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.
Having mental health problems has always been the most isolating and difficult part of my life. Most of my thoughts and feelings have been my secret, so as not to look ‘strange’, ‘weak’ or ‘self-obsessed’. I worried I would be judged and discriminated against. I worried I would become further isolated if I discussed it and on top of that, I did not want my family and friends to worry themselves or see me as a burden.
I was 16 when I first started experiencing mental health problems, mainly depression. It came completely out of the blue. I hadn't lost anyone close to me or experienced anything traumatic, I had lived a 'normal' and good life, almost too good.
Some things in life are an awful lot easier said than done, and unfortunately, sometimes when a mate or someone you care about is going through a rough patch, striking up a conversation about it or letting them know you care can absolutely feel like one of them. Where do you start? HOW do you start? What if they don't want to respond? What then?
The first time I started experiencing severe mental health problems was when I was in Year 10. I turned round to my teacher, A, and said; “what is the point?” - that’s when I first started opening up about my problems.