A man’s story about mental illness was cut from live TV because of the royal engagement and Brits are furious

When the news broke that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had got engaged, the nation could scarcely contain its excitement. And, for much of the day, our television screens were plastered with shots and footage of the happy couple.

But, for one man who travelled from Edinburgh, Scotland, to London to talk about his depression and suicide attempt on TV, the day did not turn out to be as joyous. Brian Wilkie’s scheduled appearance on ITV’s This Morning was cut from the show to make way for the royal wedding news. And, many people have taken to Twitter to express their disappointment that this man’s story wasn’t heard. 

Last week, Ellie Wilkie tweeted a photo of her and her dad Brian with some words about his experience of living with mental illness. 

“This year began with my dad mentally suffering depression and suicide attempt. Today he ends the year starting his new career in becoming a recovery support worker,” she wrote. 

“Words can’t describe how proud we are,” she added. “It’s okay not to be okay.” 

Her tweet went viral, and led to them both being invited to appear on ITV’s This Morning show to tell their story. 

But, due to the royal engagement news, their segment was cut from the show’s schedule. 

“Due to breaking news our story was cut off live TV,” Ellie wrote. “The royal wedding will go ahead however mental health issues will always remain. Until next time Dad.”

Ellie’s tweet gained a great deal of attention online, with many people stating their disappointment that the segment was cut.

Some felt that given the princes’ extensive campaigning on mental health, the royals would have wanted the segment to go ahead. 

Many criticised This Morning for its decision to prioritise the engagement news. 

ITV did not immediately respond to Mashable‘s request for comment. 

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/11/28/itv-this-morning-royal-engagement/

Kate Middleton chats about mental health in video for children and parents

Kate Middleton has spoken out about the difficulty in opening up about one’s mental health in a video aimed at children and parents. 

Appearing in a video for charity Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, the Duchess of Cambridge explained in simple terms what “mental health” means. 

“Mental health is how we feel and think, things that can’t really be seen but affect us everyday. And talking about them can feel difficult,” she said. 

The Duchess’ words act by way of introduction to a short animation aimed at children to help them find the words to talk about mental health. The Duchess explained that the animation can help figure out “what to say and who to talk to when we have feelings that are too big to manage on our own.” 

The animation gives a simple breakdown of what the term “mental health” means, and it features tips and advice from children and adults on talking about thoughts, feelings and emotions. 

“Sometimes it’s just a simple conversation that can make things better,” Kate added. 

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/09/19/duchess-of-cambridge-mental-health/

3 reasons why all the adults you know have started coloring again.

There’s never been a better time to feel like a kid again.

For as long as there have been mortgages, taxes, jobs, and speeding tickets, there have been adults who wish they could turn back the clock to simpler times. That’s nothing new.

But nostalgia has recently gone next-level.

If you want, you can now go away to
adult summer camp, where you’ll leave all technology at the entrance and enjoy four days of archery, tie-dye, and hiking. You can also spend a day at adult preschool, where you’ll do arts and crafts, play games, and reconnect with your favorite childhood buddy: nap time.

Who’s up for a trust fall? Photo by
Ville Miettinen/Flickr.

Coloring books, though, are by far the most popular kids’ activity for grown-ups. And it’s not hard to see why.

Just imagine your favorite coloring book as a kid, only updated to reflect your much-improved motor skills and worldliness.
Wouldn’t it be nice to take an hour with a cup of coffee and get lost in a sea of possibility and imagination?

If you did, it might look something like this.

Trust us, you haven’t seen a coloring book like this before. Photo and coloring skills by Jenni Whalen/Upworthy.

Beautiful, isn’t it? So beautiful, in fact, that crotchety, jaded adults all over the world are dusting off their crayons and giving it a try.

These books are selling at breakneck pace. Publishers are even having trouble keeping them in stock.

The book that started the craze, “Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book,” has sold over 2 million copies worldwide since its release in 2013.

