainly don'tneed to include pictures orvideo of the incident. Simply:it's sensationalism and howwould you feel if the personinvolved in any of these inci-dents was someone close toyou.

It struck me by reading com-ments on Twitter after a recentincident – how uncompassion-ate as a nation many have be-come. I fully appreciate thatbeing stuck in a car for hoursis not going to be how youintended to spend your day butit happened. You just need todeal with it. The commentsbeing aired on social mediawere nothing less than dis-graceful from some. The lack ofunderstanding about a vulnera-ble individual and how the Po-lice should just act so thetraffic gets moving again –rather than what is in theirbest interests.

Stories like this are public in-terest as they generally resultin causing some disruption totraffic. Many organisations arecrossing the line though andassuming it is fair go to postpictures and videos of distress-ing situations to fuel the desireof the public who are interest-ed – and there is a key differ-ence there. Has society justforgotten to care and showcompassion. Are our lives all

now too busy that we can'ttake a step back and see asituation from the viewpoint ofthe person involved.

Attitudes have a long way togo as recent incidents haveshown. Together we need tocontinue to challenge peopleon their stigmatising views andmany forget that one in fourwill experience a mental-illhealth at some points in theirlives. Nobody knows what isround the corner for them. Ifany other journalists are read-ing this and have seen theirorganisations live-blog in thesesituations and discuss detailsthat shouldn't be out in thepublic domain – then I encour-age you to challenge the edi-tors. I'm happy to speak toanyone about reporting suicideand mental health properly. Weall need to be more vigilant,take time out, appreciate thatwhilst we may live in a bubbleat times – there are lots of usout there. Respect each otherand take time to show somecompassion. It won't harm youand you might just feel all thebetter for it.

Opinion: Are we all in so much of a rush that we’ve forgotten to care?

Would personally recommend

that anyone interested in

looking up the guidelines

searches out both the NUJ

Suicide & Media guidelines .

Also individual MH charities

like MIND or Samiritans for

further information!

Page 29: Mental matters Issue 4

ACCORDING to recent research fromthe BBC and the University of Liver-pool ruminating on problems is a majorvulnerability factor for mental healthproblems.

Constantly returning to worryingthoughts or ideas of self reproach(what psychologists call 'automaticnegative thinking') has long beenidentified as damaging to mental life.

It's the basic thought process thatleads to anxiety and depression. Peo-ple who spend their days worryingabout the future tend to create anxie-ty. People who spend their daysthinking about loss or self-blame tendto create depression.

Both anxiety and depression havebeen described as 'gateway disor-ders'. These are the relatively com-mon forms of mental health problemsthat can lead to much more seriousissues later on. People who ruminatedon't just risk feeling a little sad orworrying a bit. Left unchecked anxietyand depression can lead to compul-sions, obsessions, suicidality and psy-chosis.

These are difficult times. Society isbecoming increasingly divided. Thosewho have wealth seem separated fromthose who have little not so much byfigures on a bank manager's balancesheet as by a battle line. It seems therich get tax breaks whilst the poorestget evicted and those in the middleare encouraged to blame those whosuffer most for everything. It's smallwonder then that rumination is a top-ical media issue.

I remember when, as a student nursein the early 1990s I helped run asupport group for redundant miners inthe English Midlands. These onceproud family men hadn't just lost theirjobs, they'd lost their identities andthey'd lost their future. They'd losthope. And many of them blamedthemselves.

How much more likely are to-day's newly impoverished citi-zens to blame themselves whenthe rest of society from politi-cians to newscasters, fromneighbours to strangers seemdetermined to hold the victimsof austerity to account? Howstressful will it be for the starv-ing food bank recipient to hearsenior conservatives like Edwi-na Currie describe them as'opportunist' and know thatmany of th heir fellow citizensagree?

The stress created by all thisself-blame, fears for the futureand societal condemnation canbe overwhelming. Of coursethat's hardly surprising. Whatis surprising is the amount ofpeople living in poverty, em-ployed or not who seem able tocope with all this vitriol anduncertainty. Many, of coursewill only appear to manage onthe outside. Inside, like many ofthose miners from twenty yearsago they're quietly falling apart.

