Life: Surviving or Thriving? | Mental Health Awareness Week 2017

It’s Mental Health Awareness month and we are nearing the end of Mental Health Awareness Week 2017: Surviving or Thriving? This year, the Mental Health Foundation took a different stance and focused on good mental health vs. mental ill-health. According to Mark Rowland, the Director of Fundraising and Communications for the Mental Health Foundation – with 18% more cases of depression, mental health problems have been on the rise globally since 2005. As a society, the awareness and focus on the health of our physical bodies continually makes great progress, but what about our mental health? Mental health affects all of us and in the

CANADA | March 2017

In March this year I had the chance to go to Canada to visit my family there. I guess one of the bitter sweet things of having lots of family members is that whilst there are so many of us – we hardly get to meet because the world is so big. So, although it gives me an excuse to travel, I could do with having my family members closer so I can see them often! The last time I went to Canada was about 6 years ago – My Grandma, Auntie and cousins live in Hamilton, Ontario and I don’t get

Faces of Depression: Rwenshaun’s Story

NAME: Rwenshaun Miller AGE: 30* LOCATION: Charlotte, NC* OCCUPATION: Executive Director, Eustress Inc. Therapist* “My life changed when the gun didn’t discharge when I pulled the trigger as the barrel touched my temple during this third attempt. I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder 7 years prior and did not know how to handle it because I did not understand what it meant.  As a Black man, I allowed fear, ignorance, and ego determine my actions by not pursuing the help that I needed to manage my symptoms and learn how to live with this mental illness. I first experienced symptoms my second year

Faces of Depression Project: Meg’s Story

NAME: Meg Colt AGE: 26* LOCATION: Fernandina Beach, FL* OCCUPATION: Freelance Writer* “My name is Meg, and I have struggled with both anxiety and depression for most of my life. It took me many years to become truly aware of my mental illness, but my first memories of struggling with it go all the way back to my childhood. Looking back now, I presented symptoms of anxiety as early as seven years old, and odds are that was because of the trauma I experienced in childhood. My mother died of cancer when I was five, and after that I spent many years being

Faces of Depression Project: Valerie’s Story

NAME: Valerie Mattes AGE: 16* LOCATION: London* OCCUPATION: College Student* “I can’t remember exactly when it started, but since primary school age I always felt different to all the other children. I felt I asked myself questions I don’t think other children would have asked themselves at that age. Looking back now I can see how I always had a tendency to experience poor mental health. My early childhood wasn’t exactly easy either however my first noticeable low point suffering with depression was when I was 11 my dad (who I was VERY close and attached to) left to work in another country abroad he

Faces of Depression Project: Leah’s Story

NAME: Leah Alder AGE: 16* LOCATION: Durham* ​ “I have struggled with my Mental Health since I was a very young age , I have always been  an anxious child but when my Anxiety began to effect my daily life my mum contacted my GP and I was referred to CAMHS (Child Adolescent Mental Health Service). My Depression however soon came along, and I began isolating myself not intentionally but my mood was getting lower and lower, my ability to concentrate slowly started to deteriorate and I lost interest in pretty much everything. Things I enjoyed such as, Dancing, shopping, seeing

Faces of Depression Project: Nix’s Story

NAME: Nicola (Nix) AGE: 28* LOCATION: Coventry, UK* OCCUPATION: Chef* “I was diagnosed at 18, and some 10 years later I still find myself at rock bottom, but have finally discovered my way of coping. I struggle daily with my mental health. But it is something I am learning to come to terms with. I never really struggled much growing up, until I had my first major bout of depression at university. It took months of counselling and psychologists, weekly appointments governing my life, wondering what was wrong with me, whilst still trying to be a student. It was so confusing how I

Faces of Depression Project: Olivia’s Story

NAME: Olivia Lomas AGE: 24* LOCATION: Cornwall, UK* ​ “My battle with depression started at a very young age of 10. It was if someone had just switched of the lights, I gave up doing things I liked, I didn’t want to spend time with anyone. I felt hopeless, anxious and confused by what was happening. As I got older others noticed the changes. I also suffer with eating disorders and severe anxiety – I started having treatment at 14 I was put on antidepressants and regular therapy. But not much changed and I had I suicide attempt when I was 17 and

Faces of Depression Project: Nicholas’ Story

NAME: Nicholas Wojtas AGE: 28* LOCATION: Ottowa, Ontario, CA* OCCUPATION: Professional Photographic Artist* “Anxiety doesn’t make us any different from anyone else – it makes us the same as everyone else. At different times in our lives – this negative feeling – can be crippling to all of us. It can hold us back rather than let us move forward. Those moments in our lives are the hardest moments because we must take action and take control back. Having said this – we whom have an Anxiety Disorder are not weak at all. We are strong and brave to endure and find paths

Faces of Depression Project: My Story

NAME: Rebecca Tucker AGE: 23* LOCATION: Cambridge* OCCUPATION: Studying Clinical Psychology at the University of Lincoln*   “I hate being asked, “So what triggered your depression”, because to be honest with you, if I knew, I would have done something sooner. I guess it could have started from childhood although I didn’t realise it until recently. I noticed I went from being a happy, sociable, optimistic, and a high-achiever to a negative, pessimistic person who cringed at the thought of meeting new people and being in new situations- most of the time. Growing up, I had a lot of people around me but very