Lauren and I making a video for the Shaw Mind Foundation
Help us pull the trigger on mental illness
‘What have I done to deserve this?’ I thought. ‘I’ve lost control of my life, I’ll be admitted to a mental hospital and I won’t be able to look after my kids. How have I got to the point where I don’t even want to live?’
I’ve come a long way since then.
When I was fortunate enough to find the highly skilled clinical psychologist, Lauren Callaghan, I was at rock bottom, contemplating suicide. Tormented by anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), I had lost all hope. With her expertise and compassion, Lauren helped me to rebuild my shattered self and begin the journey to recovery.
As you can probably imagine, having endured years of despair at the hands of mental illness, I’m somewhat evangelical about her approach. Together, we want to make it available to everyone.
Pullingthetrigger is a combined cognitive-behavioural and compassion-focused therapy, underpinned by three essential elements:
Why Pullingthetrigger? For many years, my anxiety and OCD were made worse by certain ‘triggers’. I thought if I avoided these triggers, my problems would go away. I believed I was in control of them. But as my mental health issues crashed in on me, with my world getting smaller and more frightening, I came to the terrifying realisation that my thoughts and ‘trigger’ situations were actually in control of me. Once I’d learned to ‘pull the trigger’ on my thoughts, urges and fears, I finally began to take back control.
Having been there myself, I know how important it is to get help when you need it. That’s why we’ve established the Pullingthetrigger range of support and recovery books for mental health issues, providing innovative step-by-step guides to recovery.
We’re delighted to be launching our global charity, the Shaw Mind Foundation. I believe help and support should be available and accessible for everyone in our society; this is our absolute priority. It’s time we were able to discuss mental illness as the common life experience that it is, without feeling ashamed or embarrassed.
This is just the beginning of our exciting journey. We’ll be writing regular blogs to keep you up to date with our news, plans and progress. Meanwhile, we’d love to hear from you; join in the conversation on Twitter and Facebook. It’s good to talk. Mental illness really hates us talking about it, because by doing so we begin to diminish its power.