Monthly Archives: May 2018

Mental Health: Beyond Awareness. Dazed on making NHS services work for everyone

Mental Health: Beyond Awareness. Dazed on making NHS services work for everyone

Within the last year I feel like there has been a lot of emphasis on mental health through social media and film/TV culture. It is amazing that such a silent issue, and almost considered shameful by those suffering, is really being pulled into the forefront of society and really propelled in our faces so we can all work together to make a change for the better. I am close to lots of people in my life who have various mental health issues, and I am sure you probably are too. I always enjoy writing posts that are personal to me and that other people might relate to because I can write from a much deeper place and could probably write pages and pages.

Mental Health: Beyond Awareness is a five-day campaign that addresses mental health issues beyond just “raising awareness”. Millennials are the most aware of mental health issues than they have ever been in the past, however our services are letting us down. How can we make sure we make an actual difference and an actual change that ventures beyond making people aware? Richard Crellin, policy and research manager at The Children’s Society  says “There’s a lot more talk in the media, on television…I think children and young people are much more aware of mental health than perhaps in previous generations.”

The problem that young people are faced against is not one of awareness but instead there’s a disastrous dilemma with the services being provided for them. While referrals to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services are increasing, 60% end up untreated. A report by charity YoungMinds this year discovered that 66% of young people said they had difficulty accessing support – 44% found it hard to get a CAMHS referral, and 61% had a long wait for actual treatment. Last year, the case of “girl X” was highlighted, reflecting how despairing the situation is for some people – the NHS were unable to find a bed for a suicidal 17-year-old.

This all comes down to a lack of government support. “The government recently announced some welcome initiatives, but they don’t go far enough. Children’s mental health services need increased, long-term funding, as well as a bigger emphasis on preventing mental health problems from developing in the first place.” – YoungMinds’ Director of Campaigns Tom Maddens. “A very simplistic summary of government activity on young people’s mental health would be ‘all rhetoric and no action,’” says Natasha Devon, a mental health campaigner. “They are unwilling or unable to commit the drastic amounts of funding and policy changes which would be required to make a noticeable difference. Services are stretched beyond capacity. The system is broken.”

Dazed spoke to numerous young people, as well as activists and organisations, to discover the five most important things that need to happen for significant and beneficial change:

SET A CUT-OFF FOR WAITING TIMES

You shouldn’t only be able to access services when you’re in a crisis or a critical stage. There’s an average of a three month wait for help when young people are referred to NHS mental health services. Some have to wait for even longer.

MAKE THE TREATMENT ACCESSIBLE FOR PATIENTS

The number of sessions and the type of sessions people receive do not benefit them. There’s a major issue with young people missing appointments, over 150,000 were missed in 2016, which is because of how inflexible the service can be.

TREAT 16-25 YEAR OLDS UNIQUELY

Being placed on a six week waiting list makes you feel like you are not a priority when you are really seeking help. There needs to be more emphasis put on the care of the individual, seeing the individual as a person and not a statistic, because everyone’s care needs to be different. Nurse Clara agrees. “The transition from child to adult services is very lengthy and stressful for the young person… there should be a bridge-the-gap service, as an 18-year-old should not be treated with the same service a 64-year-old is, they are going to have very different obstacles to face.

ACTIVELY REACH OUT TO YOUNG MEN AND BOYS

Statistics show that young girls are more likely to be hospitalised or prescribed anti-depressants, while boys are more likely to die from suicide. Many males feel pressure to confirm to a stereotype of the strong male. When they reach out and stem away from the constraints of masculinity, unfortunately there are not many routes open to them.

LISTEN TO YOUNG PEOPLE

There’s a problem with the way that young people aren’t listened to. It is easy to put everyone into the same category and try and fix them in the same way, but this doesn’t work because everyone’s cases are different and individual and each need to be taken seriously. It is very hard to understand what is going on inside someone else’s mind, so when helping each individual, they need to be treated with immense respect and empathy and provided with whatever help they feel they need.

Outcome photoshoot

Outcome photoshoot

As part of our brand outcomes, we were allocated a studio slot to art direct our own photo shoots. The photo shoot images will be used as our print outcome in order to advertise, market and promote our brand. The notion behind our photos was to create images that express nature triggering past life memories and uplifting your mind. We photographed our models surrounded by flowers and nature, who represent the younger version of our consumer, feeling nostalgic about their past life memories. One model represents Punk, one Hippie and one who felt unrelated to a prominent subculture so that we encompassed both those who were and were not part of a subculture. From our primary research, we learnt that our consumer was part of or at least lived through a prominent subculture movement, which is a significant element of their lives within their memories.

Some of the post-production has been inspired by how Punk and Hippie graphic design would have looked like at the time, to intensify the sense of nostalgia when our consumer looks at the images and feels immersed by them.

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The Punk text and typography reflects Punk mindset but is also relevant to our brand story. These two photos show the development of the editing process.

