Our blog archive
Read our regular blogs and updates sharing a range of perspectives from people with lived experience of mental illness and those who care for them. We also post updates from our own staff and health and social care professionals.
Streaming for Mental Health, Getting the Crew Back Together
Christopher Hough and five friends from around the world are taking part in a DJ marathon on the 28th November to raise money for Rethink Mental Illness. Here’s why the six friends chose to do it, and how you can get involved.
Find out more Streaming for Mental Health, Getting the Crew Back Together
Current government guidance for being physically active
Our Physical Activity Programme Manager, Barry Lloyd, explains the current government guidance on being physically active during the second national Covid-19 lockdown. He also gives some top tips on different ways to keep moving.
Find out more Current government guidance for being physically active
We had a virtual chat with our MPs. Here's what happened
Our Oxford Campaigners Group co-ordinator, Frances, tells us more about how their meeting with MPs went and explains some advice she has for others thinking of doing the same.
Find out more We had a virtual chat with our MPs. Here's what happened
Why our supported housing managers have written to their MPs
Our Head of Social Policy, Jonathan Moore, explains how crucial more funding is to the future of supported housing services.
Find out more Why our supported housing managers have written to their MPs
Lockdown: Advice for people living with severe mental illness and their carers
The government have announced that there will be a national lockdown, with effect from 5 November 2020. Here's some advice about what that means for people living with severe mental illness and their carers.
Find out more Lockdown: Advice for people living with severe mental illness and their carers
Analysis: Annual statistics of detentions under the Mental Health Act
Policy Manager Will Johnstone analyses the latest figures around detentions under the Mental Health Act for 2019-2020.
Find out more Analysis: Annual statistics of detentions under the Mental Health Act
An important update for Rethink Mental Illness Groups
Find out more An important update for Rethink Mental Illness groups
The case for investment in supported housing is stronger than ever
As the Treasury considers its priorities for long term funding, the case for investment in mental health supported housing is stronger than ever.
Find out more The case for investment in supported housing is stronger than ever
Covid 19: Advice for people severely affected by mental illness & their carers
Living with severe mental illness during a pandemic can bring up a lot of problems. This information tries to help you ease or overcome some of these problems.
Find out more Covid 19: Advice for people severely affected by mental illness & carers
“I was lucky, many are not.” – Simon Gray on surviving suicide
According to ONS figures, suicide is on the rise in England and Wales. That's why we've focused our fundraising appeal is for survivors of suicide. Donate so that we can help people like Simon, who explains his experience of suicide in this blog.
Find out more I was lucky. Many are not. – Simon Gray on surviving suicide
"I still don’t feel comfortable going out"
Hannah discusses how her recovery from Complex PTSD is on hold because of Covid-19, and the impact of increased loneliness and anxiety on her as a result of her having to shield.
Find out more "I still don't feel comfortable going out"
BPD, Covid-19 and Me
2019 Janey Antoniou award winner Sue Wheatcroft explains what it's like to live with BPD, and the impact Covid-19 can have on how we view the condition.
Find out more BPD, Covid-19 and Me
How to manage feelings of anxiety from the ‘Better Health’ campaign
Expert by experience Hannah Lewis reflects on the recent government’s ‘Better Health’ campaign and provides advice on how to look after yourself if the campaign triggers any feelings of anxiety.
Find out more How to manage feelings of anxiety from the ‘Better Health’ campaign
Life in Lockdown: Essex Advocacy Service
The pandemic has required many of our services to adapt quickly to lockdown, while still delivering vital support. Here's Craig from our Essex All Age Advocacy service, looking at some of the challenges they have faced as a service over the last six months - and how they have continued to support people in their community.
Find out more Life in Lockdown: Essex Advocacy Service
An update on the welfare system for people living with mental illness
A lot has changed in the welfare system over the last six months. Here, we explain what the changes mean for people living with mental illness, and how you can help us in our fight towards building a benefits system that works for people severely affected by mental illness.
Find out more A benefit system that works for people living with mental illness
Five ways to get moving around the house
Not everyone feels comfortable with going to the gym during the Covid-19 pandemic. But there are plenty of ways to exercise without leaving the house: mowing the lawn, indoor sock golf and lots more!
Find out more Five ways to get moving around the house
Coronavirus: Advice for carers of those with severe mental illness
If you are a carer for someone living with mental illness, coronavirus can cause a lot of complications. Here's our guidance.
Find out more Coronavirus: Advice for carers of those with severe mental illness
Secure Care: Moving on in a pandemic
Covid-19 has affected people in secure services enormously. Here's a blog from someone about their life under lockdown and how it has affected her plans for moving on to live independently in the community.
