Embodying the Self by Elisabeth Svanholmer

I used to live in a state of constant overwhelm and anxiety.

Only I didn’t know it at the time, because it was all I knew. I suspected something was wrong; the suicidal yearnings and impulses to self-harm were good tell tell signs, but I didn’t understand them as such. I thought I was being selfish and attention seeking, and I did what I could to try and control these shameful things that lived inside me.

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Hard Path to Self Compassion by Jonny Benjamin

I’ve always relied on the compassion of others. However recently, in particular throughout this year, I’ve noticed the compassion of others waning.

Perhaps it’s just me, but I sense a rapidly increasing lack of compassion within society.

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Being Kind to Ourselves by Nicky Hayward

I am the voice of the spirit trapped between inexorable cycles, caught in the crossfire, hanging on by my fingernails to a life that repeatedly loses meaning.

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What It Took For Me to Forgive by Madeleine Black

I never intended to forgive the two young men who gang raped me when I was 13 years old. I wanted to hate them forever. As far as I was concerned they were evil, sadistic animals and I wanted someone to kidnap them, tie them up, beat them up, rape and torture them just like they had done to me for hours on end.

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Compassion and Mental Health: what can Faith contribute to the debate by Trystan Owain Hughes

“The people that I work with and the patients that I serve may not remember my name, but they will certainly remember how I made them feel,”  said a nurse interviewed in a recent BBC News report on compassion in healthcare. 

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Sponsor News

We’re delighted to announce that sponsorship from Legal and General  has enabled us to create more affordable tickets.

Mental health and staff wellbeing is a strategic priority for Legal and General, and they are rolling out Mental Health First Aid training to their workforce.

The sponsorship is enabling us to create new tickets for students, mental health nurses and social workers, small charities and individuals with personal experience.

Please check our website for more details, and how to register. 

Grieving Every Day by Elisabeth Svanholmer

As far back as I can remember I have experienced times of intense sadness. Feeling like a heavy weight is dropped into my solar plexus, and at the same time as if some creature is clawing at my insides.

It makes me feel exhausted and restless at the same time; exhausted with the unexplainable emotional pain and too restless to make it shift.

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Empathy not Sympathy by Peter Kinderman

In a wonderful recent piece, a response to our collective lack of compassion in the face of the migrant crisis, author and activist Owen Jones wrote: “Almost all human beings have the capacity for empathy. Everyone has the potential to be at least troubled, or feel genuine anguish, about the suffering of other human beings.”

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On being seen, heard and validated by James Downs

“Were you abused? Do you think you might be gay? Or perhaps there’s someone in the family with anorexia?”

Such are the types of questions I’ve been asked by probing psychiatrists fishing for an explanation of my mental illness. Some of these questions may well be involved in my coming to rely on a severe eating disorder, but I’ve long been frustrated by the quest for explanation – a sole cause or triggering factor.

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Choosing Life, Choosing Love by Olivia Robinson

It all starts with love.

It took every ounce of self loathing, punishment, starvation, self harm and self directed mental abuse to keep me in hospital for two years, knocking on death’s door.

I fully believed that being emaciated was the biggest achievement of my life. And if I died of starvation then I had succeeded … I held onto this dream for many years even with the imminent threat of death, the loss of an international sports career and a modelling contract

Of course I was miserable.

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