Category: “Mental Health

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 […]

Cameron, Osborne, Hunt should watch tonight’s Panorama to see the gap between their words and their country

Posted on 24 October 2015 | 3:10pm

I had my run-ins with Panorama when working for Tony Blair, usually because they tended to take a grain of truth from somewhere and flam it up into something worthier of a right-wing tabloid than the BBC. But tonight’s version is all the stronger for being somewhat understated, telling the story rather than shouting it […]

Why is it always the sports guys who seem to open my mind?

Posted on 21 June 2015 | 12:06pm

I know some of you might think I am one of those people who always thinks he is right. And to be frank, more often than not I am. But I do have a more open mind than most and I do actually love meeting people who make me think differently. Recently I have met […]

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 […]

The loser in the debates was the public – and not for the reasons you think

Posted on 27 March 2015 | 4:03pm

So after all the hype, the ads, the contorted build-up, the dozens of days of negotiations, the thousands of headlines, the millions of words of pre-match and post-match analysis, just over three million people bothered to tune in for the first ‘big debate’ agreed between the parties and the broadcasters. That is a shamingly low figure for […]

As Osborne proclaims an economic miracle, please read this shaming letter from a sick young person’s mother

Posted on 18 March 2015 | 10:03am

I still don’t do God, but I know there are many good people who do, and I met one such recently, namely the Bishop of Birmingham, David Urquhart. We got talking about mental health services, and since our meeting the Bishop has written to me about a family friend and former parishioner of his in Hessle, […]