Mental Health Discrimination in the Media

Bournemouth, UK
After reading a Time to Change article on reducing the stigma surrounding mental health, I became inspired to write this post about the Sherlock Gnomes movie and their negative portrayal of mental illness and depression. This is because of a line in the script which reads 'What are you going to do, depress me to death?'

I feel that I should use my blog to inspire other people to act on stigma which they come across. I was in two minds about posting this, as I am aware that a lot of people will disagree with what I am about to say. However, I believe that sufferers of this predominant mental health condition should not be used as a punchline and in an attempt to humour others. There is a quote which reads “speak your mind even if your voice trembles”, which I am keeping in mind as I write this post.

As a sufferer of depression and a passionate advocate for mental health, I was extremely disappointed by the ignorant use of depression to make audiences laugh. 1 in 4 people suffer from mental illness every year and 35 in 100 people have self-harmed, experienced suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide in their lifetime. The topic of mental illness has been talked about more frequently in society, but there is still an extremely long way to go until the stigma is removed. There was a lack of sensitivity for depression sufferers in this movie. Depression poisons the minds of people and living can become so incredibly painful that they don't want to be alive to see another day or week or month. That should not be a laughing matter. It is insensitive and highly triggering for those with depression.

The young children which this movie is targeted towards will remember the negative stereotype associated with mental health and the stigma will not change. Consequently, new generations will contribute to the stigma and lack of understanding that depression is a serious illness, not a joke. Sufferers are very, very strong people. They fight exhausting daily battles and should be applauded for tiny victories like getting out of bed in the morning or taking their medication. They should be helped with recovering, not mocked and criticised by others. Depression is extremely serious. It kills so many people and it should be treated in the same way that physical illnesses are. If you personally find depression and death humorous then you need to ask yourself why; challenging yourself and your pattern of thinking.

I have contacted the creators of Sherlock Gnomes, explaining my concerns and I am awaiting their response. The article (which I have linked above) states that stigma is reduced by sharing examples of discrimination and making companies and authorities aware that it is not acceptable. Therefore I would appreciate my readers also sharing their experiences and sharing this post so that it is taken seriously by the producers and a change can take place. Individuals deserve to live in a world that doesn’t make them feel that their life is unworthy. They deserve to recover from mental illness.

Love Casey x

Below are links to websites that can support you if you are suffering from mental illness.

116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call)

0300 123 3393 (9am-6pm Monday to Friday)


A Safe Place in a Box

As a sufferer of multiple mental health illnesses, I have tried many coping mechanisms and distractions. I personally think that what works the best for me might not work in the same way for you, but in the chance that it does, I want to share with you how to make your own Self Soothe Box.

A Self Soothe Box is something that I was uncertain of at first. It was described to me as a 'safe place' that contained things to help me cope with staying safe and positive. At the time I thought that nothing helped me so I would practically have an empty box. Though with time and as I thought more about it, there were a lot of things that had the potential to help me, and I learnt that I was worthy of helping myself and using this as a way of coping when I am feeling negatively.

I bought my box from a local art and crafts shop for £2.50 and over time began to fill it with small items that helped me in different emotional states. One year on, my box is overflowing and I have a limitless amount of support made by and for myself.

Here are some of the things that you could put in your own Self Soothe Box:

  • Photographs
  • Favourite Quotes
  • Notes from a Friend or Family Member
  • Felt Tip Pen
  • Loom Bands
  • Glitter Jar
  • Mini Mindful Colouring Pad
  • Small Writing Pad
  • Post-it Notes
  • Bath Bombs
  • Amethyst Stones
  • Hand Cream
  • Stress Ball
  • Seashell
  • Ribbon and Textiles
  • Fidget Cube
  • Putty
  • Guatemalan Worry Doll
  • Feather or Soft Brush
  • Bubbles
  • Fun Snaps
  • Ipod
  • Scented Candles
  • Body Spray
  • Face Mask
  • Lip Balm
  • Aromatherapy Oils
  • Incense Sticks
  • A Small Jar of Spices
  • Scratch and Sniff Stickers
  • Hot Chocolate Sachet
  • Hard Sweets
  • Gum and Mints
  • Rescue Remedy

It is important to cater for the majority of emotions that you feel; therefore your box can help you in multiple situations. By including at least one item that appeals to each of the senses, it is likely that you are covered!
Most of the items in my box are small and transportable. Therefore I can always keep the box with me and have the safety of having things close to me that I know help in tricky situations. If you can't bring your box with you then you can still take a couple of things from it that will support you in your day.

