Recent News Round up
Hello to all our SOS supporters and followers and thank you for your fantastic feedback and words of encouragement in relation to the work SOS continues to do in highlighting the need for open discussion around suicide and mental health.
The last week has been, yet again, incredibly busy, but we have a couple of updates for you on what we’ve been doing.
Our second visit to Sky last week saw us discussing further the legal and mental wellbeing issues affecting all those caught up in the recent Grenfell Fire tragedy and trying to understand which (if any) of the promises made by the Government in the wake of the tragedy had been delivered 3 weeks on.
There is much information on all platforms in relation to these issues, but suffice to say, the mental health of an increasing number of people is becoming a growing problem. And not just for the immediate victims – emergency services personnel are struggling and traumatised too.
Which is why we’re holding an SOS initiative meeting alongside Justice4Grenfell Campaign Group and the Grenfell Volunteers Information and Networking Support Group. The details of this event are not being released publicly for the wellbeing of those affected and to respect their right to privacy.
With so many dead or still missing, it is impossible for many people to even begin the grieving process. For those who have, the trauma and realisation are kicking in hard and fast and people need long term support which is what we are offering. We’re not just in this for the short haul, but for as long as we are needed.
Grenfell is more than just a tragedy of today. For all the children affected, they have a life time of horrific memories to face and for that, they need support and understanding. Not just now. But possibly for years to come.
In addition, we have physical health concerns to think about. What are the long terms effects of smoke and debris inhalation? There are widespread reports of ‘Grenfell Cough’ in the wake of the disaster and the full effects may not be known for years to come, when the children of Grenfell become adults.
The housing issue is huge with ‘good quality accommodation’ supposedly being offered to .- however, good quality is highly subjective. What the displaced need is somewhere that is suitable that they can call home, within the same area. Reports of a whole family in one small, windowless hotel room, rooms without food heating facilities and people offered hotels that are (Grenfell) tower like structures are rampant and simply not acceptable. Heaping trauma and unfairness onto those who are at their most vulnerable is, quite frankly, despicable treatment.
Most people are good at heart and well intentioned and the volunteers are doing an amazing job on the ground. But there are some, and I’m sure it is a very small minority, who are unhappy at plans to re-home Grenfell residents within a building partly inhabited by ‘well to do’ occupants. They seem to believe that they are a different species of human to the displaced Grenfellians and have a ‘right’ to live apart from social housing individuals and families. Sounds incredible? Absolutely. But click here and listen to what one ‘hard working’ lady says about the ‘degrading’ situation. If you’re angry after you’ve listened. Good. Now imagine how the vulnerable and traumatised feel to hear such audacious and outrageous comments. I wonder if the lady would like to identify herself by doing a television interview? I suspect not. As I said before, the only difference between any of us is down to circumstance. But for the Grace of God…
SOS and MOJ
We’re very excited about taking our service into the Prison environment, to help understand, educate and support inmates. Our pilot prison has now been confirmed and we will have a firm date organised by next week…. keep checking for updates.
Besides Bristol and Portsmouth, we will also be hosting an SOS at Exeter University. Again, more details will follow when appropriate.
Last week we spoke about SOS at the Potteries Science Festival in Stoke On Trent – a tremendous event which encouraged an audience of all ages, from school children to OAPs. It aimed to bring science into the community as an accessible and understandable subject and remove the ‘I’ve got to be Einstein to understand Science’ mentality. And wow, did it succeed!! The speeches were mesmerising, the information delivered by very capable speakers who made it easy to take in and the venue, the Mitchell Arts Centre, was absolutely spot on.
SOS featured heavily on all the advertising and marketing for this event and we are thankful for the publicity and visibility it gave us.
Given that we only did a very small SOS talk, the feedback afterwards was staggering. We shouldn’t be surprised should we? Every single audience we address returns at least a 50% show of hands in relation to being affected by suicide. Thank you to everyone for their massive support, and especially to Rob Beardsmore, who arranged our visit and put together the whole show with a great support team.
UCL – MARXISM 2017
Never would I have imagined I’d be speaking at an event like this! Especially as it was completely unplanned..
Walking into the room before the audience arrived, the posters were all actively ‘activist’, encouraging people to act in support of their beliefs. Words such as ‘defy’, ‘fight’, ‘say no’ , ‘campaign’ filled the walls and stage area and for someone who knew nothing about the event until they got there, I wondered to where on earth I’d ventured.
Like what was said or not (and I was surprised to find myself agreeing with much of it!), the passion, the determination, the drive from all the speakers and the audience was palpable and you realise just how many unsung heroes there are in the UK. People had travelled from near and far to attend and speak and they deserve so much credit for the fights they fight and the rights they stand up for.
It was a positive reaction from the audience upon hearing about SOS and we thank everyone who attended for their support.
Another busy week ahead, but we will keep you as updated as is possible, as soon as possible.
If you would like to see SOS in your home town, then drop us an email or use our contact form and let us know where you are and why you’d like to see us there!
Wishing everyone a peaceful week ahead.
It’s time to stop the silence.