Find out more Secure Care: Moving on in a pandemic
How Covid-19 limited my access to mental health support
Our campaigner, Karen, spoke to a group of MPs about her experience of mental health services during lockdown. In this speech, she called on the government to act now to provide crucial extra funding so that experiences like hers never happen again. Here’s her powerful story.
Find out more How Covid-19 limited my access to mental health support
Coronavirus and clozapine
Find out what impact coronavirus has for the people who are taking clozapine.
Find out more Coronavirus and clozapine
Coronavirus Act 2020: everything you need to know
Emergency legislation known as the Coronavirus Act 2020 has been introduced by the government to help the country cope with the demands caused by the coronavirus outbreak. We explain how the legislation may affect people living with severe mental illness.
Find out more Coronavirus Act 2020: everything you need to know
5 ways to make carers visible
3 in 5 people will become a carer at some point in their lives and yet, for many, this role is one that goes without recognition or reward. If you are a carer or know someone who is, here are five simple ways you can help to make carers more visible.
Find out more 5 ways to make carers visible.
Conquering Snowdon from home during lockdown
Hear how Kathryn and Matt took on the enormous task of running 88,250 steps - or 44 miles - indoors over 24 hours to fundraise for Rethink Mental Illness.
Find out more Conquering Snowdon from home during lockdown
No one would ever know I was a carer unless I told them
If I had to summarise my experience of caring in one word, it would be this: guilt. I'm a carer for my brother, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia more than twenty years ago. His diagnosis had defined his life and, to a large extent, mine too.
Find out more No one would ever know I was a carer unless I told them
How lockdown saved my relationship with my family
Covid-19 has at the very least been a period of great uncertainty and anguish for everyone. But, for the Lopez family, this adversity has brought them closer together, and allowed Georgi to reconnect with her brother.
Find out more How lockdown saved my relationship with my family
How our services are adapting to provide great care during Covid-19
It’s been a real inspiration to see how staff in our services and groups across the country have adapted during the Covid-19 pandemic to provide the best possible care. Here’s some examples.
Find out more How our services are adapting to provide great care during Covid-19
Supported Housing: A Success Story
Beth (not her real name) has a diagnosis of unspecified nonorganic psychosis. She joined a Rethink Mental Illness Supported Housing service for support in feeling more independent in her finances and work. Here’s one of our frontline Supported Housing workers explaining the journey she went on whilst at the service.
Find out more Supported Housing: A Success Story
How our services are providing social connections during Covid-19
It's difficult for anyone to uphold social connectedness right now. But some of our services have come up with great ways for people to continue to be in contact with friends and carers.
Find out more How our services are providing social connections during Covid-19
"You need to be kinder to yourself, Jonny"
Rethink Mental Illness ambassador Jonny Benjamin writes about how he has begun to understand the power of self-compassion and learned to live with his inner critic.
Find out more "You need to be kinder to yourself, Jonny"
What impact has Covid-19 had on mental health services?
Our recent survey showed that Covid-19 has had a big impact on mental health services in England. But just how significant will that impact be? Alex, our Head of Campaigns and Public Affairs, takes a look.
Find out more What impact has Covid-19 had on mental health services?
5 ways to help create communities that care
Here's five things that you can do to help create communities that care for people living with mental illness.
Find out more 5 ways to help create communities that care
Fifty years ago, our mission was born
This weekend, we mark the 50th anniversary of a newspaper article that changed the way society talks about mental illness and led to the creation of Rethink Mental Illness. We caught up our CEO Mark Winstanley to ask him about the changes we have seen and what challenges lie ahead.
Find out more Fifty years ago our mission was born
A brother's view
As years passed, John became outwardly calmer, but the negative symptoms of his illness persisted. A neighbour described him as a “gentle soul trying to live in a complicated world.”
Find out more A brothers view
The crucial role social care workers play has risen up the agenda, let’s make sure it stays there
We have to make sure that the recognition of the crucial role that social care – and its workforce – plays in keeping people safe and well is not lost after the coronavirus crisis.
Find out more The crucial role social care workers play has risen up the agenda, let’s make sure it stays there
5 ways to get involved in our Miles for Mental Health challenge
Our Miles for Mental Health challenge doesn't have to be about running. Barry, our Physical Activity Manager, lists five other ways that you can get involved - from gardening to cycling!
Find out more 5 ways to get involved in our Miles for Mental Health challenge
Coronavirus: advice if you use direct payments for social care
This guidance is for anyone who receives direct payments to pay for their social care. It explains what you can use the direct payments for during the coronavirus outbreak.
Find out more Coronavirus: advice if you use direct payments for social care
We face a mental health crisis – but we can come out of it stronger?
John F Kennedy said, “when written in Chinese the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters, one represents danger and the other represents opportunity”. As is often the case with good quotes, the truth does not quite match the rhetoric.
