June 1, 2009

So mental health is back in the news. Why? Britain's Got Talent of course - doesn't all the current news come from crooked M.Ps and BGT? I'm sat here listening to a supposed expert waxing lyrical over the mental state of a woman she has never met, never mind examined. So Susan Boyle has been assessed under the provisions of the Mental Health Act, an entirely sensible measure, how could a woman from West Lothian who was unknown to most of us three months ago and who has been thrust into a world she is entirely new to, be expected to cope on any level. You only have to look at the coping mechanisms of so called professionals, Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears et al to appreciate what a circus that world is. If, as seems likely, Susan Boyle is suffering from mental/emotional exhaustion it should not be a surprise.

And yet I overheard a conversation yesterday between a group of seemingly intelligent adults in which the following words were used. Looney, nutter, unstable, freak and space cowboy. There were others but I think I've made the point. She is none of those things, and no-one should ever be described as such whether or not they have mental health issues.

The poor, poor woman. She has given millions of people a few moments of joy and all we as a society can do is point fingers, label and mock. It's the behaviour of the playground, the difference is that children in a playground don't know and cannot be expected to know any better. Adults, particularly those in positions of authority such as newspaper editors, TV producers and “celebrity" mental health professionals know perfectly well what they are doing. Shame on them one and all.

I hope Ms Boyle has a wonderful remainder of her life; my fear is it will get much worse before it gets better. Good luck Susan.

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