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What Mental Health means to us...

 Hands up if you have ever suffered with Mental Health? 

Part four of our our 'hands up' Mental Health campaign.

"Mental health for me is something that I have been aware of for as long as I can remember. I have seen both my parents suffer mental breakdowns, and many friends too. But for me it all came to a head a few years ago, when I was diagnosed with Depression. The Black dog.

I remember sitting on Christmas day on my bed just crying. For no apparent reason. I was just overwhelming sad. It seemed like there was no light at the end of the tunnel, so what was the point of carrying on. When you are in the middle of it, you question yourself and everything around you. You wonder if you will ever feel happy again, what’s the point in trying, when you surely will just fail again? Who would want to be around you when you are just so miserable. I isolated myself. Eventually I plucked up the courage to go to the doctors, and told them how I was feeling. I was prescribed medication, which I took, and within a few months I was feeling more like myself again, but with something missing.

Over the following few years, depression reared its ugly head again and again, but never quite as bad as before, just more of a nag to look after myself better. It wasn’t until the start of this year when It came back worse than ever. It was like I had had a total personality transplant. I was diagnosed with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression, which then manifested into OCD. It got to the point where I thought I couldn’t carry on, and contemplated suicide. It was the perseverance of those around me to get me help, to talk about how I was feeling. A trip to the doctors, some candid therapy, and I am now very much back to my old self.

I have found who I am again. I have reminded myself what I deserve, and won’t settle for less. Nobody deserves to suffer alone, or in silence. I have re-established a fire in my belly that has been missing for years. I know I am strong.

I don’t doubt that my mental health will try play tricks on me again in the future, but now I can look at it and say “I am ready… game on!”"

In this country, 1 in 4 people experience the sometimes devastating effects of mental health disorders. Below, some of our team have bravely shared their own experiences of mental health, and what it means to them.

Part of the cruelty of this illness is it makes you believe that you are suffering alone... that you are on your own.

We hope that in the courage of sharing our stories, we can encourage someone else to open up and talk in return. We have left our stories anonymous, as who we are individually is not important in this case. The important thing to know is;

You are not alone.

In Britain, it is in our culture to put the kettle on in a crisis, so that is exactly what we are asking you to do.

Make a BRUU and talk. Make a BRUU and listen.

Where to go if you need help

If you, or someone you know, is struggling, there are a number of charities here to help.

  • The Samaritans are open 24 hours a day. Call 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org
  • The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALMoffers support to men. Call 0800 58 58 58 between 17:00 and 00:00 everyday
  • Papyrus helps people under 35. Call 0800 068 41 41 - Monday to Friday 10am to 10pm, weekends 2pm to 10pm, bank holidays 2pm to 5pm - or text 07786 209697
  • Childline is available for children and young people under 19. Call 0800 1111 - the number will not show up on your bill
  • The Silver Line helps older people. Call 0800 4 70 80 90

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