1-0 to Winter

I’m that person who says “I can’t wait for the dark evenings and crisp winter mornings.” I’m usually bopping around in my boots and beanies, sipping on a hot chocolate, happy that it’s winter again. And I mean, Gavin and Stacey are having a Christmas Special this year after nearly a decade! This should be the best winter ever. But this year, I REGRET SAYING ANYTHING. CAN IT BE JULY AGAIN PLEASE? The winter rut of 2019 hit me hard & the fact I’m struggling through Final Year is not making it any easier.

I’m freezing, I’m tired, I’m uninspired and I’m unmotivated. I feel lazy, irritated (and probably irritating) and I’m not looking after myself, mentally or physically. I was thriving in Summer, living my best life, reaching my goals. But this winter? I’m feeling anything but.


Enough was enough and a couple of weeks ago for the a thousandth time this year I said to myself, “Catherine, wise up”. I’m blessed with good health, in the final year of a degree I have dreamed of doing since I was 14, living with four of my best friends and fortunate to have many more around me. The last thing I should be doing is feeling sorry for myself because it’s cold and dark outside, I have assignment to do in a degree I signed up for and that the moon is making us all act a little funny. I decided to take it upon myself to find out why I might be feeling this way, and ways in which I can stop it.

Groundhog Day

A common reason we may start to feel stuck in a rut is when every day starts to feel the same. As a final year student with endless work to do, I felt the need to be in the library by 9am typing away, scanning journals and questioning whether this degree was really for me. Attending a lecture and seminar in the afternoon, before heading back to the library for another hour or two just to make myself feel “better”. When really, I was tired and my  heads so fried that I’m not making any progress at all and I had just spent 2 hours on a paragraph that most likely isn’t going to make the final draft of my assignment. Final year was draining me. I thought I was doing myself a favour, working super hard, getting ahead of the game, but I soon realised I was burning myself out and it was affecting me in more ways than one. I even got BANGS in week 5.


I knew I had to let myself relax, take a chill pill or 5. Coincidentally the next morning Meibh and I had planned to go for a walk up Cavehill and go for a Brunch date afterwards. I know it sounds cliché when they say heading outdoors really clears the head. But seriously, my head hadn’t been as clear in weeks. After the best Avo Toast I’ve ever had, shoutout to Output Espresso, we were true to our white girl selves and went to Starbucks to do some work, where I completed and submitted my first assignment, without feeling stressed. Which is not surprisingly considering studies show that being outdoors lowers stress and enhances creativity. So, the next time you feel under pressure with work, don’t lock yourself in the library, go get some fresh air and relax for a few hours. You’ll be surprised with what work you’ll produce after.


“Nobody’s Perfect.” (Hannah Montana, 2006).

When having a little snoop around this topic on Google I found an article that explains how Perfectionism can ironically make you feel stuck and effect your progress. Well… My name is Catherine and I’m a perfectionist. Something I thought I should be proud of. I even have it as one of my top qualities on my CV, oops. But after some reading I found out how being a perfectionist will have you going around in circles, never happy with whatever you have done. Completing an assignment will have you saying “could I have done this better?” a thousand times before hitting the submit button on turnitin, rather than giving yourself a pat on the back for completing an assignment which was really hard and challenging and something you should be proud of completing. Learn to squash perfectionism and recognise that something being done is better than being left undone. Focus on completing things, at a standard you’re proud of and show cases your abilities of-course, but move on afterwords and don’t beat yourself up on whether it’s perfect or not. After all, does perfection even exist?


The little things matter

And then, there was just little things. I asked myself, was I looking after myself? Was I eating well? Was I sleeping enough? Spending time with people who made me feel good and doing things I enjoyed? And to be honest, I wasn’t really. So, I filled my wraps with salad for lunch and added a few pieces of broccoli to my meals at dinner time. I let myself sleep for 8 hours rather than set an alarm for 7.30am at 2am. When my friends at Uni asked me to go for coffee after I said, “I’d love to” rather than “I’m going to go to the library.” I arranged to see friends I hadn’t in a while, making plans I had to look forward to. I got back into some good habits I had let slip, remembered how important it was to get fresh air everyday and most importantly set some time aside just for ME!


