There was a time – and it was not long ago – when a States’ debate on healthcare could legitimately be opened with references to mental health being largely ignored or at best forgotten by government and wider society.
In recent years, considerable effort has been made by the public, private and third sectors to raise the profile and awareness of mental health and the seriousness of poor mental health. To the point where many more people are comfortable talking openly about theirs, though important barriers remain to be cleared before there is parity between mental and physical health.
Several features in this April/May edition of Connect draw on the mental health experiences of local business leaders and others.
No Ordinary Day Job features Sarah Gale. Sarah spent years struggling with her body image and consequently mental health. Exhausted by her symptoms and with little hope, she turned almost accidentally to exploring nutritional changes, which sparked periods of intense study and then a new career as a well-respected nutritionist.
Special Report delves into social prescribing and speaks with Clare Arnold, the dedicated Social Prescribing Link Worker at Queens Road Medical Practice. Queens Road is pushing the boundaries of traditional medical practice and using social prescribing to swap pharmaceutical prescriptions for coffee dates, learning new skills and even volunteering at the local zoo.
Our Charity Champion this month is Maddy Diligent, Marketing, Events and Fundraising Lead for Guernsey Mind, an increasingly eminent charity which promotes mental wellbeing and tackles discrimination and stigma. Guernsey Mind estimates that two in three people will face mental health challenges at some point in their lives, which underlines the importance of continuing to break down barriers to acceptance and support.
Meanwhile, unusually, we have a joint cover feature with our sister publication in Jersey. Unplugged is a conversation with Tyler Edmonds, a Guernseyman who is now spreading the wings of his popular and music business into Jersey. The School of Popular Music has nearly 700 students already in Guernsey and he tells us about his plans to replicate that level of success ‘down south’.
We also catch up with the latest at GROW, our 2022 Charity Partner, which is making great progress on an ambitious £3million redevelopment of its premises at Les Petits Quartiers.
And we hear from a range of business leaders, including Nick Vermeulen, new Senior Partner for PwC in the Channel Islands, over Working Lunch, a feature we want to develop further in future editions.
We hope you enjoy reading this edition as much as we have enjoyed putting it together. And with one or two editorial and staff changes we are making, we are looking forward to a period of growth at Connect in the months ahead.