Category: “Health

Another day, another important mental health campaign – #StopTheCharge and end a scandal

Posted on 11 October 2016 | 11:10am

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day, and I spoke about stigma – again – at the Leeds Community Foundation where the signs of change coming were all around. The city council’s brilliant CEO Tom Riordan speaking not only about his life growing up partly in foster care, with an alcoholic father and a bipolar mother often going […]

Guest blog from a ‘proper’ psychiatrist, on how the ‘nest’ can help the mind

Posted on 23 September 2016 | 2:09pm

Guest blog by Peter Tyrer, Emeritus Professor of Community Psychiatry, Imperial College, London Most people who read Alastair’s account of his brother, Donald, and his eulogy at Donald’s funeral, will have been invigorated and cheered by such a positive biography of someone with schizophrenia. But I suspect that few would have come across similar stories, as […]

Eulogy to my brother Donald, whose funeral was held today

Posted on 30 August 2016 | 9:08am

When my brother Donald died three weeks ago, aged 62, I posted a blog here, which had first appeared in The Sunday Times, and also said that come the funeral, I would post the eulogy. The funeral was today, and the eulogy I gave is below. Many thanks for all the messages of support, from […]

My brother Donald: please spread his story far and wide, and join the fight for better mental health

Posted on 14 August 2016 | 11:08pm

I want to thank the hundreds of people who sent messages, direct and on social media, after I published a tribute to my brother in the Sunday Times News Review yesterday. And though I often slag off the Murdoch media machine, I want to thank the Sunday Times for giving me so much space, and […]

The talk is good, the words are warm, but we are miles away from equality between physical and mental health

Posted on 16 February 2016 | 10:02am

It has, on the surface, been a good week for the campaign to get better understanding and services for mental health and mental illness. The long-awaited NHS Taskforce Report gave a strong analysis of the dreadful problems we face, and some good ideas of how they might be addressed, and the government indicated a willingness […]

Flood damage is a cruel metaphor for Tory failure to see that cuts have consequences. It is defining Britain

Posted on 30 December 2015 | 2:12pm

Here is a piece I have done this morning for International Business Times. I sometimes think David Cameron lives his life as his own Action Man doll, dressing himself up according to the various demeanours he wishes to display. For Parliament it is the classic dark blue suit, white shirt and (always, as if he […]

Fantastic backing for #Equality4MentalHealth campaign. Please add your support here to help end historic injustice

Posted on 2 November 2015 | 7:11am

Around the time of Charles Kennedy’s death I spent a lot of time talking to his Lib Dem colleague, Norman Lamb. I didn’t know him very well but had always felt, when he was a health minister, that he and Nick Clegg got mental health on the coalition agenda in a way that would not […]

If only ministers were as wise as these three young people: a little investment can lead to savings down the track.

Posted on 27 October 2015 | 10:10am

While the government was busy trying to cut tax credits for some of our poorest families, and while millions were watching Panorama’s documentary on the calamitous impact of cuts to mental health services, I was at an inspiring event which showed how a little investment in mental health can lead to savings as well as […]

Why Arsene Wenger is an inspiration in the battle against alcohol

Posted on 7 June 2015 | 1:06pm

You see, even when I am writing about alcoholism, I have to get in something about sport. Did I tell you I had a book out? It is called WINNERS AND HOW THEY SUCCEED. Arsene Wenger is in it. So are lots of other great sports, business and political winners. And so is my pledge […]

A sad, but heart-lifting letter from a young woman struggling for change

Posted on 27 January 2015 | 9:01am

Every now and again, a letter comes in out of the blue that manages both to sadden, but also to make the heart soar a little. Below is one such letter, from a 19-year-old student, Emily Oldfield. It is saddening because it is a reminder of the reality of mental health issues, and of the […]