The truth is - and I'm being dangerously honest here - my work just isn't compatible with my mental health, in fact it's quite the opposite; the two are entirely disparate. The highs and lows that come with working in the media devastate me, so in order to survive (or at least pretend to) I'm forced to build a facade of normality and feign that everything is 'fine'.
Getting help is not supposed to be the traumatic part, experiences like mine are damaging, I will never forget that night, these memories stick with people forever and they have the potential to stop people seeking help. Imagine the outrage there would be if a cancer sufferer was put in a cell because there were no hospital beds. It is totally unacceptable.
I love performing my show, mostly because of the second half where I have the privilege of sitting on stage and letting the audience take over to ask, answer or discuss whatever. For those 20-30 minutes it feels like I'm with my people that we're the same under our fronts with all our vulnerabilities we need to hide.
Since stigma is still an issue even in today's society, we should be teaching ALL children to understand a range of emotions including mental illness from a young age. Being aware that feeling sad or low or anxious is nothing to feel ashamed of could help young people to open up, and prevent them developing into something more serious in later years.
By posting pictures of emaciated people to raise awareness, it is just reinforcing that stereotype so that the general public still have the idea that to be unwell the sufferer must be very thin and it makes sufferers feel that unless they look like that photo then they are not unwell enough to seek help.
This day each year encourages people to take just five minutes out of their day to hold a conversation about mental health with friends, family, colleagues, or anyone else you can think of. Participants can log their five minutes on the Time To Change website in the hope of gaining an idea how how much time was spent on this day talking about mental health.