Category: “Mental Health

The Time to Change campaign needs politicians as well as sports stars to open up about depression

Posted on 15 January 2012 | 1:01pm

My last blog was about depression and sport. I make no apology for returning to the theme today, inspired by going on twitter to see how Ed Miliband’s interview with Andrew Marr was going down – mixed (I thought he did well) – and seeing that Dean Windass was trending. I suspect a fair few […]

Freddie Flintoff and friends did a great job for depression last night

Posted on 12 January 2012 | 8:01am

Congratulations to Freddie Flintoff and the BBC for last night’s documentary on depression in sport. Sport plays such a central part in so many lives, and I have no doubt that the collection of sportsmen gathered by Freddie to talk about their own mental health problems will do a lot of good in advancing change […]

With the right-wing media kicking Ed, ‘Blairite zombie’ conspiracy theories from the left don’t exactly help him

Posted on 11 January 2012 | 11:01am

So as expected, Ed Miliband’s speech got the thumbs down from most of the broadcasters yesterday. The mood around the Labour leader has been a good illustration of how the modern media works, and why the right-wing press continues to have a disproportionate influence on public life. Pretty much since he became leader, and certainly […]

If Cameron wants to spread happiness, he should narrow the gap between rich and poor

Posted on 8 January 2012 | 7:01am

Thank you for all the nice comments on twitter about the Guardian piece yesterday, an extract from my new ebook, The Happy Depressive, which is out on Thursday. The extract focused on Philip Gould, and what I feel I had learned from knowing him, and from seeing him face up to death with such humility […]

Trying to explode myths about schizophrenia

Posted on 22 November 2011 | 7:11am

If you listen to local radio, there is a chance you might hear me today, as I am heading for a marathon local radio session to talk about a new report on schizophrenia. Rethink Mental Illness have commissioned a survey which has exposed the widespread belief in the continuing myths surrounding one of the most […]

The economic costs of our failure to treat addiction

Posted on 11 November 2011 | 1:11pm

A brief word on the conference on addiction I spoke at in Ireland yesterday, and the visit to Toranfield House, which helps recovering addicts. First though, a tourism plug. County Wicklow has some fabulous scenery, and the autumnal colours were sublime. When I had my recovering from addiction spell many years ago, I could have […]

Good news, and Time to Change will spend new money wisely

Posted on 10 October 2011 | 6:10am

A few months ago, I felt a little bit like a school-leaver at an interview, going into the offices of Comic Relief to plead for cash for the Time to Change campaign aimed at breaking down stigma and discrimination in mental illness. Together with Time to Change director Sue Baker, I argued that for many, […]

Robert Enke’s story is more important than Rio Ferdindand’s

Posted on 30 September 2011 | 6:09am

While the press revels in the judgement that allows them to carry on with kiss and tell stories about footballers (provided they are England captain it would seem) I would like to focus not on Rio Ferdinand but on Robert Enke. He was the German goalkeeper who killed himself after a long battle with depression, […]

Support for carers (and work with Labour) essential if Cameron is serious about Big Society

Posted on 12 September 2011 | 5:09am

One of the downsides (or should that be upsides?) of being moderately well known, and very accessible via social media, is that you get bombarded with people asking for time, money, contacts, ideas and expertise for their (invariably) good causes. On twitter, there is rarely a day, and some days rarely an hour, that there’s […]

A rare venture into poetry – and yet another outlet for my madness

Posted on 2 August 2011 | 9:08am

After yesterday’s guest blog on happiness, today I turn to the subject of madness, more specifically my own. I was approached a few months ago and asked to write a poem for a book being prepared by Bovington Middle School in Dorset, to raise money both for the school’s English deparment and for Help for […]