Find out more We face a mental health crisis – but we can come out of it stronger
Coronavirus: Helpful online resources
In addition to the information we provide, public bodies such as Public Health England, and charities across the mental health sector have created helpful resources to support and protect people’s mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic. Here's our top picks:
Find out more Coronavirus: Helpful online resources
Social care and coronavirus – temporary changes to the law
Our Rethink Advice and Information Service have looked at how the Coronavirus Act 2020 emergency legislation may affect people living with severe mental illness and their carers.
Find out more Social care and coronavirus – temporary changes to the law
Top tips on managing your mental health during Covid-19
Our supporters gave us their top tips on how to manage your mental health whilst enacting social distancing during Covid-19.
Find out more Top tips on managing your mental health during Covid-19
Managing your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak
Over the last few weeks the media has been full of updates about the Coronavirus - from daily updates on the TV to hourly updates in your social media feeds. Peer from our Digital team looks at the simple steps you can take to look after your wellbeing.
Find out more Managing your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak
Stop Benefit Deaths: our campaign calling for an independent inquiry
This week, Rethink Mental Illness launched Stop Benefit Deaths, a campaign calling for an independent inquiry into welfare related deaths. Danielle Hamm, our Associate Director for Campaigns and Policy explains more about the campaign.
Find out more Stop Benefit Deaths: our campaign calling for an independent inquiry
Stop Benefit Deaths Campaign: Kelly's story
Kelly lives with Borderline Personality Disorder (also known as Emotionally Unstable Disorder) and is unable to work. She is on Universal Credit and awaiting a Personal Independence Payments (PIP) decision. As part of our Stop Benefit Deaths Campaign, she told us about how the process caused her to have a breakdown and suicidal thoughts.
Find out more Stop Benefit Deaths Campaign: Kelly's story
My uni experience was moulded by mental illness: Rosie's Story
University can be a very difficult time. For a lot of people, living a completely new life is an exciting adventure. For others, it can be overwhelming. Meeting lots of new people, living in a new place and being given big projects to work on can be exhilarating, but it can also be exhausting.
Find out more My uni experience was moulded by mental illness: Rosie's Story
Eating Disorders: "I felt powerless. Now I feel powerful"
For Eating Disorders Awareness Week, our amazing ambassador Juliette Burton talks through the reality of living with different eating disorders.
Find out more Eating Disorders: "I felt powerless. Now I feel powerful"
Life as a mature student: A second chance
University can be a very difficult time. For some, it is an exciting new adventure - a chance to reinvent. For others, it can be overwhelming. Meeting lots of new people, living in a new place and being given big projects to work on can be exhilarating, but it can also be exhausting.
Find out more Life as a mature student: A second chance
'I tried to break out of hospital' - Jamie's story
After being diagnosed with schizophrenia, Jamie tried to break out of a hospital by kicking down the doors. Since then, he has come a long way. Here's his story.
Find out more Jamie's Story
Seasonal Affective Disorder: "I just wanted to hibernate"
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder? Read Abigail's story to understand how SAD can affect you, and how a diagnosis helped her to alleviate the symptoms.
Find out more Seasonal Affective Disorder: "I just wanted to hibernate"
Somerset to be a trailblazer for mental health care
A new alliance of charities has been formed to develop a bold new community-based mental health support service for Somerset residents.
Find out more Somerset to be a trailblazer for mental health care
“My diet was dictated by strict rules on food and exercise"
Jessica’s problems with her body image and academic pressure were a gradual process, and their beginnings are difficult to pinpoint.
Find out more “My diet was dictated by strict rules on food and exercise that I’d followed religiously”
The Rethink Mental Illness Moments of the Decade
The past decade has been a memorable one for the charity, here are our top moments.
Find out more The Rethink Mental Illness Moments of the Decade
How to manage your mental illness over Christmas
Christmas isn't always easy, particularly for those of us experiencing mental illness. Here's some top tips from our supporters on dealing with the holiday.
Find out more How to manage your mental illness over Christmas
Top moments of 2019 in Rethink Mental Illness services
We asked our colleagues in services, who work day-in-day-out to improve the lives of people affected by mental illness, for their highlights of the year.
Find out more Top moments of 2019 in Rethink Mental Illness services
Meet our 2019 Award Winners
Our annual Pringle and Janey awards recognise people and groups who have made a real difference to people severely affected by mental illness during the previous year and is just one of the highlights of our yearly member's event.
Find out more Meet our 2019 Award Winners
Meet Sue Wheatcroft, winner of the 2019 Janey Antoniou Award
Today, Saturday 9 October, we are please to announce Sue Wheatcroft as the winner of our 2019 Janey Antoniou award for 2019. Sue is a campaigner and group coordinator who lives with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
Find out more Meet Sue Wheatcroft, winner of the 2019 Janey Antoniou Award
Why we all need to talk about suicide prevention
Globally, someone loses their life to suicide every 40 seconds. Too many lives are destroyed by something so preventable. For this blog, Ida Väisänen recounts having it all – a dream job, a loving family and close friends – and yet, still feeling suicidal.