It’s pretty easy to get a little down in the dumps, but you’d be surprised at the little things that can make you feel a little better and help you ride through the storm. But most importantly, be easy on yourself, you’re doing the very best you can.


Sometimes these feelings may be more than just being stuck in a rut. Such feelings may be signs of something more serious. If what you’re feeling is more than just being stuck in a rut, talk to a friend, a family member, your doctor or contact a mental health helpline right away.

Catherine Maguire is a Final Year year BSc in Communication, Advertising & Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be found on Instagram: catherinelauram and LinkedIn: Catherine Maguire

My Top Favourite Campaigns!

Ever since I started to study PR and started to understand the effort that goes into creating a PR and marketing campaign, I have gained an appreciation for a campaign that can make me stop and think!

For me, the campaigns I remember the most are those were companies use their platforms to highlight the social issues happening all around the world to gain consumers attention to the social issues as well as the product they are promoting.  These campaigns are always very controversial and inspiring, social media however allows everyone to post their opinions and views without focusing on the issues being promoted. Campaigns are becoming increasing more difficult to promote as consumers are always finding ways to avoid watching or listening to ads, which requires companies to work harder than ever to gain our attention.

Here are a few of my favourite Campaigns that focus on social issues:


“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”


Like many, I didn’t really understand the sacrifice that Kaepernick made when taking a knee during an NFL game, it wasn’t until I seen the Nike campaign that I actually researched what it all actually meant. Nike took a stance on a social issue for their 30th anniversary campaign, the campaign featured former San Francisco 49ers quarterback. Kaepernick took a knee during a pregame playing of the American national anthem in 2016 to protest racial injustice America, as a result of this he has not been signed by another team. This caused outrage among many people including President Trump who attacked the advert ‘’I think it’s a terrible message that [Nike] are sending and the purpose of them doing it.’’


Many went as far as to burn or cut the Nike logo off their products in solidarity with their country, many felt it was unpatriotic and incited rage among consumers.. However, the campaign actually increased Nikes stocks by 5%.

Following this controversial campaign, Nike also launched a campaign featuring women in sports.


‘Dream Crazier’

Nike also released a campaign focusing on ‘crazy’ women in sport. This campaign worked to redefine what it means to be a ‘crazy’ woman and remove the negative connection of the word. It focuses on female athletes who have worked to break down barriers, to inspire the next generation of female athletes.

It features tennis champion Serena Williams who speaks throughout the campaign as she has personal experience of being called over emotional. She was questioned by both the media and social media when she returned to the sport after giving birth to her daughter.  Throughout history women have always been seen to be inferior to men within sport, to this day these negative stereotypes still apply.


I have always appreciated Nike’s ability to tackle the most controversial issues without worrying how it will affect their brand but focusing more on bringing attention to issues that they support. Nike founder Phil Knight, said “It doesn’t matter how many people hate your brand as long as enough people love it.”



Jigsaw is a luxury British Fashion clothing and accessories retailer, that took a stand on immigration with their ‘Heart Immigration’ manifesto which challenged the idea that  anything or anyone 100% British.

NM24This comes at a time when no one knows what is in store for us in regard to Brexit and what this means for immigration. It focuses on the idea that is nothing is ever completely British, it is a little of this and a little of that. This was done exceptionally well by working aside ancestry UK to show how diverse fashion is as ‘British style is not 100% British. In fact, it’s just as diverse as we are’. It received a lot of support from social media as well as critiques who felt that it is not the brands place to speak on such a controversial issue.

