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, […]

We’re On the Same Team, Josh Smiiffy

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Musician Rapper Josh Smiiffy found himself isolated as a child and severely depressed and suicidal as a teenager. He found help in writing and performing his own music. Although he still suffers, he says, from ‘more downs than ups’ he is keen to see more help for children. Josh would like more arts and sports […]

Being Friends With the Monster, Stolar

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Musician and songwriter Stolar says that from a young age, he always had heightened emotions — what he calls ‘emotional superpowers’. But by the time he was studying at NYU, those feelings were running out of control. He has been diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder. With bipolar in the family, his relatives were able […]