Mental health at school, college and university

These blogs are written by people with personal experiences of mental health problems at school, college or university. For instance, the blogs below include stories of teachers discriminated against by their employers and students who have opened up to friends and family about their illness.

It is incredibly important to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination at school, college and university: fear of negative reactions to their mental illness stops 32% of young people with a mental health problem applying for further education.

Simply talking mental health problem can help strengthen relationships, help recovery and challenge the stigmatising stereotypes that surround mental illness. By talking about mental health these bloggers aim to break down stereotypes and take the taboo out of something that can affect us all. Pledge to share your experience of mental health today >>


Depression and anxiety are real, not an excuse

I'm 21 and starting my third year of university, though technically as I took a year out because of my illness, I am still a second year. I couldn't wait to move out of my home for first year so I could have so well-earned freedom. Throw a mental illness into the mix when you come home for the summer after this utter high of a year, and your life is turned upside down. From here, I first experienced stigma and discrimination.

My family's shame stopped me getting help for my eating disorder

My battle with bulimia started at the age of 12 but with the gift of hindsight I have discovered my battles with binging and body image started before then. I come from a family of very slim people. Despite a height range, the build is the same. Wide shoulders, slender bodies. At 20 years old and nearly four years into recovery, I can finally see that I'm built just the same. At 8 years old I thought exactly the opposite. I felt like the odd one out. I felt large. As I grew, my desire to be smaller grew too. Doing exercise in my room on the carpet or bed, I was so proud of myself.

We can build a society that cares about people with mental health problems

Young campaigner Sophie is challenging attitudes towards mental health and promoting student well-being in her school. Read her top tips on how to create a caring and understanding environment for people affected by mental health problems.

Stigma as a young person stopped me from getting help

Everyone says that your school days shape your life. But I feel that mine did in a profound way. And I’m still affected by it every day. I was sixteen when I first started struggling significantly with mental ill health. At the time I had no idea what it was – or even if I was ill – and that terrified me; the idea that I could be like that forever was my worst nightmare.

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