If your friend is experiencing mental health problems, there are a lot of things - big and small - that you can do to help. These stories are about the good and bad ways that friends have responded to someone with a mental health problem. 

Managing the black dog that is depression

I’ve spent the past 15 years of my career – in recruitment and HR – raising awareness of disability issues in the workplace, encouraging individuals to disclose disabilities to employers, coaching partners through assessment and hiring decisions, encouraging candidates to choose a firm where they can show their true self at work and, above all else, selling the supportive culture of the law firms for which I have worked.

My recovery is tied to the support of friends, family and teachers

When I was 14 years old, I was suspended two weeks before the official start of the Christmas holidays. I’d been self-harming for months at my boarding school, while firmly believing that I’d been exceptionally secretive.

Fortunately, I was surrounded by a group of people who pulled away every lie and excuse until I had no choice left but to accept help. At the time, I hated them all. Despite the hours that these people had spent trying to understand and support me, I felt deeply betrayed.

Mental health is dismissed within my culture

Mental health was not a term known to me until around two years ago. I didn’t know anything about the importance of your own wellbeing, nor did I understand the devastating impact it would have on people I know. If I know anything about mental health issues it’s through my own research after a conversation with colleagues or friends. Whilst I love my heritage, the reason I knew nothing of about it is probably down to my culture and community. 

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