Questions to ponder in 2021

Struggle & success

Anna Percy-Davis New Year’s day has come and gone in a particular blur this year and so too have many of my potential New Year’s Resolutions. What is it about New Year’s resolutions anyway? They seem to be a really clever (or perhaps not so clever) way of setting ourselves up to fail. Besides, looking […]

The solace of music, Charles Hazlewood

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Conductor Charles Hazlewood created the Paraorchestra for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, as a way to enable virtuoso disabled magicians to share their musical gifts. But music has played a greater role than that in Charles’ life: it has helped through the recovery from deep-buried sexual abuse when he was young. “The trauma that […]

Hitting a ‘six-month’ wall

Struggle & success

Are you feeling like you’ve hit a wall and lost your mojo? It could be that you’ve hit a six month wall, say researchers. Anna Percy-Davis has some advice for us to get through this period: starting with recognising the ‘wall’ and accepting we aren’t alone. Go easy on yourself, says Anna: your […]

Music, mental health and me, Jack Williamson

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After his brother took his own life, music executive Jack Williamson started to question his purpose and his drive. Artist management was taking its toll on his mental health, and he realised there was a need in the music industry to provide early onset mental health support. Since then, Music and You, which Jack founded […]

Art brought my life back, Lorna Collins

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Lorna Collins suffered a life-threatening brain injury and total amnesia, and she had no concept of who she was. She tried to exercise control in the only way she knew how – by controlling her eating and by self-harm. Art became her lifeline: it was Lorna’s way of expressing her hallucinations and her pain. One […]

Live performance from Simon Webbe

True stories

During lockdown, singer and songwriter Simon Webbe answered a couple of questions about his mental health from the Head Talks community, put to him by his wife Ayshen. He then performed one of his hits, Coming Around Again, recorded just for us.

Make your own art

Struggle & success

Rianna Patterson, now 22, founded the youth-led Domenica Dementia Foundation in honour of her grandfather when she was 18. She urges young people to find a way to be creative and to tell their stories during this difficult time. By looking at art and self-expression, it pays off with motivation in other areas […]

Comedy is my survival technique

Struggle & success

Award-winning comedian Juliette Burton has been diagnosed with a number of mental health conditions, including eating disorders, bipolar disorder, and OCD. For her, comedy is a survival technique. “My mind can take me to some dark places so it’s vital that I seek out the light – that’s what comedy does for me.”

Be your own historian

Struggle & success

The pandemic has hit mental health facilitator Hazel Sawyers and her family hard. She is keeping herself afloat by following the FOCUS principle: Fearless, Optimistic, Creative, Unique, and Storyteller. Hazel urges us to tell our stories and take notes of how this situation is making us feel. She explains: “Make sure you’re your […]

The comfort of poetry

Struggle & success

Head Talks’ ambassador Rachel Kelly suggests we try poetry to provide some respite from the worrying situation today. “Poetry can give us words when we can’t find them; and crucially, it can root us in the present because we focus on the poem and unpack its meaning, so we don’t think about the […]

Keep hope alive

Struggle & success

Terry Waite, held hostage in Lebanon for five years, has some wise words for us. “We are all equally vulnerable. Many people will be afraid and many will already have felt isolated. But then I realised – I still have life. Life is precious. Recognise also that sometimes out of suffering, great things […]

Dancing to Freedom

Feed your mind

Samiya Noordeen was a barrister for many years before she turned to dance, becoming a tango performer and setting up a dance lifestyle company. A mother of three children, Samiya had reached a point where she felt the need to develop a life that was based around her passion to be more creative, […]

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