In 2016 I was kindly gifted with a 'Little Box Of Distractions'. The Little Box Of Distractions is a project made by Kerry and Shelley Elliot. Since 2015, they have been making boxes filled with items to help sufferers of mental health and very kindly sending them for free. When I received one of their boxes it really motivated me to begin to help myself when I felt that I was underserving of recovery. I got the chance to talk to Kerry about The Little Box Of Distractions.

Casey: Hi Kerry! Who or what would you say has had the biggest influence on you to create such a kind project?

Kerry: I have tried so many different therapies that have been flung at me. I was willing to do anything to make me better. Most services suggested I make a "self-care box". I realised that when phoning the crisis team they would always say "take a bath, read a book, make a hot drink" etc. so I decided to make up a box that people could try before phoning the crisis team, so that they can say they had already tried their suggestions. I decided to use my own benefit money to make 10 boxes to start with. I thought "if I help 10 people that would be amazing" when those boxes were gone people started donating and I made 10 more. Before I knew it I had helped 50 people and I was getting regular donations from my local council and participation budgets. 2 years down the road, we are a registered charity and have helped over 700 people. 

Casey: I really respect your determination to get better and recover! Well done for being so strong. It must be such a wonderful feeling to know that you have helped so many individuals. What are you hoping for The Little Box Of Distractions to achieve in the next 2 years?

Kerry: I am hoping to continue to help people. Hold good fundraisers and to do talks on self harm etc. within schools and workplaces. We want to provide as many charities, organisations and schools with boxes which they can allocate to people who may need them. 

Casey: That's wonderful! I wish you the best of luck with your fundraising! Is there any advice that you would give to anyone that is struggling right now in terms of their mental health?

Kerry: If you can't manage one day at a time, try one hour at a time or a minute at a time. It's one more minute you have got through it.

Do you have a Self Soothe Box? Let me know in the comments what is in yours!
Love Casey x


My Favourite Youtuber| Ana Cadence

Ana Cadence is a Youtuber and video maker in Perth, Western Australia. Many of her videos involve mental health topics and contribute to lessening the stigma towards it. Her channel also consists of advice, fashion, art, travel and poetry.

I found Ana's You Tube Channel in 2015, when I was fifteen years old. Her channel was in my recommendations and the first video that I watched of hers is titled  '☯My Suicide Attempt - This took a lot to upload☯'. I watched the entire video and immediately fell in love with her story and burning passion to help other people; despite going through one of the hardest times of her life.

I have been watching Ana for three years now, and being on her recovery journey is so inspiring. Her Channel is a raw documentation of her first-hand experiences and I have listened to her heart pour out because of problems in this world which are out of her reach, and because she wants to make a difference. I have witnessed the cruel realities of mental illness and how it impacted her through this Channel. Seeing this from a different perspective than my personal experience helped me to feel less alone; though it also made me hate the capacity and strength of mental illness even more. It is completely destroying.

I can see pieces of myself in Ana and the person that I was before mental illness took over my life. It is difficult to think about, but I have made a promise to myself that there will be a day where I recover. I'm looking forward to that day. The biggest part of Ana that I see in myself is her kindness and care for other people. I have a dying desire to save others, whether that be from themselves or other things, people, illness... I want to be able to save people because I don't want them to feel the pain that I have felt, and so I will always do everything that I can to make things better.

I admire the way that she can share her journey and life to inspire other people. Even though I have never met Ana, I know that she has a very big heart and she is so selfless. She is going to change the world someday I'm sure of it. Johanna helped me by showing that recovery from mental illness is possible. That struggling with your mental health is NOT something to be ashamed of.

My all time favourite video from Ana's channel is titled '☯Rudy Francisco Saved Me☯'. I have honestly lost count of how many times I have listened to this, the words are engraved somewhere inside of me and they flow out of me at every opportunity. This video includes snippets and clips of her day-to-day life, with Francisco's poem playing in the background and her commentary. This poem really connects to me. I feel connected because of the underlying tones of grief and loneliness. My favourite verse is this:

So I’ll call your phone and hang up before it actually rings.
I’ll write you letters that you will never read.
And when I see you in public
I’ll stick my hand inside of a bag full of things that I haven’t done since you left me
And pull out a smile.
I’ll say something like:
“It’s nice to see you.”
And I’ll keep walking.

Recently I have been grieving the loss of people and relationships; and this verse especially sums up the conflicting feelings that I have over what has happened in my life. After discovering this poem, I binge-read ALL of Rudy's work. I felt this strong pull towards his writing and my love for him grew even stronger. At the end of this post I will leave some links to my favourite poems of his. Ana listened to Rudy Francisco's work before her suicide attempt. It was something that kept her going and inspired her to silence the darkness of neurotic depression. There is an entire video dedicated to Rudy on her channel which you can find here.

