Talking about mental health

Stigma and compassion - why it really does matter what people say and do

I was distressed, confused: often tearful.Sheila's blog I remember that bit. Looking back over a decade later, I'm pretty sure I was annoying, too.

Barbara – not her real name – paid attention, unlike some of her colleagues. I can't remember if this particular conversation happened before, or after, she took time out to plait my hair. To encourage me to eat.

Stigma stops people like my dad speaking out about suicidal feelings

Warning, this blog discusses the issue of suicide and may be triggering for some readers.

Beginning to type out a text to your sister that reads, ‘Hey, did you know dad tried to take his own life again quite recently…’

Pause. Contemplate writing, ‘He says he’s only still here through luck, not judgement’. Pause. Delete the content of the draft message, and instead send a silly picture you create from emojis that probably isn’t wholly appropriate to send your big sister.

Being there for my daughter when she needed me most

Something had scrambled Lily’s mind.

Huddled between her mother and me in the minimalist reception at at a Child Psychiatric Unit, my daughter jigged one knee like a drummer who couldn’t stop, staring ahead consumed with thoughts she couldn’t articulate. The normal parental assurances had little effect; we were three disorientated people in a strange environment.

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