Mental Health: Make a Difference!

Far too often, mental health is often shunned to one side by many of those who believe it doesn’t exist. Some see it as an excuse to make anyone who suffers from mental health feel like they cannot prove their worth because they’re different to everyone else.

Mental health is often ignored nowadays in the modern world, as some people actually believe it’s something that doesn’t exist.

It does exist.

No two people are the same when it comes to mental health. Everyone is different and why should those who believe mental health doesn’t exist feel like it’s okay for them to make others feel left out because they are different to everyone else?

They shouldn’t!

Mental health should be acknowledged by everyone. This doesn’t mean one person should recognise it, let alone any charities should recognise it, but the whole world has to recognise mental health and take into account that the more mental health is acknowledged, the better chances there are of help, support and treatment being provided to everyone depending on the mental health condition they were diagnosed with.

Why do so many ignore the signs of mental health?

So many people ignore the signs of mental health, not because they don’t just think it doesn’t exist, but because they believe it can be cured.

Well Hello!

It is not curable!

It can be managed, however, through the use of help, support and treatment, including support lines, websites surrounding mental health and charities that specialise in providing help and support to all those suffering from a mental health condition.

I care about mental health a lot as I have a lot of friends who suffer from mental health, or do suffer from mental health but haven’t declared it due to their fear of worrying that they may be shunned, left out or be discriminated against because they are different to everyone else. Mental health is something that is very close to my heart and I always support anyone with a mental health condition but don’t ever listen to those who say it’s curable because it’s not!

We are all different, not the same and you cannot flip two different sides of the coin and pray it can be cured. It’s incurable but manageable.

We should be making a difference by raising awareness, opening up more about mental health, and tell the naysayers that tell us to ‘man up and toughen up’ to get a life!

Let’s end this stigma once and for all!

Want to end the stigma? Let’s do this! Please tell me if you raise awareness for mental health, and if you do or don’t, that’s okay and I respect you fully, but please feel free to tell me if you are or know someone, whether it be a family member or friend who has a mental health condition who has struggled to open up or has recently opened up about how they feel. I am more than happy to hear how you felt about opening up, but I am also happy to hear about how someone you know felt about opening up and showing their real emotions.

Please feel free to refer to the Mental Health Organisations page by clicking on the link provided below this article.

Alex Smithson

https://asterisk15.wordpress.com/mental-health-organisations

The Discomforting Perceptions of Airbrushed Photographs.

On every magazine cover or newspaper you’ve read, you may notice there’s been the odd airbrushing or two on all of the magazine and newspaper covers of someone famous you know.

Every photograph I’ve produced that features any friends of mine have never been airbrushed and have never been photoshopped. Of course, I’ve edited some of my photographs by changing some of them to black and white to bring out the facial features of the subjects I photograph so that you still see an all-natural look, but I would never even dream of airbrushing any photographs I produce as I would rather you all see the subjects I photograph for what they actually look like naturally, not what society wants them to look like when airbrushed as airbrushing is not normal.

Airbrushing was the topic of conversation on today’s edition of Loose Women, as body dysmorphia is becoming worryingly common, as a vast majority of some people feel insecure about how their bodies look and they feel they should fix what makes them insecure when they shouldn’t.

Personally, I find airbrushing to be completely uncomfortable, as I would rather look at a photograph of someone famous, especially if it’s a close friend of mine that shows them completely natural with no airbrushing applied rather than look at a photograph of someone famous, especially if it’s a close friend of mine that shows noticeable airbrushing because airbrushing is a complete turn-off. It also promotes negativity for mental health, as airbrushing is another leading example of the stigma that surrounds mental health, considering mental health is only just being taken notice of after so many years of being ignored.

Airbrushing is the vanity card of the future that will alter anyone’s appearance and personally and honestly, I would rather be realistic by saying I would rather see a famous celebrity or close friend of mine all-natural rather than see constant airbrushing in photographs.

I know I’ve probably repeated myself over and over again but I will say this. Don’t ever expect to see any airbrushed photos on here as I am going all natural with my photographs so you actually see what any of my subjects actually look like rather than see any photos that are unnatural.

Mother Nature intends to stick to the all-natural realism of photography, and as for airbrushing, airbrushing is banned!

