Advice, Uncategorized

Mental health and young people: Is there a lack of support?

Yesterday (11th April 2016), CentreForum, the independent think-tank published a report, which revealed that nearly a quarter of children and teenagers on average are turned away by mental health services after being referred by their GP’s, teachers or others.

CentreForum found that this was due to service’s having ‘high thresholds’ for access to their services, revealed after analysis of the service’s eligibility criteria.

In the report, CentreForum stated that these high thresholds for treatment eligibility prevent one of the most effective forms of mental health treatment for young people- early intervention.

It was also found that young people were waiting for prolonged periods of time to access treatment with the average of the longest waiting times being almost 10 months between the first GP/school referral and the beginning of their treatment. This, along with a lack of funding for mental health services in certain areas of the UK shows a worrying escalation in the support offered to young people suffering from mental illness.

This report has been released in the same week that a UK bereavement charity pushed for a full investigation by the Government into the way deaths of young people in mental health units are recorded. An inquest suggested that nine young people had died as in- patients within mental health facilities since 2010.

This only solidifies that there is a considerable lack of support for young people suffering from mental illness.

Early intervention is key.

Depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses suffered by children and teenagers will often by present at a young age. Certain behaviour such as a change in sleeping patterns, irritability, loss of interest in certain activities and withdrawal from socialisation can often be clear indications of a young person who is carrying the black dog. Some people may question whether this is just the behaviour of a typical teenager. But this behaviour will often extend to prolonged periods of time with little to no change in mood.

This will often affect a young person’s school or college life, resulting in low grades, bad behaviour or low attendance. These warning signs should be a clear indication that further investigation is needed.

Intervening as soon as a problem is spotted can allow schools to offer the right support and advice for the affected young person as soon as possible. All too often, a young person who has suffered from mental illness will have gone throughout their school life with little to no mental wellbeing support. I know of quite a few young adults who suffer from depression or anxiety and have done from a young age, yet never had anyone listen to their issues or offer support which could have allowed them to receive the treatment they needed much earlier.

Is it the lack of funding? Or a higher demand?

The reality is that figures show funding levels for NHS mental health care in England have dropped by 2 percent in recent years. This lack of funding leads to long waiting lists and less accessibility to the services, which are desperately needed to prevent the potential suicide and self-harm of young people. It also puts a strain on charities that rely solely on donations to provide young people support such as Samaritans and Child Line.

There is also the higher demand for these services due to the rise in mental illness in young people. Statistics by show that young people between the ages of 15 to 16 with depression doubled between the 1980’s and the 2000’s, showing there is a constant increase in the amount of young people being diagnosed with mental heath issues. This could be due to a lack of knowledge in previous years or maybe just the way our society has changed its views on mental health. Regardless of what has caused this higher demand for services, these resources need to be available to prevent an increase in suicide levels in adulthood as well as self-harm in young people, which is believed to affect 13 percent of children and teenagers between the ages of 11 to 16.

We shouldn’t have to lose a young person due to a lack of support and funding for life-saving services.

If you have been affected by the topics discussed in this post, please contact the following organisations for support:


Young Minds 

Parents or teachers in Bedfordshire.

Georgia OX


Advice, Lifestyle

5 Ways to Spot a Feminist

If David Attenborough encountered one, he would get as low to the ground as possible and use his whispering voice as not to disturb one.

An avid wildlife watcher might grab his binoculars to sneak a peak at it’s rarity, approaching with caution, for he knows how dangerous this species can be when provoked.

And if you are a part of the male breed, may we pray for you and your children.


It’s a scary subject for many. If the word is mentioned in passing conversation, both men and woman tend to recoil into foetus positions while shaking their heads, wide eyed and agitated.

Feminists are so dangerous, they have been known to scare full grown men from their Twitter accounts and bring down global corporations.

So I have created a post about 5 ways in which you lovely lot at home can spot one of these ‘feminists’

1. Weapon of choice; THE BRAZOOKA!

Many have faced it’s prettifying potential. Once fully armed with a brazooka, the feminist is invincible. With wire so sharp and strong, it can gauge a sexist pig’s eye out a mile away, the feminist attaches the weapon to it’s arm and wings it around it’s hair for maximum impact when one is struck in the head.


2. Hairy and Scary

These specimens are rarely aimed with a razor unless they are trying to cut a member of the opposite sex. They may have never visited the Australian Bush, but they know about the one they rock everyday. Razor’s were created by the feminist’s worst enemy. As far as they are concerned, Gillette Venus is a dictatorship.

3. DON’T MAKE THEM ANGRY, you won’t like them when they are angry!

A feminist will often be revealed to you during a heated conversation about 50 Shades of Grey. You may notice it’s pupils dilate, it’s lips pursed as it get’s ready to attack. It’s skin may begin to flush a burgundy shade as it jumps from it’s seat, armed with a collective resource of information regarding the topic of female oppression within the film industry.

