Sunday, 27 January 2013

Day Time TV, Time to Talk, and OK we’ve done Snow for 2013

Now here a radical idea for the current UK Government. If they really want to get people active, and healthy, then ban Day Time TV. There should be no TV until 18.00 and then it should be the 6 o'clock News and possibly In the Night Garden (some of you will know what I mean by the latter). Having personified Talcott Parsons Sick Role all last week, I found I had become addicted to DTTV – and what an addictive drug it is. Breakfast, merges into A Life Down Under, A Place in the Sun, or the Country depending on what channel you watch, Jamie’s busy preparing meals in 15 minutes, Dave is almost back to back Top Gear, and then its Four in a Bed, Come Dine With Me and Pointless before the 6 o’clock News returns.

I can tell you it’s an exhausting business this DTTV, and leads to a disabling lethargy that creeps up in the most insidious way imaginable. Thankfully, 500mg Amoxicillin 3 times a day, regular cups of hot blackcurrant flavored Cold and Flu drinks, and an 16 month old toddler who doesn't stop until he hears the first few bars of the signature music of In the Night Garden, provides for a reasonable cure! Tomorrow its back to work and DTTV will seem like a distant bad dream by 08.00am

What I couldn't escape from while under the spell of DTTV was the advertisements. There were the usual nonsense claims being made about which supermarket was doing its best to help hard pressed families survive the continued economic downturn. The consumer group Which? Published a report in Oct 2012 showing the average cost of shopping bill is £76.83 per week for a family of 2 adults and 2 children. This story is something I want to return to in a future blog, but it was the mental health advertisements that really caught my eye.

Not only are these visually appealing, they convey an important message in a very direct way. The TV advertisments are part of an ongoing campaign run by the Time to Change group. Led by the national mental health charities, MIND and Rethink and funded by the DH, it is England's most ambitious campaign to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people who experience mental health problems. Stigma and discrimination ruin lives. They deny people with mental health problems the opportunity to live their lives to the full. They deny people relationships, work, education, hope and the chance to live an ordinary life that others take for granted.

The Time to Change campaign is shown to be having a positive impact on public attitudes and behaviour towards people with mental health problems.  Since the campaign launched in 2007, there has been a 3% increase in the number of people who say they face no discrimination, an 11.5% reduction in average levels of discrimination, and a 2.4% improvement in public attitudes. There is still some way to go. The current campaign aims to tackle the fear and awkwardness that people feel around talking about mental health. And to save you from becoming addicted to DTTV I have provided the link to the advertisements here: 

And methinks it’s time for the weather to change. Friday’s snow storm was something to sit and watch, but disastrous for many people travelling home after a longs week work. Here it lay way over 12 inches deep (30cm for those under the age of 45) during the afternoon and evening. The weight of the snow along with the wind meant getting the chain saw out to clear away the 3 trees that fallen across the drive. It was good to see everyone out on the lane helping to clear the snow away. I’m hoping that’s it for snow in early 2013. But that said, it was good to talk, snow shovel in hand or not, and talking beats DTTV every time.