Do you find airbrushed photographs to be discomforting?

Does it make you uncomfortable knowing you’re looking at the discomforting perceptions of an airbrushed photograph as opposed to an unedited, all-natural photograph?

Do you believe airbrushing promotes negativity for Mental Health in the sense people should be made to look at a photograph that isn’t natural, but is airbrushed?

Please tell me in the comments. I would love to hear what you’ve got to say about the whole unrealistic world of airbrushing.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: November 2017

The time sure did fly this month! It’s almost the end of 2017 and it only felt like it was yesterday we just started 2017 and now we’re almost ready to close 2017, and what a fantastic year it has been. I won’t lie, 2017 has been so much more of a better year and I cannot wait to venture into 2018 with fresh opportunities for my photography work, as I will be looking to expand my horizons in the world of photography whilst I work full-time, but I will be prioritising much of my time over next year on full-time work than I will on this website as I want to make sure I can gain all the skills I need and want to gain whilst I work full-time, as this will help me to be more confident in what I write, but next year onwards will be about photography, full-time work and raising awareness for Mental Health.

Without further ado, I shall now take a quick look back over the articles published over the course of this month.

1.11.2017 – Welcoming you all to November, I mentioned that November was set to get a whole lot busier for me considering I was about to embark on my first ever full-time job considering I finished my education for good in July, which meant I wouldn’t be free mostly as I would be putting myself first to earn from my full-time job whilst I learn and re-take Maths.

Also, on this day, ahead of the 3rd November release of Apple’s hotly anticipated tenth anniversary iPhone, the iPhone X (officially pronounced 10), I published a wallpaper pack that would consist of some wallpapers with Mother Nature’s cube, with a further set of wallpapers that would all be the same colours, just without Mother Nature’s cube.

2.11.2017 – As I use this product on a regular basis to make sure the style of my hair always stays as trendy as possible, I wrote a review on L’Oréal’s Matt & Messy Putty and I recommended this hair product to all of you considering it would give your hair that roughed up natural look, which would make your hair look as natural as possible whilst keeping the hairstyle you have in check.

6.11.2017 – Fireworks are used now and then when it comes to a special occasion; a party, or even during Bonfire Night and on New Year’s Day, but why is firework safety important? Well, the article I wrote: “Firework Safety: Why it’s Important” would allow me to air my views and reasons for why I believe that firework safety is important. I also highlighted considering I take your health and safety seriously and wanted you to stay as protected as possible by asking you to stay safe and wrap up warm, and that your health and safety are both important, and that no one, and I mean no one, is allowed to compromise that.

Thanks for such a good month everyone. I acknowledge I haven’t published as much, but I will try and find time over the last few weeks of 2017 to publish some articles, but I will definitely be publishing my photography set from my trip up to London that I produced towards the end of September before we finish 2017, I can assure you on that.

Again…thanks so much for a good month everyone, and I shall see you all in December!

Alex Smithson

Firework Safety: Why it’s Important

Fireworks are used now and then when it comes to a special occasion; a party, or even during bonfire night and on New Year’s Day, but why is firework safety important?

Firework safety is important considering the health risks they can pose if used incorrectly or used in such a dangerous way that doesn’t involve them being set off to go bang in the sky but used to aim at the public.

Ignorance is the ultimate killer, as there have been cases where school kids and even some adults have been using fireworks and setting them off and aiming them at people, which is disgraceful.

Recently, you may have heard in the news about a man who has been left fighting for his life after someone ignited some fireworks and pushed it through his letterbox, which, in effect, torched his house from top to bottom, leaving him for dead. I won’t name the man who was the victim of this horrific attack but all I hope for is that he pulls through and that he survives.

What is disgraceful is how some people can be so callous by putting other people’s lives in serious danger, and I shan’t be the least bit ashamed to say this, but those who hurt others around them intentionally with explosives should be taken off the streets of London and everywhere else, because this behaviour cannot go on any longer.

If you are going to a firework display over the coming weeks leading up to New Year’s Day 2018, please stay safe and wrap up warm. Your health and safety are both important and no one is allowed to compromise that.

Alex Smithson

Make a Difference for World Mental Health Day!

