The Handbook
The Handbook

Maintaining good mental health is so incredibly important for everyone, no matter who you are and your circumstances, and striving to raise awareness surrounding mental health is just as important. In support of the remarkable work of Mental Health Mates, Francesco Mazzei’s Islington trattoria, Radici, will host a dinner on May 16th with Melissa Hemsley and Mika Simmons. 

Mental Health Mates was set up by Bryony Gordan in 2016, who set up a regular meet up for people struggling with mental issues to get out and talk without the fear of judgment. Bryony believes one of the key ways mental illness develops is through isolation and from not speaking out about it, and so developed a network of peer support groups, all run by people tackling mental health themselves, to help solve this issue.

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🌟MENTAL HEALTH MATES 🌟👫👭👬 I've been a fan of Bryony Gordon's writing and books for ages & when she invited me onto her #MADGIRL podcast I was thrilled but terrified. She got me to open right up & I'm so thankful she did. In 2016 @bryonygordon started @mentalhealthmates as a community project where EVERYONE IS WELCOME. I'm super chuffed to be involved. . . Please check out these lovely brand new T shirts where #mentalhealthmates have teamed up w/ @selfishmother to raise funds and support the team of MHM's volunteers with their MH walks and activities. Shout out to my fellow ambassadors @poornabell @jadasezer @beckyvardy @missmikasimmons Thanks @sadiemantovani for the pic. I'll put the link up in stories so you can have a 👀 ☝️ . Also here's a bit I wrote for @mentalhealthmates about when strangers reaching out to me has lifted me that was in the @telegraph today with Bryony's fab piece… "I find waiting rooms to always be incredibly moving places. Most of the time, people are either in pain or waiting for bad news for themselves or a loved one. In theory they should be totally awful and sad places to be that you just want to get out of but in my experience, I've met some wonderful people and had some life enhancing moments, people that have pulled out thermoses of tea, a snack, something to read, a tissue, a story to distract you. When my late father was very ill, I was in and out of 4 different hospitals over several years, I even wrote a lot of one of my cookbooks in the waiting rooms and by his bed, the passing chats from strangers and the nursing team was so powerful in keeping me going so that I could help keep him going. I now love anyone that loves a chat. I used to hide from them in painful moments and now I seek them out…and I try my best to try and give that 'stranger karma' back, when I see anyone sad on the tube now, if I've got a tissue, it's theirs and I always carry a few little emergency chocolate bars in my ginormous Mary Poppins handbag, a spare chocolate bar will always come in handy!" 🍫🧻

A post shared by Melissa Hemsley 🌱feelgood food (@melissa.hemsley) on

On May 16th, Melissa, an ambassador of Mental Health Mates, who is a widely successful cook, author and is dedicated to producing sustainable, nourishing food, will share how she uses food as one of the ways to tackle her mental health. She will be joined by Mika Simmons, the renowned filmmaker, actress and founder of the gynaecological cancer charity, Lady Garden Foundation, stressing that maintaining positive mental health is just as important as the food we fuel our body with each day.
The talk will be accompanied by an authentic Italian three-course dinner including ricotta and Amalfi lemon stuffed courgette flowers, tortelli filled with burrata, broad beans and peas, finishing with everyones favourite Italian treat, gelato, all designed and created by the chefs at Radici.
Throughout May and June, all of D&D London’s restaurants will be raising money in support of Mental Health Mates with donations and a series of ticketed events spread across the venues.
Melissa Hemsley in conversation with Mika Simmons runs May 16th at Radici at 30 Almeida Street, N1 1AD,