Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 people every year and no one should feel ashamed. By sharing our experiences, together we can end the stigma.

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Why asking twice helps people open up about their mental health problems

Despite publishing a hundred books at the age of 19, I have been struggling with depression and Asperger’s Syndrome for a very long time. It wasn’t until last year that I decided to speak up about my struggles with mental health. Prior to that, I talked about my issues with mental health in many of the books that I’ve written over the years, but I never addressed it publicly.

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.

Behind every smiling selfie could be a person with mental illness

I want to be clear about something before you get the wrong idea – I am not and have never been the shy and retiring type. I’m a confident soul and I’m naturally inclined to want to lead others and make decisions. This makes me sound like I’m one of those very upfront ‘what you see is what you get’ people but unfortunately, I am not that type of person either. People generally expect me to be my confident, direct and driven self all the time so when I’m not able to be, it causes problems. 
 

Ask twice and start a conversation about mental health

Performing: I make a living out of it. I get on stage and make people laugh. I’m currently on tour doing just that. And I love it. But (and there is a but) even in a dream job, I’m constantly acting like I’m fine when sometimes I’m not. Don’t we all do that though? I mean, that’s part of my job, to entertain when sometimes I hurt inside. But aren’t we all putting on a mask when we are asked a simple question:

“How are you?”

World Mental Health Day: A Letter to My Colleagues

Dear colleagues,

I want to be open with you all about my own mental health, particularly at work and I would appreciate it if you could take the time to finish reading this.

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