The solution to this impendingepidemic of austerity drivenmental disorder isn't going tobe easy. It will involve changeat both an individual and soci-etal level.

Individuals really can changethe way they think. People canlearn not to ruminate, howeverbleak their immediate futureappears. It is possible to pro-tect ourselves from reactivedepression and anxiety byadopting healthy thinking hab-its. But that's only part of thesolution.

There is nothing particularlynoble or positive about helpingpeople to deal with their situa-tions if those situations arethemselves unfair. Neither in-dividuals nor society at largecan benefit if all we do is makepeople content to be poor.

Mental health promotion involveshelping people to develop copingskills but it should never be di-rected at prolonging the untenableor the immoral.

So at the societal level we need togive people a chance. Help themto reduce stress by providing op-portunities for work with a livingwage. The current spate of 'zero-hours' contracts may reduce un-employment figures on paper butthe unprecedented rise in UKfoodbanks demonstrates a differ-ent reality. Prosecutions andevictions because of the hatedbedroom tax are rife as the mostdesperate in our society discoverhow far below 'rock-bottom' it ispossible to fall.

This in a nutshell encapsulates thetwo elements of stress and vulner-ability. Austerity measures aimedat the poorest citizens, combinedwith increasingly vicious socialstigma provides the stress. Lackof coping skills and communityresources supplies the vulnerabil-ity in a double-whammy of gener-alised scapegoating andpunishment.

If you care about fairness; if youcare about human rights; if youcare about mental health; if youcare about the direction our soci-ety is taking I urge you to wakeup. Don't believe the scapegoat-ing rhetoric about 'benefitsscroungers' or the myth thatstarving people are just opportun-ists who prefer food banks.

Please challenge those around youwho perpetuate these damaginggeneralisations. These people areyour neighbours. Who knows -tomorrow it could be you.

Stuart SorensenFollow Stuart on Twitter

@StuartSorensen or checkout CaretoShareMag

Ruminations on Austerity and Mental Health

Page 30: Mental matters Issue 4


By Stephanie Wetherhill

Recently various mediums of media havepaid quite a lot of attention to variousbranches of mental health. It hasn't al-ways been well received.Television programmes have focused onawareness in the form of BBC Three's'It's a mad world' series where variousconditions were introduced and ex-plained to the masses. And other pro-grammes concentrated on the history ofmental health and the institutions thatare in place to help those who need suchhelp (Channel 5's 'Inside Broadmoor').The difference between these, were theattitudes portrayed. The BBC pro-grammes were very much centred ontherapy and progress, individual goalsand the qualitative perspective of the lifeof someone with a condition. On the oth-er hand the channel 5 programme in-cluded the historical language linkedwith mental health, it told only the sto-ries of the most extreme cases of mentalhealth which were inextricably linkedwith serious crime.

So my question is this; what benefit isthe media for mental health?

I have written many a blog about theeffect that media has upon myself andmost recently the effects upon society. Ifeel it is imperative that more emphasisis placed upon the effect upon society.

What is the media doing to mentalhealth? Its' image? Its' connotations? Isthe media educating or misleading? Arethe intentions good but misunderstood?Are the detrimental effects outweighingthe positives?

It is well documented and often reportedthat the negatives are always perceivedmore prominently than the positives.

Stigma is a huge barrier concerningmental health and its acceptance withinsociety. It would seem that a team effortbetween charities, national papers andthe general public is necessary to reducethe effect of stigma and prevent the mar-ginalisation of people with mentalhealth. After all, who is to say that socie-ty doesn't contribute to the mentalhealth issue in the first place? In myopinion, if society is part of the cause ofthe illness, the least we can do is helpreduce it. The hard work done by chari-ties, campaigns and research (whichbrings about alarming yet refreshing sta-tistics) which might help to reduce stig-ma is extremely vulnerable andincreasingly susceptible to careless ac-tions within the media. On the otherhand, with carefully done and personcentred themes the media can not onlyeducate but also inspire by telling thestories that need to be told. I was en-couraged and inspired, gained a greaterunderstanding and knowledge surround-ing mental health and its therapies. Iwas driven by success and I know I wasnot alone in feeling this positive wave ofemotion. Plenty of people on twitterpoured out their feelings and attitudestowards the various programmes airedby the BBC especially.

