Posted in mental health, mental health awareness, mental health campaigner

In Bloom Not Broken Mental Health Awareness Awards

The In Bloom Not Broken Mental Health Awareness Awards will be held Thursday 16th May at Birmingham Bierkeller.

You can see the event page HERE

This vlog is just talking battle about the event in general and I hope to see as many of you there as possible!

Don’t forget to nominate your mental health heroes from the Midlands which can be done via the link above!

Posted in mental health, mental health awareness, mental health campaigner

Which of these photos portrays mental illness?

 

Which one of these photos portrays mental illness best?

They are all me. The same person. With the same diagnosis.

I wanted to do this blog post to prove a point on something that I’m very passionate about and that is Mental illness does not have a face.

People CAN be suicidal and functional, no one have clue and them “suddenly” end their lives. We only have to take some of the celebrities that have ended their life and how functional and successful they were to see that. But still mental illness has this stigma.

I often get told I don’t “look/seem like I have a Mental illness” I’ve even had difficulty getting the help I need because of this. I dress nicely (in my millions of slogan sweaters that I clearly have an obsession for) , I wear make up – even when I’m depressed.

The only time I don’t is when I’ve been seriously unwell at crisis point or I have a sickness bug. That’s because it’s me and I like to feel like me and make the effort as it make a me feel better inside. It doesn’t mean I may not be struggling.

The photos above –

1. I was having a good day / week

2. I was actually feeling quite shitty with an IBS flare up and low mood.

3. I was having a really shit time and extremely down with mental and physical health

4. I was not very well with gastro flare ups and feeling rather flat.

They were all taken within 1 month.

My bad times are restricted to my house with my fiance. No one sees them. That doesn’t mean They are not there.

I am very open about talking about mental illness and my own journey and I’m open with the fact I have bipolar but I think sometimes we see people doing things, being “inspirational” and think how good it must be to be “recovered” like that but we forget we only see a small snippet of their lives – that’s important to remember for our own sanity to remind us that actually we aren’t failing at life!

The fact is recovery means different things to different people, peoppe present differently, some are more functional than others and some are more vocal than others.

That doesn’t mean that when the shadows come around they don’t smother us the same.

So I wanted to put this out there as a reminder that just because you see things, look at what other people are doing and think you will never get there or feel like a failure – this isn’t true and the truth is you may be closer than you think.

It’s important to remember everyone Is different. Don’t assume someones okay by how they present. There’s so much more to it than that.

Professionals need to remember this also as so many get missed because of this very assumption.

Those four faces technically all represent mental illness because the diagnosis and struggles are the same in all just to greater or lesser degrees and this means this goes for other faces too.

They say don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s so important to realise this is the case with people too when relating to others and also the way we relate to ourselves ♡

Posted in mental health, mental health awareness, mental health campaigner

Can You Help Bring A Mental Health Awareness Event To Life?

One of my main mental health awareness goals for 2019 has been to hold an event.

I think so often it’s easy to focus on the negatives of mental illness that we forget about those out there that struggle, battle their own brains everyday but go on to help others.

I want to create an event that recognises those people, that recognises those one in a million professionals and that allows people to share their stories to offer hope to others.

I have been lucky enough to have been given a complimentary venue from the Bierkeller in Birmingham which is amazing seen as even Solihull and Birmingham Mental Health Foundation Trust woukd not offer their own venue/function room for this event, telling me that that had yearly financial targets to hit…. (Shocking I know, this is the mental health trust for the whole of solihull and Birmingham!)

There will be many more costs however and while my usual projects are funded from my own pocket with the occasional very kind donation, this project I will need some support with.

Unfortunately it doesn’t fit the criteria for any finding that I have looked at so I’m looking for your help!

This event will benefit not only those in Birmingham or those that attend but I hope as I have found through my other projects those further afield that read about it, hear about it to show that you CAN overcome, you CAN achieve and that there is hope.

I would really appreciate any help and 100% of all donations will go towards making this event happen!

Please see my fundraising page here

Posted in mental health, mental health awareness, mental health campaigner

How little projects can make an impact

I am super chuffed that in the last couple of days two of my pieces have been shared by the Huffington Post and The Mighty.

 

I think its so easy to assume as one human, just little old us we can’t possibly make a difference to this big wide world.

