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 >>


It doesn't take much to be in your friend's corner

People tend to ask me: why are you depressed, you have such a nice life? My simple response is… I don’t know. Depression wasn’t something I could control; neither was my anxiety. Back in 2013 I was sitting my art exams and self-doubt got a hold of me. I was constantly criticizing myself to the others around me. I felt that I wasn’t doing well and it was something I was doing. I got into this spiral where every lesson I was whirling downwards and I couldn’t control my emotions. This mood started to spread.

If you're worried about your friends' mental health, talk to them

If I didn't have my friends I wouldn't be as happy as I am now. In my darkest moments, they support me. When I feel like there is no light, they switch it on. When my thoughts are drowning me, they give me a new perspective. When I feel like a failure, they remind me of my worth. At every single point of my journey through life, they celebrate my achievements and my happiness, and they support me through despair. They make sure I never feel alone. They never pretended to know the answers.

Too many people are faced with rejection when they open up

When I was officially diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder at the tender age of 15, I recall feeling an overwhelming sense of isolation. I felt embarrassed and anxious about what people would think of me if they found out I was ‘crazy’. I had struggled to be taken seriously before my diagnosis. “You’ll grow out of it” and “it’s just teenage hormones” were phrases I received regularly, even by health ‘professionals’.

Talking about anxiety took the weight off my shoulders

Reducing stigma comes from the frontline, from education and most of all from being brave enough to admit when you’re not feeling well. In short, it’s about talking. But a lot of people still don’t feel able to talk about their mental health, so it’s up to all of us to break the silence and start those conversations.

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