Young people and mental health: blogs and stories

Soon I concluded that for me to get better, my friends and teachers needed to know what I was going through. Fortunately I was on good terms with my form tutor who appeared sensitive and understanding. Indeed, this proved to be the case when one day I stayed behind to discuss the problems that I had been having. (Matt)
Depression: "I am a stronger person... because I talked about it"

How can I help?

The aim of the Time to Change campaign is to encourage us all to be more open about our mental health, and to start conversations with those who might need our support.

Why not find out how you could start a conversation about mental health?

You could share a blog story to raise awareness. You could sign up to receive Time to Change emails. And, you might want to add your name to our pledge wall, joining the thousands of people who are taking small steps to be more open about mental health.

Personal blogs from young people with experience of mental health problems

The following blog posts are written by young people with personal experience of mental health problems. By talking openly, our bloggers hope to increase understanding around mental health, break down stereotypes and take the taboo out of something that – like physical health – affects us all.

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.

Why is mental illness regarded taboo compared with physical illness?

At the age of twenty-two, after four years of my first identified episode of depression, I sit here with the realisation that although I haven't sank, I have merely been bobbing along through life – similar to a rubber duck on water. I’ve been staying afloat, and on the surface I am fine. But like the water in a storm, things can quickly change with an unexpected trigger. Negative thought patterns occur, feelings blur and in consequence emotions become uncontrollable.

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