Editorial: The year of keeping going

It’s easy to feel as if things will never change and that our efforts always come to nothing. We’ve all had those times where we’ve sat or laid there, staring into nothingness after everyone else has gone to sleep and thought ‘I just don’t know how I’m going to carry on’. This will be something that many of us have experienced at one time or another over the last year. It’s something I’ve experienced over the last 12 months.

2011 hasn’t been the easiest of years. Looking at the year in review (page 20) it seems like the news has been a constant stream of upheavals, clashes, arguments, cuts and hard choices. It’s been difficult not to notice how precarious a lot of the local, smaller organisations that we know and love have seemed and how many of our friends and colleagues have found themselves going through hard times.

As we go to press, the government has announced that it will be dropping plans to remove the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance from disabled people living in residential care. Chancellor George Osborne had announced plans to axe it in last Octobers spending review, with the aim of saving £135m by 2014-15. Maria Miller (see news this issue) said the decision had been taken “having listened to the concerns raised”. What makes this significant -aside from the positive impact it will have on the people who will not lose this benefit- is that it was this proposed change that set the ball rolling for campaigns such as Broken of Britain led by people with disabilities against cuts and shows that we can make change happen.

One in Four might not be a magazine that can change the world but we hope it’s a magazine that can help you change your world. Having a mental health difficulty can feel like an insurmountable problem, but it doesn’t have to be. There are always things we can do to make life better and, as long there are people that care, ways that other can help us. Over the next year we’ll continue to bring you inspiring stories, practical advice and the hard won know how of people who’ve been there, done that and probably didn’t have any money left over at the end of it to buy the t-shirt.

We’re doing lots of things aside from One in Four to support people trying to make a change in mental health. This month we published a pamphlet called Better mental health in a bigger society? where we try to show ways that people with mental health difficulties can take control of our lives and our services. You can download it for free here. We’re trying to raise the money for the next stage now, where we go and collect the experiences of projects and organisations that really make a difference. You can watch a video of me explaining the project more if you’ve ever wondered what I look and sound like by going here by clicking below.

We won’t give up if you don’t give up. There’s always hope where there’s people who believe that things can change. If you like what we do, spread the word. Share our facebook page with friends, follow me on twitter, take a subscription if you can afford it.

For One in Four, and for you our readers, 2012 will be the year of keeping going, no matter how hard it seems, and the year of getting things done. .

Mark Brown, Editor

This article first appeared in the Winter 2011 edition of One in Four magazine

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