Your Mental Health Journey

Share your mental health and wellbeing journey and read real experiences from others on our mental health journey.

Your mental health stories

Having a space to share your mental health story and hearing what others have been through can be a way to get the conversation going.

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Knowing that my partner was having suicidal thoughts was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to face. My natural instinct told me to support him, give him anything he needs, do anything I can – which I feel I did.

However, the flip side of this was it actually made me very ill too. I would do anything to help him get out of the downward spiral he was in, but it started having an effect on my own mental health.

There were periods of time when he wasn’t getting better – I had feelings of failure as a partner, times when I felt unable to help because I just didn’t know how to, times I thought he’d be better off without me because what if I was making him worse?! How can I support him when I felt like I was falling apart myself.

That’s when my support network plays the biggest part ever. If I can cope better myself then I can help him more – and this is exactly what I did. I reached out to a few special people in my life who stood by me, I reached out to my GP who also supported me, but I also used the BHSF Connect service on a number of occasions. 1 occasion specifically sticks with me when a very caring colleague actually started the ball rolling for me as she could see that I was really struggling.

When I’m feeling better I’m a better support for him. We work through it together, and together we come out the other side.

When my friend took her own life I spiralled out of control and if it wasn’t for my family and friends I think I really would have suffered. COVID and Lockdown has been on a completely different scale. It has filled me with lots of emotions that I never knew existed.

During lockdown my family lost 6 relatives in the space of 8 weeks. Watching my mom cry when her sister passed knowing I couldn’t hug her was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I was asking myself, why me, why my family, this is so unfair. Some days I didn’t want to get out of bed, I wasn’t sleeping, eating nothing…. but I had to get out my bed as I had my children to look after. They really have been my saving grace.

I think most of us have had bad days, weeks and maybe month’s where we have suffered with depression that may lead to unhelpful thought patterns.

Would I be better off dead? This is one of the first thoughts I’ve had when hitting the lows of depression and the endless circles of Bipolar Disorder (BPD).

I try not to dwell on these dark times in my life but also acknowledge that these are my past, when I think of these times I try to remember the people who have shown support. This is the biggest dilemma I’m faced with, I don’t want to see anyone or have any type of human contact and it’s almost like I’m blinded and cannot see that reaching out is the start of recovery.

It’s the family and friends, new and old that I have around me and I’m very lucky that they have stuck around even when I’m rude and don’t reply to them for weeks and months at a time. It’s not the words of wisdom they give, it’s just simply being there. They don’t need to say it but by sending that text, making that phone call or just turning up when I don’t reply – these are the things I remember and  the help that guides me away from Suicidal thoughts.

From past experiences I’ve learned to open up about my thoughts and feelings but as a man it’s not been easy. Suicide statistics show that men aged between 40 – 49 are at a higher risk of suicide.

It’s vital that we encourage the men and woman in our life’s to talk about how they feel and be pro-active about the concerns we have for our loved ones and friends.

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To share your mental health story, simply complete and submit the online form. We’ll make sure any published articles are anonymous.

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Need support now?

If you’re an employee that needs some help with an issue at the moment, please contact your HR team for initial support and advice.

If your employees need additional support we can help. Contact crt@bhsf.co.uk or call 0121 454 3601 and reference our Mental Health Journey.