Some credit illustrator Johanna Basford with launching the adult coloring trend in 2013. Photo by Jenni Whalen/Upworthy.

And there are many more like it burning up the bestseller lists.

“We’ve never seen a phenomenon like it in our thirty years of publishing. … We just can’t keep them in print fast enough,” Lesley O’Mara, managing director of Michael O’Mara Books, told
The New Yorker.

It doesn’t look like this coloring book train is slowing down any time soon, so
here are three reasons you need to get on board.

1. A good coloring session can relieve stress and anxiety.

Many coloring books use geometrically soothing patterns to relieve anxiety. Photo by Jenni Whalen/Upworthy

There might be more to this whole coloring thing than just feeling like a kid.

Marti Faist, an art therapist, told the
Baltimore Sun, “When someone is coloring, their mind and body are operating in a more integrated way. It’s almost a meditative process.”

“I’ve watched people under acute stress, almost panic-attack levels, color and have their blood pressure go down very quickly. It’s cathartic for them.”

And Marti’s not the only one. Maybe you’ve heard of a guy named Carl Jung?

Jung was a big fan of art therapy, and he used coloring as a relaxation technique back in the early 1900s. He even believed that the colors his patients chose reflected an expression of deeper parts of their psyche. Jung himself actually used to draw and color mandalas, or spiritual geometric shapes, every morning. These same mandalas are the foundation of a lot of the most popular stress-relieving coloring books today.

2. No paper? No problem. Now, you can color on the go.

Now there’s a brand new way to kill time on your smartphone. Photo and digital coloring skills by
Heather Kumar/Twitter.

You know the rule: It’s not an official craze unless it’s integrated into social media. So, as appealing as drawing at your kitchen table for hours on end sounds, you can now color on your smartphone or tablet with just a few swipes of your finger, and you can easily tweet or Instagram your creations, too.

Colorfy, the most popular coloring app on the market, has been a huge hit with the mobile crowd, pulling in over 23,000 reviews on iTunes (it’s also on Android).

A recent reviewer wrote: “This is a really great app. It lets me pass the time in a calming yet creative way.”

But maybe the best thing about a coloring app is that it’s easy to erase your design, start over, and create something completely different.

3) These coloring books are also hilarious.

What a handsome drawing. Photo and coloring skills by
Clare Emily/Twitter.

Coloring isn’t just about the beautifully elaborate sketches like those found in “Secret Garden” and its follow-up, ”
Enchanted Forest.

If you’re more into some mindless fun, you might also enjoy coloring pictures of
Ryan Gosling or iconic images from ’90s pop culture!

And, if you’re a real free spirit, you might enjoy a, um, truly “adult” coloring book.

Just a suggestion: might not want to pull this one out in public.

Whether you’re coloring to relax or just to have some fun, there’s a coloring book out there for you.

Coloring might become your favorite hobby … again.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/3-reasons-why-all-the-adults-you-know-have-started-coloring-again?c=tpstream

The danger of high-functioning depression as told by a college student.

I first saw a psychiatrist for my anxiety and depression as a junior in high school.

During her evaluation, she asked about my coursework. I told her that I had a 4.0 GPA and had filled my schedule with pre-AP and AP classes. A puzzled look crossed her face. She asked about my involvement in extracurricular activities. As I rattled off the long list of groups and organizations I was a part of, her frown creased further.

Finally, she set down her pen and looked at me, saying something along the lines of “You seem to be pretty high-functioning, but your anxiety and depression seem pretty severe. Actually, its teens like you who scare me a lot.”

When we see depression and anxiety in adolescents, we see teens struggling to get by in their day-to-day lives. We see grades dropping, and we see involvement replaced by isolation. But it doesnt always look like this.

And when we limit our idea of mental illness, at-risk people slip through the cracks.