We actually need the media. How else dowe spread the awareness? How else dowe reach difficult audiences? How elsedo we educate? The media has a habit ofpicking out research which may be com

Page 31: Mental matters Issue 4

pelling and revolutionary. Using thisresearch as a lever, we can start to tar-get problem areas within society whichmay help to tackle the problem of stig-ma.

Due to the media we all know that onein four people have mental health is-sues at some point in their lives- Mean-ing it is 'normal' to feel the commonsymptoms of mental health, you are notalone if you do suffer debilitating symp-toms and not only this, if you reach outto someone- chances are, they will un-derstand because they will know some-one with mental health issues, orindeed they themselves are within men-tal health's grip. Chances are there willbe some compassion amongst your net-work of people.

In my opinion media is a blessing how-ever, one that we should treat with cau-tion. I propose that we encourage themedia to pick up on statistics but alsoto think about how they portray them. Ishall use a quote from my own blog onmedia which particularly relates tonewspapers, but is transferable to tele-vision:

'The only thing I would suggest isthat newspapers look at their lan-guage. Let's be a little more digni-

fied. Let's think of the person(s) andfamilies involved. Let's think of

those who may not want to stigma-tised. Let's think of the consequenc-

es. And above all let's create abalanced account of mental healthso we can create awareness of theDIVERSITY within mental health'

If we can do this, I honestly feel that lifeis worth living for all of us regardless ofour mental health status. This quote isone of my favourites because it demon-strates everything I believe in and every-thing we can achieve with the media.

Written by Stephanie Wetherhill BSc,MSc, MBPsS

Blog:stephaniewetherhill.wordpress.comTwitter: @stephwetherhillPictures courtesy of Google Images

Page 32: Mental matters Issue 4

Full list of the Mind Media Award winners 2013:

Documentary: Jon Richardson: A little bit OCD (Open Mike productions for C4)

Drama: The Village (Company Pictures for BBC One)

Iain Wilkinson News and Current Affairs Award: Newsnight (Postpartum Physchosis (BBC


Print Campaign: Hotel and Caterers Magazine: Open Minds Campaign

Radio: Scorzayzee & the S Word

Soaps or continual series - Casualty (BBC One)

Entertainment: Fixers talk about mental health (ITV & UTV Regional News)

The Mark Hanson Digital Award: Purple Persuasion

View at:

Journalist of the year, sponsored by Bupa: Catherine Nye

Newsnight and BBC Asian Network

Anna Sargent Student Journalist Award - Holly McCormack

Mental Matters Magazine

Speaking Out Award, sponsored by Comic Relief: Joyce Salter (A little bit OCD) - Channel


Making a difference award , sponsored by Havas Wordlwide London:

Tim Samuels


Page 33: Mental matters Issue 4

Letter to the Editor

There has been a lot of mental health in the media lately withthe most recent show being Bedlam on Channel Four. I thinkthat it’s great television companies are taking on thechallenge to try and educate viewers on mental illness andshould be applauded.

I do wonder how ethical the consents are though. If patientsare THAT distressed whilst filming then should they beshowing it? I guess that’s a fine line and one for the viewers todecide. I think it’s brave but difficult to watch at times with somany people clearly in distress.Recently, BBC Three also ran a series of programmes whichwere insightful . Keep it coming.

Ann DawsonEdinburgh


Page 34: Mental matters Issue 4

Do you:

· Have a friend in crisis and wonder how to respond effectively?

· Want to be supportive and helpful, but just don’t have the


· Knowing someone who is talking of suicide, but just don’t know

how to help them?

A Mental Health First Aid course can help!

Many people, just like you, have families and friends with a variety of

challenges, but don’t know how to respond. If you can relate, and would

like to learn the skills to help someone with a mental health problem,

why not consider a Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid course.

· NHS Health Scotland certified course

· 12 hour course

· Similar approach to general ‘first aid’

· A participation based course full of activities, film clips, case

studies and discussions

· Now being offered at a variety of locations around Scotland by

Minds Matter Training

To find out more or to register for a course visit