Tag Archives: mental health and employment





 – a breath of fresh air for arts & music –

North London – that’s Crouch End, Haringey, Hornsey, Stroud Green and the surrounding area was once home to a thriving music & arts scene – famous names from the arts who lived and worked in the area abound – they include -The Kinks, Pete Brown of ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ & Cream fame, Mick Kidd (Biff of the Guardian), Anthony Minghella, Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) Laurie Morgan (legendary Jazz drummer) , Tim Healy, Denise Welch, Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth; Bob Dylan – yes he resided in Crouch End for a while. In recent years some of the area’s best loved venues, theatre, cinemas and arts centres have gone – recession, corporate Gastro Pubs and the like have taken over. A once thriving area feels like a cultural wasteland.

But not any more if entrepreneur Jonny Rogers has anything to do with it. Jonny’s vision of a community arts & music centre based in Stroud Green and serving North London’s creative community is gathering momentum – read on…




A home for community arts and music in North London

With recession devastating the arts & music scene, a single individual has come up with an exciting plan to launch a creative complex within the community.

BRAND NEW START (BNS) envisages the realisation of an ongoing ‘creative village life’ in the heart of North London. BNS would enable a multifunction network channelling independent creative practice into the community and vice-versa. It would harness music, visual & performing arts, film-making, fashion, craft and other disciplines, with particular care taken to accommodate the disadvantaged. All this would be in the confines of a 10,000ft² live-work complex.

BNS seeks those with an interest in this project, investors or donors, who possess material assets that they are willing to contribute. Financial investments will go into a co-operative fund held in trust to facilitate the instigation and day to day running of the centre.

At a time when one of North London’s iconic buildings – Church Studios in Crouch End is in imminent danger of conversion to flats – BNS offers those with a vision a brand new oasis in the present cultural desert.

Initial enquiries to jonny-rogers@hotmail.co.uk




Jonny is an established successful  professional antique & furniture restorer who specialises in prestige period property renovations. He has wide experience and connections with the local creative and charitable community and previous experience of involvement with creative premises. Further information on application to jonny-rogers@hotmail.co.uk



BNS envisages offering space, support services and facilities to those believing in developing local creativity. Its core principles would be justice, community, equal opportunity and creative expression, as well as creating a level playing-field for individuals coming from vulnerable or under-privileged circumstances and who are in a position to benefit dramatically from its services. With music as one of its core creative areas, BNS would provide stage, recording and rehearsal settings, as well as a touchstone for shared musical contact, dialogue and interaction.

BRAND NEW START will consist in self-sustaining and community-dependent artists, musicians, tradespersons and other people of relevant profession, who will occupy live-work space and help to run the continual flow of workshops and events that make up the BNS scheme.

THE SITE The project is presently is pitching for is a 10,000ft², A1-status premises in Stroud Green, N4. This would be occupied by project contributors and sub-let to other artists. Work has been done to secure a series of pre-let guarantees for the property.


August 22, 2012

Diana Stone, London N14, UK July 2012


Its given to us if we are lucky at times the ability to see things more or less as they really are rather than through our usual often distorted perspective. However when we see things that well we may encounter other issues as others often do not want to see the reality of the situation.

So is ignorance bliss? In my experience no. Some times even the wrong idea instead of no idea at all is a reasonable starting place. We are so used to others spoon feeding us through almost every second that we are awake until we drift off to slumber at the close. If you have a wrong idea you have at least a chance of finding a right one along the way.

How to deal with the others? to be continued …

Stigma and discrimination

Stigma and discrimination

Stigma and discrimination can have a huge impact on the lives of people affected by depression and, for many, they are the single biggest barrier to recovery.

Stigma is experienced by people affected by depression when negative judgements are made about them based on the condition, usually as a result of stereotypes, misconceptions or fear. Stigma can take many forms. It may be someone making an unpleasant remark or ignoring you; or assumptions being made about the kind of person you are or your abilities. Discrimination is the active part of stigma, when someone is not only judged because of the condition they experience but is actually treated differently.