We dont see the student with the 4.0 GPA or the student whos active in choir and theater or a member of the National Honor Society or the ambitious teen who takes on leadership roles in a religious youth group.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/the-danger-of-high-functioning-depression-as-told-by-a-college-student?c=tpstream

A comic that accurately sums up depression and anxiety and the uphill battle of living with them

Sarah Flanigan has been fighting depression since she was 10 years old and anxiety since she was 16. “I wish everyone knew that depression is not something that people can just ‘snap out of,'” she explains. “I mean, if I could ‘snap out of it,’ I would have by now.”

Depression and anxiety disorders are real illnesses. Mental illnesses are not “in someone’s head,” they’re not something a person can “just get over,” and they affect so many of us over 40 million people in the U.S. alone.

Despite how common they are, it’s still really difficult to explain to people who may have never experienced a mental illness.

Enter: cute, clever illustrations that get the job done.

Nick Seluk, who creates the amazing comics at The Awkward Yeti, heard from reader Sarah Flanigan. She shared her story of depression and anxiety with him. If it could help even one person, she said, it would be worth it.

Nick turned her story into a fantastic comic that perfectly captures the reality of living with depression and anxiety.

“I’ve been through and seen depression and anxiety in action, and thought Sarah’s story was so perfectly simple,” he told me. “We all get sick physically and mentally, but we need to be open to talking (and laughing) about [it].”

I couldn’t agree more, and I think this comic will resonate with a lot of people.

Simple yet powerful, right?

“The hardest part of living with depression and anxiety for me is feeling like I have to hide it,” Sarah said. “I’ve always been known as the happy one in my group of friends. Everyone’s always so shocked when I tell them I have depression or they see the self-harm scars.”

“It’s much harder than it should be to say, ‘Hey, I have depression and I’ve been struggling with self-harm since I was 10 and I just really need your support to get me through tonight,'” Sarah explained.

Let’s all keep working to make it easier for our friends, family members, and ourselves to get support. Let’s keep talking about it.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/a-comic-that-accurately-sums-up-depression-and-anxiety-and-the-uphill-battle-of-living-with-them?c=tpstream

Here are 5 things you may regret at the end of your life, from a nurse who works with the dying.

You might think watching people die would depress a person. It actually taught her how to live.

Bronnie Ware spent years as a palliative care nurse, helping patients be as comfortable as possible in the time just before their deaths. She compiled their stories and the most repeated regrets she heard them utter in their final days.

Do you ever imagine what the final years and months and days of your life will be like?

Shared originally on her blog, ”
Inspiration and Chai,” here are the top five regrets, with quotes from her blog as she recorded them.

Regret #1: I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

Look at yourself in the mirror. Are you living your best life right now? What’s stopping you?

Dreaming of living a different life than the one you have now? Image by
Jorge Royan.

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.” Bronnie Ware

Regret #2: I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

This one speaks for itself.

That desk looks like instant stress before the workday has even started. Image by
Alan Cleaver/Flickr.

Regret #3: I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

What if getting the words out is essential to your growth as a human?

Feelings aren’t just useless emotions. Expressing them can be the first step to self-actuating and becoming a newer version of yourself. Image by
Garry Knight/Flickr.

“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.” Bronnie Ware

Regret #4: I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Is there someone you treasure who you haven’t spoken with in much too long?

They’re so important to us and somehow we think that “life” getting in the way is a good enough reason to go without seeing them. Image by
Jason Hutchens.

“Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.” Bronnie Ware

Regret #5: I wish that I had let myself be happier.

If you didn’t wake up joyful today, why not? What can you do to change that?

Who was the last person you giggled ridiculously with? Call them. Right now. Image by
Adina Voicu.

“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.” Bronnie Ware

Were there any regrets on this list that felt familiar to you? Others that you didn’t see listed?

These are five universal wake-up calls we all need to be reminded of.
There’s no shame in tagging all the friends you need to call when you share this.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/here-are-5-things-you-may-regret-at-the-end-of-your-life-from-a-nurse-who-works-with-the-dying?c=tpstream

Have you seen anyone with a semicolon tattoo? Here’s what it’s about.

