So May 13th-19th is Mental Health Awareness Week.
Yes i realise i am late to the party. I have a reason although you will have to excuse the shedloads of irony; i am not well. And by that i mean in my head.
Welcome to the beauty, or rather the curse of mental illness. As lovely as it would be if i could channel all my OCD into cleaning my wardrobe out (i’ve been putting it off for months) or all my anxious energy into getting through my overflowing email inbox, it doesn’t work like that.
Instead on a week where i would like nothing more than to blog, tweet, meet and run from event to event i can barely get my thoughts in enough order to make a cup of tea.
And because of the inherent, insipid guilt and self loathing that has somehow slipped into the cracks (i drop my guard for one minute..) you beat yourself up because you, surely you of all people should be out there shouting on the streets, obsessively blogging and tweeting. But instead i know most have you have had something not unlike radio silence from my end.
I also feel guilty because the campaign is around physical exercise and wellbeing. Unfortunately this is less than possible for me for a few reasons;
1. Due to whatever mess is happening in my head at the moment i am really struggling to get out of bed and go to work (i have failed more than achieved this recently) although when i do make it it is some (stressful) exercise
2. Due to my weight and general physical health to some extent because of that exercise is not a great idea for me!
So i think my exercise for this week will mainly be lifting a cup of tea to my mouth and stretching in the morning sun. Better luck next time.
Check this out this advert for the WellHappy app from LivingWell.
But in the last few weeks i have managed to get a lot done!
After launching the app first at the Healthcare Innovation Expo and then at City Hall i had a few days to finally relax and then bounced right back into work mode.
I attended an iBehave meetup at Google Campus around using tech to increase condom usage in young men. Devika, the winner of the SexFactor2012 awards, came with me and together we worked together with a team of other people from tech, third sector and health backgrounds to come up with solutions. As someone who is much more familiar with the mental health side of the app we developed (plug: download here!) it was good to have an expert and friend with me.
You can watch a short video made about the event here.
I also made a short film for YouthNet and TheSite about mental health and employment. I’ve seen a sneak peek but i’m afraid it has not been released just yet. When it is i will post it so watch this space.
And two last little things i thought i would mention..
Firstly my app was featured in the Guardian today after they interviewed me recently. You can read it here.
My dear colleague ET Russel referred me to MDG Advertising’s latest infographic that illustrates how patients are becoming more empowered in their healthcare decisions and how physicians and healthcare marketers are evolving with this digital direction. How can this progress impact (clinical) social work? Share your thoughts in the comments.
The infographic shows that patients are now much more digitally active in their healthcare.
Myhealthlondon attend the Healthcare Innovation Expo
On March 13th and 14th 2013 members of the myhealthlondon team attended the Healthcare Innovation Expo at the Excel Centre in London. We were there to highlight our website, our dementia community and to launch the WellHappy app for young Londoners.
It was also a great opportunity to find out what else is happening in healthcare at the moment and we met lots of interesting new people including service users, clinicians and commissioners. We also bumped into Lord Victor Abedowale, the Chief Executive of Turning Point and had a chat about WellHappy and how some of Turning Point’s services for young people are included.
The Appzone and Health Apps Library
Over the two days of the expo ten brand new, never-before-seen apps were launched including our own.
It was a great opportunity not just in terms of the amazing platform to launch our own app but also to meet other developers, designers and teams involved in app development. We shared a lot of learning on the day and have had lots of interesting conversations since, showing that what happens at Expo doesn’t have to stay there, especially not with the invention of Twitter! It’s great to see so many clinicians embracing social media and using it to help their patients and provide information and insight into the medical world.
Launching the WellHappy app
Kat Cormack, project manager, and Bruce Kynoch, Assistant Stakeholder and Marketing Manager launch the app.
Bruce and I gave a short presentation to the audience in the Appzone to officially launch the WellHappy app. This involved talking about the app, where it came from, whose ideas went into it, who helped us develop it and what it was like working on a project of this kind.
We also gave a quick demonstration to the audience on how to use the app and encouraged people to download it from Google Play or the Apple App Store.
Joining us were colleagues from LivingWell, BrightLemon and Digital White, our design and development companies who have been so integral to the making and launching of the WellHappy app. It was great to have their support on the day and to have them around to answer any technical questions people might have.
People also had a chance to try out the app on tablets at the event and give us feedback right there and then. It was great to see people trying out the app, searching for services near them and then going to download it on their own phones! All the feedback we got was incredibly positive and it was good to hear clinicians say how useful even they would find an app like ours!
It just shows that WellHappy can be used by anyone, you don’t need to be a young person to find the information in it useful and if you work with young people, whether you are a youth worker, doctor, nurse or a teacher in London it is worth a look.
The second week of February, well from the 11th to today, the 17th of February it has been the annual Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
Every year i am blown away by the amount of support and awareness raising that goes on during this week, especially by Beat the eating disorders charity.
And this year was no different with both their “Sock it to Eating Disorders” and “Everybody knows somebody” campaigns which both received a lot of high profile support and attention.
Some things i absolutely must mention..
My wonderful friend and London VIR for YoungMinds Amy-Louise posted this inspirational video. Amy-Louise reached out to the online community and asked them to send her their videos and the result is both heartwarming and heart breaking in equal measures.
There were also some amazing blogs this week on YoungMinds website from young people and their families on the themes of Eating Disorders and Recovery. Please remember that all blogs of this nature can be triggering if you are struggling and should be watched only if you are feeling up to it.
And i know this is a bit of a selfish and silly one but i was incredibly excited that i was re-tweeted by Stephen Fry even if it did involve airing his dirty laundry!:
There was also a groundbreaking debate on Eating Disorders held in Parliament on Friday and chaired by Caroline Noakes MP, Head of the APPG on Body Image and a vocal campaigner for change and awareness. I have started talking to her over Twitter and am hoping to meet with her soon.
I will be posting more specifically about this debate in a blog coming soon. Watch this space!