Speaking out for mental health

Tuesday October 10th is World Mental Health Day.  Mental health stigmas are still rife in the world.  High profile personalities are starting to speak out about it, and encouraging sufferers to seek help.

Stephen Fry is an English comedian, presenter and writer.  I first came across his work on the BBC series Stephen Fry in America where he drove around the States in a black London cab.  He has experienced mental health problems throughout his life but was only diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 37.  He decided to speak out and raise public awareness after researching for his documentary The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive.  He says  "I want to speak out, to fight the public stigma and to give a clearer picture of mental illness that most people know little about."

Prince Harry opened up around his struggle with his mother's death.  Grief can cause depression, anxiety, sleep problems and panic attacks.  He supported the Heads Together charity for the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon.

Lady Gaga shared that she has struggled with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since she was sexually assaulted as a teenager.  PTSD is a condition where sufferers may experience flashbacks or nightmares about the trauma.  She works as an advocate through her Born This Way Foundation.

Lena Dunham (Girls) suffered from separation anxiety, hypochondria and obsessive-complusive behaviour (OCD) in her early school years and was on medication by the 8th grade.  Her Girls character Hannah Horvath shares these traits.  Lena shares her story with Jacqueline Novak and often tweets @lenadunham.

Ruby Wax is an actress/comedian.  She tells her story of depression in a TED talk.

There are many great resources if you feel that you need help with a mental health issue such as Mind and This is my brave.


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