A man has received over 300,000 responses of support and encouragement from all across the globe after tweeting that he was “not okay” and “at rock bottom” with his mental health struggles.
When Edmund O’Leary – a father of twin boys, proud aviation fanatic, and mental health advocate originally from Ireland but living in Epsom, Surrey – took to Twitter this past weekend to ask people to “say hello” to help lift him from the particularly rough patch he was experiencing with his mental health, he probably didn’t expect such a response as overwhelming as the one he received.
Edmund revealed that his mental health has deteriorated during lockdown after being turned down for job after job and feeling isolated whilst living alone.
The father had also hoped to see his son Patrick graduate with a first-class degree, and was also due to take his other son Conner to Dublin to begin his PhD, but both were subsequently cancelled amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
But what started as a simple and candid call for support online, with Edmund stating: “I am not ok. Feeling rock bottom. Please take a few seconds to say hello if you see this tweet. Thank you.” turned into a poignant demonstration of the power of social media.
A story that shows what an impact can be made when we take just a second to just look out for one another.
In just a short while after posting, Edmund’s tweet began to gain immense traction – with his name ‘Edmund’ also trending on the platform on Saturday morning – and went on to see messages of support coming in from all over the world.
Hundreds of thousands of them, in fact.
From faces names and faces, to people sympathetic to his position, different companies and even an airport, Edmund truly felt the love from all four corners of the globe and it left him feeling “speechless”.
The tweet has now clocked over 300,000 likes, retweets and quote tweets, and close to 115,000 messages and counting from people taking a moment to say “hi” to Edmund, with may sharing encouraging words and even some simple pictures and video intended to lift his spirits.
Speaking to The Sunday Times on the widespread response he had received, Edmund said: “Most days are really rubbish, and yesterday was another day I was feeling really low, [so] I thought: I’m going to be honest [and] I am shocked at the degree of the response.
“It has been phenomenal, it was just crazy [and] if I were to respond to every single tweet, I’m not joking, I’d need to employ staff”.
He explained in an interview that the reaction to his “mundane” message had left him speechless.
“I have had depression for more than a decade and struggle with anxiety and PTSD, but this year has been absolutely horrendous [and] my mental health has really taken a battering” he said.
“I live on my own, I’m divorced [and] I don’t have much family support.”
Luckily, hundreds of thousands of people on social media were able to step in and provide all the support he needed at a time when he needed it most.
How brilliant is this?
If anything can help restore faith in humanity, watching the world rally around Edmund in his hour of need certainly goes a long way towards it, and with October being such a vital month in the mental health awareness calendar here in the UK, taking the time to check in with loved ones and those around us has never been more important than it is right now.
It’s true that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought with it its fair share of unexpected hurdles, but please don’t feel as though you ever need to suffer in silence.
If you or anyone you know is struggling at the moment, know that there is help available and there are many different places that you can reach out to for support right here in Greater Manchester.
It’s okay not be okay.
Manchester Mind – An organisation that has supported people in Manchester for over 30 years. Most services are now available over the phone, by email or video call. Call 0300 123 3393 or text 86463.
Andy’s Man Club – A group dedicated to starting conversations about mental health, assuring people that it’s ok to talk. You can contact them by email on: [email protected]
CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably supports people via phone and webchat. You can call 0800 58 58 58 or speak to a support worker online. Open 5pm to midnight.
Samaritans – The Manchester & Salford Samaritans offer emotional support by telephone and email. The phone lines and email support are available 24/7. Call 116 123 or visit the website.
Ice cream sellers are complaining Cadbury Flakes are now ‘too crumbly’ for 99s
The Cadbury Flake is an icon of British confectionary.
First developed all the way back in 1920, and surprisingly discovered just by chance thanks to Cadbury Bournville factory employee, Ralph Thompson – who noticed thin streams of excess chocolate falling from moulds cooled into flaky ripples – the Flake has gone on to become a beloved sweet treat, not just in the UK, but in several other countries worldwide too.
