From issue 20, Autumn 2013
Ill health is no respecter of fame or fortune as Anna Williamson knows…
This year, a number of well-known names have stepped forward to become ambassadors for Mind, the mental health charity. The list now includes Saturdays pop star Frankie Sandford, comedian Ruby Wax and loose woman Denise Welch.
Mental health is not very well understood and so when people like Stephen Fry, David Walliams and the Mind Ambassadors talk about it, people listen. It makes it easy for the rest of us to relate to the subject and people we might know who are living with it. Frankie from the Saturdays, who was in hospital last year after being convinced she was a horrible person and ugly, said:
If people spoke honestly to each other, they’d realise a lot of their friends have problems like mine. [In hospital] was the first time I felt I was among people who really understood me.
It’s easy to forget you’re not alone and that one in four people experience a mental health problem every year.
I know just how scary it can be to start the conversation worrying what friends or colleagues will think. But opening up really is the key to getting better. ”
The case of Stephanie Bottrill, who jumped to her death in May blaming benefit cuts, brought the issue of money affecting mental health into the spotlight.
Here at Quids in! we have heard many difficult stories over recent months from readers who say they are feeling depressed, or even suicidal. If you are, or someone you know is, affected by any of these issues then take that first step today.