 

I am starting to challenge that within myself and think that maybe just maybe I can. We can. Not matter small it is, no matter what it is we choose to do to raise awareness, to be heard that it’s possible with a little hard work and determination and regarding mental health I have that in bucket loads oozing from my pores and I am DETERMINED to be a voice for those with mental illness.

My little tree of hope project was so simple. It cost me about £50 which I was more than happy to spend if it bought some hope to someone out there and that it did. It was also picked up on twitter with currently over 20k views and messages from others wanting to do the same, that means it not only impacted those walking past it in my local park but it also inspired people far and wide and it’s something that could be replicated so easily to offer hope and comfort and this gives ME hope.

The tree of hope was also picked up by the huffington post and you can see the article HERE

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One of my favourite blog pieces was also picked up by The Mighty, it was one of my favourites as it was regarding the thing that I feel the most passionate about regarding mental health and that is treatment.

It’s a letter to mental health professionals from me and what i’d like them to know, on behalf of all mental health patients. You can see that article HERE

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So please do carry on your own projects, your own awareness activities, they DO make a a difference, we CAN make a difference and as I always say. Don’t be ashamed of your story. it will inspire others. So keep writing, sharing and inspiring my beauties because our voices matter.

Posted in mental health, mental health awareness, mental health campaigner

The struggle of New Year and mental health – it’s Ok to not know where you’re going!

New year is a time of new starts, dreams and goals but what if you don’t know where you’re heading? That’s okay!

New year can seem like an expanse of time, especially if you feel lost.

My final video of 2018 I want to aim at those who feel lost, like the new year isn’t worth going in to….. I know how this feels and I want to share why it’s okay to not know where you’re headed.

Happy Christmas everyone ♡ please look after yourself ♡♡

Posted in mental health, mental health awareness, mental health campaigner

Tree Of Hope – Mental Health Awareness Project Made Worthwhile In One Single Moment

Some people may think do little mental health awareness projects really make a difference?

What difference can I make to anyone with just little old me?

As you will see from my previous posts, one of my personal mental healrh projects this Christmas was my tree of hope in the local park:

Today an elderly man approached me as I was replenishing the hearts which are attached for those struggling with their mental health to take away which all have the Samaritans number on the back.

He asked if he could have a heart as he lost his wife 12 months ago. I chatted to him for a while and he told me how he was “feeling fed up with himself” and wanted Christmas to be over.

We chatted and he told me he felt he should be moving on and be getting over it but he’s not.

He asked for a pink heart as it would remind him of her and I gave him a hug.

He squeezed me so tight and said “I haven’t had one of those for so long”

I literally wanted to adopt this man forever and I did shed a tear as he walked away after saying thank you with such sincerity clinging to the little pink heart. I am so glad I was able to make if only a small positive difference to his day and I will be thinking of him over Christmas.

This one moment made the whole project worthwhile.

I have made a vlog about this here:

Is this project only created that one moment then that’s what it was for. I always do these things thinking if it impacts one person then it’s worth it. Today I met that person. It reaffirmed why I do these projects and why they are important.

One person helping one person. That’s all it takes sometimes. One moment. One small gesture.

Today made me so happy that I met this man who happened to be walking past at that moment and stopped to talk.

You never know who you will meet, what they are dealing with and just a little moment can mean so much.

Never think as one person you can’t make an impact or make a difference because you could just make a difference to someones day. People helping people.

There’s so much to be said for it so please take a moment to reach out to someone this Christmas. You neber know what it may mean ♡

Posted in mental health, mental health awareness, mental health campaigner

What does someone with a mental illness look like?

“You don’t look like you have depression / bipolar / anxiety……..(fill gap as appropriate)

Ahhh if I’d had a penny every time I have heard such a statement.

The big question here is what ARE we supposed to look like?

What would make some one say ” ah yes I thought as much” unless they saw you in melt down mode?

This always makes me curious … What is it that people expect to see?

The truth ANYONE can suffer with a mental illness. The same as anyone cam get a flu, break their leg…..Mental health is no different and peaks and troughs just the same….just more so for some than others.

I made this video to try and make that point.

If someone saw me me on the street would they think I have bipolar? Used to have anorexia? I highly doubt it.

Mental illness is Invisible to most. Hidden. Secret at times and this is what makes it lethal at times. Never judge or make assumptions before you know facts. You can’t judge a book by its cover. You can’t judge a person by their face.