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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Sarah's Story

Sarah talks about how she overcame her eating disorder and went on to write a book about her experiences to raise awareness about the condition.

My name is Sarah. I'm twenty four years old and this is the best year of my life so far. Healthy, happy and excited about the future. I never thought this could be me. I never thought living could be such an amazing experience.

I spent the last twenty three years of my life being a very different person.

Trisha's story

Trisha has personal experience of mental illness, even spending time in a psychiatric hospital. And compared to when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, Trisha believes that her mental illness was more difficult to deal with.

“Both experiences were horrible. But with breast cancer, people ran towards me with open arms and hugged me. With depression, people ran away."

Ending mental health discrimination in parliament

I'm delighted to report that the Government has made a commitment to address the discriminatory provisions in existing legislation which means that an MP automatically loses his or her seat if detained under the Mental Health Act.

The current legislation requires MPs who have been detained under the Mental Health Act to stand down and abolishing this would be a positive step towards tackling stigma and discrimination.

Is there stigma in mental health services?

Well I'm glad that ten years is over. For me it was ten years with some very varying experiences of health services. When I look back now, I wonder why on earth I didn't complain at the time about some of the incidents.

Together, let's make 2010 a watershed year for mental health

Mental health has been under the spotlight for many reasons in recent weeks and months.

The tragic death of Robert Enke in November woke people up to the harsh reality of stigma and the ultimate consequences it can have. I hope that the outpouring of grief and support will now translate into a greater understanding of mental health issues. Something that the Governor of Lower Saxony said at the memorial event in the Hanover stadium caught my eye in particular, as it echoes my beliefs:

“We don't need flawless robots. We need human beings with rough edges."

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