World Mental Health Awareness Week can, for many of us, provoke a range of responses (from bored, irritated to offended as people promote the idea of it being ‘good to talk’ without mentioning the massive investment and culture changed needed in our health and social care systems to ensure this isn’t simply a platitude to cover over the cracks in our society that so many are falling through).
Still, when I was invited to speak with a journalist at VT.com, I uttered a quite ‘thank you’ to the timing. When else would someone like me be interviewed for a mainstream social media news channel with the explicit aim of telling a different kind of story. Whilst some of the earlier drafts felt into the trap that so often happens (portraying me as a curiosity), I was so impressed that they were willing to work with me to find a balance between our styles.
You can read the end result here: https://vt.co/lifestyle/health/inspirational-mom-reveals-what-its-like-to-constantly-hear-voices-after-being-diagnosed-with-schizophrenia-and-schizoaffective-disorder
Whilst I’m not a fan of being cast as inspirational (those who say those kinds of words rarely know me in all my messy humanness), I’m glad that this got out there. If we can tell our stories and share at least some version of our truths in a range of spaces, perhaps we can go a little further in creating the kind of world I hope Thea will be able to grow up in. One where it’s OK to talk about voices, visions and a whole host of other seemingly ‘extreme’ experiences … without them being flagged as ‘extreme’.