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MONDAY MINDSET: How photographing strangers helped save a Londoner from anxiety

Close up of a camera lens with coloured light in background

Publication date: June 4, 2018

How photographing strangers helped save a Londoner from anxiety

Taking a photograph of a stranger everyday for a year helped a shy Londoner overcome anxiety.

When a stomach operation triggered a deep-seated anxiety, John Mannell found he could barely leave the house except for going to work.

But a suggestion that he pursue his love of photography led to Portrait Per Day where he took a photograph of a stranger everyday in 2017. The reaction to his images has encouraged John to continue his photography and helped him gain confidence.

Read more here.

You can also see John’s portraits on Instagram.

Experts say these are ‘some of the best’ films portraying mental illness

Journalist Erica Crompton says that films portraying mental illness can help change views and challenge stereotypes.

Crompton, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, writes that her favourite film portrayal of the illness is A Beautiful Mind because ‘it shows a tender side to the person with the diagnosis and the difficulties people like us can face and sometimes overcome’.

She asked mental health experts which films they thought promoted a good understanding of psychological distress.

Read more here.

Simon Cowell stops using phone for the good of his mental health

TV star and record label magnate Simon Cowell has revealed that he hasn’t used his mobile phone for over ten months – and that it has been ‘so good’ for his mental health.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, Cowell revealed he stopped using his phone after realising how distracted and irritated it made him.

He said: ‘The difference it made was that I became more aware of the people around me and way more focused.

‘The thing I get irritated with is when you have a meeting everyone’s on their phone – and I was probably in that place too. You can’t concentrate.’

Cowell’s decision to break with his phone comes at a time when over half of Britain’s 50 million internet users admit they are addicted to surfing the web.

Addressing the impact the change has had on his state of mind, Cowell added: ‘It has been so good for my mental health. It’s a very strange experience but it really is good for you and it has absolutely made me happier.’

Read more.

In case you missed it …

UKCP’s chair Martin Pollecoff took part in BBC Radio 4’s Moral Maze, discussing shame. Martin appears at 18 minutes 30 seconds.

How a mental health policy has changed the conversation at Asda – the supermarket giant tells readers of Personnel Today that a new formal mental health policy is helping colleagues feel comfortable talking about mental ill health.