So today I got a phone call from a lady from a Mental Health Charity MQ, and after a half hour or so conversation she asked me if I’d like to blog for their site, and perhaps do some ambassadorial for them as well!
I’m pretty excited, as I’ve been trying to find a mental health charity or organisation to blog for for a while now, and particularly liked this one as it’s relatively new, and seems to have fairly big visions for their research and a good understanding of how massive the challenges are.
I saw their advert on TV a few nights back, and thought it looked really good, and then emailed them offering to blog for them. They then contacted me and requested I answer a few questions, which I did, and then someone called me today and asked me to elaborate on what I had put in the email. It was only a few basic questions about the experiences I had had with mental illness- in fact that first one asked that I briefly describe the above, which I explained was extremely difficult!.
But I chatted quite openly with the nice lady for about half an hour, and she complimented me on my extensive recovery, and on the positive way I described the things which have happened to me. She said it was “really inspiring” to talk to someone who had been through so much but was still able to be optimistic about life and the future. I told her that, in my mind, there was simply no alternative. You have to cling onto the positive, or else you run the risk of being eaten up by the negative.
We hung up agreeing to stay in touch, and she promised to send me over some starting points for articles she wants me to write, although she did also tell me to ‘make it mine.’ I think i’m gonna start by writing on the subjects she wants me to, and then try and put some articles together from my own ideas after we’ve established the first few are good and coming from the right perspective.
It’s pretty exciting though! MQ looks to be a worthwhile and important charity, and one of the only ones to focus on funding and commisioning research. It looks to be dedicated to learning more about mental illness, which is really important because currently the system is running on fairly shaky foundations. Doctors perscribe meds, because they seem to have some positive affects, but they do not yet fully understand the biological processes which cause the differing mental illness symptoms in the first place. It’s quite hit and miss, and there is still a lot about what happens in the brain when someone develops a mental health condition which is, ultimately, a mystery.
MQ acknowledges this, straight out, and catogorically states that more funding, more research, and more investmemt is needed to advance our knowledge and understandiny of these illness’s which are affecting more and more people each year. It says on their site that for every person diagnosed with cancer, £178 is spent on research. For someone suffering a mental illness, that amount is only £7. This is shocking, especially considering the fact that latest figures state that 1 in 4 people will suffer from a mental health issue at some time in their lifetime.
MQ is devoted to exploring the biological, psychological and social factors which can cotribute to the liklihood of a person developing mental illness, and also to working with doctors, scientists, researchers and service users to progress the way we approach and treat the different conditions.
They seem to have a good grasp of how massive the challenge is, and how much work will be required to start making meaningful change, both in terms of how we view and understand mental illness, but also how we treat people suffering. At the moment people are often offered quite standardised treatment options, which aren’t alway appropriate for their specific set of circumstances. MQ wants to work to develop better and more effective methods of treating and looking after people who are suffering.
So all in all, sounds like a great charity, with a great vision and hopes for the future. Ru and I were chatting last night how we think that gradually, as younger generations grow up being more aware of mental health issues and potentials for mental illness, the stigmas and mystery surrounding these conditions may die out. Moreover, it might start to become more generally understood how much more there is to mental illness than initially meets the eye. Mental illness is a mystery- anyone whose experienced it could tell you that. I have hope that, in the future, more and more people who have lived through it will come forward and add their voices to the dialogue which is already starting, thus overturning old ideas and perspectives and contributing to a broader, more accurate portrayal.
Perhaps I can work towards this in my blog! I have high hopes for this oppertunity i’ve been given, and can’t help my mind from wandering into dream scenarios where my new platform with MQ gives me more oppertunities to get my book published.. I sometimes find myself dreaming about publishers, and book tours and such. This MQ blog could be the first step!!
Anyway, i’ll post up here when i post my first article with then, and please check it out! Wish me luck! 🙂