Are we ever just one thing, if you look within your family or friend group are they a mixture of different nationalities or all one? I don’t believe any of us are just one. By using none traditional ways of promoting there brand they made me click into their campaign and look at the clothes in a more in-depth way than I would a brand who just use the same pretty pictures with pretty clothes as everyone else.


It is  impossible to not know what the ‘me too’ movement is unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years. Gillette is just one of many brands who had to change their stance. They changed their tagline from ”The best a man can get”, replacing it with ”The best men can be”.

As a well-known men’s brand, Gillette challenged sexism, the dangers of toxic masculinity and the importance of setting a good example for boys. Throughout the ad, it shows examples of cyber bullying, sexual harassment and mansplaining. The advert also highlights the proliferation of the phrase “boys will be boys” as a means of excusing harmful or violent behaviour exhibited by young boys.


This ad has been praised as being ‘pro humanity’ as opposed to ‘anti-male’. Actor Terry Crews supported the campaign ‘I was told over and over that this was not abuse. That this was just a joke. That this was just horseplay. But I can say that one man’s horseplay is another man’s humiliation.”

Throughout the ad, there was many examples of ways for men to improve the negative stereotype surrounding them following such a huge #metoo movement, I felt it was a very well thought out campaign that used the timing of the #metoo movement to their advantage. This is only one step they have take to actively challenge the stereotypes and expectations of what it means to be a man. As a company they have promised to donate $1m a year for three years to non-profit organisations with programs “designed to inspire, educate and help men of all ages achieve their personal “best” and become role models for the next generation”.

Piers Morgan tweeted ‘I’ve used Gillette razors my entire adult life but this is absurd virtue-signalling PC guff may drive me away’. Does he really think anyone cares about his opinion?

Project 84: Calm


Did you know that 84 men every week commit suicide? It is one of the leading causes of death among men in the UK. CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) started a conversation about male suicide On World Mental Health Day, by creating 84 sculptures standing on top of This morning Studios in London.

NM20On the projects websites there are names and details of each of the men, who stories were told by those close to them. It shows that no matter where you’re from, what age or race you too can struggle. This campaign was implemented to put pressure on the government to make a change, this was achieved by the first UK suicide prevention minister being appointed. This campaign raised awareness for a every growing issue within the UK with  powerful message in a dignified way.


I can’t wait to see what campaigns are coming in 2020, as I embark on a carer in PR myself.

Niamh McNally is a final year BSc Communications Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on Twitter: @NiamhMc_Nally 


Odd One Out

As with any university student, the thought of picking a dissertation topic that you will put blood, sweat and most definitely tears in is a daunting prospect. I know I wanted to pick a topic that firstly I found interesting and secondly one that is a current issue in today’s society. With much thought, I decided to research the effects that social media has on our self- esteem and body image.


One of my main inspirations for researching this topic was through watching a BBC Three documentary, called ‘Jesy Nelson; ‘Odd One Out.’’ We all remember Jesy as being on the X Factor in 2011, one of the four members of the girl group Little Mix. As a 12-year-old girl, I was in awe of Little Mix, an all-girl group filled with ‘ordinary’ happy go lucky girls, who had just won one of the biggest TV shows in the UK. Being thrown into fame and fortune and not being able to walk down the street without everyone knowing you, is probably a dream for many. However, for Jesy Nelson she quickly wished she had never entered and desperately longed for the life she once had.


Watching the documentary was genuinely heartbreaking; seeing someone in the spot light who seems to have everything you could possibly want in life so depressed and dispirited. It is completely beyond my comprehension as to why anyone can fulfil pleasure through being an online troll and bringing others down for their own satisfaction. These trolls hide behind keyboards and don’t take a second to think about the impact their words have on the individual. The tweets circling about Jesy were truly repulsive: ‘The fat ugly one.’….. ‘Go kill yourself.’…… ‘Wide load coming through.’…. ‘4 members 5 chins.’ …. ‘Saggy, baggy, rough and don’t get me started on her face.’

