Anya's story - Living with mental health

“When I was 16 I had just been diagnosed with an eye condition which, I got told, would probably mean I’d end up blind one day. These thoughts popped into my head in quick succession, things like “you’re going to end up being alone”, “nobody is going to love you”. Telling that first person in work was absolutely terrifying because I thought they were going to say, “Right it’s time to cart you off to the mental hospital!” My friend from work came with me to the GP. It was exhilarating because it was like taking this big heavy stone off my shoulders.

"Be kind to yourself and just tell someone you trust or love. If you’re worried about a friend, partner or family member just be a friend. I really stress to people, don’t change. Don’t try and be a psychologist or try to fix someone – that’s not why you’re there. They just want you to be that same person you were before they got that diagnosis, and to stay the same.”

Other champion stories

Luke's story - Mental health when you're young

Being a young person in school it is very hard not to be judged or stereotyped, and being a tall, large rugby player I didn’t want people to know that I was suffering with my personal mental health.

Laura's story - Family and mental health

I didn’t realise I was having problems with my mental health. I mean, I was experiencing these symptoms, and I just thought I was going mad. Like I actually questioned my own sanity.

How would you end stigma around mental health? Join the movement