How cool that the latest big mental health research project is called GLAD. And how pleased I am to be among the early guinea pigs.
GLAD. Yes, relates to happiness. But actually it stands for Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression, and the study aims to recruit more than 40,000 people, and this blog is designed to spread the word and get volunteers clamouring to join up.
GGOOB. One of my life lessons from my little memoir, The Happy Depressive.Get Good Out Of Bad. So how better, for those of us who have lived with the BAD that we know depression and other mental illnesses can be, than to support research that will hopefully do GOOD by helping our understanding of those illnesses, and lead to better treatments, cures and prevention for existing and future sufferers.
Anyone who has experienced depression and anxiety (including OCD, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and other related disorders) can join this recontactable database to facilitate future research, which is funded by NIHR, the National Institute for Health Research.
I came across the project when making a BBC documentary on depression (mine and others’) and speaking to Dr Gerome Breen at the Maudsley hospital in South London. A very fair quid pro quo for the terrific access and insight they gave me – would I sign up? Happily.
It is easy to do. You visit this website An animation explains the consent process with more detailed information in text format. Once you have provided consent and completed an online questionnaire, you will be sent a saliva DNA sample kit, you send it back with your a bit of spit and bingo, you are joining a national Mental Health BioResource and contributing to the largest ever single study of anxiety and depression.
It would be great, too, if you spread the word, and shared these links that help explain it better than I can.
Inevitably, there is also a GLAD Study Facebook page here:
As for the BBC documentary, it was in the can, as the film people say, some months ago, and originally due for broadcast this month, as part of a new Horizon series. They even had me talking about it at the Sheffield documentary festival back in June. But now – and I hope this is not like some W1A episode – they tell me it is ‘so good’ they want to hold it for the spring and make more of it with other supporting material. This had better not be part of some dastardly plot to punish me for being somewhat less than flattering of the BBC’s coverage of Brexit. Anyway, I will keep you posted. Though I say so myself, it is a good film, and my greatest critics (they live with me) agree.
And while I am in project plugging mode, I have two books out this week, Volume 7 of my diaries, From Crash to Defeat, which covers the Gordon Brown Premiership, and the paperback of my last novel, Saturday Bloody Saturday.
There must be someone in your family with a birthday soon, who likes political diaries and novels about football!
Hello Alastair, I used to post here years ago, often critically. There were a group of others who posted too that I enjoyed some joshing with. Somewhere I got out of the habit.
My politics were/are different from yours in some areas, the same in others, and in some cases I just don’t know the answers.
But when I posted here, too often I focused on the disagreements. I also focused on things that were… of lower importance.
But for the record, I’m a bit to the right of you on economics but I think we are both within the centrist, non-corbyn, non-Rees-mogg end of the spectrum.
On Brexit, I’m pro and always have been. But I don’t feel that strongly about it. Sorry. I think we will be ok either way. The Mervyn King view. I am democratic. I think the referendum view should be respected. It’s the people’s verdict, even if most “learned” voices seem to disagree with it.
However I think 52-48 is too small a majority to be final. I think there should be a second referendum. Arguably even a third. Possibly on the deal as you said. Again, the result should be respected if it happens. But if we leave, and if the Remainers probe right, if it is disastrous and people feel it so, then be it 5 or 10 years later there should be another “rejoin” referendum. I think I am being fair so far?
I suppose where I get a bit cynical – is I think some remainers worry not that Brexit will be a disaster but that it won’t be. I don’t think you are one of these. But some are. Or they worry that it may be a disaster for the better off portion of the 48%, but not for enough of the 52%… not enough to change the vote.
But more than this: I think the issue of mental health, and your work in this area, is much more important than Brexit vs remain, or than one brand of centrist politics vs another. So if I am permitted to post, that is what I would like to comment on as a priority for me rather than Brexit or the like. I think it’s better more people are in sound mental health than whether they in or out of the eu, or under a Tory or labour government.
Thanks for the work you do in this field. And thanks for being another example of how someone can have this affliction, yet could never be described as “weak” and so forth. I think that helps so much.