 Controversial Katie Hopkins added further unnecessary fuel to the fire tweeting: ‘Packet mix have still got a chubber in their ranks. Less Little Mix more pick n mix.’ Jesy gave an authentic, distressing account to the consequence of the sheer level of hatred she was receiving, as she began starving herself which led to her attempting to take her own life in 2013. We are all guilty of putting celebrities on this unrealistic pedestal, I know I do!  Celebrities tend to have a god like status with a human face, however this documentary highlighted just how ‘human’ celebrities are, with the same emotions any sane person would have in this situation.


Jesy Nelson’s documentary aired on 12thSeptember 2019, breaking the BBC Three record with 3.3 million views, 64% of which were 16-34 year olds. The film tackles mental health issues and appears to have made a real difference to those going through similar experiences. One fan tweeted: ‘The #OddOneOut Jesy Nelson documentary is one of the saddest and scary things I have ever watched. This needs to be shown everywhere to teach people the devastating effects their words and comments have. Be kind. Always.’  Another fan tweeted: ‘My favourite from day one. The girl I saw so much of myself in. Please know that not everything you see on social media is what it seems. We are all human beings.’ The amount of support Jesy has received following the release of the film has been staggering.


I really do recommend everyone to watch this documentary, I have a lot of admiration for Jesy Nelson, in being so brave and for sharing such a deeply personal and inspiring message.  The influence that mass media has on self-esteem and body image, can be devastating. This particular case showed just how impactful vile comments can be, leading to body dissatisfaction and other health concerns including; eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression. We all come in different shapes and sizes and shouldn’t let the opinions of others bring us down. I know that this film has empowered women from all over Britain and here in Ireland to embrace the body they’ve been given and not to let petty comments from petty people affect you.


If I haven’t bored you and you’ve got this far please if you can take one thing from this blog post; be nice to people, no matter WHO they are, everyone’s fighting a battle others know nothing about. Now on that note off I go to start this dissertation.


Hannah Colgan is a final year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found at: LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/hannah-colgan-b65179166/ and Instagram – @Hannahcolgan890


Cadbury Have Gone Quiet

If you’ve been to the shops recently and fancied yourself some chocolate, you might have  noticed that there’s something missing on Cadbury wrappers. It’s words.


Most people have experienced moments where older people want to strike up a conversation and tell never-ending stories, whether they are your own family members, customers, or just people you meet in public. It can be a lovely interaction, or maybe you need to get moving. Either way, sometimes we forget that this could be due to the fact that they’re lonely and just want someone to chat to.

Cadbury are trying to combat this loneliness by giving people the opportunity to “donate their words” because in the UK, 1.4 million older people suffer from loneliness and 225,000 of them often go a whole week without speaking to anyone. They will be donating to Age UK with 30p of each Cadbury bar bought.

Sue Perkins put herself in the shoes of many older people and lived in isolation for 30 hours, which you can watch below.

It’s hard to imagine what complete isolation is like, because for many of us, even if we go a couple of days not physically socialising, we still have our phones to text, call, or communicate through social media. If we don’t use that, we still have TV’s, radios, games consoles or streaming services like Netflix to keep us entertained. How sue spent 30 hours, is unfortunately typical for a lot of older people.

Age UK say that “loneliness is associated with depression, sleep problems, impaired cognitive health, heightened vascular resistance, hypertension, psychological stress and mental health problems.” We can’t begin to imagine what growing older whilst dealing with any of these issues could feel like. Age UK have also looked at different causes of loneliness associated with old aged people including:

  • Deterioration of social networking: friends or family members live far, or no longer be living. They may not have had any children and could be divorced or widowed, and it’s hard to socialise or meet people when you’re not working.
  • Health issues: as we get older, our physical and mental health can deteriorate. We may need carers, have limited mobility, or illnesses such as dementia which can affect our ability to socialise effectively.
  • Individual characteristics: factors such as ethnicity, religion, sexuality, socioeconomic status etc. can cause isolation, depending on the circumstances.
  • Neighbourhood: having a lack of neighbourliness within the area, reputation of the area and even the structure and architecture of an area can affect socialisation for older people.

