MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS – IT DOESN’T HELP TO BE GINGER – OR DOES IT?

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS – IT DOESN’T HELP TO BE GINGER – OR DOES IT?

I think most of us by now will have seen the hilarious video posted on YouTube for World Mental Health Day in 2019 with Prince Harry and and Ed Sheeran faking a misunderstanding about being ginger.  A brilliant introduction into the very serious issues surrounding us today around mental health.

As more and more famous people come out to tell their story of dealing with anxiety and depression and with the shocking suicide of stars like Robin Williams through mental health, it has now become apparent that we need to tackle mental health issues head on and not sweep them under the carpet.

Don’t hide anxiety and depression away, discuss it openly, take measures to combat it and even if it does not disappear completely you will have it under control, and most importantly of all – know that you are not alone.

As cliché as it sounds, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ is a wise old saying but very true in this case, as it has been a stigma for so many years to discuss our individual mental health issues almost as if we will be excluded if we do.  Perhaps it is inherited memory of a time when that was the case, but far from true today.

The pressures are such that it is almost unthinkable not to have the latest iphone or laptop or to be constantly on social media, so much so that we are forced onto a hamster wheel of ‘success’ and ‘achievement’, with some of the old values of human interaction being thrown out with the bath water.   But it is good to talk.

The key to dealing with the ‘demon’ of our society is to listen to each other without judgement, and listen also to ourselves.  There may be no apparent reason why many of us are suffering, some of the most anxious and depressed people appear to have everything, a beautiful family, friends, successful career and some are extremely wealthy.  There is no rhyme or reason and Mental illness does not discriminate.

Another wonderful video put together by both Royals and Celebrities is EVERY MIND MATTERS, which is a new online initiative to help all of us deal with our individual mental health concerns and help us make a plan to manage them so that we know we are in this together.


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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FAMOUS – DOES FAME REALLY EASE THE PAIN?

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FAMOUS – DOES FAME REALLY EASE THE PAIN?

 

Fame was once bestowed only upon the revered members of the Nation like Kings or Queens, successful Scientists and gifted writers or performers.  People who had actually achieved something, or of course who were born into Royalty.

In recent years though we have seen a rise in reality TV, from Celebrity Get Me Out of Here to Any Way is Essex, pulp viewing but hugely popular nonetheless, and producing huge reality ‘stars’ who endorse products, open high profile events and even switch on the Christmas lights due to their popularity.

X Factor and The Voice has also lead to huge exposure for thousands of budding singers and performers, who even if they win are not guaranteed a career, but certainly achieve their 15 minutes of fame that everyone seems to be seeking.

So what happens when you achieve that fame or notoriety?  Does that mean your problems are solved and you live happily ever after?

Well let’s take a look at that belief a little more closely.  The best way to start is to take a look at movie stars like Marilyn Monroe and Robin Williams who both took their lives as their fame was just not enough to block out the pain of their suffering.

Princess Diana was another good example of being the most famous and revered woman on the Planet but was one of the unhappiest as she couldn’t live with her own demons and the fact that her husband actually did not love her.

When speaking with a well know analyst recently whose patients are mainly the rich and famous, she told me that the majority of her clients can’t cope with the fact that fame does not ease the pain.

She couldn’t share her confidentiality, but told me that anxiety and depression with several of her well known clients had actually increased as a result of them becoming famous.

I am not talking to you from a great height.  In fact, I too have known many struggling actors and performers and been one myself, with huge talent but have never ‘made it’, whatever that means.  It does seem unfair that ‘fame’ is sometimes just the ‘click of the switch’ that happens to random people for no particular reason, whereas true talent is often ignored and left behind.

So what is the solution if the stars are aligned and we are transported in the World of celebrity and fame without even trying.  It has happened to a small section of the Nation and is well deserved if as a result of a special achievement or accolade.   This seems to have a more favourable outcome with people like Marie Curie who discovered a ground breaking cure for cancer.

But what about the wannabes who just want to get into Love Island without very much substance to back it up?  Take a look at the majority of the contestants of these types of shows, who have already disappeared into insignificance or one or two that have taken their own lives.

What value is fame, and how does it serve us.  Only you can answer that, but it is food for thought, and I would love to hear your own take on fame as I am still searching for the answer, not for fame itself but why it is so important to so many people.

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Parenting The Modern Way

Parenting The Modern Way

 

Parenting the modern way

The ways in which people, including those who identify as LGBT, can create a family, have evolved greatly over the years. Modern families are wonderfully diverse, and it is a huge positive, that society is more accepting of different family structures. Jemimah Fleet, family solicitor at B P Collins, who specialises in modern parenting, offers advice on the routes available to creating a family.

Surrogacy

Surrogacy is a way of building a family where a woman, who does not intend to be the baby’s mother, carries and gives birth to a child for someone else, whether that’s a single mum or dad, heterosexual couples or same sex couples.

Surrogacy is possible both in the UK and in some countries around the world. Currently the Law Commission is reviewing the UK’s outdated surrogacy laws, which do not meet the interests of those involved in the process.  For example, there are various legal obstacles such as the surrogate (as the birth mother) is always considered the legal mother and the intended parents can only apply to court for a parental order, to be recognised as their child’s legal parents, once the child is born. This inevitably places the child in an uncertain legal limbo until legal matters are resolved. This process can take months to finalise – a delay which is both frustrating and creates uncertainty.

The Law Commission’s consultation will help to reform the law which hasn’t changed in decades and aims to ensure the child’s best interests remain the key focus and provides reassurance to all those involved on the surrogacy journey.

Donor conception

Many parents also choose to build their families through donor conception, particularly single women and lesbian couples, who conceive with a sperm donor.

A clinic sperm donor may be chosen, where the clinic will match with a donor who is anonymous at the point of donation.  The law surrounding anonymity changed in 2005 and identifiable information is now available to children, who are conceived with donor sperm, if conception was in the UK.

Some may choose to use a known sperm donor, who could be a friend or family member. A key advantage is that there may be a continuing relationship with the donor and you will have more background information about them.  But the relationship and the intentions of the donor may need to be managed carefully. Having a pre-conception agreement on the arrangements moving forward, which could vary from minimal involvement to full co-parenting, could be invaluable and hopefully avoid a dispute in the future.

It’s important to remember that legal parentage can be more complicated in these arrangements as the law only allows two legal parents. The birth mother will always be the mother but identifying the second parent will depend on the circumstances of conception.  It is vital to seek expert advice to ensure that the full legal position concerning parentage is understood.

Co-parenting

B P Collins work with many clients embarking on a co-parenting arrangement, which are usually single women or men; or sometimes friends deciding to conceive a child together.  There has also been a surge in people “self-matching” online, having a child together, but continuing to live separately and co-parent. In a similar way to donors, the relationship between co-parents needs to be managed very carefully and we would advise creating an agreement to ensure expectations are aligned. This will again help to avoid disputes in the future and establish a strong foundation for raising the child.

For further advice on modern parenting, please contact Jemimah Fleet on familylaw@bpcollins.co.uk or call 01753 279046.
Website : www.bpcollins.co.uk


 

 

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