Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Should people with Mental Health Conditions be entitled to a Blue Parking Badge?

A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that from next year, people with hidden disabilities such as Autism and Mental Health Conditions would have a better chance of receiving a Blue Badge, to make going out easier and allowing them to park in disabled parking. Usually, when a new opportunity arises for individuals who suffer from Mental Illness, I am all for it but this particular topic, I just can't quite get my head around and I really disagree with it, I agree that some individuals who have Mental Health conditions should be entitled to a Blue Badge but surely there has to be strict conditions and guidelines in order for it to work which i'm not sure there will be.

"The Blue Badge scheme already means those with physical disabilities can park closer to their destination than other drivers, as they are less able to take public transport or walk longer distances." I think that the Blue Badge scheme was such a good and inspiring scheme to benefit those who aren't as mobile as other individuals and to ensure that they can still go out and do everyday tasks, improving their quality of life. I also am very aware that there are almost always limited disable spaces that fill up very quickly, especially in supermarkets. It also is important to note, that disables spaces often have more space around the car, ensuring that those who require wheelchairs have plenty of space to move about comfortably. 

On the 29th July, Transport Minister, Jesse Normal said how "the changes we have announced today will ensure that this scheme is extended equally to people with hidden disabilities so that they can enjoy the freedom that many of us take for granted" and don't get me wrong, I am all for equality, especially when it comes to Mental Health but this seems like it is taking it a bit far when these people with Mental Health Conditions may be perfectly mobile and as someone who suffers from Mental Health Issues, I would feel incredibly guilty taking up a space that somebody who uses a wheelchair may need.

According to the Gov UK website, the new criteria will extend eligibility to those who; cannot undertake a journey without there being a risk of serious harm to their health or safety or that of any other person (such as young children with autism), who cannot undertake a journey without it causing them very considerable psychological distress and those who have very considerable difficulty when walking (both the physical act and experience of walking). I completely understand some of these points, but I feel that there are going to be tonnes of people who take advantage of this new criteria when they don't really need it. I also understand the first point especially however, in most parking areas there is a Parent & Child parking section extremely close to the disabled spaces which also has lots of space. I also think that in order for this to work, there has to be more allocated disabled spaces available and maybe even colour coded depending on needs and safety of the individual. It has also been stated on this website, that it isn't actually impossible for individuals with mental health conditions to get a Blue Badge so surely the families that have autistic children who may be a danger to themselves or others would be able to successfully receive a Blue Badge as it is.

I also do understand that this may be a step forward for those who can't be as independent as they'd like to be due to anxiety when travelling or about travelling but I am not sure that parking a bit closer to a store or building will be that beneficial and I feel that it is just going to make it more difficult to those who already have a Blue Badge as there will be a much higher demand for the disabled spaces, especially considering that there are 600,000 autistic people living in England, plus the 1 in 4 individuals who suffer from a Mental Health Condition each year. One last thing that I do fear, is that this is just adding to the stigma surrounding Autism and Mental Health Conditions because there are going to be people who don't agree with individuals parking in disabled spaces and may even question individuals on why they are using a space, which will only add to their anxiety.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? I'd love to hear your thoughts below.

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/people-with-hidden-disabilities-to-benefit-from-blue-badges

Friday, 10 August 2018

Tangled Before Ever After | Film Review

It is no secret that Tangled is one of my all time favourite Disney films, with Rapunzel being my favourite Princess and Pascal being my favourite sidekick. I am not sure what took me so long to get round to watching this film but I loved every second of it and I couldn't recommend it enough.

I am sure that we can all remember the short, seven minute film, Tangled Ever After being released in 2012 where we were able to watch Rapunzel and Flynn Rider's (also known as Eugene) wedding (as well as everything that went wrong) and laughed over the mischief that Pascal and Maximus got up to in regards to the wedding rings but what a lot of people aren't aware of is that in 2017, prior to the release of Tangled: The Series, Disney Channel released an hour long exclusive film called Tangled Before Ever After which enables us to learn about everything that happened after Rapunzel was rescued and reunited with her parents. 

I quickly learnt that this film was completely different to Tangled and one of the key things that changed was that in this film, Disney had taken the animations back to their original style which takes a while to adjust to, but I love just as much. There were a lot of new character within this film including Cassandra who is both a friend to Rapunzel as well as her handmaiden.

The plot of this film was so different to what we saw in the original and at the beginning of the film, Rapunzel had her short, brown hair before sneaking out of the castle with Cassandra, against her fathers rules and coming across some black rocks which made her 70 feet of hair, magically grow back but even stronger than before. This film focuses on Rapunzel trying to fit into her new life in the kingdom of Corona as a Princess but of course, she has a different idea of what sort of Princess she wants to be as an oppose to her parents and everyone around her. One thing that hasn't changed is the comedy within this film, I lost count of the amount of times I burst out laughing and Pascal, really begins to come out of his shell.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Disney film without new songs and this film features both Life After Happily Every After and Wind in My Hair and I love them both so much, especially Wind in My Hair as it is so fitting to Rapunzel and her personality. Even if you don't watch the film, give the songs a listen because they are honestly incredible.