You may want to duck, for glasses can be thrown.


4. All Men Must Cry

If feminists appeared in Game of Thrones, all MEN would suffer at their peril, even Jon Snow D:

Please watch out men, Feminists are potentially destructive to all of society. Theories show that they may be harbouring new technology which allows them to support themselves without the assistance of the male species. THE HORROR D:

5. FEM-fastic

All members of the Feminist collective are females. Vee-jay-jay’s as far as the eye can see. Nope, no men to be seen here. They are in hiding. Poor things.

If at this point you have not realised that at least 95 per cent of this post was pure sarcasm, then I apologise for any offence.

The truth is, of course, that feminists can NOT be spotted.

They are in fact average members of society.

Many Feminists, strangely enough, fight for equality between men and woman rather then superiority.

Feminists are everywhere you look. They are both men and woman.

And they don’t bite.

There is no need to be afraid of them.


They fight for gender equality, to shape a fair future for our children and to make the world a better place.

That’s how to spot a true feminist.



If Uni just isn’t for you! (Alternatives to University)

You are in your last year of sixth form or your college course. You’ve raced to finish your final projects or are revising furiously for your end of years exams, all while trying to figure out what exactly it is you want to do for the rest of your life. Then someone throws a spanner in the works.

SO, which University are you going to?’

Obviously, if you’ve even considered going to University, you’ll have already started the laborious (not to put you off or anything) task of submitting your UCA’s application. You’ll have written your personal statement, a page worth of basically bigging yourself up to the point of borderline pretentiousness, and entered your whole educational history, which is always a sad moment if your GCSE results were shockingly rubbish! (OK, mind weren’t that bad but they weren’t the best!)

ATTENTION KIDS, revise for your GSCE’s because no matter how smart your are, you can’t ‘wing’ an exam. Which is totally not what I did… at all…

After submitting your completed application to UCA’s you could be waiting for as long as two months to hear back as to whether you have a conditional place on the courses you’ve chosen.

It’s a bit like X Factor really, expect Simon Cowell probably isn’t judging your applications. That would be too easy.

It can be a very worrisome and stressful time for some young people while waiting to hear back from University choices as to whether you have a conditional/unconditional place. This, as well as other factors, can put many people off.

Yet University is still the main option and popular for the next step in further education.

There is a lot of emphasis on the fact that a degree will allow you better career prospects. And a lot of the time it will. But University isn’t always for everyone.

Costly tuition fees, living expenses and being away from home are just some of many reasons people turn down university in search for a more suitable alternative.

Always make the decision that’s best for you and your future. The older generation often never got the the chance to go to University so may push the idea of taking this path. As much as University is a lot more accessible, the lifestyle that comes with it will not suit every individual.

I rushed into going to University thinking it was what everyone else expected from me. Everyone I knew was going and I felt I’d be looked down on for not extending my knowledge from my college course.

Turns out, Uni life really wasn’t for me. The binge drinking, night owl way of life was really not for this little home bird who much prefers sitting in front of the box then dropping some shapes in the club  (and by shapes I mean slightly bending the knees to the beat of the music, I can’t dance, get over it)

There are a number of alternatives to University depending on the career path you wish to take. Here are suggestions for just a few options you could take and how they could help you.

Take a Gap Year

If you need some more time to think about your options, you can always apply to UCA’s for the year after and take a year out. When I say Gap Year I don’t necessarily mean travelling to Cambodia like a private school kid who wants to know how ‘the other people’ live. You can spend your year volunteering or find a part time job to get you a little extra money for if/when you do attend university. Either way, this is a great way to build work experience and makes for a stronger CV.

Go Part Time or Open

If you like the idea of continuing your studies but want it to be more felxible, especially if you have a job on the side, you could consider taking a part time course up (this is usually out of work hours) or an Open University course, which could mean you are only attending University once every two weeks, allowing you to studying at home in your own time.


In my personal opinion, this is probably the best alternative to anyone who enjoys studying but is put off by length and expensive courses. Apprenticeships allow you to ‘learn on the job’ as well as gain a qualification in your chosen subject, which is paid for by the Government/Employer. Work experience is invaluable and you can make money at the same time as studying. I will do a separate blog post all about apprenticeships!


If you are more interested in experience and earning money you can find a job that does not require qualifications in further education. Some businesses even offer programs that will allow you to gain management positions so there is always an opportunity to move up within a company depending on the sector.

There are lots of different options rather then university that will be equally as rewarding in the long run and can allow you to find an amazing career. Make sure you look carefully at all your options and know you are happy. Not going to Uni or even dropping out if it doesn’t work out isn’t that big of a deal.

You’ll find what you are passionate about and love to do, even if it takes some time.


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Digital Marketing

Lights, Camera, Kerastraight! (The KeraStraight Video Shoot 2015)!

Last week was exhilarating for the KeraStraight team!

If you remember my blog post from last month about The One Show’s Michael Douglas training the talented KS Art Team in presenting skills, then you would remember me mentioning that there was some exciting projects coming up for the team.

So last Monday, all of us at the KeraStraight HQ made our way to Trevor Sorbie’s Academy in Covent Garden for the filming of a brand new educational video featuring the new faces of KeraStraight (four fantastic models) and of course, our fantastic Art Team!

I can’t even explain to you in a coherent manner how EXCITING the atmosphere was on the day!

We were extreamly fortunate to be able to secure Michael Douglas and Andy Abrahams to direct and produce the video shoot, which gave the whole production a really professional feel (very One Show-esque) and put the entire Art Team at complete ease knowing Michael was on hand to deliver further presenting tips and direction if needed.

So here is a run down of the day since I was behind the scenes! (including a who’s who and a behind the scenes low down)

Model Prep

The makeup artist for the day was the talented Philipp Ueberfellner, an Austrian born self proclaimed ”Product Junkie” who’s wide spectrum of experience in the industry at such a young age is inspiring as well as outstanding. He studied at Glauca Rossi School of Makeup which has produced some of the most talked about Makeup Artists in the blogosphere (think Charlotte Tilbury and Gemma Kidd) and lent his talent to major names in London Fashion Week, becoming the top choice for many shows. He was also a nominee for Makeup Artist of the Year at the Vienna Awards and has worked for the likes of Jessie J and Dizzie Rascal as well as on commercial campaigns (Toni and Guy, Wella and Zara).

He ‘aims to put a smile on the face of all his models’ and if the faces of our KeraStraight girls on the set were anything to go by, then this statement is very accurate.

I was a little in awe of his MUA kit! Nars everywhere I tell you, and boy did that make me happy (my love for makeup grows stronger by the day!)


The model’s makeup looked so flawless and looked great on camera (the struggle is real when it comes to makeup on set).

Phillip was also on hand for touch ups throughout the day because a shiny t zone is pretty much like one of those annoying people who turn up to house parties un invited and drink all your alcohol.

To quote Phillip on the day, he stated ‘working with KeraStraight has been good fun. We had a great team and laid back energy’ ‘My favourite part would be seeing the transformations and everything coming together’

The models turned up to the shoot with their hair in all it’s natural glory, ready to begin the KeraStraight Ultimate Treatment on camera.

Tell us about yourself?

Andy and the crew filmed the lovely Alfie Booth (Director of Trevor Sorbie Manchester) interviewing our models (Risikat, Katja, Nena and Rhea) on camera. The models told us a little bit about themselves and then spoke about their natural hair and what they would change about it This was a really important aspect of the production as it allowed the team to get across on camera how unmanageable/damaged the model’s hair were. All the model’s had very different hair types that would benefit in different ways from the treatment.

The production team then snapped some pictures of the hair before treatment for comparison.


Let the treatment begin!

Each member of the KeraStraight Art Team was assigned a model for the treatment. They were filmed partaking in the consultation session that should always take place before the treatment begins. They asked the models to tell them about their hair (such as how long it takes to style and what aspects they would like to change with the treatment).


While the treatment got under way, Alfie interviewed Claire Solman (Owner of CF40 Salon) about her experience of using KeraStraight in her own salon and the brand as a whole. This gives some great insight for salons into how they can benefit from using the KeraStraight treatments and how much their clients are going to LOVE the results.


Alfie spoke to the camera during each stage of the process, making sure to ask each stylist about how they were applying the treatment and the techniques they were using for each hair type. The model’s hair was rinsed again after the treatment was left on for 30-45 minutes, depending on how porous the hair is, and moisture lock added. Heat was then applied to the model’s hair to lock in the long term treatment benefits. Claire with a barrel brush is a sight to be reckoned with! It reminded me a lot of speedy gonzales on caffeine. Alfie continued asking about specific techniques such as using tail combs for more info.


Gorgeous Hair, Made Easy!

The models got to see the final results of their treatment and we caught their fantastic reactions on camera! (You’ll have to watch the final video to see how happy our models were with their new KeraStraight hair)

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 12.56.58

The day was exciting and the Art Team had a fantastic time showing off their skills and talking about all things KeraStraight.

Matthew Roskell told me he ‘had a great time at the video shoot and it was brilliant to be back working with KeraStraight’ and Claire said ‘it was a very full on day which I found very inspiring, and I think the end result will be extremely motivational for all who watch it , I learnt some amazing presentation skills from Alfie, and the amazing Michael Douglas’.

The quotes speak for themselves! The day was a success and keep an eye out on the KeraStraight Facebook and Twitter page for the new educational video!