Guest Blog from Mel Narayanasamy
I would like to draw your attention to BBC Radio 4’s “All in the Mind” awards. The radio station has dedicated 25 years to exploring mental health issues in their programme “All In The Mind” they are launching these awards to celebrate! Full details can be found here:
These awards are seeking to recognise those who have offered you significant support in your experiences of mental health problems. There are three categories, “Individual Award”; “Professional Award”; and “Project Award”. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to show our appreciation for those who have made a massive difference in our lives regarding mental health. Judging the award nominees are Radio 1 DJ and TV presenter Scott Mills, clinical psychologist Guy Holmes, Marion Janner founder of Star Wards, MP Charles Walker and “All in the Mind” presenter Claudia Hammond. In no more than 500 words you must describe why you think your nominee made a significant difference to you. Please use examples that demonstrate how they showed greater than expected compassion, understanding or practical assistance.
I would like to tell you about my nomination for the “Individual Award”. It is with much joy that I nominate Jonny Benjamin (https://twitter.com/MrJonnyBenjamin) Here’s why:
I met Jonny through Twitter and from the start, it has been clear that he is someone blessed with tremendous, untainted compassion and love. He generously offered me friendship and through the months that followed, I realised that I have a friend for life. He is wise, inspirational, funny, determined and a personified hug! I have been through some tough times with regards to mental health- anxiety is at the core of it all. I have disclosed my struggles and worries to Jonny many times and his time and support is incredible. Jonny’s words and understanding are delivered from the heart- he cares. I never have to worry about sounding silly, irrational, or weird, because Jonny doesn’t judge. He listens and draws upon his own experiences to advise. More significantly, he draws upon his kind and loving nature to help me feel loved, special and valued. Jonny inspired me to engage in my love of poetry and he always reads my pieces and encourages me. He has a very special heart that enriches me and countless others. When he talks to me about his own struggles with mental health problems, I know how frightening and difficult it is to revisit these experiences. But Jonny is willing to do this to help me and to help anyone going through mental health problems. He empowers me by showing that recovery is possible and that I can get through the bad days. I can talk to Jonny about anything - having that opportunity in itself is a release because it means that I don’t have to keep things bottled up. The response that follows helps me to heal and work through my difficulties. I find my thought processes improve and then I am stronger. Jonny once got me to write ten things that I like about myself. And to show that he was with me, he did it as well! We came up with a list each and it was a turning point for me- I am worthy and I am not alone.
Jonny has made video blogs to talk about mental health issues:
When I’m struggling, I can always find solace in these videos which have been crafted with love, care and effort to help those that Jonny meets- people like me.
I don’t have many friends beyond twitter, and having Jonny as a friend has given me a lease of life. He has welcomed me on board in his fight against mental health stigma and being a part of this has given me purpose, strength and courage to fight my problems. His acceptance and kindness towards me has helped me recognise the special and unique part of me that I was losing sight of. What’s more, because Jonny is so friendly and warm, I have been able to make some very good friends through him and this has really enriched my life. And even though there may be dark days to come, Jonny will help me find my inner candles.
Please do consider taking time to nominate in the categories and be sure to read and follow all the terms and conditions:
The closing date for entries is 31 January 2014.
Many thanks for reading!