Hello there. Hope you are ok. I wouldn’t normally post due to study and work commitments, but I find myself on a train to university with thoughts running around my head due to current events, and it seems like an appropriate time to raise and discuss important issues. A forewarning as this blog may deal with sensitive issues, so I apologise in advance if anything that is discussed causes upset.
Last weekend you may have heard that former Love Island presenter Caroline Flack took her life at the young age of 40. This death resonated with a lot of the British public due to precipitating factors that lead to Caroline taking her life, and has brought into question the role the media has in effecting the mental health of people who may or may not be in the public eye, as well as raising awareness of the importance to talk about one’s mental health and being kind to one another.
Following her death, a lot of questions were raised about the role the media played in not only not supporting her following being axed from the popular TV, but also in how it hounded, trolled and goaded her into isolation and ultimately into taking her life.
Last year I wrote about Love Island, about suicides related to the show, and discussed issues of body dysmorphia and difficulties in adjusting to life after the show. See below for a link to the article:
It is sad then to know that someone else linked to the show has taken their life. Deepest condolences go to Caroline’s friends, family and loved ones. From this tragedy questions need to be asked. So I am revisiting a subject I discussed some time back, as recent events have brought back into the focus of the public eye.
What role does the media have to play in chasing and harassing a person for a news story?
Should the media be held accountable for trolling a goading a person?
Should the general public be held to account for its insatiable craving for celebrity updates and culture? And what does it say about us as a culture where we are so enamoured by what happens to celebrities when we could be focusing on our own lives?
These are questions which could form the basis for future blogs, and maybe they will, but for today, I just want to present the questions to you and ask that you think about them and reflect on them.
Whilst there is work being done to improve the public perception around mental health and mental illness, so much more needs to be done to support those affected and in crisis.
Some are asking for the cancellation of the show, and whilst that be a suggestion, I don’t think it is the answer.
If anything, this tragedy highlights many things: that relentless press needs to be held to account if they harass and bully anyone be it in the public eye or not; and that more needs to be done to help people who are experiencing depression and other forms of mental illness.
I know of Samaritans, which is a free number, available 24/7. Telephone 116 123. There are experienced individuals on the other end of the line who will help. If you are in crisis or in an emergency though, please call 999. You are not alone. It’s ok to talk.
I’m not affiliated with Samaritans but I know they are a brilliant service and are there to help in times when you may be feeling low. If you know of someone who is going through a difficult time, send them a text or give them a phone call. You could be making all the difference to them.
In summary, the sad loss of Caroline Flack highlights that we need to continue to ask important questions about how we treat others, and how we choose to allow the media to treat others. It also highlights that more needs to be done to support those experiencing mental health crises. We are all humans after all, regardless of whether we are in the public eye or not. We all hurt and we all feel pain. We need to look out for one another and support one another along the journey of life.
I hope you have found the blog of some help. I know the blog may have dealt with some difficult issues, and if any of the issues have effected you or resonated with you, please leave a comment and I will be happy to have a chat.
On a slightly less serious note though, I would like to close by mentioning that I had a radio interview with Elaine Godley off Elastic FM this week about Fit For Any Age. It was exciting to have a chat and we had a good talk about all manner of things from men and mental health to art therapy and how to engage with media and how it effects ourselves. The full podcast will go up in a few weeks and when it does I will let you know. Thank you again Elaine for featuring me, and looking forward to sharing the podcast with all of you soon. See below for a page link to the station.
Remember: it’s a journey. It will take time. Have patience in the process. You will get there. Until then, stay happy, stay healthy, and have a lovely week wherever you are on the planet.
And remember: love yourself.
A bit about the author:
I am a guy who is (nearly) 40, who is sharing a journey of weight management and wellbeing.I am also a mental health professional with a wealth of years of experience in supporting individuals who have challenging mental illnesses and personality disorders.
Prior to my current professional role, I spent several years supporting members of the community as a fitness professional, assisting individuals with weight loss and health improvement programmes.
I completed a PGDip in Mental Health Nursing in 2013, and an MSc in Advanced Practice in 2016 in which I looked at improving nurses’ level of engagement with patients with challenging personality disorders.
In 2018 I successfully undertook a Clinical reasoning in Physical Assessments course with the view to start studying toward becoming an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in late 2019.
In 2015 I also undertook a Mentorship for practice (BSc Hons) course and have been supporting future nurses with their training and development. I have also recently supported a Healthcare Assistant Staff toward training in and successfully passing and achieving a Foundation Degree in Mental Health Nursing.
In my current role I am a person looking to support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the individual. As part of my role within the health services in supporting individuals with mental health care needs, I am also currently looking to develop myself as a Wellness Coach, to support the individual with weekly wellness blogs, with the view to support individuals on a 1:1 basis as well as holding motivational lectures and seminars.