Friday, 27 September 2013

Shame on you ASDA

Exactly 24 hours ago, I was appalled at the contents of my Twitter feed. As I scrolled down, my jaw dropped to the floor at the horror and stupidity of what Asda had done. You may have heard about it on the news. Who on EARTH can be insensitive enough to sell a costume and label it as this? What, exactly, were they trying to achieve? 

Within minutes of many of my followers and those whom I follow sending Asda some very pleading messages to remove the item from the shelf, they did - phew. 

It is highly appropriate that they are donating £25,000 to Mind. But perhaps the most important thing they need to do is send their George buyer(s) on some sort of course and give them some sort of understanding on mental illness and the stigma that goes into it.

The only good thing that came out of it all was the opportunity for mental health to be talked about on the news - it was even trending on Twitter. And perhaps those who are stupid and ignorant enough to know little about all this, might have learnt how serious this is.

Tesco did something as equally as stupid but they don't deserve my time or energy to go into it. 

You wouldn't build a Tom Tom for dementia patients to find their way home. I feel like walking into an Asda this weekend with my Time To Change Tattoo saying "Glad to be Mad". #stopthestigma

Ruby wants us to meet in Hyde Park with pitch forks and banners for a march to parliament. I think we ought to stop via Asda and Tesco...

Monday, 23 September 2013

Charlotte's Helix - in honour of Charlotte Bevan

I hope you will hear and read lots about Charlotte's Helix in the coming weeks and months. Many people have blogged about it and I can only echo what they have said - there is no better way to put it. 

My dear friend Charlotte doesn’t have much time left. A few months ago, she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and she’s hoping for another six months. It’s not enough time for her to celebrate another birthday. This hasn’t stopped Charlotte. After helping her daughter recover from anorexia in 2009, she has remained on the front lines helping other parents fight this disorder. It’s her passion, her legacy for everyone.
Since doctors aren’t giving Charlotte another birthday, Laura Collins is donating hers to a project called Charlotte’s Helix. The premise is simple: sequence 25,000 genomes of AN sufferers to help figure out what causes the illness and how we can better fight it. The Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative is part of AN25k, but ANGI is only part of this. Getting 25,000 participants and 25,000 genomes costs a lot of money and will take a lot of volunteers, but researchers believe it will be worth it.
What can you do? Donate if you can. Any currency. Donations are currently being handled by FEAST and BEAT on both sides of the Atlantic, and all donations are tax-deductible. Anything you can give is welcome. Just make sure to note “Charlotte’s Helix” on your donation.
Can’t afford a donation? No worries–you can still help. Visit, share, like, follow the links below.

As One More Mum wrote brilliantly: 

Imagine a future where time wasn’t wasted scrutinising an already unhappy family with the aim of finding out whether they have made their child ill. Imagine a future where people laugh about the daft theories of Hilde Bruch and the idea that people develop anorexia because they weren’t loved or were abused. Although the laughter might subside when the realisation dawned that this was the cause of needless deaths. 

Charlotte has given so many other people a future and I can think of no better legacy for her.