(This is a brief, stuffy, “first-morning-at-a-new-job-“style introduction to the blog. For more context – and more rawness – see my first post).

The idea for this blog came from the suicides of two exceptional people I knew in less than four years. After these two separate tragedies within such a short time, I wanted to do something tangible to increase people’s understanding of mental health and suicide bereavement. As a writer and longtime blogger, a blog seemed the obvious choice. Inspired by the success of a very dear friend’s mental health blog which was nominated at the Mind Media Awards in 2014, I decided to pull together and share some of my many thoughts around the subject. I also have lived experience of depression and anxiety. Although I’ve often referred to it in blogs/articles, and written about other people’s experiences as a journalist, this is the first time I’ve run an entire project dedicated to mental health.

  • Why “Understanding?”

The site title/URL come from the Kate Bush song Deeper Understanding, which is about turning to a computer for comfort in difficult times. It was written in 1989, when home computers were still new-fangled. Both those whose deaths prompted this liked her music and I feel it sums up everything I’d like this site to be. I aim to blog around about once or twice a month; possibly more or less often when I feel the need.

  • What can I do to support the blog? 

This blog is very new, so all support is greatly appreciated. If you like what you read here, please let others know, spread the word on Twitter, or like the blog’s Facebook page. If you’re the sort of person who likes organising things, I’d love to hear from you, especially if you have experience of disenfranchised grief.

  • What can I do to support mental health campaigns?

If you can, please consider donating to or fundraising for one of the main mental health charities/organisations, who do brilliant work helping those with mental health difficulties, and campaigning for greater awareness.

Organisations you can support include: (click the links to go straight to their donation pages)

You can also run for all these charities. Mind have a lovely information page about some of the most popular running events for their fundraisers, and will give you great support if you run/climb/trek for them.

You’ll find many more brilliant and worthy organisations listed under Helpful Places.

Photo credits: Left-hand photo: North Hampshire, by P. Holmes; Right-hand photo: East Anglia, from The National Trust.