Category: “Mental Health

Robert Enke RIP. May his death increase understanding of depression

Posted on 11 November 2009 | 5:11pm

I’m in Austria to make a speech and speak to government communications specialists.   The news is wall to wall coverage of the dreadful suicide of top footballer Robert Enke, who had fought depression for years. I have no idea what channel I am watching but there is a calm and dignity to the coverage […]

In praise of Stephen Fry, who should tweet or not as he sees fit

Posted on 1 November 2009 | 9:11am

When I did a documentary on my breakdown and depression last year, I said that it must be hard bordering on impossible for someone who does not get depression fully to understand what it is like.  The best description I could come up with is that it is like being dead and alive at the […]

Breaking the blog-a-day spell as warm up to holiday

Posted on 20 July 2009 | 5:07pm

Concerned regulars text, email and comment, to ask whether the blog-free last couple of days signifies some woe that may have befallen me. One of my bouts of depression, for example. Something even worse, suggested others hopefully. Mais non .. am ok, on a scale of one to ten, around about seven in the ok up […]

Will MPs take the lead in the debate on euthanasia?

Posted on 15 July 2009 | 12:07pm

There is something very moving about the accounts of the deaths, together in a private Swiss clinic, of conductor Sir Edward Downes and his wife Joan, a former ballet dancer. Though he was older by eleven years, and frail, it was she who was terminally ill, and their mutual assisted death clearly seen by them and […]

Thanks to Mr Harper on mental health, rebuttal of Mr Hague on Iraq

Posted on 24 June 2009 | 11:06pm

Given I left Downing Street in 2003, it’s rare these days I get mentioned in Parliament. Then … it’s like waiting for a bus. Two mentions one after the other, first in Prime Minister’s Questions, then in the main debate of the day. First mention came from a Tory MP, Mark Harper, and was surprising […]

On two inquiries

Posted on 16 June 2009 | 8:06am

What with the extraordinary events unfolding in Iran, and the announcement of the inquiry into the war in Iraq, there was no room on the main news last night for the case of Christine Laird, who was accused of lying about her history of depression when she applied for a job with Cheltenham Borough Council. […]

Psychiatrists heading for relegation in ‘disease prestige’ league table

Posted on 11 June 2009 | 10:06am

I promised an update on my morning with the psychiatrists in Sedgefield, and I really really tried to get it to you yesterday. Don’t blame me. Blame something called Globetrotter Connect on my laptop. Whichever bits of the globe it was connected to, they didn’t include any of the bits where I was trotting and […]

The shrinks await

Posted on 10 June 2009 | 9:06am

Knocking this off very quickly before heading to a conference in the North East to make a speech on mental health. So before too long I will be in a room full of psychiatrists, in Tony Blair’s old constituency of Sedgefield. With the BBC leading on a report suggesting real pressure on NHS finances in […]

Guardian of social justice or attention-seeker?

Posted on 3 June 2009 | 10:06am

Up early and off to Hull for a mental health conference. Having caught the end of Newsnight, I was thinking it would be good for my own mental health if I avoided the papers, but it is impossible to escape the bombardment of the media age when travelling.  Airports are the worst. 24 hour news […]

It was the internet wot won it

Posted on 15 May 2009 | 10:05am

Many thanks for all the kind messages last night after Mind announced (on Twitter) that I was the mental health charity’s Champion of the Year.  Judging by the sheer volume of messages on Facebook, I think Jane Appleton’s FB group supporting me had an effect. Also I was told last night that when previous Champion […]