Newsletter – June 2018
Going forward, news posts and updates (with the exception of urgent announcements) will be made during the last week of the month via our website. Any other news and information we feel may be beneficial to our readers will be posted onto our Facebook account which will automatically share onto our Twitter feed. Events will always be uploaded directly onto our website and shared onto our social media.
The weather may be warmer and the sun shining, but for those with mental health challenges , their internal weather vanes can remain, sadly, very much in darker climes. However, whilst taking care to cover up and protect your skin, now is a great time to try and enhance your mood with just a few minutes outside and a little light exercise.
We don’t need reminding that ill mental health and thoughts and acts of self harm and suicide do not discriminate and there’s been coverage in the media recently which demonstrates this as clearly as ever.
The tragic suspected suicide of ex Love Island star Sophie Gradon , at just 32 years of age, sends out a clear warning to everyone, whatever age, who crave the spotlight . Sophie and a fellow Love Islander Zara Holland had both spoken recently about the huge pressures after the show’s success catapulted them into the limelight.
Sophie had said:
“No-one anticipated [Love Island’s] success and in an instant I was catapulted from every day life into the limelight. We became public property overnight and everyone had an opinion both good and bad.
“There were positives and some lovely people but I would always let the negatives outweigh the positives.
“I started to believe what these people were saying about me was true.” (Extract from The Sun Online)
Sophie had shared feelings of anxiety, depression and feeling overwhelmed on social media and was clearly struggling. We aren’t in a position to know whether or not help and support was extended to her and her family.
Zara has her own views about how people are treated after appearing on the show, warning others that:
“You will be haunted by this for the rest of your life.”
And she urged show chiefs to give extra support to those who need it.
She said: “I changed as a person. I didn’t want to go out or socialise. I came out of Love Island … and I didn’t hear from anyone. Love Island called me for the first time in two years on Thursday to ask if I was OK. Funny they call me now when something terrible has happened.
And some words of wisdom we should all consider:
“People applying need to know how serious things can be.
“They see a claim to fame, they don’t see that in ten years’ time, when you’re married with babies, you’ll still be haunted for the rest of your life.”
ITV2 said: “All islanders are offered psychological support before, during and after their time in the villa. We take our duty of care very seriously.” (Extract from The Sun online)
We send our love and thoughts to Sophie’s family and friends and our best wishes to Zara for a health and happy future.
Interestingly, The Guardian’s Lizzie Cernik wrote an article about the dangers of Love Island and its apparent ‘normalisation’ of emotional abuse (22 June 2018), discussing the behaviour of Adam Collard
‘Pegged by viewers as a raging narcissist from the moment he entered the villa, he was quickly accused of “gaslighting”, a malicious form of mental abuse designed to alter the victim’s perception of reality. During long-term relationships it’s often used as a method of control, belittling the person on the receiving end and destroying their confidence and self-esteem over time.’ (Extract from the Guardian)
Television is saturated with reality TV, it has seemingly become the staple diet for viewers, especially younger ones, subjecting those taking part to a scrutiny that is simply not humane. Is it right that the meaner and more dramatic a show is, no matter the impact upon those taking part and the viewers, the more we want it? We were fed it, we liked the taste and now we can’t eat enough of it. Time for a diet.
‘ Despite concerns about misogyny, our dedication to reality TV shows no sign of waning. For many viewers, the shows create excitement and drama, an antidote to busy lives and dreary commutes. And besides, contestants know what they’re getting into – don’t they?’ (Extract from the Guardian)
Why do we need this so called entertainment? Observing the misery of others means it’s all gone a little too far to make for comfortable, entertaining and pleasureable viewing.
Other interesting reads for everyone include:
The Times on Victoria Pendleton and her depression
The Guardian discusses the impact of removing the voice of the vulnerable as mental health tribunals seek to abolish pre hearing examinations. Join the debate by clicking on the link
Finally, a truly terrifying report from the Observer who claim our youngsters are facing a mental health epidemic
What are we up to?
As always, much goes on behind the scenes at SOS.
We recently spoke at the Warwickshire CAVA meeting and met some amazing people who are working hard to provide support to vulnerable people. For all updates, news and information, please visit their website.
Next week sees our first visit to a secondary school – please see our events page for more details
We are in discussions to arrange further SOS meetings and will update you asap
Our next newsletter will be posted during the last week of July 2018.
It’s time to stop the silence