How dyspraxia brings out mental health issues.

I’ve had dyspraxia from birth but was only diagnosed aged 9.

Dyspraxia manifests itself in many different ways but I want to focus on the mental health side as today is #WorldMentalHealthDay

Mental Health is still a bit of a taboo like sex; politics and religion, but just like those three topics, it needs talking about and it needs addressing.

It is important to note that mental health issues are more a reaction than a symptom of Dyspraxia. But I have a tendency to be stressed; depressed or anxious about things; I have difficulty sleeping from time to time; I am prone to serious bouts of low self esteem; and I have a few phobias, although I’m training myself out of those gradually. 

A prime example of anxiety occurs in my day job. Apart from being a Councillor and a school governor, my days are spent as a Team Coordinator in a large warehouse. Now I have run shifts of 30 people and reported to the duty senior leader [four pay grades above me] throughout a shift, no problem. But [I have had bad experiences with handing over to certain people] from 20:45 onwards I get terribly anxious wondering who I’m having to hand over to. This has made me hate PM shifts at work.

I hear you asking the question, how can A borough councillor with a majority of nearly 100 have low self esteem?  The truth is that I will always be trying to prove myself. When I have managers criticising what I have done and what I’m handing over, I feel useless and therefore I get low self esteem which leads to anxiety and stress and loss of sleep, where most people would walk out at 22:00 and shrug it off. 

I over think and over plan. I so determined to succeed, which is a trait of being dyspraxia, that that slightest set back becomes personal. 

There are many positives to anyone with Dyspraxia though. 

  • Determination 
  • Entrepreneurship and think outside of the box 
  • Hard work
  • Compassion 
  • Good general knowledge 
  • Very methodical 
  • Very task driven
  • Good long term memories 
  • Great problem solving skills
  • Very logical
  • Very creative and will usually take a high interest in the arts: music, painting, photography etc.

I think it’s important to talk about mental health issues. But have never opened up about how my Dyspraxia has brought on mental health issues.

Bullies made me who I am now!…

My name is Cllr Richard Harris and I have been bullied.

Yup, that’s right, from the age of 9-16 I was bullied every single day of my school life.

When I started work, I thought I’d escaped, I thought I’d found somewhere that I was accepted and for four years I was. For the last year that I was at McDonalds, I suffered it there too. 

Now being bullied has done two things to me, it made me very wary of people and it wasn’t until my latter student years that I began to trust people and make friends, but it made me turn to public service. 

Instead of being bitter about my experiences I use them to help other people. I campaign to end bullying and I work with the community to improve lives. 

I blogged earlier about one cause of anxiety and sleep loss. This is the other. 

Today, On world mental health day, my message is this: the countless bullies that I suffered in my formative years, at Cloudside; Friesland and at work made me the strong and resilient character that I am today. Bullies can cause all sorts of personal issues. Don’t let them. Talk to someone!

Royal British Legion Grant


Cllr Harris, along with Cllrs Garry Hickton and Mrs Gerri Hickton have contributed a combined £450 to the Long Eaton Branch of the Royal British Legion.

The money, from the Members Small Community Grant fund, will go towards funding a new PA system for British Legion Events in Long Eaton, such as the Remembrance Day Parade.

Cllr Harris said: “The Royal British Legion is a fantastic organisation, we were more than happy to contribute money from the MSCG fund.

Having been to several consecutive Remembrance Day parades in Long Eaton, it is evident that the PA System is a vital part of the event.”

Cllr’s Harris; Hickton and Mrs Hickton have each contributed £150 each. Members get £500 each per annum to support local community causes.

Elgar’s musical metaphor 

Sol Gabetta made her BBC Proms Debut on the opening night 2016.

Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor is truly a wonderfully enchanting piece. It is emotional. 

I always say that music needs to either make me move or move me. This piece certainly moves me. 

In contrast to Vivaldi’s four seasons, the Cello Concerto is positively autumnal. It stirs so many emotions and has been s fitting accompaniment to so much of my life right now. It’s positive yet pensive. 

It could be a fitting soundtrack to government right now (sorry I had to mention it somewhere), in light of the Brexit deal, I feel there is much to be positive about l, we just have to be patient.

This piece of music makes me feel very much the same. There are sparks of excitement and joy, interleaved with thoughtfulness.

I never said my blog posts would make sense 😉. I hope you enjoy them all the same.

Why it’s ok… To change your mind on the EU…

For as long as I can remember I have been a Brexiteer. 

I joined the Conservative Party shortly before the European Parliament Elections in 2009. One of the first politicians that I met was the fabulous Miss Emma McClarkin MEP. I met Emma at a European Hustings at the University of Derby. I was in a lift with a fellow activist; Emma and our local PPC Stephen Mold.

I went on to work with Emma quite closely from that moment on and asked Emma to become Honorary president of East Midlands CF whilst I was Regional Chairman.

Emma taught me just how undemocratic the EU was. She demonstrated over time how federalised they were becoming and that was not a place that I wanted to be.

During the referendum campaign I told people that Emma, along with Andrew Lewer MBE MEP was the person I trusted more than anyone on Europe. If Emma and Andrew wanted to leave then that was good enough for me.

Anyway back to the point. 

As eurosceptic as I have always been, we Torys have a habit of putting the national interest before our own and so at #cpc15 in Manchester I gave an interview in which I said that I would wait for the outcome of the negotiations. 

Even Miss McClarkin said that we needed reform and as such if we got reform we should stick with it.

I truly believe that all of us would have supported credible reform but the truth is that the #Brexit negotiation terms that Stephen Crabb announced in his leadership bid last week were the reforms that David Cameron should have been fighting for prior to the referendum. 

Now I’ve been fairly vocal in my support for Andrea Leadsom to become leader and ultimately Prime Minister.

Andrea is a family centric Thatcherite who believes in free trade, low tax and Great Britain. She shares all the same Tory core values as me.

Andrea has been torn apart over the fact that she changed her mind on Europe.

The fact is that I agree with Andrea that the EU became unreformable.

I am making the case that it is Okay to change your mind. We are Conservatives and collectively we do what it needs to protect Britain. Andrea was a Brexiteer and I’m proud to support #Andrea4PM #Leadsom4Leader