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Mental Health Foundation Awareness Week

JerseyBobJerseyBob Posts: 127 ✭✭✭
edited May 2020 in Cancer Coffee Break

Good evening

We are in the middle of Mental Health Awareness Week and the topic this year is 'Kindness'. It seems to be particularly apt at the moment as we are living in uncertain times and so many of us are relying on the kindness and support of neighbours, friends and people we don't even know.

I think that there has been a lot of progress in recognising and understanding depression and anxiety in recent years. Prince William is fronting a BBC documentary titled 'Tackling Mental Health With the Duke of Cambridge' and sportspeople and celebrities are now talking about their own battles with anxiety and depression. At last, there seems to be a general acceptance that depression is an illness, not a weakness and that you can't simply 'snap out of it'. Depression usually requires long term treatment, but the good news is that medication and counselling can help most people start to feel better.

As recently as 2006, a well known England cricketer suffering from depression during a 3 month tour of India was criticised and vilified after he broke down, left the tour and came home. At 29, Marcus Trescothick was widely regarded as a cricketing great but he was struggling. His wife was in England managing the household and their children whilst he was away. He was torn between wanting to be at home looking after his family and the demands of the England team. One day whilst he was away, his father in law went round to his house to clear leaves from his gutter and fell off the ladder injuring himself badly precipitating Trescothick's breakdown. The press and public ridiculed him, calling him weak and saying that they could not understand how a privileged sportsman could be so soft. He never played for England again, stayed at home and became a happy family man. He subsequently wrote a fascinating book about his illness called 'Coming Back to Me'.

I think I am meandering a bit, but depression and anxiety can strike anyone at any time and thank goodness it is now recognised and so much better understood at all levels of society.



  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,435 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Good morning Rob,

    Thank you so much for posting this discussion.

    Mental health is something that for too long has been overlooked, underfunded, and having a stigma attached to it for those who have mental health issues.

    It is really good that awareness is being raised on the whole area, obviously having people like the Duke of Cambridge vocalising and championing the need for help and support for people who need it is brilliant.

    As you have said, especially now while we are going through this crisis, there are more and more people who are having difficulties. Focussing on Kindness this week is something we can all participate in even remotely. It doesn't take a minute to be kind in word, thought or action.

    We have been watching Harry's Heroes the last couple of nights. It has been very sad to see how some of the ex-footballer's lives have been affected by different mental health issues. They may have had lifestyles and income most of us will never have, but I just felt compassion for them.

    I know that here in the community there is fantastic support for everyone dealing with cancer and the mental and emotional fallout that comes with a diagnosis. It is great that we are all here for each other.

    I hope you have a great day, chat later,

    Lou 😊 xx

  • JerseyBobJerseyBob Posts: 127 ✭✭✭


    Hi Lou

    I have been watching Harry's Heroes too. The tough guy Vinnie Jones became an actor after retiring from football. He played villains in 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,' 'Gone in 60 Seconds' and 'Snatch' amongst others. He doted on his wife who had a heart transplant at the age of 21 and who died last year at the age of 54 after a 6 year battle with cancer. It was good to see him still trying to support others through their own turmoil.

    I feel very lucky to be a member of the community. As you say, the support for everyone coping with cancer and its emotional fallout is brilliant and it is great that we are all here for each other.

    Hot, hot, hot today but we are staying out of the Sun at the moment for medical reasons. Not serious.😊

    Rob xx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,435 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Morning Rob,

    I know, my heart went out to Vinnie when I read about his wife. He has changed and mellowed a lot from his wild football days.

    I was so tired last night I fell asleep before the end of the programme! Lol! I just asked Mark who won haha!

    I think it was good to see how some of the more 'together' footballers were really supportive to the more vulnerable ones while they were travelling.

    Chat later,

    Lou x

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