Today is World Mental Health Day, so if you are someone or know someone who has a mental health condition, today is about coming together and supporting everyone regardless of what mental condition you and everyone else has or may have.

The ‘Mental Health Organisations‘ page is designed to help all those like yourself who may be suffering from Mental Health, and as this page I set up earlier this year aims to provide help, support and treatment for those who may have a mental health condition or may have a condition not connected to mental health, so if you want to reach out to someone or to a support line that will specialise in whatever kind of mental health condition or condition you may have, this page, I hope, will help you.

Let’s come together and end this stigma once and for all.

Alex Smithson

Mental Health / The Negative Stigma & How it Affects Everyone (feat. Oli Regan)

Let’s face it. We’ve all seen for ourselves the negative stigma that has become attached to Mental Health. The negative stigma has all too often put a strain on all governments and organisations, with Mental Health sufferers having to experience the harsh reality that they may end up not being allowed to access the help, support and treatment they need.

What is Mental Health?

Mental Health is where a person may possibly have a condition that affects their psychological and well-being in the emotional sense.

For instance, there are so many recognised Mental Health conditions that affect more or less everyone, in this case, this can be Anxiety, Depression, Post-Natal Depression, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and even Bipolar.

There are so many recognised Mental Health conditions around that with the correct help, support and treatment available, can help anyone suffering from Mental Health to control the type of Mental Health condition they suffer from.

Is Mental Health Often Ignored?

In the real world, Mental Health is often ignored, which is why the stigma attached to Mental Health all too often creates a negative spiral that sees governments and organisations making little to no effort to provide funding for help, support, treatment and even medical supplies for those who need it the most.

The Mental Health Foundation highlighted that each year, more than 6,000 suicides occur in the UK & Ireland as a result of a lack of funding for Mental Health, with more than 55,000 suicides occurring in the European Union.

The suicide rate for Mental Health sufferers is dangerously high, because again, there is a lack of funding which means that Mental Health sufferers aren’t being provided the help, support and treatment that they need, which ultimately puts any Mental Health sufferer at risk of committing suicide.

Is Social Media Responsible for Creating Problems in Mental Health Sufferers?

The harsh reality is that social media is responsible for creating problems in Mental Health sufferers, because not a day goes by where I am on Facebook & Twitter where I don’t see a positive comment being made about someone who suffers from Mental Health.

I am disgusted by the large number of those on social media who feel it’s okay to make those suffering from Mental Health feel insecure about their appearance, how they act towards others, including what they look like.

Social media is connected to the negative stigma in the personal sense, because when it is not used properly, anyone can make abusive comments about others and that can effectively have a negative impact on the person suffering from that specific Mental Health condition.

Oli Regan’s Experiences With Mental Health

Oli Regan, who is an aspiring actor and ambassador for Time to Change, was just one of many Mental Health sufferers who had struggled to open up about his feelings of loneliness and isolation, both of which he experienced for so many years, which was brought on by bipolar and anxiety, which led him to contemplate suicide, and in some circumstances, he attempted to commit suicide.

Of course, Oli’s experiences with Mental Health affected his wellbeing, and he mentioned in an article he did with TheLADBible as part of the UOKM8? Campaign that: “I just felt weak. Like I wasn’t a real man, I felt like I was missing something. I felt lonely. Completely isolated.

Oli’s experiences with Mental Health enabled him to raise awareness and to give all those who suffer from Mental Health their voice and to make sure that if you’re a Mental Health sufferer, then it’s good to open up and talk about your experiences with Mental Health and how they affect you.

My Experiences With Anxiety

For me, and this is personal to my wellbeing, although I haven’t officially been diagnosed with having a Mental Health condition, I am not ashamed to admit I suffer from Anxiety.

Of course, I often feared that if I opened up to everyone about how I really feel that I would be targeted just for being the man I am in speaking up about how I really feel.

At school, if I cried, I was bullied and all too often, if I spoke to someone in confidence about how I was really feeling, I would be targeted just for being honest and open about how I really felt emotionally.

I often tend to bottle my emotions up but it’s only recently that I did suffer from some anxiety attacks that were brought on by personal problems and heartbreak which caused me to have a panic attack and also break down in tears.