Due to the success of the chocolate bar, by 1930, Cadbury began selling half-sized Flakes specifically for sticking in the top of vanilla soft serve ice cream, known as ’99 Flakes’, which were served by ice cream vendors nationwide.
Many will be familiar with the famous 1983 advert, where Cadbury chose to brand Flakes as “the crumbliest, flakiest milk chocolate in the world”.
But could the day finally be here? The day when the “the crumbliest, flakiest milk chocolate in the world” is now just too crumbly to stick in 99 cone? Well, according to a growing number of ice cream sellers, this is apparently the case.
With the UK having been treated to some warm weather recently, and the hottest day of the year even on the horizon this bank holiday weekend, it’s led to ice cream traders across the country complaining that 99 Flakes have started deteriorating in quality since the production of the chocolate treats was moved over to Egypt in 2020.
Vendor John Taylor, who owns of C&M Creamery Ices in North Yorkshire, complained to the BBC that the quality of 99 Flakes nowadays is “embarrassing for an ice cream man”.
“You can’t give someone a 99 with a broken Flake,” he added.
Lawrence Glauser, owner of Lorenzo’s Ices in East Yorkshire, agreed with fellow vendor John and described the situation as a “big issue” because often at least a quarter of the Flake boxes are “unusable” – which has left him having to resorting to more creative measures.
“I now serve trays of ice cream and sprinkle bits of Flake on top,” Lawrence revealed, “I shouldn’t have to do that. I’m fed up of the wastage”.
Katy Alston, who is the president of The Ice Cream Alliance, says she won’t be using Cadbury Flakes in the 99s she sells from her ice cream van in Bognor Regis for the first time ever this year, as she claims she sometimes has to throw at least half the box away because “they’ve all been broken”, which doesn’t help when she has a reputation to maintain.
“If you order a 99, you want a good solid Flake in it,” she concluded.
Addressing the growing concerns, a spokesperson for manufacturer Mondelēz International said: “Cadbury Flake 99 is a naturally delicate and crumbly product, and we have processes in place within our supply chain to avoid any breakage as much as possible.
“We are aware that recently some customers have received product which does not meet our usual high standards. This has been addressed following recent improvements to our production processes although some prior stock may remain in circulation.
“We are in the process of liaising with our customers (wholesalers) to support those potentially impacted.
“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused”.
Featured Image – Flickr
Manchester is set to be hotter than Madrid this bank holiday weekend
The UK could see the hottest day of the year so far this bank holiday weekend, with temperatures predicted to hit 24°C in some parts.
And that means Manchester is set to be warmer than Madrid.
The Spanish capital is usually known for its soaring temperatures around this time of year, but in recent weeks, the city has been experiencing some unseasonably rainy spells, and as that seems set to continue for the foreseeable, it means us Mancs could be taking over the role of basking in the sunshine this bank holiday weekend instead.
According to the Met Office, temperatures over the next couple of days in Greater Manchester will reach highs of 23°C in some boroughs.
And we’re all set for a “fine and dry” end to the month of May.
The summer-like conditions are all thanks to the fact that the area of high-pressure that’s brought fine conditions across the UK over the last few days are predicted to persist for a little while longer, according to the Met Office.
Looking at the bigger picture for the weekend, the Met Office’s Chief Forecaster, Paul Gundersen, explained: “The jet stream sitting to the north of the UK is holding unsettled weather systems at bay and allowing high pressure to dominate bringing fine weather to the vast majority of the UK.
“The current position of the high-pressure means we will see a westerly air flow over the UK, a cooler direction than if air was being brought up from the South, and areas such as Spain or Africa, therefore, we are not likely to reach heatwave conditions, but temperatures will still be warm reaching the low 20’s for many, particularly in the South West and southern Wales.”
Forecasting into next week when schools are out for half term across Greater Manchester, the Met Office says there’s “a strong signal the high pressure will continue to dominate our weather”.
The forecasted sunshine and dry weather has, however, got experts issuing travel warnings as people are expected to hit the roads across the UK.