Have you seen anyone with a tattoo like this?

If not, you may not be looking close enough. They’re popping up…

…everywhere.

Photos by The Semicolon Tattoo Project.

That’s right: the semicolon. It’s a tattoo that has gained popularity in recent years, but unlike other random or mystifying trends, this one has a serious meaning behind it. (And no, it’s not just the mark of a really committed grammar nerd.)


My co-worker Parker’s photo of her own semicolon tattoo.

This mark represents mental health struggles and the importance of suicide prevention.

Project Semicolon was born from a social media movement in 2013.

They describe themselves as a “movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction, and self-injury. Project Semicolon exists to encourage, love, and inspire.”

But why a semicolon?

“A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.”

Originally created as a day where people were encouraged to draw a semicolon on their bodies and photograph it, it quickly grew into something greater and more permanent. Today, people all over the world are tattooing the mark as a reminder of their struggle, victory, and survival.

Photos by
The Semicolon Tattoo Project.

I spoke with Jenn Brown and Jeremy Jaramillo of
The Semicolon Tattoo Project, an organization inspired by the semicolon movement. Along with some friends, Jenn and Jeremy saw an opportunity to both help the community and reduce the stigma around mental illness.

In 2012,
over 43 million Americans dealt with a mental illness. Mental illness is not uncommon, yet there is a stigma around it that prevents a lot of people from talking about it and that’s a barrier to getting help.

More conversations that lead to less stigma? Yes please.

“[The tattoo] is a conversation starter,” explains Jenn. “People ask what it is and we get to tell them the purpose.”

“I think if you see someone’s tattoo that you’re interested in, that’s fair game to start a conversation with someone you don’t know,” adds Jeremy. “It provides a great opportunity to talk. Tattoos are interesting marks we put on our bodies that are important to us.”

A woman getting a semicolon tattoo at last year’s event. Photo by
The Semicolon Tattoo Project.

Last year, The Semicolon Tattoo Project held an event at several tattoo shops where people could get a semicolon tattoo for a flat rate. “That money was a fundraiser for our crisis center,” said Jenn. In total, over 400 people received semicolon tattoos in one day. Even better, what began as a local event has spread far and wide, and people all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos.

And it’s not just about the conversation it’s about providing tangible support and help too.

Jenn and Jeremy work with the
Agora Crisis Center. Founded in 1970, it’s one of the oldest crisis centers in the country. Through The Semicolon Tattoo Project, they’ve been able to connect even more people with the help they need during times of crisis. (If you need someone to talk to, scroll to the end of the article for the center’s contact information.)

So next time you see this small punctuation tattoo, remember the words of Upworthy writer Parker Molloy:

“I recently decided to get a semicolon tattoo. Not because it’s trendy (though, it certainly seems to be at the moment), but because it’s a reminder of the things I’ve overcome in my life. I’ve dealt with anxiety, depression, and gender dysphoria for the better part of my life, and at times, that led me down a path that included self-harm and suicide attempts.
But here I am, years later, finally fitting the pieces of my life together in a way I never thought they could before. The semicolon (and the message that goes along with it) is a reminder that I’ve faced dark times, but I’m still here.”

No matter how we get there, the end result is so important: help and support for more people to also be able to say ”
I’m still here.

If you want to see more incredible semicolon tattoos, check out nine photos and stories that our readers shared with us!

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/have-you-seen-anyone-with-a-semicolon-tattoo-heres-what-its-about?c=tpstream

How to protect yourself when live video shows a suicide

Image: Shutterstock / Pressmaster

The thrill of social media is often the possibility of surprise. It’s fun to log on and see which viral videos, political rants, news stories, and baby pictures your friends and family have shared.

