Monday, 29 October 2012

Miranda Hart - Is It Just Me?

This time last week - I had the enormous honour of hearing Miranda Hart speak live to a small audience in London's West End about her new book "Is It Just Me?" 

Miranda discussed her book with Emma Kennedy and the the audience were also given the chance to ask questions. It was such an entertaining evening. You couldn't emerge from the theatre without smiling from ear to ear. In fact, I smiled all the way home and even found it hard to get to sleep..!

I have found it very hard to put the book down ever since I got my copy last Monday night - my ticket included a signed copy. I sat on the train on Thursday shaking with laughter, snorting into my scarf - every single page has made me howl with laughter and that is no exaggeration.

What I absolutely love about her is that she is so incredibly talented and almost implausibly humble, which makes her the best kind of celebrity and virtually unique. She is just so normal and down to earth. Not many celebrities are like that.

Add it to your Christmas list this year or order it now if you can't wait until then. I can't recommend it more highly. 

Rhiannon Lambert - Wild Horses

Rhiannon Lambert is one of the most talented singers I know. It is so exciting that her first EP is coming out and will be available on 6 November 2012. See this video for a sneak preview: 

Friday, 12 October 2012

Vikram Patel - TED talks

Nearly 450 million people are affected by mental illness worldwide. In wealthy nations, just half receive appropriate care, but in developing countries, close to 90 percent go untreated because psychiatrists are in such short supply. 

Vikram Patel outlines a highly promising approach -- training members of communities to give mental health interventions, empowering ordinary people to care for others.

New Blog Alert !

One of my favourite people in the world has started writing a blog today - I will be following it closely.

Britain's Best Smiler

Thursday, 11 October 2012

What's so funny about mental illness?

Earlier this year, Ruby Wax was invited to TED talks in Edinburgh. I have been desperate to see a video of her talk. Much to my delight - it came out yesterday on World Mental Health Day.

This will make you laugh out loud - especially if you have any experience or knowledge of mental illness. She deserves every second of the standing ovation at the end too.

Diseases of the body garner sympathy, says comedian Ruby Wax -- except those of the brain. Why is that? With dazzling energy and humor, Wax, diagnosed a decade ago with clinical depression, urges us to put an end to the stigma of mental illness.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Daisy Retreat - Bali

I am very honoured to introduce Ellie Donnelly from DAISY RETREAT - please see below and get in touch with her if you would like more information about this amazing treatment for depression.

I am Ellie Donnelly and this is my story in a nutshell.

I’m forty years old and I undertook my clinical training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at the Middlesex Hospital in 1998. Since then, in addition to my own private practice, I have held senior positions at The Priory, The Capio Nightingale and The Cygnet Hospitals in London. I have a bipolar disorder, as generations of my family before me, so I have lived with depression since October 1971. I had my first severe episode in 1986.

Since then, depression came in colossal waves, bringing with it the salty stigma of mental illness. I was terrified I’d be found out as bad, crazy, mad, lazy and unlovable. I was certain I was all of these things. In my twenties I feared I’d be seen as a rogue therapist, someone unfit to teach others. I understood, in great detail, the effects of the illness and how to deal with the symptoms; but I could not accept my illness, so I could function but I couldn’t accept myself and thrive.

My depression was a wild flower, no matter which chemicals I used to destroy it, it kept coming back and it was stealing nutrients from the front lawn I was trying so terribly hard to make perfect. The beauty is that this illness of the mind and all of the suffering it brings has, in many ways informed my nature, and served me well. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy gave me tried and tested systems to survive, and my survival, at times, required a grave battle. Deeper healing began when I withdrew from my inner and outer conflicts and that takes more than logic to occur.

Mindfulness increases my capacity to let things be and to sometimes surrender. I’m currently searching for mental health professionals who suffer a disorder, to openly challenge the inherent negativity of our old ways of viewing disorder; professionals who value their experiences, even if they feel silenced by their career choice, bills to pay etc. If we don't dissolve the stigma within our own ranks then how do we encourage thriving, not just surviving? I’m also collecting evidence of human happiness and have set up an open group for people to post the nice things that happen in their life. So I’m sending warmest welcomes to join us on the fledgling LinkedIn groups, ‘Stigmatized Illnesses’ and ‘Collecting Positive Data’.


Friday, 5 October 2012

Facebook's First Advert

Facebook has just reached its 1,000,000,000th user and here is it's first TV advert: