Words with ... Edel , A Teacher Screaming On Mental Health !

Edel. shot by Chris Chucas,  www.chrischucas.com  2017

Edel. shot by Chris Chucas, www.chrischucas.com 2017

Editors note

Edel is a good friend of mine. We met as many people do absolutely hammered in a rock club, Metro’s to be exact. It’s a place synonymous with cheap drinks, sticky floors loud music and the scene for the start and sometimes end of a million stories both good and bad. We were both young and naive, but over ten years later we’ve both found our place in the world. Edel graduated with an art degree and then moved into secondary education. She’s now a vice principle in a Bristol High school and a massive supporter of ‘Heads Above The Waves’ the organisation that I partnered with for the Habits and Mindsets project to make some positive changes with mental health. We’ve done a big podcast and links to that will be at the bottom. If you like what we’re doing here talking about mental health and supporting organisations like HATW please get in touch and share us about.


Scream so that one day a hundred years from now another sister will not have to dry her tears wondering where in history she lost her voice. — Jasmin Kaur

Punk Rock offers a space to disrupt, but while also giving a high five to your mate that you just made in a mosh pit. It’s through experiences just like these that I met people involved in HATW. Having spent the last decade working with teenagers I have witnessed the decrease in mental health services available to those that need it at what is arguably the most vulnerable time of your life. Many headlines would lead you to believe that mental health whether it be self harm, suicide, depression etc. are a new problem. A millennial issue along with our over indulgence in avocados and obsession with flat whites. This leaves little room for acknowledgment of how society’s attitudes towards things including mental health are no longer dominated by the church or ‘what the neighbours think’.

While both of these factors still play a part in some communities the Internet has allowed for information to be shared, communities created and attitudes changed at a pace that wasn’t possible before. We all have mental health but the condition of our mental health varies, just like our physical health. Young people are now more literate in how to communicate that they need help and adults like myself who work with them know to take these self assessments seriously. They may not know what help they need and the adult they ask for help may not know what help to offer but that’s where organisations like HATW step up to fill the void that our government has created. They offer information in the form of support and education, this builds communities and over time changes attitudes. The need to disrupt is something that’s part of my DNA, by working with HATW in schools I can ‘scream’ through the work we do so that we can continue to disrupt the attitudes that encourage us to believe mental health is something to ignore or be ashamed of.

Let’s ensure we all work to spread the mantra that we all have mental health so discussing it becomes more normalised.