A recent survey by the Shaw Trust revealed almost 70% of Edinburgh workers would not feel comfortable disclosing a mental health condition. (The Shaw Trust is a national charity that provides training and work opportunities for people who are disadvantaged in the labour market due to disability, ill health or other social circumstances. The Trust are the largest voluntary sector provider of employment services for disabled people in the UK).
Today I was invited to give a talk about my experiences of mental illness at the Community Voices event - part of the Scottish Mental Health Art and Film Festival. Held in the Burns Room, there was a tremendous variety of speakers, some with direct experience of mental breakdown, including poignant testimonies from suicide survivors, to representatives from several of Scotland’s vibrant community writing workshops.
The 2008 festival (running from October 1st to the 19th) opened last Wednesday and many events are already sold out.
In choosing a name for my novel I googled 'Brainbomb'. There were a lot of results, ranging from underground dance music to soundtracks. I first heard the expression back in 1979, when a mate raved about a punk record he'd just bought in Bruce's in Rose Street by a Newcastle band named Punishment of Luxury (brilliant name that, itself taken from an 1891 painting by Giovanni Segantini in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool). The single was called 'Secrets', but the b-side, 'Brainbomb', was a fantastic, blistering 2 ½ minute rock n roll thrash about telepathy.