On the 29th July Parliament Street held a Mental Health and Body Image Discussion Panel at The Chartered Institute of Public Relations. The discussion followed on from the research paper titled ‘Mental Health and the Social Media Society’ which looked closely at the affect social media is having on people’s mental health and people’s body image confidence.
The event was chaired by Parliament Street’s Mental Health Spokesman Danny Bowman with guest panellists Lucy Rebecca White, a University of Essex graduate who experienced Obsessional Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and CJ Michaels, a student at Royal Central School of Speech & Drama who suffers from body image issues which she said was caused by the pressures of social media.
The discussion and speeches were incredibly emotive and passionate with panellists conveying their lived experiences with mental illness and body image issues – a video lip from the event can be found here.
Lucy described her battle with a mental illness saying that one psychologist called her OCD “one of the worst cases he had seen” and CJ describing her body image struggle as a “constant battle for perfection.” Danny talked about the injustices many people with mental health problems face saying that “people with mental illness are more likely to be unemployed, homeless or end up in prison” he called on society to “end the injustices that individuals suffering from mental illness face.”
After the speeches panellists answered an array of questions from the audience on their struggles but also on what they believe needs to be done to end the injustices, make social media safer for younger people and create more life chances for individuals suffering from mental illness.
The CEO of Parliament Street, Patrick Sullivan called the event “an important first step in understanding this vitally pressing issue and it’s an exciting new area for Parliament Street to explore and be part of.”
After the event Danny Bowman, our Mental Health Spokesman was invited to discuss the findings of the research paper on Good Morning Britain.
Here is a video from the event: