I’ll be honest; I always find the most difficult part about these things is where to start.
That’s probably because starting usually means introducing myself a little, and setting out some kind of direction for where we’re going. These are tough tasks for one who considers introductions and a sense of direction to be merely necessary (rather than desirable) parts of normal society. But I digress.
My full name is Edward Graeme Stevenson, but people (in England at least) refer to me as ‘Grim’ because apparently, being from Belfast, that’s how it sounds when I say ‘Graeme’ in my Northern Irish accent. I consider myself a writer. Along with my writing, films and video games make up a large portion of my hobbies – I tend to combine the three when I’m blogging.
This past year I have worked with my church on a voluntary internship known as ‘F.P. Impact’. While most around me considered it a natural progression, having graduated into a tough economic climate, there aren’t many people who know the true reasons why I chose to do it. Some would take the decision light-heartedly; for me it was anything but. The seeds were sown when I learned of a rather frightening statistic about student suicide at the University of Portsmouth just a year before. At this point the university’s chaplaincy service was reporting or being called out in response to at least two suicide attempts each day (I’m not aware of how this has changed since). I found I had a heart to help those who were suffering emotionally.
It is perhaps no surprise then to find myself a part of the Orangemouth team. You will hopefully have noticed by now that Orangemouth supports ‘Emotional and Mental Health’ – a distinction that I believe is important. Many people, it seems, do not feel totally comfortable with the term mental illness because it sounds detached and impersonal, a possible consequence of its association with unstable villains in Hollywood films nowadays. In part this is a sign of the very stigma surrounding the illness in society; one that we are aiming to help unravel.
‘Emotional health’ as a term seems almost to go to the other end of the scale. Some would feel less confident about being taken seriously if they spoke of themselves as having an emotional health problem, men especially attributing this to personal weakness worthy of shame. But our emotions can be fragile, and it is harder to take care of them in the long term than one might think. These issues are not limited only to certain kinds of people.
It’s also worth noting that everyone currently involved with Orangemouth either has been or is a university student, and we have come to realise through our own experiences that these students in particular are vulnerable on a deeper level than their drunken party caricature suggests. Hence, we find ourselves in a position where we can help raise awareness and provide support. This blog will be one part of that.
Having first felt empathy with others who have suffered, Orangemouth is now to be a brand of positive action in the area of Emotional and Mental Health, and potentially in other areas as we develop and grow [as a company]. By all means check out the rest of the website, and stay in touch! Now, didn’t someone mention shirts?