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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Stevie's story

January 14, 2009

Stevie got a big shock when he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. "People think it means you're going to be violent, and I can understand it in a way, because I didn't have a very positive image of it either. Thing is, for me it couldn't be further from the truth - I'm a total softy."

It was hard for Stevie to accept his diagnosis and hard for him to tell other people too. "It's a bit like coming out and telling people you are gay," explains Stevie. "Luckily I'm well now. I haven't had a day off work for four years."

Katie's story

January 14, 2009

Katie grew up in Devon and carried the same close group of friends with her from school through to adulthood. They were always together, laughing and enjoying themselves.

Then, after she fled an abusive relationship in her early twenties, Katie started to get unwell - she felt paranoid and anxious all the time. "Suddenly a lot my friends just dropped me - just like that," she explains. "It was horrible. They were my life."

But there are friends who have stuck by Katie. "My best friend, she's always calling me, sending me little notes. She's great."

Robert's story

January 14, 2009

Robert has had Bipolar Disorder since he was nineteen. His family desperately tried to help - but shame and embarrassment about mental illness always made talking difficult. He had depression for over a decade. And despairing of a normal existence, he nearly ended his life.

Judith's story

January 8, 2009

I'm a graduate of 52 and my career was ended fifteen years ago when I suffered an acute psychotic episode. I was hospitalised for six months, had six treatments of Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) and found starting all over again one of the hardest things I have ever been faced with. It was like doing a jig-saw puzzle with no picture to follow and some of the pieces missing. The greatest obstacle to my recovery was my severe loss of confidence. Working to retrieve my confidence was a challenge but I got there in time.