Since that first panic attack and since I broke down in tears during those anxiety attacks, I have been able to open up to everyone and I feel a lot more confident talking to someone about how I really feel, and it gives me peace of mind knowing I can turn to a counsellor and everyone else for support. I am a lot stronger now than I was before and a lot more confident as well as I can speak up a lot more and not be afraid to speak my mind and say how I really feel.

This is the first time ever that I have actually admitted to all of you I suffer from Anxiety and this took a lot of guts for me to open up on my own experiences with Anxiety in general.

Conclusion

I personally feel that the negative stigma attached to Mental Health needs to disappear permanently and that Mental Health should never be ignored.

Governments and organisations should make all the effort possible to put their funding into help, support and treatment for any Mental Health sufferers and to make sure that every Mental Health sufferer gets the help, support and treatment that they need.

One more thing, it’s about time we all open up and say to everyone exactly how we feel, and in a society and any society that tells you to ‘man up’, all societies need to get a grip and realise that Mental Health doesn’t just exist for a reason, but that it exists because we are all born differently and never the same.

If you are a Mental Health Sufferer and you have just one or many of the recognised Mental Health conditions as well as the Mental Health Conditions mentioned here, then please feel free to comment below. I would love to hear your response.

Alex Smithson

Recommended Article Worth Looking At (Please Read): Lad Opens Up About Battle With Bipolar And Anxiety And His Attempted Suicide

#TIMETOTALK / Let’s End this Stigma Against Mental Health Once and for All!

As #TIMETOTALK is officially trending on Twitter, Oli Regan has asked me to write this article as today will be about being able to speak up about Mental Health, including the negative stigma that affects and negatively impacts those suffering from Mental Health. Today is Time to Talk Day, and this news came at exactly the right time.

You can catch Oli Regan live on BBC Two at 9:30 AM this morning, and at 10:30 AM, Oli will be appearing on the Victoria Derbyshire Show.

Oli Regan will also be talking about Mental Health at 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM on BBC Newsbeat today, so if you want to help end this stigma once and for all, please make sure to use the hashtag #TIMETOTALK and please also make sure to spread the word and raise awareness for Mental Health.

Alex Smithson

#MENTALHEALTHAWARENESS #TIMETOCHANGE #TIMETOTALK #ENDTHESTIGMA #TIMETOTALKDAY

Ignorance

Shortly after I went to see the firework display at the Croydon Road Recreation Ground on Saturday 5th November 2016, I was on my way home and whilst I waited for my bus, I saw two drivers who were using their phones or tablets behind the wheel whilst I waited. I didn’t make it obvious that I was looking at them, but they were being ignorant enough to use their phones behind the wheel even when there was heavy traffic present.

The title says it all. Why is there so much of ignorance in this world? I’ll tell you, it’s because some people think they’re so clever thinking that they can do something that they are actually not supposed to be doing, to which they find out the hard way sooner rather than later.

Recently, there were major health and safety concerns after a group of people set fireworks off which they relentlessly aimed at secondary school students as they were on their way home down Shirley Road, something of which I was only made aware of the moment I got home from college.

Just imagine this, suppose you were someone who went to see a firework display and then all of a sudden, someone with not a brain in their head decides to set off and aim a firework at you, and you nearly didn’t see it coming, how are you going to feel if the firework explodes and you almost come close to suffering burns to your body? It’s going to be extremely painful for you and can have a life-changing impact on how you look. Straightaway, the first thing they will begin to think is: “Why did I set that firework off at them? They never did anything wrong and yet I have aimed that firework at them, not realising the horrific pain that they could have been going through as a result of my own ignorance of setting off the firework.

At the end of the day, ignorance kills and only we can prevent it.

If you feel that ignorance can kill, then please let me know by submitting feedback below. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Are Autism & Mental Health Overlooked? (Parental Guidance is Advised)

Autism & Mental Health are the types of things no-one, and I mean no-one should be laughing at, and I know that for a fact considering I have friends that were born with Autism and have suffered from Mental Health.

You may be wondering why I am writing this. Well there’s a perfectly valid reason. In the last few weeks, a guy and an organisation, both of who I can’t name for legal reasons because I don’t know their names, believe that Autism can be cured, when actually it isn’t curable.

This comes after a man was secretly filmed who believed that Autism can be cured. Well I can say in my defence that the footage that has been doing the rounds on the internet and on TV is disgusting.