Find out more Why we all need to talk about suicide prevention
Luciana Berger: “Let’s take a zero-suicide approach and end suicide for good”
Suicide is the greatest killer of young men in our country, and the main cause of death for young people aged 15-29 worldwide, which is more than road traffic accidents, substance abuse or even warfare. In the UK, the rate of deaths by suicide among under 25s increased by 23.7%, reaching 730 deaths in 2018.
Find out more Luciana Berger: “Let’s take a zero-suicide approach and end suicide for good”
Schizophrenia is not a lifestyle choice
Schizophrenia affects one in 100 people - it's not as uncommon as you think. In this special blog for Rethink Schizophrenia, Jane writes about the her experiences of the condition and her journey on the road to recovery.
Find out more Schizophrenia is not a lifestyle choice
I’ve been behaving a bit diabetic recently. I think it might be lack of sleep.
For almost fifty years we have campaigned for the rights of people severely affected by mental illness - and while public perceptions of conditions such as bipolar disorder and OCD have generally improved, understanding of schizophrenia has remained largely unchanged.
Find out more I’ve been behaving a bit diabetic recently. I think it might be lack of sleep.
Brushing your teeth can seem more difficult than climbing Everest
In this special blog for Rethink Schizophrenia, Tom writes about how his symptoms can affect his daily life and how he is learning to manage his condition.
Find out more Brushing your teeth can seem more difficult than climbing Everest
Blackpool's Mental Health Crisis
Googling ‘Blackpool’ and ‘mental health’ brings some quite stark results. A town in the throes of a seemingly intractable mental health crisis. Some of the highest suicide rates in the country and similar levels of depression, as well as a long list of other problems.
Find out more Blackpool's Mental Health Crisis
OCD and Me: Oli's Story
Thoughts…an assortment of feelings, urges and who knows what bubbling up to the surface of the conscious mind. I thought I could control them or rather that I was in control of them. But the naivety of this became starkly apparent to me when at the age of eighteen I had a Major Depressive episode.
Find out more OCD and Intrusive Thoughts: Oli's Story
Why some rules need to be followed
A report published earlier this week by the Care Quality Commission has found that people detained under the Mental Health Act often receive less than adequate care while in hospital.
Find out more Why some rules need to be followed
Treatment far from home has become too common
New research published today by the BMA’s Doctor Magazine has added further evidence to the problem of out of area treatment in mental health rehabilitation services. The figures show that 2,600 out of area placements have been commissioned in the last 3 years. 140 patients were placed more than a 7 hour round trip from where they live. Many more were sent hundreds of miles from their home.
Find out more Treatment far from home has become too common
Reflections on Mental Health Awareness Week 2019
Last week was witness to a plethora of rich conversations led by the Mental Health Foundation about the intersection of body image and mental health. Hannah from our policy team reflects on how body image can impact people severely affected by mental illness and what we are doing about it…
Find out more Reflections on Mental Health Awareness Week 2019
Telling your partner you live with a mental illness
If you meet someone, when is the right time to disclose your illness? We asked mental health campaigner Ellie about when she first tackles that tricky conversation.
Find out more Telling your partner you live with a mental illness
The NHS Long-term plan – what does it mean for you?
You might have seen the coverage today about £billions more for the NHS with a big focus on improving mental health services. But with people who are most ill waiting the longest for mental health treatments, will this new money stretch far enough to help those most in need?
Find out more The NHS Long-term plan – what does it mean for you?
Today marks one year since I last self-harmed
Our great friend and all-round great guy, Carl Burkitt, tells us about his experience of self-harm and how he learned to treat himself with compassion and understanding.
Find out more Today marks one year since I last self-harmed
Being sectioned at 18: Degrading and life-saving
Most people remember their significant birthdays as a time of fun and enjoyment – but for actress & writer Juliette Burton, looking back on her 18th birthday brings back vivid memories of being detained under the Mental Health Act.
Find out more Being sectioned at 18: Degrading and life-saving
Share your story
Through our media and campaigning work, we aim to amplify the voices of those we support. If you are interested in sharing your experiences via the media or our online channels then we'd like to hear from you.
Learn more Share your story
Become a campaigner
Do you want to create change alongside tens of thousands of campaigners too? If so, become a campaigner today and help us challenge attitudes and change lives for people affected by mental illness.
Find out more Become a campaigner
Fundraise with us
Because of our incredible supporters, who fundraise on our behalf and give generous gifts, we can support tens of thousands of people every year. Thank you to everyone who makes our vital work possible.
Find out more Fundraise with us