Sonia Beldom is the creator of the mental health blog soniasmum.com which she started in 2017 when friends and colleagues urged her to share her hilarious and often heart-breaking stories of the rollercoaster relationship she’s had with her mum who was finally diagnosed with 6 mental health conditions at 80 years old.
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Jeremy Vine followed soniasmum and invited Sonia onto his BBC Radio 2 show to talk about what it was like growing up with an unstable, embarrassing and funny mother who, like many women in the 60s and 70s went undiagnosed and unsupported with their debilitating mental health issues. When she came off air she was inundated with people laughing and crying at her stories, wanting to share their own experiences and her website nearly crashed with close to half a million hits. She has been interviewed by Maxine Mawhinney for “The Moment” and has co-hosted a family relationship show on Radio Las Vegas. Sonia is a media volunteer for MIND and soniasmum is soon to become a book. She is passionate about discussing what it is like for young carers who have to deal with mentally ill parents and also how to recognise and support people who are dealing day-to-day with family, friends or colleagues suffering from mental health. Sonia knows first hand how hard it is to deal with your own mental health issues when those around you appear to be suffering more.
Sonia’s mum, Margaret, was arrested and sectioned in 2010. Finally Sonia learned that her mum had been suffering from 6 conditions, ranging from frontal lobe dementia to bi-polar and borderline personality disorder. Sonia and her mum had one transformational conversation, which changed both of their lives when Sonia was able to thank her for the wonderful job she’d done in bringing her up, despite her illnesses. Sonia’s blog has around 6K subscribers at the last count, including many celebrities who have been following Sonia’s stories that first appeared as snippets of hilarious conversations on Facebook.
Sonia has enjoyed a varied and successful career in television ideas creation, including being part of the team to bring “An Idiot Abroad” to SKY 1, devising Victoria Wood’s “Victoria’s Empire” for BBC1, “The Hairy Bikers Great Mississippi Adventure” and Trevor Nelson’s “Panic Mechanics” for BBC2. She currently casts celebrity shows including “Eight Go Rallying”, “Celebrity Eggheads” and “Tour de Celeb”. She has run TV development teams for BBC Entertainment, Tiger Aspect, Mentorn and ITN Factual. She now runs creative workshops for BBC Studios, Endemol and Shine. In her spare time Sonia drives classic red routemaster buses through London, plays in a piano duo with her husband Tony Clout and is a media trainer for CEOs, creative companies and VIPs wanting to improve their public speaking.