Monthly Archives: October 2014


Are you a NHS customer?

If you live in the UK that may seem like a rather silly question but I’ve been thinking a lot about the NHS recently and I’m not sure it’s such a straightforward answer.

Let’s get a couple of things out of the way first:

  1. we all have an emotional reaction to the NHS, as an institution it is well loved.
  2. we nearly all also accept it isn’t performing to it’s best ability at the moment & needs to change.

So taking those two things as read ( if you disagree on either please let me know by commenting) let’s have a look at who the NHS’s customers actually are. Continue reading


The language of mental illness: is it all madness?

It was World Mental Health Day on Friday of last week and I got to thinking about how much has changed since mental health issues first affected my family over 30 years ago but then also how much hasn’t. Some of the stigma of mental health illness has lifted but there are still a lot of people who are scared of sufferers and also many who believe they should just pull themselves together.

I was listening to something on the news and realised that we use completely different, and often negative, language when we talk about illnesses that affect our brains. The very word mental has very negative connotations yet illnesses like depression are just as life changing and life threatening as cancer, an illness which suffered the same sort of stigma years ago but which is now widely talked about. Ironically the chances of suffering from either type of illness are roughly the same, 1 in 3. Any one of us can be affected at any time. Continue reading