Sunday, 18 November 2012

Am I the only one?

I know this is far from true. My research and my personal campaign to raise awareness about mental health and illnesses has proven this, but it's days like these I wonder if I'm the only one who thinks like this.

Today my other half and I attended a Christmas food and gift show. It was great, lots of lovely Christmas decorations, hand made crafts, and a fantastic range of food and drink. It was absolutely packed with people, which can sometimes be a bit of a trigger in itself for me. I don't like people in my personal space, and I like to have room to 'escape.'

Anyway, my other half spotted the hog roast stand before we'd even got into the exhibition (nothing unusual there!) and I had seen so many people outside eating bacon rolls, paninis, and baguettes and thought that all the food looked really tasty. Plus, the que was so long, I thought that was bound to be a good sign.

But as I approached the stand, I panicked. I always look for how hygiene the areas and staff are and at first, it looked fine. The food all looked piping hot and cooked well. So then I looked at the staff. Blue gloves - great! This is always a good sign and I let out a little sigh of relief. But this is the bit I don't get sense. They would pick up a bread roll for example, put in the burger, hand it over to the customer in a napkin and then? They'd take the customers money. With the gloves still on. Then they'd serve the next customer. In between that, they'd brush down the area where people put their sauce and other condiments on, with their gloves. And then they'd serve.

I panicked. I can't eat like that! I don't understand the point of gloves if you're going to be touching money then food, money then food, money then food. It completely defeats the point of gloves! It is simple precautions like these that would greatly improve the general health of the public. When I shared my concerns with my fiancé, he said to look around at how many people were eating food from the stand. And they did all look so happy, tucking in to their cheeky little bacon roll. So why did I feel so isolated there and then?

I don't know what from this post I am trying to demonstrate. Part of me believes that catering companies should be considerate not just to OCD sufferers, but also the general public. Surely such a simple precaution isn't that hard? They have enough staff to have one serving food, the other taking money, so why have they all got to multi - task and spread the germs? The other half of me wants this post to recognise how sufferers can feel so alone at times. It doesn't matter how many adverts we see on television and hear on the radio about talking about mental health if we don't do what they say. We need to talk about these issues like we would about bus services or the X Factor.

If you read this post, please buy a mental health wristband to support Mental Health Research UK. I'll post more about them very soon, but for now, it's important that people wear this wristband with pride. It's okay to talk.

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