Friends, family and mental health: blogs and stories

These blogs are written by people with personal experience of mental health problems and about their experiences of friends, family and mental health. This could be a mother writing about how she supported her daughter or someone writing about how their friends treated them differently after learning of their mental illness

Our Stigma Shout survey showed that almost 9 out of 10 people with mental health problems (87%) reported the negative impact of stigma and discrimination on their lives. The research also showed that the way family, friends, neighbours and colleagues behave can have a big impact on the lives of people with mental health problems.

Simply talking to someone about their mental health problem can help strengthen relationships, help recovery and challenge the stigmatising stereotypes that surround mental illness.

By writing about their personal experiences of mental health, these bloggers aim to break down stereotypes and take the taboo out of something that affects people across the country. Pledge to share your experience of mental health today >>


Being in your mate's corner can make the world of difference

I have experienced poor mental health at times for most of my life and always struggled with emotions, thoughts and low confidence. I had a big breakdown 2 years ago and slowly got my life back with the support of my lovely family, friends, various mental health services and work colleagues. I now feel better than I ever have to be honest and understand and recognise my self as a whole in much more clarity.

You don't have to be an expert to look out for your mate

Why are we so shy when it comes to reaching out? So many people will experience mental health problems, but a lot of us – especially men – still don’t consider mental health relevant to us. But we’ll all know someone with a mental health problem, even if they haven’t felt able to tell us yet. 

We all need to do a better job of opening up to mental health

I first experienced mental health problems at age nine, but I didn’t really know what was happening. My parents just thought I was scared of everything and that I was a nervous little girl. At around the age of 14 I went to see a young person’s counsellor because my anxiety had got worse. I’d got to the point where I couldn’t sleep alone any more – I had to share a room with my sister.

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