Wednesday, 1 November 2017

My Interview in a Cupboard for BBC Radio 5 Live, by Aimee Wilson

Waking up to an invitation to speak on BBC Radio 5 Live was quite surreal, to say the least! I wish I could be cool and say that this is quite normal for my life these days (which it kind of is) but I still had the surreal ‘are-you-kidding-me?’ and ‘is-this-really-my-life?’ feelings.

It all started with Janice O’Hare! When there was finally talk (after about two years) that I could be discharged from the psychiatric hospital that was over 100 miles from home, I was assigned an Out-Of-Area Specialist/Funder—Janice! She not only helped make my discharge go as smoothly as possible, she also arranged for the step-down service I was transferred to for three months, and then my own home in the community. She even took me to collect Dolly after I’d been in my home for a week.

Needless to say, when Janice messaged me to say that BBC Radio 5 were doing a piece about mental health service users having to travel away from their local area for the appropriate treatment, I didn’t hesitate in agreeing to do the live interview for her.

Unfortunately, the interview was re-scheduled to the following day and because of prior commitments Janice was unable to accompany me. Luckily, Caroline Wild (Deputy Director of Corporate Relations and Communications) was! We’d met before on a couple of occasions so it was really helpful to have a familiar face with me. And she didn’t leave my side; not even when we were told that the studio I’d be in was the size of a cupboard. (Seriously! Take away the big headphones and mic and add some stairs and it would’ve been Harry Potter!)

I’m not sure if that was reassuring or disappointing; maybe both. I’d imagined it being a large room with the massive desks and boards of switches and buttons! On the other hand, I liked it just being big enough for the both of us—fewer people watching me!

You can hear my interview here, starting at 40 minutes in.

I was really happy with how it went, I feel like I’m getting the hang of talking to the media! Which is a good job because the following day I received an email from a reporter at Metro Radio asking if I’d do an interview with them too. It was spread out across their 4 pm, 5 pm, and 6pm news bulletins later that day!

About the Author

Aimee Wilson is a 26-year-old mental health blogger who has used her personal experiences to develop a popular online profile. Aimee was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder in 2009, and after over 60 attempts on her life was admitted to a long-term, specialist psychiatric hospital almost 200 miles from home. It was during her two-and-a-half-year stay in hospital that Aimee began her blog: I’m NOT Disordered.

Originally it was meant as an outlet for pent-up frustrations from inpatient life, and a means to document her journey through the trauma therapy that eventually led her into recovery in 2014. The blog has developed into a platform for others to tell their stories and to give their own message to the world—whatever it may be.

Aimee’s blog has grown over the past three years, and now has over a quarter of a million readers. Its popularity has resulted in three newspaper (in print) appearances, two online newspapers, BBC1 national news, ITV local news, interviews on BBC Radio 5 Live and Metro Radio; as well as a TV appearance on MADE.

Aimee has had the opportunity to work with such organisations as North Tyneside and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Northumbria Police, Time to Change, Cygnet Healthcare; and with individuals who range from friends, family and colleagues, to well-known people in the mental health industry.

You can follow Aimee’s blog and read more about her at www.imnotdisordered.co.uk.

 

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