Unfortunately, there is no local support here in Northern Ireland. However, if you wanted to volunteer at a local Age UK shop, or pop in and get some stylish finds whilst also donating – you can find your nearest Age UK charity shop using their finder map.


Cadbury and Age UK are urging people to not only donate, but take some time out of their day to help older people in and out of their lives. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Start a conversation with an older person
  2. Call an older relative
  3. Check in on a older neighbour
  4. Volunteer with Age UK

MM1We might take older people for granted, or even ignore them. But it’s important to acknowledge that they’re people just like everyone else and have lived rich and interesting lives, probably filled with great advice for the rest of us.

It’s great that such a famous company are using a frequently purchased product to start a conversation about loneliness in older people. Not only that, but they are taking earned money from a product, and donating it to something of a greater significance, that also needs it more. Not only are Age UK and older people gaining more support and donations, but Cadbury are also creating a positive and helpful appearance for their company. It’s a win-win!

To find out more information, you can visit:

Age UK – Donate Your Words

Age UK – Combating Loneliness


Maya McCloskey is a final year Bsc Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on Twitter: @maya_papaya30 and Instagram: @maya_mcc

Did the Joker make cents

Why is the joker one of the most controversial films of 2019?

Because it’s a disturbing masterpiece.

Unless you have been living under a rock then you will have probably heard of one of the most notorious films of 2019, The Joker. RD10

Looking back on previous Joker films, you see how the Joker is always portrayed as the Villain and batman the hero. After taking to the most critical form of social media (Twitter), I researched the Joker and read something that really struck a chord.

“Childhood is when you idolize Batman, Adulthood is when you realize the Joker made more sense”.

Throughout the movie we see how facing trauma in childhood can lead to mental illness, psychosis through to psychopathy in adulthood, and the question that runs through my mind is “Could this have been prevented?”. We see how the system and society fail Arthur several times. You always hear people preaching the phrase “you don’t know what someone is going through behind closed doors” but yet, Arthur was continuously judged and misinterpreted many times throughout the film. It was sad that he had to carry around a card explaining to the people he had a mental illness because at the end of the day he doesn’t owe anyone an explanation.

From start to finish we see multiple times the Joker continuously forcing a smile, he was just a regular guy with mental illness looking to feel better. There is a clear image RD12painted from the beginning that society has always been against people like the Joker, so are we surprised when the city turns in to chaos and joins him in his rebellion?

The first shooting was a taste for the joker in what it felt like to get revenge on the rich. He was continuously shot down and mocked by the rich men on the train and in everyday life, so was it any wonder that he enjoyed it and done a victory dance. Once his actions were recognized by the city, he realized that people stood with him and wanted to make a stand for social justice.

“For my whole life, I didn’t know if I even really existed. But I do, and people are starting to notice”. – Joker

The rich are represented as Thomas Wayne in the movie, ironically painted as a hero, and the ‘perfect man’ to represent Gotham city. We soon learn that it’s all a fake facade and that the Rich only looks out for the Rich. Arthur always looked up to Thomas Wayne and Murray, until he learned that he was a sympathizer for them.

The film was so raw and real, it shows how things just go from bad to worse for Arthur. RD11
Once he realizes he was adopted and abused, and that his entire life has been a lie, you can see these things slowly shaping him into the insane genius that is the Joker. A powerful scene in the movie is when, Arthur starts dancing down the steps giving in, accepting and transforming into the Joker. He dances into a pool of madness and his insanity blossoms from here.

