26 July 2018

Positive thinking on mental health


My diagnosis was bi-polar. This was over 18 years ago and since then I have become much more self-aware, confident and I feel got to the core of me, caring much less about what others think of me and concentrating on being who I am.

This resonates with an ever increasing number of people with whom Result CIC works, struggling with different types of mental health issues. Thankfully the significance of the talking therapies including coaching, and the importance of preventative measures, has been much highlighted in recent times.

Recently, the Office for National Statistics revealed suicide rates for the UK student population. They are alarming, as are the findings that mental health conditions being declared amongst students has risen five fold over the past decade.

In June, the news that the internationally renowned lifestyle and fashion designer, Kate Spade, had taken her own life aged 55, shocked many. Including me. She also lived with being bi-polar but could not come to terms with anyone knowing, in case it affected her own and her products’ brand. It really saddened me that the fear of the stigma attached to a condition had taken another life.

Her suicide brought to mind the 2010 death of fellow designer Alexander McQueen, who also took his own life, at the age of 40.

Both successful designers, both at the height of their creative ability, achieving what they had wanted from life. Or so it seemed to the outside world.

What would drive people like this, people who seemingly have all that they wanted in life, to make such a drastic decision? Well, the other thing that they had in common was a background in mental health issues which had remained improperly diagnosed and treated.

We recently became aware of the project below which aims to raise awareness and offer possible preventative measures. We will be interviewing its creator next month since we were impressed by its approach. It is The HOAX Project.

This was a world-first: a cross-media narrative, health research study, part funded by the Arts Council and the NHS. It was created by the award-winning writer, Ravi Thornton, a response to the suicide of her younger brother, Rob, who, having been diagnosed with schizophrenia, found expression for his mental health issues in his poetry.

After Rob took his own life, Ravi turned his poems into a trilogy combining a stage musical, performed at Manchester’s Royal Exchange and Salford's The Lowry, a take-home copy of a graphic novel and access to an app. The app invited users to take part in research aimed at helping people with psychosis in the future. The feedback, research outcomes and results have been so valuable in changing perceptions around mental health and suicide that the project is up for a major award from the National Lottery.

We wish this important project the best of luck.

You can find out more and vote for The HOAX Project here.

Voting ends on Friday 27 July at midnight, so please vote!

Written by Hormoz Ahmadzadeh

NDA 2015 Power 100 iLM

We are Result CIC, a community interest company. We work with people who feel marginalised or excluded to become more confident about their abilities and to fulfill their potential. We also work with Directors, Managers and CEOs who need support to bring about positive change in terms of diversity and inclusion in their organisations. We each have personal experience of the issues affecting the people we work to support, including disability, immigration, mental health and sexuality. We have also worked in senior positions in industry and government.

Our vision is a society where every individual can achieve their potential, feel fulfilled and make a valuable contribution. 

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