Traditionally talking about mental health in our industry has been very taboo and if you did open up about a problem you would be tarnished with it. Possibly because of the responsibility our job holds and also because of the very rare scare stories the media publishes which fuels the stigma. However, there has been a huge change even in the last six months.
I understand that people are especially worried about the effect the show will have on vulnerable teenagers, but sadly, suicide is so prevalent in our society. As a teenager I, like so many others, had a Tumblr account. And, like so many others, as I was scrolling through endless pictures of cats, glitter and tattoos, I would come across pictures of self harm
It was only about 18 months ago that I was on the verge of ordering some poison online for myself. Does that mean everything I've shared about how I turned my life around is a lie? No. It means I transformed from someone who was sure they were going to die by suicide to someone who might have suicidal thoughts every few years.
After a long wait for the right level of treatment my son is taking small steps in the right direction. While he takes those steps, I've decided to take the approximately 52 thousand steps it takes to complete the London Marathon to raise money and awareness for YoungMinds and Heads Together. Life was a lot easier for me when I was 14, so I'm happy to sacrifice my knees to start a conversation about mental health.
The Department for Education's recent announcement that Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) will be mandatory in schools, starting at age 4, is one that may scare some teachers. Sex is often seen as a taboo subject, even in general society, and for a teacher speaking to a classroom full of children delivering SRE could be an embarrassing prospect.
I needed a way out, and quick. First up, break the habits, escape the cycles of destruction and get off that damn hamster wheel. I thought getting some routine around exercise and getting my body to work for me could be a good starting point. But first I needed to find my fitness weapon of choice.
I knew the scene was coming. But the graphic nature of Hannah's death was too much to bear. I burst into tears during it, and cried about it when I went to bed. I couldn't stop seeing it. It was the first thing I thought of when I woke up. And I don't think Netflix should have included it in the show.
Listening to Prince Harry talk so openly and candidly about mental health with Bryony Gordon was extraordinary and a relief. He was human and vulnerable just like the rest of us.
Since then, on many occasions I've heard many naive people say to sufferers or their loved ones: "Just eat something". Or stupid things like: "God I wish I could be anorexic for a few weeks to lose some weight".
Men can often feel isolated and unable to tell people how they are feeling. Vulnerability is a crucial gateway to better mental health, and this is why Prince Harry's interview is so significant, making him a role model for men across the country.
We need to see a transformation in our culture to ensure that seeking counselling, going through a difficult time or dealing with mental illness is not surrounded by secrecy and shame. Prince Harry has taken an extraordinarily positive and powerful first step in fighting the stigma around mental health, showing that openness is a strength and not a weakness.
They called out a psychiatrist who expressed concern about the "disconnect between my thoughts and emotions". I had no idea what this meant. He explained that in his view it was dissociation. This was confirmed by other psychiatrists in the following months.
Hannah's fictitious death isn't just a catalyst in a storyline, it's a significant reminder that there are substantial repercussions for our actions. You never know how your actions could affect someone, you can never determine someone's breaking point until it's too late.
We need language to be able to label feelings; to make sense of them. Without words, we'd be like an emotional washing machine on ultra-high with no 'off' switch. If you try to repress them, they will eventually erupt like Vesuvius when you least expect. Suddenly out of nowhere, one Christmas morning, you'll try to beat your mother-in-law over the head with a plunger and you'll never know why.
There's been a discussion in the media recently about men who develop depression after the birth of their child. The crux of the debate is whether or not this can be called "postnatal depression".
Jose M. Mestre, University of Cadiz and Kimberly A. Barchard, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Emotional intelligence can mean the difference betw...