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I captain West Ham and I have overcome mental health issues

Gilly Flaherty captains West Ham Ladies football team and has played for England. She is a happy bubbly person that absolutely loves what she does. In her words she is living the dream. This wasn’t always the case and she revealed in an interview a few days ago that she had suffered from mental health issues and when she was 17 she had actually tried to take her own life. Gilly told the interviewer that she struggled being away from home, with a weight issue and also the fact she was struggling coming to terms with her sexuality.

Gilly has told people about the importance of being able to talk and to open up and stresses that weakness isn’t a failing but can sometimes be a strength, especially the strength to be open.

In the 11 years since Flaherty tried to take her own life mental health and its image has come a long way. People are prepared to talk about issues and bring them into the open. Football, with its Heads Up Campaign have brought the subject to the forefront in an area where in the past the subject would have been taboo.

The more people that tell their stories can only help those going through similar experiences now and show them that there truly is a light at the end of the tunnel and with the correct help that great things can be overcome.

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The Daily Telegraph agrees with us…..

The Daily Telegraph agrees with us about everyone needing good news and they are launching a brand new weekly newsletter called The Brightside featuring good news. In its launch feature it says that if people focus on the bad things then all this negativity passes onto people and gets reflected in their moods. It says this can transfer and cause stress. We have been producing good news and weekly newsletters for over 100 weeks now – they should have listened to us!!!

We know how concentrating on the good things really does help people. Even if it is just a smile, a laugh or something to inspire or motivate. It can be something huge or sometimes just a smile but all it needs is everyone to concentrate on the good news and positive things. Read our feature article that we wrote almost two years ago with the reasoning behind our idea. So many people have read our features and we hope that have helped make the world a better place with all of our Good News.

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A Right Royal Chat …

This week has been mental health week and there has been so much publicity about talking and listening!! On the radio they did a listening test: not sure how it will work in print but just try and see what happens!! Ask someone to say the answer out loud: How do you spell shop? Then immediately ask someone what they would do at a green traffic light? Try it!! The majority say stop so it does show we think we are listening when actually we are not always taking everything in and not really listening.

Good causes benefit from having celebrity endorsements and in particular from the Royals. I have seen trailers for a BBC documentary about men in a football scenario (including tv presenters, England footballers, managers and others) talking about mental health and how refreshing it is to see that they are all actually listening to each other. All too often there is banter around this type of conversation so good on the BBC for highlighting the fact people and men in particular need to talk and if they do talk they need to be listened to. If people were confident others would listen and not judge,  then so many people would be helped!!

Definitely one to watch on the BBC “A Royal Team Talk!” It will be shown tomorrow (Sunday 19th May) at 22.30.

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Battling Suicide Tour – 5asideChess

The 5asideCHESS team are heading off on the Battling Suicide Tour on July 19th, raising awareness of suicide prevention and promoting good mental health. All through the medium of talking. 5asideCHESS is a cut down version of the traditional game.
The 5×6 boards are used as ‘icebreakers’ by volunteers who offer people that chance to talk at cafes, rehab centres, nursing homes and other locations across the country. The idea is to get people off their phones, out of their homes and back into the ‘art of conversation.’ And, after eight months working on the project fighting loneliness and social isolation, Directors Ryan Child and Ross Smith have decided to tackle suicide head on with a nationwide tour.

The tour kicked off in Cambridge on the 19th July before heading to the Edinburgh fringe and back down the west coast of the UK. Click here for more details about the event.

Keep your eyes open for updates as the tour progresses. Banana Crumble wishes them all the best for this.