Beloved Eastenders cab driver, Derek Martin, talks with son David, who has depression, about how important it is to speak out about mental health problems to help end stigma.

Video transcript: Derek Martin talks about mental health

Derek Martin and his sonDerek Martin: It’s time to talk and it’s time to change. My name’s Derek.

David Martin: And I’m David and I was diagnosed with depression at an early age.

Derek: When it first came out that he had depression, David my son it was all completely new to me. As I said I’ve heard people saying they’ve got depression. You just thought “Well take a tablet it’ll be alright.” Or in David’s case he was 18 I thought to myself teenager, being a bit bolshie, bit full of himself. You just naturally at my age would think that. And it’s only that when I was more enlightened and as the years have gone on that we now talk and we’ve got it to a point where I understand exactly certain days are good days, certain days are not good days.

David: For me the hardest thing is not only dealing with the illness but also dealing with the reaction to the illness and when you’ve got close family members putting on you that you can just snap out of it or this or that. And it’s not like that. If it was that easy you would just snap out of it. And certainly by talking and to an extent educating by letting my dad know what it’s like and giving him the understanding, he was able to better help me cope with what I was going through.

Derek: People who haven’t got it and it’s in the family you feel as though you want to cover it up but that’s wrong. Because now’s the time to bring it out and over the years I’ve learnt to do that. People say “How’s David?” I say “He’s fine, he suffers from depression.” It’s a mental illness.

David: You shouldn’t be ashamed of having any disease or any illness or anything wrong with you because that’s something that’s about you that you can’t change. And that you certainly didn’t ask.

Derek: That’s right. It’s an old fashioned thing “Oh don’t let the family know, don’t let other people know. Keep it in-house.” Which is why we’re here today because we don’t want it in-house, we want it out there. Let’s talk about it so.

David: Yes it’s because if you do start talking about it then you start to make it less of a stigma, less of... You make it more normal to talk about it and by talking about it and by making it more normal it reduces its impact.

Derek: We’ve got to talk about it. Time to think, time to talk, time to exchange views and help because that’s what we want. We want to help people so that they can get back on the line again. So talk about it, time for change.

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