I started reading this before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and have finished it the week after surgery. It’s been a beautifully gentle book that I’ve carried along to several sessions sat in a waiting room! I’ve followed Katharine’s work over the past few years, and have been encouraged by the way that she has made herself vulnerable and open in ways that help other people to understand the difficulties and ramifications of living with mental health challenges. The world, and the church in particular, needs to understand this better – and Katharine gives some useful Bible verses that discussions could form around within church groups. I was privileged to see a draft of the social media chapter, and was pleased to see the balance of positives and challenges that this new space that people are still very much adapting to were addressed – it’s very easy to reduce social media to numbers and comparisons, and there are things we can do to help us manage those unhelpful aspects. There’s a whole lot more than that in this book though, with a common theme of learning to be comfortable with who you are, learning your identity within God, and letting go of other people’s expectations and the pressures that come with that. This book will be helpful for those who are experiencing anxiety or other mental health pressures themselves, and those who really don’t understand why those of us with mental health issues don’t just “get up and get on with it.”
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.