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Because Of Clem by Jake Smith

Because Of Clem Ieuan Clement Mappledoram Carter, born 19th of November 1995; a person who had a thirst for knowledge and who wanted to know everything, no matter the subject.

Growing up, Clem was a lover of sports, animals, video games and so much more. Clem was also one of the kindest souls you could ever meet. We’d have the most incredible adventures, often brought on from our gaming sessions. We’d go looking for washed up treasures along the riverside, wondering what we could possibly find. The adventures, the humour, his interest in everything you had to say, I think this helped me more than he ever understood, as I was suffering with mental health issues at this time.

Clem was able to take me out of that reality and provide some of the most hilarious and fondest of memories. I don’t know if he ever realised growing up, that his kindness made the world of difference; it sure did for me. Growing up Clem went at full speed in his education, always learning and extending his vast knowledge; it was incredible to see.  

As we both got older, we started trying to collect retro games to see if we could get the rarest of the rare from charity shops and second-hand shops, or take part in challenges to see how much we could buy from Sainsbury’s with just £1: he won, it was hilarious. C

lem excelled through school; he was gifted and very intelligent, constantly learning and being curious about everything that life had to offer, always asking what was going on in people’s lives, just wanting to know more and more.  

Sadly, Clem in his late teens and early twenties struggled with addiction, but despite going through these hard times, Clem was someone who always had time for everyone, still showing kindness and changing lives in so many different ways along the way. He could put a smile on anyone’s face, something which is still present when you think of those memories from past days. For someone to be able to keep on being kind through his own struggles was inspirational. Stories about Clem from so many people in his life are still told. Despite his struggles, he studied hard and tried his best to get back up to speed in his University studies.  

Tragically, Clem lost his battle with addiction in 2017, a heartbreak that was felt by so many people from such different backgrounds. His funeral attracted hundreds, each and everyone with something lovely to say and wonderful stories to share. The thing about Clem was that he was easily able to light a room in so many ways. The memories he created were so full of kindness.

This leads to the wonderful and inspirational move from his dad. Clem’s dad, Ian, set up Thread of Gold, with the aim of carrying on Clem’s legacy of kindness and to help others in the same way he did. The Thread of Gold Twitter account encourages people to share positive stories of kindness, tolerance and inclusion, and each week on a Monday evening, tweeters from around the globe share something positive or something beautiful, using the hashtags #SmallBeautiesHour#ThreadOfGold and #BecauseOfClem.

Clem’s kindness knew no bounds. It’s rare to meet someone like that, who has the ability to encourage so many people, and despite Clem not being here, he is still changing lives for the better. The memories made will never be forgotten. If we can all keep on pushing and growing Thread of Gold, we can continue all the work that Clem did to uplift so many, even in their darkest times.

If you want to follow the Thread of Gold journey you can do so on Twitter.

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Helping Others Find The Help I Received by Nick Powell

The hard part about wanting to help remove the stigma attached to mental health is that you have to take the nerve wracking step of telling people about it.

These days I find it best to get that out of the way quickly and get onto the topic of trying to help other people that may be experiencing mental health issues rather than worry about my own. So with that said:

I first realised I was having mental health difficulties a few years ago when in rapid succession I went through the risk of redundancy following an organisational restructure, a move into a new team with more responsibility and a troubled legacy project with a very large budget attached to it. Despite dreadful anxiety, nausea, weight loss and falling asleep on the sofa as soon as I got home it took me a long time to realise that this all could be classed as a mental health issue. I simply thought that my job was getting too much for me and I was worried I was on course for failure. I had supportive colleagues and bosses around me who I was able to confide in and access to doctors and professional help at work as part of my benefits which I naturally took advantage of. 

I was genuinely surprised when the GP told me that not only did I have anxiety, I was also clinically depressed. I was also relieved that there was a medical term for what I had been going through and I wasn’t just ‘overwhelmed.’ I started on the medication citalopram and a CBT course almost immediately and was surprised that I was seeing very little real improvement weeks and months later. It wasn’t until my interest in the subject of Mental Health was piqued following a webinar by Andrew Shatte organised by my employer during Mental Health Awareness week on the topic of resilience that I started to get a sense of how to manage my mental health.

I am not a mental health expert, but I do know that a healthy interest in the subject has engaged my critical faculties and I’ve applied them to helping myself by studying the vast amount of material available on the topic by pre-eminent doctors and psychologists.

The real breakthroughs in my mental wellbeing have come from reading the books of Andrew Shatte and Albert Ellis (whose work Shatte references and reframes) and realising certain truths for myself: “People don’t just get upset. They contribute to their upsetness,” Albert Ellis, and “You mainly feel the way you think,” also Albert Ellis. By keeping this in mind at all times, working through CBT exercises as explained by these experts in the field, and combining it with regular exercise and daily meditation I have a much healthier internal monologue, though it’s very easy to slip back into old habits, especially during trying times. Having a mental and physical fitness routine definitely helps address this. I can also say that I have had incredible support from my amazing wife long before I first went to the GP. Being the spouse of someone going through mental health issues can be a massive challenge in itself and anyone caring for a partner going through mental health difficulties should be aware that they can also look for help and support from charities and mental health organisations.  

I can also look back at a challenging 2020 that has brought us the difficulties of living and working under lockdown, and a 2019 that saw me made redundant and find new employment, and have the satisfaction of helping roll out the Mental Health Charter at my new place of work, Curve Digital, where I have an official function as one of our Mental Health Champions. This is without doubt one of my proudest career achievements to date. I have also been off of medication for over 18 months as I have found my coping strategies mentioned above adequate to maintain my mental health. Any decision to come off of medication should be taken in conjunction with a medical professional, and just the same as there should be no stigma surrounding mental health, there should also be no stigma as to whether a person needs medication or not to maintain mental health.    

My motivation for being a Mental Health Champion is simple – I want anyone experiencing the kind of things I’ve experienced to be able to get access to even more help and support than I did. If I imagine where I’d be if I’d never heard Andrew Shatte’s webinar or read the works of Albert Ellis or been encouraged to subscribe to Headspace, well it doesn’t bear thinking about to be honest, after all you mainly feel the way you think… and my inner monologue was far from nurturing in the past.

This is why I’ve shared this story with you and why I am honoured to work with the incredible people at Safe in our World and within Curve Digital’s HR and Leadership teams to end the stigma attached to mental illness and provide more support for those in the games industry that may need it.


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