The principle is simple; coming together to share something delicious that will do us some good, in a space where we can ask questions, feel supported, see new inspiration and be heard.
As the year has gone by, I’ve been connecting with the amazing work going on in the realms of mental health whilst developing a practical idea to support and inspire better mind health for all. I’m feeling more inspired than ever as momentum is building in creative ways in terms of support, but people are still rapidly losing their lives due to mental illness.
You may have read my post here earlier this year where I share my experiences with my own mental healthdating back to 2011/12 and supporting those I love going through some darker times.
“I hadn’t really known about mental health issues, then at uni my boyfriend was diagnosed with Bipolar and I learned the hard way how crippling this illness can be. After a difficult time trying to support him, searching for answers, managing crazy moods and desperately trying to understand confusing traits of the mind we discovered there was nowhere to turn or any information to be found; the amazing campaigns out there now just weren’t as visible at that time and others suffering didn’t yet have a voice.
“After a long trail of events, he took his life. This was devastating for everyone around and for me, my life turned upside down. A year of sleepless nights, painful grief and flashbacks followed and I started to get very sick. As a distraction from the pain I became obsessed with food; all consumed by a concoction of eating disorders and depression I isolated myself from the world and turned the one thing I had always loved into something very dangerous.”
In 2012, the year I started to get better I came up with an idea, which started as a book “The Recipe For Wellbeing” where I documented my own recovery and tips through illustration, information and design. I was so determined to regain my life and pour my passion into something creative. This time was extremely healing and led me to rediscover my passion for food, which was when I started to train as a chef.
Long story short; here we are in a time when wellness is a hot topic on so many levels. We understand that meditation and yoga can help with both physical and mental wellbeing, but even though we may know that food can do the same, if we wanted to eat for our mental health would we know what to do?
We know having a conversation can be a massive help to people going through tough times, but if that conversation came about over a shared meal, especially with food created to nourish our brains – think what ideas we could ignite!
To coincide with World Mental Health Day I’m launching ‘Feed your Mind Candy’ to support and inspire better mental health, combining what I started with A Recipe for Wellbeing with actual knowledge on brain-nourishing food. Starting with a series of delicious Mind Powered Supper Clubs in east London this November, I want to build on a creative year in terms of solutions and support for our brains.
Mental health in 2018
Mental health has been a well reported topic in 2018 as we’ve already seen some big changes and it feels like the conversation is really opening up.
For me Calm’s Project 84 was a tipping point. A campaign which placed 84 figures on top of the ITV building in London. These figures signified the 84 men that take their own lives EACH WEEK! The figures were designed by families who had lost someone.
“To stop people in their tracks, make them pay attention and inspire much needed conversation and action around suicide”
This figures is shocking and each year it pains me to say I am directly attached to another loss which never gets easier to deal with. We are all thinking why is this happening? And wondering how on earth we can do something to help.
We have also recently seen the launch of Heads Together, the mental health initiative spearheaded by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, which combines a campaign to tackle stigma and change the conversation on mental health with fundraising for a series of innovative new mental health services.
There’s also been the Mental Wealth Festival, talks about art and the mind by Grayson Perry and initiatives like Sanctus who are making mental fitness ‘a thing’ and doing their bit in the workplace to really make an impact.
Mind Candy’s contribution is though food, something we can all understand and connect with in our own way. The principle is simple; coming together to share something delicious that will do us some good, in a space where we can ask questions, feel supported, see new inspiration and be heard.
The Supper Clubs
A supper club that showcases the power of food with practical ideas to nourish our minds. On 15 and 16 November I invite you to join me for an evening of food that feeds our minds in the only way I know how.
I’ll be cooking up an experience that uses brain-nourishing ingredients, targeted herbs and creativity that can empower you with practical information that boosts your mood and feeds your mind.
Click here to find out more and get your tickets.