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 >>


My parents should know, depression is a real illness

I am a wild, free spirit. I move countries more than I change my socks, and I chase the sun, the snowfall, and amazing opportunities. Yet for years now, people have been telling me, ‘Charmaine, you are just running away’. Firstly – travelling and my way of life is not ‘running away’, in fact, travelling helps me feel whole. People can be selfish; they can tell you that you are ‘running’ because they actually want you physically in their lives, next to them.

People don't understand how hard it is to live with anxiety

I've had anxiety since I was thirteen. It's never been diagnosed. To question whether you have a disorder and to be told by someone else are two different things. I'm scared of taking that step, it's too definite. I don't want to be told that I could have this for the rest of my life. I want to think there is always the possibility I will wake up and my anxiety has disappeared. This is a thought I want to hold on to.

Lucy Spraggan talks about her experiences with mental illness

Lucy Spraggan's latest song, "Dear You",  is a moving look at the issues of mental health problems and suicide that affect so many of us. Lucy spoke with Time to Change about her own experiences with mental illness, and the vital support she found in friends and family. 

Those who discriminate against people with mental illnesses should be ashamed

Twenty-five years ago almost to the day I met a beautiful woman at a day centre for those living with mental health problems. I had been referred their due to my diagnosis of schizophrenia and was surprised to meet someone else with the same diagnosis; especially someone who glowed with life and could envision a future outside of the boundaries of the mental health system.

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