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Dating & mental health: To tell or not to tell?

I’ve decided that it might be time to venture back into the dating zoo. A few weeks ago I sat down to write an online dating profile and thought ‘How hard can it be?’ After all, I’m old enough to know what my interests are (I like books, especially when they’re in colour order), to embrace […]

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‘Dear Stranger’: an inspiring anthology of letters on happiness

A few months ago I was asked to contribute a letter to an anthology being published by Mind and Penguin. The remit was to write a letter to a stranger on the subject of happiness, to be interpreted however I and the other 49 contributors saw fit. When I first clapped eyes on ‘Dear Stranger’, […]

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Single-Parenting and Mental Health

The other day my eight-year-old son caught me dancing in the bathroom. “Not that you’d ever want to, but if you did that in a nightclub you’d probably catch a man.” Hilarity filled the house, as it so often does. His daily pint-sized views on life generally guarantee that. As it’s Mother’s Day today, I’m […]

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Reflections on postnatal depression

Like many adults, I seem to spend much of my time trying to remember things – you know, remembering to collect the dry-cleaning before they auction it off to the highest bidder, remembering where I put my keys (in my bag, apart from that time when the dog was sleeping on them), remembering not to […]

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Anxiety nation: what can we do about it?

    Mental Health Awareness Week kicks off today and this year’s theme is anxiety. I recently wrote a feature on anxiety for Psychologies magazine in which experts told me we are living in ‘anxious times’. So how anxious are we and why? Are we getting the help? And what can we do about it? […]

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Mental health and laughter: a pathway out of depression?

‘Puerile’. That’s how one of my best friends recently described my sense of humour. I like to think I’m a bit more sophisticated than that, but on reflection, no – it’s a fair cop. I have a remote controlled fart machine which has probably used up more batteries than any other gadget in my house. […]

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The Sun & mental health: come on, you can do better…

As a former health writer and deputy health editor at The Sun, I’ve spent many an occasion batting off laughs, sneers and suggestions that Britain’s favourite red top couldn’t possibly ‘take health seriously’. When I wrote for the health section of the country’s biggest selling national newspaper, I felt privileged to have an opportunity to […]

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Mental illness: it’s not about ‘choice’

Every day of our lives we apparently make thousands of choices, from the banal to the relatively momentous. I’ve thought about the concept of ‘choice’ a lot lately, prompted by mental ill-health and the inference that, perhaps, people like me ‘choose’ to be unwell. It rattles me. So now let’s get a few things straight. […]

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A big thanks to Time to Change

Apologies for my tardiness on the blogging front. I’ve been a tad busy on other related projects (more info to follow later), including, excitingly, blogging for the wonderful Time to Change campaign. Lately, I’ve been so impressed by the work of Time to Change and the way they’ve grabbed mental health issues by the scruff […]

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Mental health services for MPs: what about the rest of us?

MPs are to benefit from a clinic that’s being set up at Westminster to help growing numbers of them to cope with depression and anxiety. Officials have approved £25,000 per year to fund specialist treatment after doctors in the House of Commons reported growing numbers of MPs with these mental health problems. Unsurprisingly, the response […]

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