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This column will contain links to people's own stories of living with - and recovering from - mental health conditions. We hope to include stories of hope and courage along with those that explain the difficulties faced by individuals, and highlight the sometimes immeasurable efforts people make to study or work successfully in the face of their difficulties.
Karen Robinson had obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) for 24 years before she sought help. She went on to have specialist cognitive behavioural therapy which proved completely life-changing. She is now doing research on seeking help for OCD.
This undergraduate student found that asking for help with depression was a crucial first step in regaining a sense of hope, meaning, and purpose. Read more...
Some of the Tree of Life stories were from people's experiences of their own mental health conditions. Read a selection...
This story from the Tree of Life describes the personal experience of a student who describes their hallucinations as ‘a positive thing’ and urges people to speak out to help reduce the stigma associated with psychotic symptoms. Read more...
If you have a story that you would like to share with others, please contact UHSE (see contact details in the box above).
A day in the life is a project asking people all across England who have (or have had) mental health difficulties to record a day in their life once a season, and will analyse what they share to see what affects their sense of wellbeing. A day in the life launched in October 2014 and is funded by Public Health England.
Tree of Life
The University Health, Safety and Environment Service collected stories of what it is like to live with a family member who has a mental health condition.
From February 20 - March 3 2014 the Tree of Life was displayed in the foyer of 4 West for people to write their comments on luggage labels and attach them as 'leaves' to the tree.
A selection of the stories can be viewed here. They illustrate the huge variety of experiences, including both negative and positive aspects.
We would also like to hear from anyone with a longer story to tell.
Mind Apples are those "mental health 5-a-day" - things that people find help them to maintain good mental health. Student Services collected contributions as their part in the Time to Change programme and they are shared with us here.
During February 2014, the Students' Union collected stories and comments from both students and staff. These were exhibited in the Library along with individuals' Time to Change pledges which were made on the 19 February at the pledge-signing event.
The messages on the PostSecret cards can be viewed here.
Click on the images for a larger version