A large talk surrounding the movie is, ‘does it correlate to the world we live in today’? People think that the Joker was not just a movie but that it was art and real life. The movie does link closely to today’s society, and it addresses the real-life struggles we face today.  The rich are still powerful and being treated superior, and mental health is still on the rise and there’s not much being done to stop it. Something I find interesting is the subtle quotes within the movie that do relate to real life. A favorite one of mines is when the Joker tells an RD3offensive joke, Murray scolds him for it saying you can’t tell jokes like that and then the Joker talks about how easily offended people are these days. I feel like this is real, in today’s society you always have to watch what you say or tiptoe around everyone as someone is always offended about something.

We see subtle references from the ‘Dark knight rising (2008)’ and ‘The Joker (2019)’, both Jokers are responsible for killing people, but we feel bad for one and yet not the other. We watch what Arthur goes through and understand his transition into the Joker, whereas we view the other one like a mad man.

A question to ask is “are we responsible for creating monsters?”. We see the iconic scene towards the end, where Joker paints on a smile with his own blood. This scene will always be remembered as the scene in which the Joker tried to smile through the pain until the pain made him smile.

So, I think the answer to the question above is, yes… To some extent, I think we as a society need to take some responsibility for creating ‘monsters’. If everyone was nice to each other in real life and not just online would mental health so largely consume so many of us?

Moral of the story in real life and behind The Joker movie is:

Be careful how you treat people.


Rachael Diamond is a final year Bsc Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found at: Twitter – @rachaeldiamond and LinkedIn @rachaeldiamond. 



‘The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t.”- The Joker


Todd Phillips ‘The Joker’ has been one of the most talked about films this year and any conversation around Joker is arguably more exciting than the film itself. The subject mirrored in the joker film is mental health which has had some back lash from its audience due to the way the films depicts it.

I went to see the film after hearing the mixed reviews. One would say I was a sheep following the crowd, I am not a Marvel fan and had never really watched Marvel films. When watching the film I didn’t see mental health as being wrongly depicted. Instead I found the movie underlying the importance of mental health. I thought the film itself was just phenomenal.

If you have not seen it yet I highly recommend you stop reading this and DO!

The topic was very sensitive. I can understand why people felt they needed to walk out and I highly respect that. It certainly was a hard watch and some people may have found the content distasteful. If I’m honest when I read the tweets and reports that circulated the internet after viewing the film my opinion did slightly change.  I took on board others opinions and I was able sympathise with the backlash due to the insensitivity of the character.

I found that it did portray numerous negative associations-

  •  The idea that child abuse leads to mental illness and this is murderous in character.
  • That mental illness somehow equates to something of a superpower.

It has been argued that The joker is seen as a lonely character until he commits the brutal murders. The Joker character turns his own self pity into violence. This is then rewarded with love and support off which he’d been missing through the whole film.BH32

However, the main debate about the film is that the violence and the conversation around gun control has overshadowed an important message of mental illness. This has left those effected by mental health upset. In regards to USA gun crime there has been brutal concerns about the messages it has been transmitting. In regards to the shootings and the actions it might inspire. People may come away from the film with the wrong impression. This impression being to shoot those people who have wrongly treated them.


The Rich people in the film are seen as the villains they are seen to have exploited and abandoned the rest of society. Those have argued that this is not the case and is a false interpretation.

What do you get when you cross a mentally ill loner with a society that abandons him and treats him like garbage?”

“You get what you fucking deserve,”

The Joker shoots the wealthy television presenter. He claims the only reason he took him on the show was to brutally embarrass him.

Again, painting the rich negatively!

The opposite argument-

This side of the argument is how I myself view the film. I don’t usually go to the cinema or watch movies but The Joker film really does deserve some credibility on how it portrays mental health. Powerful is an understatement and in my opinion it depicts the raw reality.

