My manager's response made a huge difference to my mental health

Lauren, July 22, 2020

I’ve experienced mental health problems for many years now, but apart from a few close friends and family members, I found it hard to talk about. I felt that no one around me could understand what I was going through just trying to get through day-to-day life, at work and generally.

In 2018 I had a particularly negative experience in my workplace at the time. I disclosed my generalised anxiety disorder and social anxiety to my line manager. She gave a dismissive response and an unfortunate, repeated stigmatising attitude.

Ask twice and let them know you're there to listen

Bernice, October 21, 2019

Someone who has shown me they were in my corner was my friend Sandra who I first met at work; we became friends after recognising our similar tastes in books, and penchant for morning coffee.

We'd eventually come to realise we had more in common than initially thought.

I don't know how to explain it fully but when I talked to her, about anything and everything I felt that sense of "this is a safe space, this person gets me".

I am not my mental health condition - I'm a person living with it

Chloe, September 10, 2019

I always knew I was different. From as young as I can possibly remember I knew I wasn’t like other children. I felt things way more intensely and came across as dramatic when I tried to express myself.

My mother, like many people her age, saw mental illness as something to be embarrassed about.  When I started to have emotional outbursts at school or I’d cry and beg her not to fall asleep during the day because the anxiety I felt was unbearable I was just labelled a child with behavioural problems. I was always made to feel like I chose to be this way. 

Dealing with mental health is everyone’s business

Ian, June 10, 2019

Everyone has mental health. We all know some days are good and some days are bad. Negative thoughts, intrusive thoughts, our minds confused and not coping day-to-day. 

Stress, anxiety, and depression lead to other mental health problems if they are not recognised, diagnosed or treated in time. Speaking up and seeking help, and receiving it from people who care, is key to a better future.

I Felt Isolated

Natasha, September 13, 2018

If you'd asked me about my mental health a year ago, I would have told you I was fine when really, I was struggling. I had a mental illness and I was hiding it. I didn't want to tell anyone because I didn't want people to think I was weird, dangerous or "crazy". The stigma has resulted in me feeling excluded and unable to fit in. It has made me feel isolated and like there is something wrong with me.

Being a Time to Change Young Champion has given me a voice

September 8, 2017

Becoming a Time to Change Young Champion has completely changed the way I live; it has given me the confidence to talk openly, without shame or fear, about my mental health. I no longer feel I need to lie about my experiences, or worry that conversations about my health will make others and myself feel uncomfortable. I have learnt a lot by sharing my experiences and I hope I have helped others too.

I campaign to change mental health attitudes because no one should go through what I did

September 7, 2017

I first properly experienced mental health issues at the age of 15 was when, and with this came a lot of damaging attitudes and actions. When I started going to therapy for treatment of depression and anxiety, I was still at school and my peers told me that ‘I didn’t look like a psycho’, which is kind of a backwards compliment that made me feel I had to be sicker.

Why I campaign to change mental health attitudes in BME communities

September 7, 2017

My name is Garrick; I currently live in Wirral, part of Liverpool city. Although I have lived here for over 25 years, I am not a native of this region; my UK roots are from South London. However, my original roots are from Jamaica; land of sunshine, reggae and Jerk – just one of many exotic dishes found on this island!

Marty and Fran: Why we are Time to Change Champions

, September 6, 2017

I don’t know how typical this is, but most of the Time to Change Champions I’ve met have personal experience of mental illness, their own or someone they care about. My own story starts 2011 when I met American writer and photographer Fran Houston on Facebook. Fran lives with bipolar disorder, also chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. She was intensely manic and frequently suicidal.

Leading a Time to Change campaign group

July 29, 2016

I couple of years ago I decided to sign up as a Champion for Time to Change, I saw it as a way to turn my negative experiences with mental health into a positive, little did I know that I would become a champion campaign group leader and help facilitate the Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) Time to Change Group.

Finding my voice as a Time to Change Young Champion

July 7, 2016

Three years ago, I lost my voice. I could still say what I was expected to, say what people wanted me to, say whatever I was told to, but I couldn’t seem to find my voice. I could say whatever anyone needed me to, anyone but me. My voice had been almost silenced by the people around me. I was made quieter by the people who called me selfish, the people who thought I was weak, the people who convinced me I wasn’t worth their time or energy, all because of my worsening mental health.

A day at the Children and Young People Bristol Roadshow

March 2, 2016

On Tuesday 1 March, we hosted our third children and young people Roadshow event aimed at the voluntary sector, schools and others working with children and young people. At the event, a panel of young people and representatives from YoungMinds, Off the Record Bristol and the British Youth Council spoke about their personal experiences of mental health problems and the opportunities for local services to engage in joint working and share their learning to tackle stigma and discrimination.

My name is Angela and I’m a young carer

Angela, March 2, 2016

Everyone has a story, everyone has a journey, whether it's just starting or beginning there is a journey that had begun or is yet to begin. Once upon a time my experiences were detrimental. I was constantly attempting to hide what was beneath, beneath all the clothes and smiles and dance moves.

