Episode 14 – Richard Mearns

Listen to this enjoy #trauma #mentalhealth


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Bang .. The guns fell silent

Its that time of year the UK (and others) remember, the eleventh hour of the eleventh month on the eleventh day.

Putting this into context 16 Million people died, 37 Million people injured, both civilian and military

Not there yet the current population of London is 8.7 Million. 7 million people were left permanently disabled as a result of conflict.

100 years ago the guns fell silent, the Armistice was signed in Paris 11/11/1918, this was to be the end of the war to end all wars. Tragically we know that wasn’t the case and wars continue to rage around the world.
Looking at various reports in the media relating to the choice to wear the poppy, including what colour red white purple. I have seen some interesting arguments have been put, there have also been people you have chosen to hijack Remembrance Day.
Freedom doesn’t mean that you can abuse someone because the choose not to wear the poppy, some people pay their respects in other ways, some have contractual reasons but pay their respects. Others feel that the act of remembrance glorifies war, its the joy of freedom.

No matter what you choose, no matter what your view many people gave their lives to ensure you have the freedom of choice. I will be wearing my medals and my poppy on 11/11/2018 and showing my 9 year old the importance of what it means to remember.
For those who wish to hijack this time, look around you and realise.

We Will Remember Them

ONLY THE DEAD HAVE SEEN THE END OF WARadobe_post_20181107_073854

We need to ensure we remember those whose gave their lives, support those who are brave enough to continue to lay down their lives and their minds for the stability and safety of the UK.

Lest We Forget.

Veterans Suicide

All Around Ziggy

Is there a cure……?

Suicide is not a new thing, it is far too common in society. While serving in the British Army I looked upon people who committed suicide as people who wasted their lives. I thought that they were weak and inconsiderate. I mean after all the effect that their ‘selfish’ act had on friends family and so on.

I was highly trained, first and foremost I was a soldier, second to this I was a Combat Medical Technician. My job was to save lives so I was always aghast when people took their own life!

“Oh how life changes”

These thoughts were quickly reconsidered when a friend took his life; while out on a live fire training he joked about keeping one round (bullet) for himself! Not one eyelid was batted after all, at the close of each range exercise you declare you have not retained any…

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Mental Health The New Trend

Will mental health become a fad?

Some reported statistics for you to start of with;

  • 16 million people in the UK have mental health conditions,
  • Three in four mental illnesses start in childhood,
  • Six in Ten people say poor mental health impacts their concentration at work,
  • 70 million work days are lost each year due to poor mental health,
  • £105 Billion is ‘lost’ each year to the UK economy because of poor mental health.

The more and more I hear mental health is being openly spoken about yet I fear that there is still an attitude towards mental health that is turning it into a tick box exercise. Or even worse “it will not happen to me.”

When it comes to dealing with mental health not only is it difficult to admit that you are vulnerable, but when you do people don’t know how to respond to someone admitting their vulnerability.

How can this be changed?

Off the back of attending a conference run by Give an Hour, it clearly indicated by its title that there was a need to change direction. I have no doubt that there is a lot to do in the UK to make this change. One key point is that ‘it will not happen to me.’ Hopefully, this will be the case. It does however depend on how you value your mental health.

Returning to the statistics there are 16 Million people in the UK suffer from mental health, that is from a population of approximately 66 million. Yes that is where the one in four people come from, it is probably better to say that 66 million people suffer from mental health.


Everyone has a degree of mental health. This is the first fact. This can be minor or otherwise, it will however, still be difficult to talk about stress as mental health condition. I urge you to look at the last time you were stressed and now consider how difficult the simple tasks became, as a result of the stress.

Get your head up from the books take a break

The cost of mental health to the economy, each year is around £105 Billion. In the year 2017/18 the NHS plan to spend £11.9 billion. The value of your own mental health is key no matter how many facts or figures your throw in the air you can not put value on your own health.

This leads me onto mental health becoming a fad; it’s a massive concern that the impact on the workplace has led to the perception of a new trend to be part of. Lots of employers are acknowledging mental health as having an impact. It is clear that nobody actually knows how to deal with it. Why? Simply mental health there is no one solution there is no one size fits all.

Imagine this. You walk into work having just had your leg traumatically amputated by a bus on the way in. You say. “Good Morning” to those you see, After the shock of what they have seen your colleagues, ask “are you okay?” you respond. “yes.” Its clear you are not okay but they ask.

Now imagine you walk in you feel rubbish getting out of bed was a task, you have had a sleepless night of flashbacks, you force yourself to go to work. Putting on your face, you turn up to work wishing that there was a bus to have hit you. You say.“good morning”, you get the reciprocated response “Morning.” Your world is falling down around you the pressure on your chest. Your mind is in overdrive yet nobody asks “how are you?”

What am I getting at? One aspect is ITS OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY. I find it hard to emphasise the fact that you are not alone no matter how much you feel you are. The reason people don’t ask if you are okay, is not because they don’t care its because they can’t see what is wrong.

Mental health is not a new fad or trend it is finally becoming recognised for the debilitating life changer that it is.

Keep the conversation going. It is not because people don’t care its because they cant see and use a tweet from Karla Stevenson which is video relating to veterans, this quote works for all

“Stick your hand up if you haven’t stuck your hand up do it today.”

Its not a bank robbery its a fact, the help is out there and not just from professionals friends, family and helplines, search Google I wont signpost on this as they expire.


Global Mental Health Summit 2018

Will this help change direction?

Week 41 of 2018 I would say almost the week that the world sat up and took a step together in the right direction.

In the UK the Prime Minister announced the first ‘Suicide Prevention Minister’. The scary bit in England 4500 people take their lives each year. The other numbers I am not putting here because that number itself is unreal.

I am not sure what the introduction of this new minister will do to these figures, but the key is to deal with the cause. This is finally an acknowledgement from UK government that there is a need to address this subject.

This appointment was ready to mark World Mental Health Day. So naturally and obviously its accepted that poor mental health leads to suicide.

This leads me on to the Global Mental Health Summit 2018. This was the second summit arranged by the charities; Change Direction and Give an Hour. The focus of this was ‘Mental Health Culture Change’

Now you are reading this and haven’t heard of these charities that is no surprise both are based in the United States. So, what are they doing here? Well simply put they are working on changing direction and the conversation on mental health. To change the culture surrounding mental health.


Panel including Generals from the UK and Ukranie

This summit had some of the greatest minds in the world. Who were passionate about mental health. The subject areas were diverse, they ranged through Policy, Fashion, Veterans, LGBTQ and Faith. Speakers travelled from all over the world to pass their knowledge.

Three key points that I hope reading will make you think and start a conversation.

  • There are no words for mental health in South Asia, therefore it makes a difficult starting point for the conversation.
  • Until 2013 legislation in the UK still discriminated against Members of Parliament, Jurors and Company Directors.
  • Everyone has Mental Health it should not be binary i.e. with or without, it is.

Thinking about the brain without the mind is brainless, thinking about the mind without the brain is mindless.

I will do more blogs from this but for now enjoy and share. I also urge you to comment on this post and read other blogs

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