Saturday, June 05, 2010

#doctorwho : Back, in action and challenging our views on mental health



Richard Curtis writing an episode of Doctor Who is a phrase that will produce a marmite of an answer.  Either you'll love or hate the idea. However in among the slightly sappy moments was story of real warmth and humanity.  This was because Doctor Who, at its best, is a mirror to our society.   It uses the medium of science fiction to highlight inaccuraces, falsehoods, strenghts and weaknesses of the human race.  Tonight was no different, yet at the same time tonight was different.

The prime players were the Doctor, his assistant Amy Pond and Vincent Van Gough.  In true who fashion this is old style detective work where the Doctor spies something is wrong and plunges into the past to sort it - all without altering the one key principle of time travel - do not change the future.

How can this be done?  Well tonight showed how.  For Vincent Van Gough is portrayed within this as being the same as 1 in 4 of the UK population today.  No the uk population isn't all ginger bearded and with a passion for hats - one in 4 of the population has suffered, or is suffering form a form of mental illness.

Today I was running a stall at Birmingham Green Fair. Along the street was a stall by Time for Change. TfC is a rare charity event. It is purely awareness raising.  It is an action that challenges you not to give money but to give a positive statement about how you will live your life, or what step you will take, to ensure you are not discriminating against people with mental health.

Tonight's Doctor Who reminded me I didn't make time to sign a card.  It also reminded me I should.  The stunning ending made clear a simple truth.  A person's mental health is only one part of them and it is up-to all of us to ensure they are not judged for the problems they face, or the drugs they take, - it is up-to all of us to realise the true person beneath and to relish, encourage and enjoy that person.  A persons true character is reflected by what they do - not the challenges they face in getting there.

Tonight I loved Doctor Who and I took the Time for Change pledge.

This weekend, make sure you do both.

Take Care y'all

John