My friend just listens - it makes a world of difference

November 5, 2015

Watch Jessica Jayne's vlog about the small things her friend Harvey does to help her with her mental health. 



Jessica Jayne: Hi I'm Jessica Jayne, and I'm here to talk to you about the #smallthings campaign that Time to Change is running. This campaign is all about the small things you can do to help others when they are going through a hard time.

Talking about mental health with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

October 10, 2015

An interview with young Time to Change champion, Nikki Mattocks, at today's event with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge:

Q: So what have you been feeling run-up to today?

"I was a bit nervous about such high profile people being there, but I know that at the end of the day they're still just people like everyone else really... Just royal!"

A Royal visit for World Mental Health Day

October 10, 2015

This live blog will be updated through the day. 


Today we're excited to say that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be meeting with a group of young Time to Change champions to talk about stigma and discrimination in mental health. It's exciting to see such high profile support for such an important issue. 

Why I use my mental health experience to inspire others

July 7, 2015

I wanted to write this blog for a few reasons: to try to inspire others to challenge mental health stigma; to give a message of hope, and to show that it's worth continuing to campaign because in my experience things are starting to change. Yes, stigma still exists and continued work is needed but my story regarding employment issues has a positive ending.

Stigma and compassion - why it really does matter what people say and do

April 15, 2015

I was distressed, confused: often tearful.Sheila's blog I remember that bit. Looking back over a decade later, I'm pretty sure I was annoying, too.

Barbara – not her real name – paid attention, unlike some of her colleagues. I can't remember if this particular conversation happened before, or after, she took time out to plait my hair. To encourage me to eat.

The legacy of Becki Luscombe

October 30, 2014

It was just a little more than a year ago year ago when people in this movement and many others used their experiences, voice and collective ‘muscle’ to stand up to two household names who were stocking offensive Halloween costumes with “mental patient” and “psycho ward” themes.

After so many years of working to improve public understanding and attitudes towards mental health problems and those of us with them, when the supermarkets withdrew the costumes, apologising and making donations this was an historic milestone.  Becki Luscombe was at the very heart of this.

Time to Change at St Pauls Carnival - Bristol

September 30, 2014

I’m a Time to Change Champion who has mental health issues; all our champions either have or have had mental health issues. This makes us ideally placed to talk about them. This is why we volunteer.

Stigma is powerless ash at my feet: How speaking out has transformed me

September 13, 2014

Join me. 

February 1998. Shell-shocked after a nervous breakdown. I receive my mental illness diagnosis. I have bipolar disorder.

On the wobbly new-born legs of a new identity. I had crossed that big fat safe line between “us” - the sane, and “them” - the mad. I was one of "them". I lost my glamorous, well paid job in the West End of London managing A list celebrities. I was Mentally Ill. For life. I was only 25.

My B and Me

September 4, 2014

I wrote this poem during a hypomanic phase stage recently. The first time I was published on the Time to Change website I was actually working in marketing and wanted to get out of the corporate world. Through sheer passion and determination I somehow landed a job within mental health services on the South Coast for Solent Mind. I was at a reflective stage in my life and I was just coming to terms with my diagnosis.

My Journey as a Time to Change Champion

August 19, 2014

When I first joined Time to Change, I had absolutely no idea just how much it would change my life; I thought I was just volunteering my time, but it turned out to be so much more than that.

Time to Change changed my life

August 7, 2014

Time to Change has changed my life so much and in such a positive way. It all started in March 2012 when I heard about the campaign. Time to Change was holding an event at on the Southbank in London. I decided I wanted to find out more as I had experienced mental illness from a young age and never received the right amount of support.

Stand Up Kid, Stand Up Teacher - talking about mental health in a school

May 10, 2014

As a ‘Time to change Champion' you get to have many interesting conversations with lovely people, usually one to one, but every so often you get a wonderful opportunity to talk to groups. One of these opportunities led to potentially the best conversation of my life, and a critical moment in my recovery, all at a Time to Change event. There was a little issue with this group that I was stood in front of, besides my wife, her colleagues and friends, a former teacher of mine, and just over 200 year 9’s (13 and 14 year olds) in a large Comprehensive school.

Sharing my experience of mental health through cricket

March 19, 2014

I first heard about Time to Change when, as a fan of cricket, I read about England player Michael Yardy’s battle with depression which effectively ended his international career. This struck a chord with me because of my own problems with depression and anxiety, and I know how frustrating and debilitating it can be.

First steps to becoming a Champion and Speaking Out

March 5, 2014

In the eulogy at my brother’s funeral I challenged everyone.  Would they stand with me to challenge perceptions of schizophrenia and especially the inappropriate and liberal use of the term ‘schizo’?  That was almost nine years ago.  I have made some contribution in the intervening years, continuing to volunteer at a mental health drop-in centre and then serving as one of its trustees.  Owing to cuts in funding I then presided over the closure of the c

The golden idea that inspired me to speak out about my anorexia

February 25, 2014

Mosaic tilesI recently attended a Time to Change Champions' event and spoke for the first time in front of so many people about living with, fighting with, loving, hating and trying to recover from anorexia nervosa. After I'd spoken I was touched by the kind words of the other people attending the event and I felt proud that I'd managed to, in a small way, bring comfort or provide insight to other people.

