6 months in – mental health and the pandemic

I keep hearing people talk about the mental health impact of the pandemic. But as with seemingly everything else in life, people are polarised about it. There are the people who think the impact of lockdown is too great, the separation and financial concern too unbearable – and there are those whose anxiety is skyrocketingContinue reading “6 months in – mental health and the pandemic”

Holding on to this Wonderful Life

CW/TW Suicidal ideation I don’t get to spend Christmas at home every year, we alternate, as do many people, between parents and in-laws and home. So far I think we’ve spent only two here together, and we’re trying to develop some traditions. Every year Hebden Bridge Picture House plays “It’s A Wonderful Life” on ChristmasContinue reading “Holding on to this Wonderful Life”

Cause of Death – not just suicide we need to worry about.

I was just checking to see if there were any updated statistics yet on the number of suicides in the UK – not yet. I wanted to see if last year’s slight reduction was the beginning of a trend or just a blip. Anyway – I found myself perusing the figures, and also those forContinue reading “Cause of Death – not just suicide we need to worry about.”

Mental Health in the LGBTQ+ Community

This last week has been Happy Valley Pride in Hebden Bridge – a celebration of our LGBTQ+ community and families. Yesterday was the “Big Day Out” – a day of music and cabaret, and a disco in St George’s Square. It was a lovely uplifting day. (Spoiled a little for me by overindulgence but moreContinue reading “Mental Health in the LGBTQ+ Community”

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) – which course(s) are right for you?

I’ve just started scheduling courses, so thought I would write something to help people decide which course would be most suitable for their needs. MHFA England have a range of options, which is constantly being developed – other countries have other options, which hopefully we may catch up with at some point. In order toContinue reading “Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) – which course(s) are right for you?”

Making a difference – MHFA at Leeds Mencap

It dawned on me with some surprise that I’ve been an MHFA trainer for over two years now – I’ve run around 18 courses I think, in Leeds, London, Burnley. I’ve had three different co-trainers, and also run some sessions alone.  Varying sized groups, each one different and with its own unique discussions and lessonsContinue reading “Making a difference – MHFA at Leeds Mencap”

Death in the Mind of someone Living

The artwork pictured, “The Impossibility of Death in the Mind of a Someone Living”, perplexes me. I went to the same school as Damien Hirst, the artist, though some years later. The art and science studios were dotted with strange, sideshow like exhibits, creatures in jars – two axolotls in a tank, (which I swearContinue reading “Death in the Mind of someone Living”

Death and Statistics

They’re quite effective, I think – those “kill your speed, not a child”, or “don’t drink and drive” adverts we see on our televisions each year. Especially around Christmas, when there is a little too much festive spirit in our veins, and a stark reminder of how suddenly our loved ones can be snatched fromContinue reading “Death and Statistics”