Ana, in the unlikely circumstance that you are reading this, hello! I have spoken to you a few times on social media in the last three years but I doubt you remember me. I am so proud of how far you've come since I first found your channel; in terms of recovery, health, business and career. You inspire me to write, to challenge and to improve and I am working on the person that I want to become, the person that I already am behind mental illness diagnosis'. Thank you.

Ana's links:
Personal Store- https://universalhobobag.com/
Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/Universal.hobo
Snapchat- Indicaecho
Tumblr- http://disputeanocean.tumblr.com/
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/JohannaCadence
Twitter- https://twitter.com/AcidicHobo

My Favourite Rudy Francisco Poems:
A Lot Like You
Turning Tables

Who is your favourite Youtuber? Let me know in the comments!

Love Casey x


The Liebster Award

I was nominated by Hannah from @Rand0mg41 on twitter  to complete the Liebster Award Tag. For those of you that don't know, this is a way of discovering new blogs and learning a bit more about the people behind them. You can read her post here.

1.  How long have you been blogging?
I started @casestreetx in June 2017, although I launched my first blog in 2015.

2. What's your favourite posts to read?
My favourite posts to read are advice and personal ones. Reading someone's experiences with certain difficulties or struggles really inspire me and I love that the blogging community is such a positive and safe place for people to do this in.

3. What's your favourite posts to write?
My favourite posts to write are lifestyle posts.

4. What is your next goal for your blog?
My next goal for this blog is reach a following of 100 subscribers.

5. Which social media do you use the most? For both personal and your blog?
For my personal account, I mostly use Instagram, whereas for my blog I mostly use twitter. Find me here.

6. What is your hobby? (outside of blogging)
Outside of blogging, my hobby is photography and art. I am quite a creative person and therefore a lot of my feelings and experiences are reflected in all of my work.

7. If you could start your blog all over again, would you? and how would it differ?
As my blog is very new, I wouldn't start it all over again. I'm very happy with Casestreetx and my little corner of the internet.

8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be & why?
I would live in Perth, Western Australia, because I find it so beautiful. I have never visited, although I dedicated an essay on this location as part of my coursework in my A-Levels.

9. What's one piece of advice you'd give to a new blogger?
One piece of advice that I would give is to not compare yourself to other bloggers that have been blogging for months or years... As hard as that sounds, putting all of your energy into your own work and goals will impact you so positively! I was guilty of this comparison as a new blogger and I think that without this I would have a larger amount of confidence in myself and the work that I was creating at that time. There is a quote that fits perfectly here; "Don't compare your chapter 1 to someone else's chapter 20".

10. Are you subscribed to any subscription boxes or magazines? If so, which?
I am not currently subscribed to any subscription boxes or magazines, although I am a regular reader of the Glamour Magazine.

11. Favourite sweets/chocolate?
My favourite chocolate is Milky Bar.

So here are the 11 I nominate to do this tag and their blog links.
1. Julia
2. Chloe
3. Talie
4. Bethany
5. Brenda
6. Katelin
7. Faye
8. Izzy
9. Talie
10. Skylar
11. Diana

And here are your questions...

1. What is your favourite thing about blogging?

2. How old is your blog?

3. Do you take part in any weekly blogger chats? If so, which one is your favourite?

4. Who or what inspires you?

5. Who is your favourite Youtuber?

6. What is your favourite quote and why?

7. What's one thing you would do if nothing was impossible?

8. Who's your favourite music artist?

9. Why did you decide to make a blog?

10. What is one thing you have learnt from making and owning a blog?

11. Favourite season/time of year?

Please tag me in your blog posts, I can't wait to read them!

Love Casey x


Ted Baker Perfectly Polished Nail Polish Gift Set

Hello everybody! This is the Ted Baker Perfectly Polished Nail Polish Set, containing four 9ml beautiful, summery polishes. This is the first product that I have tried from the Ted Baker range, so if you have ever wondered about the quality of them and if they are as good as people say they are, keep on reading.

The packaging is beautiful and minimalistic. A white cardboard box engraved with flowers and natural surroundings. This is accompanied by the classic 'T' symbol of Ted Baker himself. The rose gold running through the middle of the box also compliments the shades in this set.

The four polishes have no names, though I would describe them as nude beige, pastel pink, light grey (my favourite) and bronze. I feel like they would be perfect for wear in the upcoming warmer months; spring and summer.

These polishes have a perfect consistency, they provide great coverage after the first coat although I would recommend two for the fullest coverage and longer lasting nails. I also use the Maybelline Dr.Rescue Base, Top-Coat and Strenghtener. This combination makes my nails look healthy, strong and allows them to last for up to seven days.

Ted Baker's Perfectly Polished Nail Polish Set has become my go to for colourful nails. I would recommend this set and I am excited to try out more products from the Ted Baker range.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

Love Casey x
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