Tuesday 17th February 2015 8pm GMT Time Zone Conversion
Chat to be hosted by Vandita Chisholm @ BAOT/COT Marketing Manager, Responsible for promoting occupational therapy, annual conference and member services
You may be aware that Ruby Wax, celebrity mental health campaigner, television personality, comedian and award winning writer will be opening the 2015 College of Occupational Therapists Annual Conference #COT2015. When this news was announced it was met with a lot of excitement and is considered to be quite a coup for the College. Ruby after all is not only all of the above, but has studied Psychotherapy and has recently gained a Master’s degree in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy from Oxford University.
Ruby has been very open about her bouts of depression that she calls black dog ( see links below for further information) and it seems that more and more celebrities are using their fame to de-stigmatise mental health problems by being open about their own personal experiences.
In these days of celebrity watching and dare I say it worship, it is encouraging that celebrities are able to be open about their flaws and limitations. This has not only been embraced and supported by their fans, but has also creates a new fan base and support. During the recent commemoration of the 50th anniversary Winston Churchill’s funeral, the media talked quite openly about Winston Churchill’s manic depression, which he also referred to his ‘black dog’ and some commentators have partly attributed his mental health illness to his greatness as a war time leader.
But let’s not limit this blog to mental health conditions, you only have to look back a couple of years to witness the emergence of athletes who have achieved international greatness through the Paralympics, The likes of Hannah Cockroft, David Weir, Eleanor Simmonds are household names inspiring the nation because of their sheer determination to win and achieve.
So I am interested in hearing your views on:
a) how does celebrity openness about their health conditions help your service users come to terms with their conditions – does this make it easier for your practice or not?
b) how the current climate for ‘celebrity’ impacts on our occupational choices, and what if any impact has this had on your practice?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Further resources reference ‘Black Dog’
I had a black dog, his name was depression – http://youtu.be/XiCrniLQGYc
Living With a Black Dog – http://youtu.be/2VRRx7Mtep8
The Black Dog Campaign: http://www.sane.org.uk/what_we_do/black_dog/
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