At the weekend I was party to a conversation between two young teenagers who talked about how they found ‘head space’. How they found time to get on top of everything which went on in their lives. I was very encouraged about the way without prompting they spoke about their mental health, although they may not have recognised that was what they were doing. On Saturdays The Times Magazine runs ‘Spinal column’ written by Melanie Reid. Melanie is tetraplegic having broken her neck and back in a riding accident in April 2010. The column is wonderfully written, although it often makes difficult reading.
This Saturday Melanie wrote about the reality that antidepressants are a realistic option for many and for which there is no shame. She describes how she needs someone every night to climb in her head and vacuum up the detritus that is clogging up her wiring, derailing her thoughts. She uses the image of the London Underground “fluffers” who every night go through the tunnels gathering the tube dust, oily cloud and rubbish. Until there are human “fluffers” her GP restarted her antidepressants and explores other options of assessment and treatment with her.
I am certain that just like the teenagers, I met at the weekend, Melanie’s useful conversation about mental wellbeing brings out in the open an area which benefits from being in the light rather than the darkness we often create for it.
The Depressed Cake Shop is appearing all over Exeter during Mental Health Awareness Week (18 May) breaking down the stigma around mental health. There are only two rules; the cakes must be grey and the money raised must go to a mental health charity of the baker’s choice – as they say one grey cake at the time.