Fine and Dandi was setup by myself (Steven White) after seeing a close friend suffer with mental illness so severely, they so nearly took their own life at the start of 2018. Having seen how much they hid things from everyone made me realise from that day on I’d do all I could to encourage people to talk about their mental health. and if or where needed seek help.
I’ve done various blogs and had the privilege to speak to some fantastic people about mental health and I’ve been able to push the new website to an audience that I wouldn’t have been able to previously. Whilst I haven’t personally suffered with mental illness, I’ve used my experience from that day back at the start of 2018 and done my best to turn that negative into a positive and the feedback I have received has been fantastic.
Fine and Dandi was created at the end of 2019 and there was two reasons behind the name, the first one was simply the phrase “fine and dandy” which people may often say when asked how they are and the second reason and the reason for going with an “I” over a “y” was that “dandi” also stands for “Diversity and Inclusion”. Diversity is the range of human differences both physically and mentally and Inclusion is involvement and empowerment, where the worth and dignity of all people are recognised and that is something that I was keen to get across with the new name.
Whilst I am trying my best to get as many people involved with the site as possible, I can’t do it alone, so any help is always greatly appreciated. Getting involved can be done in many ways, it can be sharing the site or journeys on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc), giving out flyers at home or at work or by simply reading the site and then checking in on a loved one. The more people that get involved the better, together we can work end the stigma around mental health and show people that is it okay to not be okay and it is ok to ask for help.
We would love to speak to anyone who would like to share their story. There are many forms of mental illness and whilst we have many plans going forward, we want to be able to cover as many different aspects of mental health as possible. Every illness is different, and everyone experiences different feelings, different emotions and different ways in coping so if we can share as many of those journeys and experiences as possible, it can help someone who maybe suffering alone.
When we speak to people about sharing and writing about their journey there are no set trends for writing, we leave that to the person telling the story as we want them to tell it their way and come across as themselves. What we try to get across include things like signs, triggers, coping, knowing when mental health is taking a dip, coping with and managing mental health (exercising for example) and how things are now. We believe this may give someone hope if they are at a low point and show them that they can indeed regain happiness in their life.