Whether it’s saving money, getting fit, or committing to a new hobby, New Year’s resolutions are often easier said than done. But if you feel your enthusiasm dwindling, we’re here to help. We’ve got support for stopping smoking, as well as a complete guide to hypnotherapy, to help you get in a head-space to break habits – or to make new, positive ones.
We have compiled an informative guide from suggestions for social anxiety to ways around financial concerns, with heaps of mindfulness tips and activities to help manage your anxiety throughout the holidays. We hope this free resource helps to make you feel a little merrier! Download the FREE Christmas workbook today! Anxiety UK – Infoline: 03444 775 774 Text Service: 07537 416 905
Useful Helpline Numbers: Samaritans – In the UK and Irish Republic contact Samaritans on 116 123. Mind – 0300 123 3393 email@example.com Text: 86463 Saneline – 0300 304 7000 sane.org.uk ChildLine Helpline: 0800 11 11 childline.org.uk Papyrus – HOPELINEUK – 0800 068 4141 papyrus-uk.org NHS Choices – Mental Health, comprehensive help and information from NHS Choices with links to external help and support
And finally, Thank you for all your support during 2019, it has been a busy year, look forward to working with you in 2020.
The festive period can be a joyful time of year – a chance to have a break from university work, catch up with friends or family and recharge ahead of the new year. However, we know it can also be difficult, especially if you are experiencing mental health problems.
It is important to remember that mental health difficulties don’t take a break just because it’s the holidays. Look out for your loved ones and yourself over the festive break and remember it’s okay not to be okay at this time of year. Try to put in some time for rest and self-care.
I read something the other day that really stopped me in my tracks. It said: “There’s only one month left of this decade – make it count.” It’s funny how fast milestones creep up on you – the end of another year, a new decade on its way. Soon it’ll be 100 years since the roaring 20s, and in the blink of an eye, those kids born in the millennium will no longer be teenagers. Reflect on all the small victories, and give yourself credit. Even if the place you’re in right now isn’t exactly where you want to be – emotionally or physically – when you look back over how much has changed in 365 days, I hope it can be a sign of a more positive situation you might find yourself in by this time next year. Our incredible cover star Lauren Mahon is a fantastic example of this. In the past three years, she’s battled breast cancer, founded #GIRLvsCANCER, co-hosted the podcast ‘You, Me and the Big C’, and won countless awards and accolades. She’s come so far in such a short space of time, and going forward we know she’ll continue to be an unstoppable force of nature.
2 Nov 2019 – His new book, That Reminds Me, is published by Stormzy’s #Merky Books and is a novel-in-verse that explores identity, belonging, his experience of growing up in foster care, and his mental breakdown last year. Owusu edited the anthology Safe: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space …
With a new book out on Stormzy’s imprint, the writer discusses men’s emotions, Ghanaian families and paying his brother £50 for each novel he reads.
Derek Owusu was born in London in 1988. His new book, That Reminds Me, is published by Stormzy’s #Merky Books and is a novel-in-verse that explores identity, belonging, his experience of growing up in foster care, and his mental breakdown last year. Owusu edited the anthology Safe: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space (2019) and is a marketing executive for audio at Penguin Books.
How did That Reminds Me come about? I started writing it when I was in a mental health facility last year and I created the character of K to try to understand going through a breakdown. I started writing fragments of memory and initially it was going to be a poetry collection, and then it turned into something different. I sent it to Stormzy’s manager and she loved it. I wanted to convey the symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Before my BPD diagnosis, I just thought I was strange. My emotions were always fluctuating. I was often angry. When I was diagnosed it was a relief. It’s important to share awareness with the people around you so they know what you’re going through. The NHS have been amazing. They saved my life a couple of times.
That Reminds Me is rich in Ghanaian folktale culture… I really wanted to incorporate a lot of that. Anansi is the god of stories – I’m telling Anansi my story. I remember my aunt telling me some Anansi stories when I was 9 or 10, but I didn’t take them in. In my 20s, I bought loads of Anansi books. History, folklore, and culture gives you pride and happiness through a sense of connection.
Tell me about the anthology you edited, Safe, and black British men reclaiming space… It’s about space to be human and let all of your multitudes shine. Black men are often seen in two-dimensional ways as historical racist ideas have been passed on, and the media doesn’t help – reinforcing these ridiculous stereotypes. We often conflate black British men with African men, and it was important to get nuances on paper.
How do you feel about space for black men in the literary world? I think more needs to be done. There’s Benjamin Zephaniah and Courttia Newland. But there’s not enough. A lot of new writers are coming through independent publishers, not enough big publishers are publishing them. Who was the last black British male literary sensation in this country? Probably Caryl Phillips, and that was ages ago. I hope that this novel inspires other writers, and I hope it will encourage other publishers to take on writers who are more experimental. Because publishers are scared of being experimental.
Your next book, Teaching My Brother to Read, sounds fascinating – could you tell me more about it? It was initially an idea for a podcast where I could spend some more time with my brother, who’s 19, and pass on my love of literature. I’ve tried to get him into books before, but he ended up crying after the first few pages of To Kill a Mockingbird – not because he was moved, but because he was so angry that I was making him read! This time around I’m offering him £50 per book and promised him no book will be more than 300 pages. The books I’ve chosen are ones I feel he can benefit from. I raised my brother to the age of around 12. But I left to go to uni for three years and when I came back, he was a different person. I feel I have a responsibility to better his life and I truly believe literature is the way to do that.Advertisement