Holl JC

The Internal Struggle is Real - Why Mental Health Needs to be a Priority.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

When you break a bone you are sent to the hospital for x-rays, you have a cast put on for a number of months and you sometimes have to have physiotherapy too. Can you imagine if during the incident in which you broke your arm or leg bone your sports coach, teacher, family member or boss told you to get over it or just carry on as normal, that you’d be fine and over it in a week or so. I’m pretty sure you and anyone else in the vicinity would be pretty shocked at that response.
The sad thing is, many of those phrases are things that people who struggle with or suffer from mental health illnesses or disorders hear on a regular basis. According to mental health charity Mind, 1 in 4 people in the UK will struggle with a mental health problem (Source). To break that down, I have 920 friends on Facebook, by those statistics over 200 of my Facebook friends have, or will have struggled with their mental health at some point in their life. According to the World Bank there is over 65 million people in the UK, according to the statistics from Mind, if my maths is correct, that means that over 16 million people in the UK will struggle with their mental health. And that, in my opinion, is a huge amount of people!

If someone has broken a bone you can see them wearing a cast. If someone has asthma you will regularly see them using an inhaler. If someone has diabetes you will see them having insulin injections. However if someone is struggling with a mental health illness, 90% of the time you cannot tell from the outside. Mental health illnesses are internal and unseen, and because of this they can unfortunately seem or be regarded as less of a problem or priority than physical illnesses; even by some medical professionals.  

I recently found out that in my local area of Stoke on Trent if someone is struggling with their mental health and wishes to seek treatment through a form of counselling it can take at least 4 months for them to get an initial appointment. But if you break a bone you head over to A&E and usually get seen in under 5 hours, with 4 hours being the target set by the government for all A&E visits. Breaking a bone is not usually life threatening, however mental health illnesses can be. According to Mind, 20 in 100 people will struggle with suicidal thoughts, 6 out of 100 people will attempt suicide, and 8 out of 100 people will live with a mix of anxiety and depression. In their annual report the Samaritans have found that over 6,500 people committed suicide in the UK and ROI in 2015 (Source). I wonder how many of those people may still be alive if they’d had access to support, therapy or treatment faster or more regularly, or if they’d been taken seriously when they asked for help or opened up to people. Breaking a bone isn’t usually life threatening, however the deterioration of someone’s mental health definitely can be.

In this 21st century, ultra-connected, social media age people have become very good at showcasing the life and story they want you to see and believe. Someone may look like they’re having the best month ever, when in reality they’re really struggling or suffering. Or just because your family member had a smile on their face when they visited for dinner last week doesn’t mean everything is ok. 

The phrase, “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about” is one that I say and think about regularly. And is one that is absolutely true! You can never truly know what someone is walking with or dealing with on a daily basis, because mental health illnesses are an internal struggle, an internal unseen problem.  Telling someone they should just pull themselves together, or stop being daft is the most unhelpful and inconsiderate thing you can say. When talking about a friend, relative or colleague you say you just want to shake them or slap them, to make them snap out of their mental health illness, this is an extremely unloving and unkind thing. I only say that last part as about a month ago I heard some family members talking about someone openly dealing with mental health problems and those where the exact words they said, to say I was disgusted isn’t even close!

Battling your own brain or thoughts on a daily basis is extremely difficult, and to anyone struggling from a mental health illness, you are a badass, brave and an absolute boss and I tip my hat to you. To those with friends, family or work mates who are struggling, love them and love them hard. Please don’t call them names or tell them just to snap out of it! Drive them to doctors’ appointments, ask them if they’d like to go out for cake, allow them the time and space to open up in their own time. And to the government and those who allocate funding, you’re letting far too many people down!
So yes, this is a 21 year old graduate calling you out and saying things need to change! You need to change and realise that you can't just shove problems under the rug and hope they'll go away, because I don't think this one is going anywhere, although I do wish it was. 

God Bless 

Is that really me?

