World Mental Health Day 2023

Over the years I have had the privilege of working alongside some incredible organisations and charities who go out of their way to raise awareness of mental health every day of the year. It is a subject that is close to my heart as many people will know as my wife has battled an eating disorder and PTSD for many years so i like to take this day to reflect and do my bit to raise awareness and let people know that it can get better.

Quite often I get people contact me who have seen my posts or who know of my families personal struggle with mental illness who need advice or just someone to talk to who might understand, and I feel very privileged if i can help them feel a little bit better. A big part of the solution is not feeling alone and being able to access the right support quickly from the right places. When this happens it is amazing how fast you see a difference.

It’s taken many years for my wife and my family to learn how to manage the ups and downs that come with mental illness and everybody has their own way of coping. I cope with stress by working, throwing myself into projects and photography and developing my business. It’s handy to love what you do, it allows me to enjoy everyday and have a respite from things that are going on in life. My wife has learnt to cope by getting out in nature with Russell our dog, who some of you might have met if you’ve visited us at Albion Street Studios as he’s sometimes in boosting moral!

To do our bit at Albion Street Studios we run our monthly co-working days, where businesses and individuals can come together, who might otherwise be sat working alone from home. Getting together with other people can really help promote good mental health and wellbeing. I hate the thought of people feeling lonely. Most people who’ve met me know how much I like to network and chat both in work and out. It’s a big part of why I became a trustee for Focus 4 Hope as I saw the difference they were making in the community to combat loneliness, especially in the elderly.

Calderdale has some really amazing charities who are there to help look after your mental health, including Andy’s Man Club, Healthy Minds, Noah’s Ark & Focus 4 Hope and they are busier than ever with the current cost of living crisis but they are doing great things to keep Calderdale going.

Recently I have been working alongside Unmasked Mental Health to create some images for their new branding, website and media content. We produced some hard hitting and powerful images depicting different aspects of mental health, loneliness and depression which i can’t wait to be able to share with everyone when their project goes live. We had loads of fun doing the shoot, which could have been quite difficult given the topic and the photos we were creating.

I guess the purpose of this blog is to let people know that they are not on their own. My door is always open if anybody wants to chat or needs help, as I understand how tough it can be if you are your loved ones are going through tough times. Keep plodding on and reach out for support and it’ll get better.

Look after yourselves this World Mental Health Day and hope to see some of you in the studio over the next few weeks, either on one of our co-working days or for a casual brew and a catch up, everyone’s always welcome.