What we don’t expect is to see someone die. Watching a suicide attempt (or murder) in real time is not part of the bargain we’ve made to stay connected with the world. And yet it happens. Earlier this week, a Thai man killed his infant daughter and himself on Facebook Live. The video appeared on both Facebook and YouTube before being taken down by the companies.

While such incidents are rare, even news coverage of them can make us feel sad or angry. For some people, learning explicit details about these tragedies may lead to suicidal thoughts or behavior. We know this from years of research, but the phenomenon of broadcasting suicide via live video is so new that even experts in suicide prevention are grappling with how to understand its emotional impact.

“This whole medium has not existed long enough for us to have a good understanding of how it might be different from what you might see in the newspaper or on a TV show,” says Victor Schwartz, chief medical officer of The Jed Foundation, a suicide prevention nonprofit.

“Theres nothing more lurid than seeing something like this in real time.”

He suspects, however, that witnessing a suicide on social media can be as bad or even worse for our emotional health as encountering graphic details in the media: “Theres nothing more lurid than seeing something like this in real time.”

That violence could be overwhelming and deeply disturbing, particularly for people who are at risk for or already experience anxiety or depression, or are struggling with their own suicidal impulses.

To ease that anguish, Schwartz recommends first walking away from its source. “If you were eating or drinking something that tasted [bad], you would stop,” he says. “This is the same thing we cant control what [we see] online, but you can spit it out.”

Once you’ve got some distance, find ways to make that space bigger. Try talking to a supportive, trusted friend about the emotions you felt after watching or hearing about the suicide. Sit down with a TV show that makes you laugh, take a walk or run, or do something else that gives you joy. Essentially, says Schwartz, find ways to distract yourself.

Taking action is important too. If you see a suicide attempt take place on a social media platform, report it to the company. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Snapchat all provide users a way to report suicidal behavior or content, and Schwartz says following those guidelines can make someone feel less helpless. (If someone appears to be in immediate danger, you can also contact local law enforcement or 911.) Finally, he urges people experiencing relentless despair or suicidal thoughts to discuss their feelings, seek profession help, or call or text a hotline.

Testing how suicide on live video affects people would be unethical, which is partly why we don’t know its consequences for our emotional health. Yet Madelyn Gould, a professor of epidemiology in psychiatry at Columbia University who specializes in suicide prevention research, believes the existing evidence on the “contagion effect” of suicide is robust enough to suggest that it could harm certain people.

Most of these studies look retrospectively at whether the suicide rate spikes after a high-profile incident and show there appears to be some association between media reports and increases in the suicide rate. Those most affected are likely to be emotionally vulnerable people who can identify with the person who died. So geography, gender, age, and other factors can make a difference in how someone perceives the death, whether it relates to their own life, and how it could influence their frame of mind.

Gould is less worried that we lack research on the impact of seeing a suicide on live video and more concerned that the norms around suicide may be changing to the point where people see it as a widespread, acceptable outcome.

Talking about suicide requires a careful balance of acknowledging how and why it happens while avoiding making it seem inevitable, glamorous, or the best solution to ending one’s pain. That’s why she and other prevention experts were so alarmed by the vivid portrayal of suicide in the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why, in which the main female character meticulously plans her suicide almost as a means of revenge against those who bullied and assaulted her.

“Its ok to talk about your fears or concerns about what youve seen or felt.”

Gould, among other advocates, wants to focus more time on encouraging healthy conversations about self-harm, including coping strategies, how to get help, and spreading the knowledge that many people who have suicidal thoughts or attempt suicide can still lead happy lives.

These are all things to focus on the next time a suicide airs live on social media. And don’t be afraid to express what it meant to encounter that imagery or reporting or to listen to someone else trying to make sense of that.

“Its O.K. to talk about your fears or concerns about what youve seen or felt,” says Schwartz.

If you want to talk to someone or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, text the Crisis Text Lineat 741-741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Here is a listof international resources.

WATCH: Break free from social media with this minimal phone

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/04/30/dealing-with-emotions-of-live-video-suicide/