These blogs are written by people with personal experiences of mental health problems at school, college or university. For instance, the blogs below include stories of teachers discriminated against by their employers and students who have opened up to friends and family about their illness.

It is incredibly important to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination at school, college and university: fear of negative reactions to their mental illness stops 32% of young people with a mental health problem applying for further education.

Simply talking mental health problem can help strengthen relationships, help recovery and challenge the stigmatising stereotypes that surround mental illness. By talking about mental health these bloggers aim to break down stereotypes and take the taboo out of something that can affect us all. Pledge to share your experience of mental health today >>


Don't be afraid to talk about mental health

It all started as just a few thoughts. 

But over time, I started having extremely bad anxiety and was becoming more depressed. School was using the little effort I had left. I gave up all my after-school clubs, all sporting events. I wouldn't eat at school or at home.

After a few months, I reached out to my friends about what was happening. But sadly, at that time they just came out with remarks about how I was being ungrateful and it was all for attention.

I felt extremely judged. Their comments made me feel worse.

I needed understanding for my OCD. Instead I was judged

If mental illness could be seen on a sufferer maybe society wouldn't say "just get over it."

One of my biggest challenges was trying to get my friends to accept what I was going through. I never expected them to understand my anxiety or OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) but a listening ear would have been great.

I experienced mental health stigma at university

My mother used to say I was pretty much always this way. She would say that she could never leave my brother for even a second; else he would bash his head or throw a fit. She said I would just sit still. She could have left me for hours, she said; of course, she didn’t. I would play with one toy, and then wait, consumed by anxiety, until she gave her permission that I could play with another. This confused her. She had never once told me that I needed her permission to play. 

My mental health suffered at university

My time at uni might have been improved if someone had told me that it's ok not to 'fit in' and not to enjoy it. In fact, I'd say over half the people I've spoken to have said they didn't enjoy uni, so I don't know where we got this idea that it's meant to be "the time of your life" where you make your friends for life and get up to lots of antics and partying.

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