Bit of exciting news for a Wednesday! As a major advocate of all things ‘crazy,’ I take an interest in charities that aim to spread awareness about mental health. Whether that be via tackling discrimination, raising money for services, or offering widespread support.
However, earlier this year I came across a charity that was very special indeed. One that focused on a new area, but also retained a sense of humour and fun. I loved this organisation so much so that I accepted an ambassador position and decided to make it the We’re All Mad Here official charity.
**Drum roll please** The charity in question is…… MQ!!
How can I explain MQ? Well… they give scientists money to research crazy shit, with the aim of looking for a cure. Did you hear me? A FREAKING CURE!
As great and in-depth as my description is, their official mission statement is:
To create a world where mental illness is understood, effectively treated, and ultimately prevented. With the help of our supporters and a global network of leading scientists we can make this a reality. Together we are championing and funding research into mental health that will change millions of lives.
Like the majority of people with a mental illness, I grew up being told that it was something that I would just have to live with. There’s no cure. It can only be managed. Worse still, medication can take
up to six weeks before it kicks in, (not great if you’re considering jumping out of a window).
The success rates of said medication are only 40%. Talk about bleak….
Back in February I went to an MQ event, and Chief Exec Cynthia Joyce highlighted that after decades of research, we’re only at stage one with mental health. Cancer, Diabetes and HIV are at stages two or three (as they should be). Yet, when I think about all the pain that mental illness causes. The fear and devastation. Suicide being the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. Suddenly stage one isn’t enough, not nearly enough. How have we accepted this for so long?
As I sat in a room packed with scientists and researchers I felt incredibly emotional. I can’t remember a time when I felt so buzzed. “These are the people who are going to do something.” I thought. “They’re going to drive research forward and hopefully one day prevent mental illness completely.” It was a prospect that I’d never even considered, let alone hoped for.
Oh and even better. The people who run the charity are awesome. Open to knew ideas and a bit of cheeky fun. I mean, how can you not like a campaign that plasters posters on the underground, declaring “It’s time to give a sh** about mental illness!”
I was lucky enough to work with them on a podcast, which I will link to below. I interviewed researcher John Powell, about an online programme that aims to improve social anxiety. Would it be incredibly geeky to admit that it was a dream come true? To spend hours talking to an expert on social anxiety… the very thing that I’ve had since I was a kid…… IT WAS THE BEST DAY EVER!!!
I also recorded a video of the day. (Apologies for the quality, I was moving house at the time and didn’t have my tripod to hand. Hence the shakiness)!
To summarise, MQ give a shit about mental illness research. I could wrap it up in a fancy statement, but that’s the truth. They care and they’re ON IT.
As an ambassador, I will do what I can to raise awareness about this truly unique charity and the incredible work they do.
That being said, if any of you wonderful would like to donate, you can do so HERE – can you imagine helping to fund a lab dedicated only to mental health research? The very thought makes me giddy with excitement!!! 🙂