Greetings from Australia, where anyone following my tweets, pix and links to interviews will know I am, as ever when here, loving the place. I keep having little nagging thoughts that I should write a blog – about my meeting with the PM, about the kamikaze politics of the ruling Labor Party’s leadership struggles, about the dislocation between economic numbers – good – and polling numbers – bad, about the fact ex PM Paul Keating was so right to place Australia as part of Asia, about the Lions, about the excellent depression and anxiety campaign, Beyond Blue, about some of the interesting interviews questions, about etc etc etc – but the etc always got in the way.

Then overnight I get an interesting email to remind me of home, and to remind me that every now and then it is good to give the blog over to others. So take the floor the creators of a new social networking platform, Born To Connect, which has been developed by a group of students at the University of Hull, and who took the liberty of putting the following in my own words.

The website is targeted specifically at serving those who suffer from any type of mental illness/disorder. Its main goal is to prevent the social isolation caused by the stigma of suffering from a mental illness/disorder. This problem can be resolved by providing members with the opportunity of liaising with one another, offering support, forming friendships or romantic relationships, if desired. My understanding is, that this social platform is the first of its kind in this country that provides a fusion of social networking, online dating and most importantly, peer support.

Membership to Born To Connect is entirely free for its users, since their objective is not profit motivated, it is primarily to raise awareness for those that have been diagnosed with similar illnesses/disorders.

There are a vast number of features that are available for members at Born To Connect, which allow users to message other individuals who also have a mental illness. Support is available instantly through their instant messaging service whereby users can message other online users immediately and therefore one is never short of help if they are experiencing problems. Users can also use the search bar to search for those who have the same diagnoses as them. They can get in touch with those who understand the world in the same light as them, or by talking to a member who has joined the website specifically to offer support.

I believe that those who suffer from mental illnesses/disorders require more support and should not be shunned away, and I believe that the social platform that has been developed will aid them in achieving this. I would like to offer Born To Connect my full endorsement and I highly recommend them as a potential platform for people that suffer from mental illnesses.

If you have any questions feel free to contact Born To Connect at the following e-mail address. I would like to wish this new venture every success for the future.

Born To Connect E-mail:

Ps … The other reason for non blogging has been jetlag which has not been helped by middle of the night phone calls with my friends from the Albanian Socialist Party, who have just won a landslide victory in the elections there. Maybe another time I will tell the story of the guy who persuaded me to go and help put together their campaign. it is another story of how social media is changing the world. For now, I am just really pleased that Edi Rama will be PM, and that I got to know a fantastic (small) team who I think can do the job of helping develop the potential of this poor, fascinating country.