How to be in your mate's corner

Having a mate in your corner can make all the difference when you have a mental health problem. So, if your mate is acting differently, step in. It's not hard - read these stories to see how it's done. 

It can be terrifying to open up about mental health

As someone with a mental illness, it can be terrifying to open up to those around you in fear of people judging you and not accepting you for who you are. For a very long time, this was exactly what I felt like. My battle with mental illness began when I was around 15, but it was July 2016 when I reached breaking point that I realised that I needed to open up about my anxiety and depression. During that time period, I was lowest I had ever been, pushing those I loved away and wanting to be non-existent.

Returning to work, I worried what people would think

I have suffered on and off with anxiety for most of my adult life. For a long time, I didn’t know what it was, I just knew that there were periods when I felt out of perspective, frightened, unable to relax and overwhelmed by negativity – particularly in relation to work.

The words "are you ok mate" meant everything to me

During my life, I have suffered with severe depression. Being a professional sportsman and trying to put up a front all the time became exhausting. I reached the top of my sport, but getting there resulted in my breakdown, and subsequently my suicide attempts and early retirement. The chronic lack of self esteem and while trying to remain confident to family, friends and for my career was too much.

I was so lonely because of post-natal depression

I was diagnosed with pre and postnatal depression after the birth of my second baby. I kept quiet throughout my pregnancy until I was 32 weeks pregnant and then the Dr said he couldn't give me anything because I was too far gone. I then stayed quiet for 14 weeks until something inside switched and I knew I needed to seek help. I was given six sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy, but could only make it to three because of childcare issues.