I honestly couldn't recommend watching this film enough, especially if you're wanting to watch Tangled: The Series as it fills in the missing time between Tangled and Tangled: The Series. I am so excited to start the series although, I am not sure how it is going to top both Tangled and Tangled Before Ever After.

Thank-you for reading, Tay x

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Rupi Kaur: Milk and Honey | Book Review

Despite finding a slight love for Poetry throughout my English A Level, I never thought that I would be the person to not only purchase a poetry book but to complete the book, and come out the other side in floods of tears. This book talks heavily about abuse, so please read both the book and this review with caution.

This book is split into four different sections; the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing and I can't remember which point brought tears to my eyes but I am almost certain that it was in the first section, the hurting. It has been a very long time since I actually sobbed to a book but this one got me right in the feels, it is so raw, so honest, so emotive and just so sad, I cried reading this book so I couldn't even imagine how many times Kaur must have shed a tear or even a sobbed throughout the production of writing this book. One thing that I do know, is that it takes courage, strength and so much bravery to write so openly and this book is so powerful, it is wonderful but please, get the tissues ready.

Before I get into the sections of this book, I wanted to quickly address how much I love how Kaur has included illustrations alongside her words, I sometimes feel that drawings can be just as meaningful as words and it has definitely shown throughout this novel, they may be simple illustrations, but when put beside these words, the whole perspective changes.

The Hurting

This section was powerful and I don't think that my brain was quite ready for it, I don't think it could have ever been prepared enough to read the words that came on the following pages, the reality of some individuals who are living with constant memories of abuse and how it felt to be abused, how much it changed everything and how it can quickly become normality. I absolute adore how in this section completely, the pages were pretty bare, with minimal words and tiny sentences but that didn't take the importance away, I think it may have even increased it, I was so overwhelmed by how incredibly talented Kaur is, it takes time and a lot of hard word to be able to express such an eye opening story using so little words, but she pulled it off perfectly, which could be the very reason that I adore this book so much. A different aspect of this book, that I particularly like about this section is that nothing is toned down, which has it pros and cons and perhaps even means that it isn't suitable for readers who have suffered abuse themselves, she doesn't sugarcoat anything, she tells the story as it is, and not how people expect to hear it.

"you have sadness
living in places
sadness shouldn't live"

The Loving

It is within this section of the novel that I really began to understand how trapped it can feel to be stuck in the cycle of abuse, especially when you love the person abusing you and you put everything you have into loving them and pleasing them. This section is quite bittersweet as we are all aware that he is no good for her, but we can't just scream at her, telling her that she needs to leave as he is no good for her because she loves him and sometimes, the good outweigh the bad, no matter how bad it may be. This part of the book definitely had a lot more words and even more description, it was full of the highs and the lows and how naive you can become when you fall head over heels in love, for the wrong person and for the wrong reasons. It put a lump in my throat, knowing that this girl couldn't see her own worth and experienced all of this trauma.

"you may not have been my first love
but you were the love that made
all the other loves

The Breaking

This was the part that really broke my heart, we learn about her mothers option as well as her own but how can you really understand any of it, if you've never been there yourself? It really shows how in denial she was about the entire situation which is completely understandable yet sad at the same time however, it is in the section that she really begins to know her worth, "don't mistake salt for sugar, if he wants to be with you, he will, it's that simple." Having said that, of course that doesn't make it any easier, her heart is breaking all over again and she is questioning whether she wants to continue living this way or if she'd rather walk away, neither path is easy and both are going to break her. It is in this section where we learn how she has been both the abused and the abuser, but that doesn't stop her emotions feeling intense. Towards the end of this chapter, the sentences got longer, which only made my sobs worse, but it was so cleverly and beautifully written, that I couldn't even be mad.

"you were so distant
i forgot you were there at all"

The Healing

Thankfully, this book did have a more positive ending in comparison to the previous chapters, and is full of wise words of advice and inspiration to everyone who may be in, or have experienced an abusive relationship and I was so thankful that the novel ended this way because despite the beginning being rather negative and dwelling, the ending is so positive and leaves readers full of hope, instead of dwelling on the negative parts that maybe they could relate to and it just goes to show that although it may feel like the end of the world; it isn't and as soon as you find the courage to leave, better days are only around the corner.

"do not look for healing
at the feet of those
who broke you"

Overall, I really hope that I did this book justice but at the end of the day, you can hear an entire tonne of reviews from people around you, but you won't get the full effect unless you read it yourself so unless you are in a negative place yourself, please give this book a read, it'll change your perspective on so many things and might even change your life. It is hands down one of the best pieces of writing that I have ever read and I am sure that I will read it time and time again. Finally, I love the fact that Kaur incorporated poetry with art as I think it gives a really lovely personal touch.

Thank-you for reading, Tay x
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