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I am a hypocrite

Jonathan Wellington introduces the latest edition of MUSE talking about his own hypocrisy around mental health

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The MUSE team definitely deserve 400 words of thanks for this edition and I could easily write Alex a double page feature of gratitude for his work. I’m going to move past this endless thanking though and use this edition’s editor’s note as a space for confession and self deprecation.

I, like many, am found regularly pleading with people to speak more about mental health. Conversation seems vital to break the stigma and stop the topic from being so taboo and I’ll make that opinion clear whenever I can. In regards to its work surrounding mental health awareness, Movember serves as a perfect opportunity to get people, especially men, talking more. In an amazing double page feature, Alice Weetman talks to eight participants of Movember about their experience with mental health. I’ll be honest, their answers have completely changed my perspective on the current situation. I’m rather optimistically starting to think that the attitudes around mental health might actually be starting to change. It’s not just within Movember either. During James Acaster’s performance in York last Friday I saw mental health issues not just mentioned but given a sizeable amount of the routine in what became a very positive narrative on mental health.

Providing a platform to discuss the amazing work of Movember as well as Viva La Vulva Casting promoting body positivity (whose interview with Jenna Luxon can be found in Arts) is something I’m really proud that MUSE has been able to do. However I’m starting to realise I’m a hypocrite. Talking about my own mental health is still, despite my trying, something I am still grossly uncomfortable with. Even speaking about it briefly, I’m left reeling in regret and fear that I’ve overshared. If anyone else felt this way I’d inevitably work very hard to correct them and assure them that this wasn’t the case but this doesn’t seem to translate to myself.

To be comfortable talking about others and their mental health issues yet so uncomfortable with my own is admittedly not the worst way to be a hypocrite but it is still an issue which isn’t unique to me. This editor’s note is more of an announcement that I’m of course going to keep encouraging this trajectory in mental health conversation, but that I’m also, as we all should be, going to try somehow to encourage myself to do the same

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