Story telling at a Sight Service Champions event

January 9, 2014

Sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and dip your toe into the water (so to speak) to get anywhere in this life. And, that's just what we did one cold - but sunny - November day in 2013.

Talking about mental health through poetry

January 6, 2014

I have for many years struggled with anxiety and depression. I'm in no doubt now that this is due to a very traumatic childhood. I am not complaining about this as this is a fact of life for many people.

I lost my father at about 11 years old and my mam re-married rather quickly to a very violent man. As I was growing up my mam was very fragile and consequently over the years I developed post traumatic stress disorder but this was not picked up on until very recently.

Attending a Sight Service event as a Champion

December 13, 2013

I’m looking out the window at a wind blown world not knowing where to start this. Candles flicker on the windowsill next me but they’re only little battery things I bought on sale at the supermarket during the summer when nobody wanted candles.  And writing about that I know I'm just procrastinating...

Celebrating World Mental Health Day at the House of Commons

December 2, 2013

What a way to celebrate World Mental Health Day. I was given the most amazing opportunity and was invited to the Terrace Pavillion at the House of Commons to celebrate parliament’s work in challenging mental health discrimination with Time to Change and charities Mind and Rethink.

The 'B' Word

November 27, 2013

HeleneSome people suffer from debilitating anxiety, others have a fear of buttons and some can’t get out of bed in the morning. Some people are straight, some are gay and others have no preference whatsoever. Some people have blue eyes, some people have brown eyes and some have one of each. Some people see the similarities in each other, some only see the differences and others are blinded by ignorance.

Speaking out about my mental health experience at my college

November 25, 2013

The last time I saw my diagnosis a couple of years ago at the age of 14; I had emerging borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, recurring depressive disorder and high levels of anxiety. But the hardest thing for people to understand is the fact that I hear voices.

Attending a Champions Networking Event

November 14, 2013

SharonHaving already volunteered at Brighton Pride and the Legal and General Family Fun Day this year, I thought that attending the Time to Change South East Champions networking day in Ashford would be a good opportunity to reflect on my journey over the summer months.  I also wanted to investigate whether there were any new developments which may be of interest to me and to explore other areas where I could extend my work as

Volunteering at a pop-up event in Newcastle

November 12, 2013

AndrewWhen I was first diagnosed with clinical depression by my GP, I felt ashamed to tell people about my condition and did not talk about it. This was a feeling I got from people - the attitude that we do not tell people about having a mental health condition, and hearing people say “why is he telling people that he is depressed?”

Volunteering at Blackpool Time to Change Village

September 30, 2013

I was nervous about volunteering at the Time to Change Village, I've experienced both anxiety and depression recently and wasn't sure if I was ready to talk to the public.

Brighton Pride – our presence with Time To Change

September 17, 2013

As many of you may know, Brighton Village was held on Saturday 3rd August 2013. When I am home for the summer, Brighton is just over an hour on the train away so I knew I had to go this year. I have been a huge supporter of Time to Change for a long time now and am a registered Champion. I applied for a volunteering position with them at the beginning of June.

Becoming a Bristol Villager

September 16, 2013

Time to Change pop up Village in BristolWell, Bristol Village where do I start…amazing weekend all round, albeit exhausting, but a rewarding exhaustion if you know what I mean! Bristol Harbour Festival has always been very well attended, figures of which have increased over the latter years.

Volunteering at Bristol Village this summer

August 20, 2013

All in all it was a fantastic weekend. Attending both days was both wonderful and exhausting! There were such a wide range of people visiting the Village, more varied than any Village I have done before.

Review of 'Rachel Bruno: My Dad and Me'

August 12, 2013

Last week I watched ‘Rachel Bruno: My Dad and Me’. The programme really hit a note with me, as it showed both sides and more information about bipolar disorder, how those diagnosed live with it, or should I say learn to live with it and how difficult it is for those around them.

Village blog from a purple haired-newbie

April 4, 2012

AJ blogs for Time to ChangeSo, I’m sat on the sofa on a Sunday morning, bleary eyed and (Time to Change) mug of hot chocolate in hand, digesting what happened the day before. Yesterday I came out to the public as 1 in 4. I didn’t know what to expect, or how I would react... never mind the reaction of those I told my story to! But let me tell you this, I was not expecting the result I got from being part of the Time To Change Village on Southbank.

Welcome to the Village!

April 3, 2012

Nikki at the Time to Change VillageThe evening of Friday 30th March 2012, I felt like a child on Christmas Eve who has gone to bed early just so that Christmas will come quicker; because the next day was the Time to Change Village, and I simply couldn’t wait.

It's time to inspire

February 8, 2012

Blogger NikkiI was recently given the privilege of speaking at the Time to Change Launch Event in London’s Whitehall, and I know I am not the only person who left that event feeling uplifted, positive, and frankly, all warm and fuzzy inside. It was attended by so many people, including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Paul Burstow, representatives from the Big Lottery Fund and Comic Relief, and celebrities including Trisha Goddard, Alastair Campbell, Fiona Phillips.