I feel the film draws attention to the mentally Ill and their mistreatment and perceptions by the public. The Joker highlights a daily struggle by many suffering in which they feel they need to hide their mental illnesses so they are ‘accepted’ or in order to ‘fit in’. Only now in the last 2 or 3 years I feel there has been a push to remove the stigma around mental health. When I was growing up especially in secondary school mental health was not an issue discussed when it should have been!

The Joker film places strong emphasis on the cutting of social services and the impact of the most vulnerable suffering with mental health. In a climate of NHS cuts this is the harsh reality. We see in the film the results of prolonged and a failed attempt to help those suffering from mental health. The mental health services within the film failed not just The Joker but his mother too. The mental illnesses mentioned in the film are pseudobulbar affect and schizophrenia. These are two less common and talked about mental health illnesses. It opened my eyes to the wide range of mental health conditions we are not familiar with.

The joker sits opposite his social worker he is frustrated as she doesn’t listen to him. “They don’t give a shit about people like us”

This has started a debate on the need for better mental health services and a focus on those working within it. The Joker film encourages those to be more understanding of those suffering from mental health.

Adrian Rain Leading Neurocriminologist Considers The Joker film “a Great EducatioBH34nal Tool”

“We don’t want to stigmatise mentally ill people as being dangerous people. But we do know that mental illness is a significant predisposition to violence, which we have to recognise so that people can be treated.”

So I ask the question-
Are we easily offended by things that aren’t considered the norm?

I am respectful of others opinions but the advice I would give to someone that found the film distasteful is to see the film again!  Without the violence and minus the clown ask yourself the real question what message is the film really portraying?


Bridget Hughes is a final year Bsc in Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found at: Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bridgethughes1/, LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/bridget-hughes-382474195, and Twitter – @bridgethughes14

I’m Friends with the Monster Under My Bed

I’m posting this blog on behalf of an undergraduate student who wishes to be anonymous because of the very personal content of this piece, in which they discuss how they have dealt with depression.

Conor McGrath


I think it is important for people to talk about their mental health in order to break the stigma. I realised however, how am I meant to encourage people to talk about their mental health if am not willing to talk about mine? I believe that having mental health issues is nothing to be ashamed of yet I am ashamed and scared to tell my story. Will people look at me different? Will they even understand? Will they treat me different? Then I finally came to the realisation ….. I don’t care! If sharing my story helps one more person feel less alone then I am going to do it. I guess I will just have to start from the beginning….


Yep, I do not like that word either. When I asked my friends what they thought depression was I kept getting the same answer: “deep sadness”.  That could not be further from the truth! Depression for me was a sense of numbness, I felt like the tin man out of the Wizard of Oz – I needed a heart. I was a robot, I was a zombie, I had no emotions. I got asked the same question every time “what do you think caused you to feel like this?”. I had a wonderful childhood, a loving family, loads of friends, I did really well in school – there was no reason for me to feel like this …. and yet I did. I used to feel really guilty because there are people in the world who have it way tougher than I have. So I have no right to feel like this. I should not feel like this. Everyone else is functioning perfectly so why can’t I? Why can’t I just be normal? Unfortunately like all illnesses, they do not discriminate. They do not take into account your gender, your background, your religion or even how good of a person you are. So what to do now?

I made friends with the monsters under my bed.

Winston Churchill referred to his depression as a black dog that followed him about. Mine was definitely not a black dog because I love dogs! I could not tie depression to one thing because in reality it is not one thing. It is not sadness, loneliness, tiredness, no motivation, it is a bit of everything. It just depended on the day which monster decided to come out from under my bed. In the last year and a half the monsters have stayed under my bed – I think they are too comfy there. I got the proper help I needed and now the monsters under my bed are my friends. I have made piece with all of them. They remind me of how strong of a person I am. They remind me of everything I overcome. I am very thankful to these monsters as they have made me who am I today – a complete badass.


The CIPR’s 2018 State of the Profession survey indicated that 16% of PR practitioners in the UK have mental health issues.

The PRCA has published a mental health toolkit: https://releasd.com/p/d5de