For that guy and the organisation involved to think it’s funny and for them to think that Autism can be cured is disgraceful. Why should I have to hide how I feel about these disgusting excuses for people who think it’s okay to create a mockery of those who were born with Autism and suffer from Mental Health? I’m not hiding what I really think of this whole situation.

OOOOH it makes me so cross! You seriously haven’t the faintest idea how I really feel about this headline. I’m sorry if what I’ve just said came across rude but I am seriously fucked off big time about it. I hate those who think it’s okay to judge someone because they have Autism. I also hate those who think it’s okay to judge someone because they suffer from Mental Health.

Mental Health and Autism have always been known to be very misunderstood, and they have always been the kind of mentions that often get left out in the cold.

I have friends that suffer from Mental Health and friends that were also born with Autism, and I give them full respect all the time, because they deserve my full respect regardless. I wholeheartedly respect everyone with Mental Health and Autism and I respect everyone regardless, but I cannot stand the judgemental types that think it’s okay to make a mockery of someone who was born with Mental Health Problems and Autism.

I recently vented my words of fury on social media after this news headline went out and I did not even for a single second hold back, I made sure to let everyone know how I really felt about the clip and the guy and the organisation that believed that Autism and Mental Health is curable. F.Y.I to the guy and the organisation who claimed that Autism and Mental Health Problems can be cured, SHAME ON YOU!!!

Oli Regan, the famous actor from the upcoming film, GIANTLAND, sent his messages of praise to me on Wednesday 28th September 2016 after I vented my words of fury on social media, and he said himself that: “Mental Health is so overlooked!” and I agree. Mental Health and Autism are overlooked and are always left out in the cold with no consideration attached to it and it’s about time that both were recognised and it’s about time that we all do everything we can to give those who were born with Autism or Mental Health all the support, love and care that they really need 100%.

Oli Regan also suffers from bipolar and mental health, and I couldn’t agree more with why he felt so disgusted with this whole situation regarding Autism and Mental Health being overlooked. I am furious, and I will be honest, I am not prepared, nor will my voice be silenced for the benefit of those that are judgemental.

It is an absolute honour to collaborate with Oli Regan, as he knows what Mental Health is like and how it affects millions of people, but you have to give full respect to him. He knows exactly what he’s talking about as he has suffered from bipolar and mental health his entire life. I will provide links down below that will benefit and help those of you who may be autistic and may suffer from mental health, as I want to do my bit to help out and to do something good.

Below is the short film trailer, Mental Health Awareness, by Oli Regan. It’s worth watching, you don’t want to miss this! His film trailer delivers a powerful message of its own that should never be ignored let alone be forgotten about.

I can honestly say, aside from the controversial clip of that guy and the organisation who made a mockery of those with Autism and Mental Health, it’s an absolute honour to collaborate with the famous actor, Oli Regan, from GIANTLAND, on this topic of discussion, as he has raised awareness of Mental Health on top of Autism, and even though Autism may not be something mentioned or shown in this short trailer, it does send a powerful message that even those who are different to you go through different experiences in life as well as your own.

If you want to see more of Oli Regan’s work, search #DONTMANUP on YouTube and use the same hashtag and spread the word on Twitter. We need to raise awareness for both Mental Health & Autism and now is the time! Also, if you want to raise awareness further, spread the word with the hashtag above and also the hashtag #UOKM8, including the hashtags #MentalHealthAwarenessDay, #IAMWHOLE #WorldMentalHealthDay, #Depression, #Anxiety, #MentalHealthAwareness, #GIANTLAND, #Bipolar, #Pnd and #PTSD.

If you are someone who has Mental Health or Autism, please comment below and I can say this. Never be afraid to speak up on Mental Health and Autism, it’s about time you got your voices heard. Never suffer in silence. Now is the time to really prove a point and to take a stand to end the stigmas of all stigmas that go against Mental Health and Autism. Please raise awareness for Mental Health & Autism.

