Last Sunday was a bad day, a very bad day. Mum and I had just come back from a lovely holiday on the Isle of Wight – breakfast outside every morning by the lake, cake everyday for afternoon tea and Pimms every night with dinner. It was glorious. We came home to realize the boiler was broken, the Freeview remote wouldn’t work and I had to pretty sharpish find somewhere to live for my new job in Liverpool. With all this on my mind, I was screaming and shouting and threw somethings. (Well some thing – the 79p water sprayer from Wilkos, which is a good buy because it didn’t break).

I don’t despair like that often. I remember doing it before my Christmas Tea Party, stressed about how my bakes were progressing and probably still drunk from the night before. I hadn’t been this despairing since writing a non-assessed (and non important) class essay last February, when I just couldn’t work out what to say. I scream and shout when I don’t feel in control and don’t know what to do. And then I get angry and stressed with myself, that a nice cuppa tea couldn’t just sort me out.

Well last week I went for a walk, sat on a roadside bench that I shared with Mike, a Yugoslav pensioner, then went home and started dealing with things. I went to bed, woke up happier (not happy) and by Wednesday I had a spring back in my step. And yesterday i had found a great room for me in Liverpool, at least for the short-term.

What if I hadn’t woken up more content? Or  didn’t have a loving Mother to look out for me? What if I scream and shout more and more? That thought genuinely upsets and scares me. But it shows I’m human, and that means I have to manage my mental health and wellbeing. 1 in 4 people suffer a mental health problem each year. It doesn’t mean they’re ‘crazy’, it means someone you know needs (and hopefully gets) support and help. And I think in out social networking/internet age, there’s new pressures on mental wellbeing, from jealousy through to the fatal effects of cyber-bullying. Mental health is too big an elephant to keep in the room.

So at Southend Mind, they’ve built not just a new room but a whole new centre for it. The Jubilee Centre on Southchurch Road is a drop-in centre where anyone can walk through the door, ask for help and be sign-posted/offered to the right support. Astonishingly, it’s the first centre of it’s kind in the UK. I’m proud I can tell the Scousers I meet that in the heart of Southend is a mental health centre for everyone, and If I’m worried I’m screaming and shouting a bit too much, I can walk through the right door.

I’m selling ‘Summer Tea Selections’ to fundraise for the Jubilee Centre Appeal. 12 different tea blends to sample for just £2.50 (£3 posted), with every penny going to the appeal. Simply ask me to order one!


You can read more about the Jubilee Centre and make a donation at www.southendmind.org.uk