Monday, 19 March 2018

Last week I did a very fun shoot with an old friend of mine, Tamar Willoughby. Tamar and I went to school and youth group together, and have known each other for years. For as long as I've known Tamar she's always loved photography, and over the last few months she's decided she wants to turn her hobby into a career and launch her own business/career in photography. 
We headed over to a local garden centre to shoot, and Tamar really did work her magic with the photographs! I ended up having over 200 pictures to choose from, but for this post I've compiled a very small selection of my favourites.  

If you live in the Staffordshire, Cheshire area and are looking for a photographer to do a family, portrait, couples, wedding, or any other type of shoot definitely head over and check Tamar's website out! There's a direct link above! 

God Bless

Take a Hike

Monday, 12 March 2018

Jacket - Missguided  Tshirt - Topshop
Jeans - Topshop  Boots - ASOS

Five Things No One Tells You About The Grad Life

Monday, 5 March 2018

1. The Nostalgia
You’ll spend rather lot of your time wishing you were back at uni. Dreaming of the days you could walk round to your besties house in your PJ’s in less than 5 minutes. Where going to McDonalds at 11pm at night is the regular practice; and the days when movie nights accidentally turn into alcohol fuelled movie weeks are too. You may not miss the mounds of work or dissertation research, but you regularly find yourself lusting to be back in your old uni house living the uni life of dreams. 

2. Two Years Experience
It seems that nearly every other job advert that I see states that the company wants two or more years industry experience. However spending the last three years at uni makes that a lil’ difficult. Us graduates can’t get two years’ experience in industry if no one will hire us because we don’t have the level of experience they want. It’s a vicious circle and conundrum that a lot of graduates face on a weekly if not daily basis. And I have to say, it’s getting rather annoying!  

3. Unpaid Work 
You may have a shiny new degree that you’ve spent three or more years working your little booty off for, but to me it seems that often doesn’t count for much. Many graduates are expected to work in unpaid roles or internships to gain more experience. Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out, but the experience gained from unpaid roles doesn’t pay for food, transport or your household bills. Frankly it doesn’t pay for anything. After three summers, or sometimes more, of unpaid interning many graduates expect that once they’ve done with the uni life they’ll be able to move on to something that gives them a little more financial stability and security. But what I’ve learnt is that for many graduates unfortunately, that isn’t the case.  

4. Some people will get jobs straight away, others won’t
Following graduation some girls I know got jobs straight away, like literally the week after graduation they were in work at an office in London. Other people have only just got jobs after months of unpaid interning, and some people I know still haven’t got jobs despite months of applications and interviews. I guess there’s no magic formula to getting a job, no hard or fast rules. Something I’ve learnt since graduating is that often the person with the horrendous work ethic or the one who treats everyone around them really badly can get a job first. Whilst those people who you know have hearts of gold or are crazy talented may still be waiting for a break. It’s very frustrating to watch, but it seems to happen every day!

5. You can’t please everyone  
Even pizza, chocolate or Nutella can’t do that, so you definitely can’t! Whatever you choose to do with your life or time someone will disagree or think you’re making a bad move. It could be a family member, friend, work pal, but someone won’t be happy or agree with what it is you’re doing. The phrase you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t comes to mind. Over the last 8 months I’ve had people say one thing to my face and another behind my back, I’ve had people criticise me for choosing to take time out, I’ve had people tell me to stop being silly and just get a job at Tesco. We will never be able to please everyone, no matter what decisions or choices we make. 

God Bless   

Take a chance

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Bag - Zara 

Blogging has been my no.1 hobby since I was 16, and is something that I've absolutely loved doing over the last 5+ years. But in recent months I've found it more and more difficult to create regular content for this lil' corner of the internet that I've built and developed over the years. Especially with my main content type being outfit/fashion/style posts, taking pictures for these myself is next to impossible, and has led to me not being able to create as much content as I would like each month.

In the middle of January I decided to take a risk and email a lecturer in BA Photography at my local uni to see if he had any students who are interested in fashion or street style photography. And after a couple of weeks of emails and texts, I now bring you the first in my new collaboration with amazing photographer Meg Plummer (See the link to her Insta at the bottom of the post). 
I'm hoping that working with Meg will help me to bring more regular fashion content back to my blog and hopefully take my blog to the next level, but only time will tell! If ya also like the look of any of the clothes in this post, the direct links are above too! 

God Bless