Category: “Mental Health

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, […]

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 […]

Huge thanks to the BBC3 audience of mentally ill youngsters for re-igniting my passion

Posted on 22 October 2014 | 6:10am

Oh my Lord, it is more than a month since I posted a blog, the morning after the Scottish independence referendum. That has to be the longest – yes, it definitely is the longest – I have ever gone without sticking a few thoughts down here. Lots of reasons. Been working overseas a fair bit. Also […]

May Robin Williams’ tragic end herald the start of new attitudes to depression

Posted on 12 August 2014 | 1:08pm

Though an inquest might provide some of the answers to questions people are asking today, the truth is that none of us will ever know, even if he left a note, what was going through Robin Williams’ mind in the final moments of his enriched and enriching life. No two people are the same. No two people’s depressions […]

If Lineker can speak out against booze and gambling in sport, so can politicians. And they should

Posted on 4 August 2014 | 4:08am

So he goes from the World Cup in Rio to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and next stop the Edinburgh TV Festival for Gary Lineker. Busy man. Lineker is my latest GQ interviewee, the magazine out this week, and some of the media have picked up this morning on very strong comments he made about […]

Guest blog on the government’s shameful dumping of its alcohol strategy – from a liver specialist who lives with the fallout

Posted on 17 January 2014 | 11:01am

Nick Sheron, a liver specialist from Southampton, unwittingly provided the creative spark that led to me writing My Name Is, my novel about alcoholism, from the perspective of a young woman. When I made a BBC documentary about middle-class alcoholism, he was one of our interviewees, and he made the point that whereas once his […]

It’s my book and I’ll plug if I want to (…at least until the alcohol crisis subsides)

Posted on 3 January 2014 | 11:01am

We were up in Scotland for Christmas, internet connection suitably weak, cycling conditions wet but beautiful, mental health conditions the usual end of old year/start of new up and down, so I laid off the blogging. December 15 indeed since last I told the world, other than via an occasional tweet, what I thought about […]

My night in a ‘brothel’, and a warning for my friends at Twitter

Posted on 8 November 2013 | 9:11am

Out last night to one of the most extraordinary venues I have ever spoken at. A club in Soho which – not that I have ever knowingly been in a Paris brothel – felt like, well, a Paris brothel. It was all dark and moody, with lots of stairways and rooms of different shapes and […]

Another day, another TV programme showing the dreadful damage alcohol does to Britain

Posted on 14 October 2013 | 6:10am

Make sure you watch Channel 4 at 9pm tonight, and see how the wonderful people who work for our ambulance services are drowning in a sea of alcohol. Like Tommy Lemon, who lays to rest the myth that ‘booze Britain’ is a weekend thing, saying the effects of alcohol dominate his and his colleagues’ work […]