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The Hippie model and imagery are overlayed to symbolise how immersed and captured he is by his memories and how he is reliving them in his head and body.

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Group shot of all three models merged together.

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Met Gala 2018

The Met Gala, formally called the Costume Institute Gala, is an annual fundraising event for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City. It signifies the imposing inception of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit. Each year’s event celebrates the theme of that year’s Costume Institute exhibition, and the exhibition sets the style for the dress code of the night. The Met Gala is the biggest event on the fashion fundraising calendar. Founded by publicist Eleanor Lambert, the event was first held in 1948 to stimulate donations from New York’s high society. The most famous faces from the industry of fashion, film, music and art gather to raise money for the Met’s Costume Institute and commemorate for the magnificent launch of its latest exhibition.

This year’s exhibition theme is Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. It took curator Andrew Bolton several years to convince the Vatican to give its approval of the theme that explores divine inspiration in fashion. It is possible that Rome’s reluctance stemmed from concern that the exhibition, and its outrageous outfits, would devalue and belittle religious imagery. Had Islam been chosen as the religious theme, all hell would have broken loose. So why is it different for Christianity to be ‘satirised’? Some of the imagery chosen to be translated into the costumes were images of mystical suffering such as in Lana Del Ray’s dress. Is it right that the attention of the event was more to do with human beauty than sacred beauty when the purpose of the exhibition was to showcase scared works of art that don’t usually leave Rome? Was it not more to do with the religion of Hollywood ego, which excluded reference to the meaning? Nevertheless, it has shown the Catholic church to be in a good and tolerant light, as no violence has been provoked, and the bible states Christians to welcome humour. “Fashion reflects the world around us and nobody understands that more clearly than Andrew,” Wintour told the press. “When I go to these fashion exhibitions. I’m always so amazed to see people from all sides of the globe and all walks of life really studying the exhibitions, understanding that fashion does not operate in a vacuum.” The fashion industry has found its success purely because it nods to powerful emotions and desires. Fashion is a vehicle for obscuring the boundaries between things that you have the ability to change and the things you don’t. Religious imagery has utilised the same boundaries for a long period of time by evoking and conjuring the invisible into life.

My favourite interview of the night was with the actor Lena Waithe, who wore a rainbow flag cape to signal to the Catholic church’s complicated relationship with the LGBTQ community. “The theme to me is, like, be yourself…You were made in God’s image, right?”

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Cultural Appropriation

It feels like there’s not a day that goes by without opening up social media and reading about a recent issue surrounding cultural appropriation. Whether it is the latest fashion collection or a group of millennials, there is always someone to call them out and accuse them of violating a cultural minority by using their cultural and religious traditions, fashion, symbols, language for their own purpose. Is this “political correctness gone too far” or actually a very serious issue?

Gucci was recently criticised for styling turbans on white models. Multiple Sikhs condemned this act as a significant indication of disrespect by highlighting that the turban is a symbol of faith and was not designed as a fashion accessory. In other cases, Victoria’s Secret was deplored for using a native American style headdress on one of their models. Many Coachella-goers have been attacked in the past for wearing native American style headdresses. Marc Jacobs was also held under fire when he used dreadlocks on mainly white models, to which he responded: “[To] all who cry ‘cultural appropriation’ or whatever nonsense about any race or skin colour wearing their hair in any particular style or manner – funny how you don’t criticise women of colour for straightening their hair.” Famous artists such as Beyoncé, Selena Gomez and Katy Perry have been reprimanded for wearing henna, bindis – essentially dressing up as a geisha which disrespects religion. Just this week a girl has been condemned on social media for wearing a traditional Chinese dress to prom. She simply responded saying “To everyone causing so much negativity: I mean no disrespect to the Chinese culture. I’m simply showing my appreciation to their culture. I’m not deleting my post because I’ve done nothing but show my love for the culture. It’s a fucking dress. And it’s beautiful.”

I think that when people take another culture’s ‘identity’ and style themselves that way or design a collection around it, it is mostly because they are inspired by this culture and this appearance and they want to show their love and appreciation for it, but it does depend on the context in which this happens. If this takes place in a context that ridicules and shows them to be inferior then it is wrong. It is mostly important that these cultures are credited and acknowledged and not just used to boost the status and image of the person using the culture for their own benefit. Artists such as Iggy Azalea is a white girl with blonde hair who presents herself as a rapper. She has been accused of picking and choosing from black culture, not caring about the community and ignoring larger issues. She was not born into this culture and doesn’t derive from this background so it is vital she acknowledges and credits the culture she is earning her living from. She gets to profit off of her white appeal while simultaneously selling a black sound. She is making a huge career for herself by mimicking the vocal patterns and phrases of a Southern black girl. “Our mainstream culture does not really know how to handle this and in an age of digital media – we have a perfect storm.”