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.
I first experienced warning signs of my impending breakdown in autumn 2008. I'd been working long hours in a major bank, the financial crisis was kicking off and there were widespread rumours of large scale redundancies - or even the bank going bust. I’d just bought a house, my girlfriend's income was fairly unpredictable, and we were quite stretched financially.
Let me give you some background. I’m 38 year old Yorkshireman, now in Kent with my wife and two kids. I’ve worked in the travel industry my whole life. I live with depression – I don’t like to say I “suffer” because I’ve made big changes in my life the last three years to ensure I understand my triggers and that I’m in control.
Talking about mental health in the workplace is an incredibly daunting and frightening step to take. Thoughts swirl around your head as you wonder whether being open about a subject, that is so stigmatised, will be detrimental to your career or your working relationship; “will colleagues treat you differently? Will it affect your chance of progression? Will you even have a job left!?”
I'm Dean, I'm 41, I work at a wholesaler. In my spare time I write comic strips, and help my wife with her Community Project. And I have OCD.
I'm pretty sure it came on at age 7, when my Dad left us. Before that, I was very open, full of jokes, but afterwards I went quiet.
My Mam noticed a little while later, when the mess had died down a bit. I'd sit down once, then again, then maybe again. I'd turn the door handle a few times before opening the door. This was because I thought I maybe hadn't done it right the first time.