It may seem that understanding and awareness of mental health problems is
improving but many studies have shown that stigma is still widespread. Consider the following statistics:

  • The most common mental illnesses are anxiety and depression (22% of the
  • population) but when asked to describe mental illness 63% of people said it was ‘someone with schizophrenia’ (which affects just 1% of the population). This figure has increased from 56% ten years ago. (Department of Health 2007)
  • The number of people who believe that someone with a mental illness is ‘someone who has to be kept in a psychiatric or mental hospital’ has also increased over the past decade, from 47% to 59%. (Department of Health 2007)
  • Belief in the link between mental illness and violence has similarly risen, from 29% to 36%. (Department of Health 2007)
  • A fifth of employers say that they would not employ someone who had been in
  • receipt of Incapacity Benefit. (Chartered Institute for Personnel Development May 2006)
  • 18% of employers said that they would not employ someone who has experienced mental ill health compared to 10% who wouldn’t employ someone with a physical disability. (Chartered Institute for Personnel Development May 2006)

Institutionalised discrimination

Stigma and discrimination start at the top, creating a climate within which employers routinely exclude people with mental health problems from work and other organisations feel empowered to discriminate too. The state discriminates by:

  • Having legislation that allows internment on the grounds of a person’s medical condition (as opposed to whether someone is dangerous)
  • Giving less weight to witness evidence from people who have had mental illness
  • Barring people who have had mental illness from public service – for example, not allowing them to sit on juries
  • Barring people who have had mental illness from holding public office
  • The Royal College of Psychiatrists has recently drawn attention to a range of health professions whose entry criteria exclude people who have had mental health problems.
  • Even where people with mental health problems are not openly excluded, informal discrimination makes it hard for them to pursue a career in professions such as law, medicine and politics – a recent report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health found that 1 in 5 Members of Parliament has had mental health problems, but most felt they could not disclose this publicly.

Insurance companies may deny health, personal and holiday insurance to people who have had mental health problems, and can refuse to pay a claim where an applicant failed to disclose their history, even where this has no bearing on the claim.
Employers regularly exclude people with mental health problems from work –seeking to sack those who develop problems while refusing to employ those with a history of mental illness.


Another manifestation of discrimination is a process of self-exclusion in which people behave as if discrimination will always happen. For example, while someone with depression is right to fear that they might be discriminated against in employment, they would be wrong to believe this will always be the case. If, however, they avoid seeking employment, and fail to take advantage of the help available because of this fear, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Stigma in the media

The media regularly link mental illness with violence and homicide even though the number of homicides by people with a mental illness has fallen significantly over the last 50 years (during which time, the number of homicides has increased by more than 500%).

Elsewhere, the media regularly use stigmatising language on a par with some of the language used to describe ethnic minorities back in the 1970s.

While challenges can be made against television and radio coverage of mental illness through the regulator Ofcom, the Press Complaints Commission only considers complaints where an individual is directly affected by press coverage. So, for example, only Frank Bruno could complain about the “Bonkers Bruno” headline – those of us who feel it is inappropriate to use the term “bonkers” to describe someone with a mental illness have no right of redress. This said, we all have the choice not to buy newspapers and not to subscribe to TV stations that discriminate in this way.

Over-estimating severity

The majority of people with a history of mental illness choose not to disclose their condition publicly – or to be very selective about who they disclose to.

One problem that arises from this is that those people who are “out” about their mental illness are often those who have little choice in the matter – those with the most severe and enduring conditions; those in long-term contact with specialist services; those who have been in contact with the criminal justice system; those who have been excluded from employment; those in poor housing; those who lack social networks and intimate relationships.

This leads politicians, health and social care professionals, journalists, voluntary organisations, and user/survivor groups themselves to stigmatise the majority of people with mental illness as being much needier, much more dependent and much less self-resilient than is actually the case, by applying the characteristics of the 10% with the most severe and enduring illness to the 90% with common mental illness.

Many people with depression find it highly stigmatising to be legally categorised as “vulnerable” or as “disabled”, when most, for most of the time, are fully able to work and to function in society.