Alex Smithson

Mental Health & Autism Links

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk

http://www.sane.org.uk/what_we_do/young_sane/oli_regan

http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/a-z-mental-health/

http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/mentalhealth/Pages/Mentalhealthhome.aspx

http://citymha.org.uk

http://www.wlmht.nhs.uk

http://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk

https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/services/health-and-wellbeing/Pages/mental-health.aspx

http://www.autism.org.uk/autism

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/autistic-spectrum-disorder/pages/introduction.aspx

http://researchautism.net

https://www.autism-anglia.org.uk

https://www.ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk/talk-about-autism

Welcome! Let me tell you a little bit about us and what we do

https://www.autismresearchcentre.com

http://www.autismeducationtrust.org.uk

http://www.bb88.co.uk/

http://www.theladbible.com/mental-health/uk-lad-opens-up-about-his-attempted-suicide-20160929#

Topic: Do You Think the Media is Responsible for Making Gang Culture Seem Attractive to Young People?

With gangs becoming a major problem in modern-day life, I want to focus this topic of discussion on whether the media is responsible for making gang culture seem attractive to young people. I know for a fact that this is something that some people may be too afraid to talk about, but I’m going to stand up and talk about this topic in detail because I won’t and shall not hide my views on gang culture, as I’ll be making sure to outline in this topic whether I think the media is responsible for making gang culture seem attractive to young people.

If you don’t feel comfortable with this topic, I do sincerely apologise, but I want to make sure to talk in-depth about what I think of the media and whether it is responsible for making gang culture seem attractive to the younger generations.

In modern-day life, gangs have been known for creating and causing problems for everyone around them, especially when it comes to one of the main attractions, such as video-games, which have often been known to promote physical and verbal violence for those playing a certain game. The media, however, have also been known for making things a lot worse for people, as certain games, whether they’re digital or not, have been made to look worse for wear, with the end result being that someone ends up either in hospital, with it also being that someone ends up getting killed.

I personally believe that the media are responsible for making things worse, as the younger generations seem to believe that gang culture is attractive to them, when in reality, it is not attractive, let alone mature. The media, from my eyes, is amoral nowadays, because almost everyday now, I hear of a stabbing or a fatal shooting that has occurred either in Croydon or in London, or even elsewhere in that matter, and it’s disgusting behaviour that our generation and the younger generations are showing, and I’m sorry, but we need more police numbers out on the street, because I personally hate the fact that nothing is being done for all of us to be protected.

I know for a fact the police numbers were cut to save money, but if you want to know what I think, I think sod the cost, and just keep our police on the streets, because if it means that our lives are kept under protection, then the more protection there is, the better. I know all of you might think I sound cross as I’m writing this, and to be honest, I am cross about it all because nothing much is being done to keep the crime rates down.

Personally, I feel that nothing is being done to stop these gangs from committing crimes, and I also believe wholeheartedly that the media is just as responsible for making things worse for people, because by them making gang culture seem attractive to young people, this is their way of trying to lure people in, into doing something that they know they shouldn’t be doing. Take this as an example, it’s like they have dangled a carrot in front of a donkey or horse, and expected them to try to eat it. It’s that kind of bad example that is presented to the younger generations nowadays, and it’s sad to see that nothing is being done to stop it from happening.

Before the police numbers were cut, everyone was able to feel safe and feel that they had a sense of security that kept them at arm’s length, but after the police numbers were cut, security is now a major concern, and there’s so many risks of anyone being stabbed to death, and not just that, but with little of security, it will all become too much until someone is shot and killed, and I still go by what I’ve said, sod the cost of police numbers, and just keep our police on the streets, because we all need to be protected and we all need to be given all the security that we need in order for the streets to become safer to walk around again.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to one thing. Ignorance. We can only stop ignorance from occurring by stopping gang culture from growing, and the only way gang culture can stop multiplying is if the police numbers are brought back up, and the only way that gang culture can die out is if we have more security on the streets. It’s not just security we need, but we also need to make sure our health and safety doesn’t become a major concern and that it doesn’t become a massive target for gang culture.

The media can be a twisted, dark and amoral place to be brainwashed, and the only thing I can say is don’t fall into their trap, because you might never get out of it.

If you feel that the media is responsible for making gang culture seem attractive to young people, and if you believe that the police numbers should go back up, even if it costs too much, then please feel free to feedback your thoughts on what you believe should happen and how we can put an end to gang culture once and for all.

Alex Smithson