A selection of reviews, blog posts and other jottings of interest.

Posts from the “Miscellaneous” Category

On Reporting Suicide – and why media guidelines matter

Posted on August 12, 2014

Whilst some areas of the media may choose to ignore the advice of charities when reporting suicide, evidence suggests using media guidelines can save lives. Over the years there have been many studies into how irresponsible reporting can have an impact on suicide rates, so much so that most news organizations are now in agreement that there is a clear link between the two. But whilst the majority has acknowledged this there are some within the industry, and the expanded blogosphere, who have failed in the past to heed the advice of mental health charities when reporting incidents of suicide. Dating as far back as the release of Goethe’s ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’, in 1774, individuals have always been suspicious of a correlation between representations…

Britain’s Male Suicide Rate Reveals Painful Truth About Masculinity

Posted on August 11, 2014

“Man up!” – this is a phrase that I heard all too often from a friend I’d previously believed I could trust with my innermost concerns. I was made to feel ashamed about my emotions, and to feel inadequate in regards to my so-called “masculinity”. Fortunately, friends and family managed to successfully convince me to seek help, in spite of these powerful words and their effect on how I viewed my own mental illness. But others aren’t so lucky. This is where several mental health charities have stepped in. Throughout history men have felt pressured into adopting traditionally masculine characteristics; they are expected by society to be confident, strong, and unemotional, often at the expense of personal expression and, in some cases, their own…

Labour MEP: more women on boards would benefit the economy

Posted on December 4, 2013

ARLENE McCarthy, Labour MEP for the North West region has stated that the further introduction of women into the boardroom would have a beneficial impact upon the economy. Speaking to students of the University of Salford at the European Parliament in Brussels, she said: “We’ve already seen from research that if you have a woman on your board, your company is less likely to go bust.” “It’s good for the economy to have women on boards, and it’s good for growth.” A study performed by McKinsey & Company found that companies with gender balanced executive committees outperformed their all-male equivalents with a 56% higher operating profit. Mrs. McCarthy states that this is because women are more “risk averse”. She argues: “They make more sensible…

Thorpe Park ignores concerns over its asylum attraction

Posted on October 25, 2013

Thorpe Park has defended their Halloween attraction “The Asylum”, despite claims from individuals that it stigmatizes mental health patients. Amongst those concerned over the potential impact of the attraction are the mental health charities Mind, Time to Change, and Rethink Illness. They argue that Thorpe Park have failed to take into account several factors, including: ‘the history of mental health institutions, and the continuing suffering of patients in substandard facilities worldwide; second, the fact that attractions…don’t just “[draw] on classic horror film content” but shape culture as a whole; and third, the sheer extent of the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems every day.’ They therefore suggest that Thorpe Park are making light of a very serious topic, disregarding the fact…

Tribute to Comedy icon unveiled in Timperley

Posted on October 20, 2013

Hundreds turned up to witness the unveiling of a statue to comedy icon Frank Sidebottom, in his hometown of Timperley. Frank Sidebottom, the creation of musician and comedian Chris Sievey, is perhaps best known for his TV appearances throughout the years. Over the course of his career he has appeared regularly on Granada, Channel 4, and Channel M. In addition to this, he also had some success in the nineties with his own TV show, which was called Frank Sidebottom’s Fantastic Shed Show. Neil Taylor, the Lib Dem Councillor for Timperley, who helped raise donations for the statue, explained the origins of the statue: ‘a group of us were deciding in what way we could make a memorial for Chris; so we decided to…

A Call For Action: The Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill

Posted on March 24, 2013

On the morning of July 6th 2012, a 42-year-old man scaled the heights of the Arndale car park in Manchester. After 5 hours of police negotiation, he took his own life. Hundreds of concerned spectators and citizens from all over Manchester and Greater Manchester flocked to the Internet to send their messages of condolence; others, however, took to the message boards inflamed. Throughout the course of the day, I was one of many who followed this story, reading a variety of different tweets and posts that kept me informed on the initial reaction to the incident. As a person who has had some limited experience with mental health issues in the past, diagnosed with depression at 19 years of age, I could do nothing but…