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.
Life with depression is not easy and recovery can be a long, hard road. Never judge your partner and how they cope with their depression. If you have not been there, you cannot comprehend the intensity of the experience. All you can do is be there. Things will get better.
Tonight, I feel scared and a little helpless. I want to find a way to make things better and I want to wrap my friends in cotton wool and keep them snug and safe. I just hope small, gradual changes can start to filter through and improve services that desperately need a new way of working.
The Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health have both stated that children and young people's mental health is a top priority for this administration. The Coalition Government announced £1.4billion additional funding to improve care in the five years to 2020. So, what progress has been made so far? Our report found that nearly three quarters of CCGs have failed to meet the NHS benchmark for improving services. The benchmark, based on questions about funding, improvement plans and workforce, was a score of 83.3%. Over a third of local NHS organisations scored under 50%.
It wasn't easy to walk through those doors and start the programme. But I can now say that it has been a huge help, and I haven't looked back since. I'm really proud of what I've achieved, and The Prince's Trust helped me get my life back - I'm finally happy.
When this has been said to me on more times than I care to remember, it always sounds more like a statement than a question. OCD is one of the most misunderstood, stigmatised mental illnesses, and I think this is one of the things people say that gets to me the most.
This week is Children's Mental Health Week and Place2Be are encouraging everyone to 'spread a little kindness' to others. When you next see someone who could benefit from support, spare a moment, and show you care. As one of the children who took part in the survey puts it best: "It would be kind if someone came up to me if I was upset because it would make me feel like a somebody."
My dad was good at introducing the subject matter of mental health without directly asking me to talk about it. He would speak to me generally about mental health in a way that was inviting but not intrusive, which was massively helpful in encouraging me to open up. Now today we are supporting each other through training for the London Marathon for Heads Together. As we encourage and motivate one another, guide our way through the difficult and hopefully fun times of training we will together cross the finish line once again.
It is time to understand. Those who peddle wilfully ignorant mental health stigma will end up in the dustbin of history, with all the other old prejudices. The future belongs to the damned, and if you've made me the damned, well you better watch out.
With almost 600,000 people applying to university last year; a slight increase on the previous year, it would be difficult to argue that the demand for higher education is going to subside anytime soon.
The Prime Minister has pledged to address the level of mental health provision; while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with Prince Harry, publically supported a campaign to aid young people with mental health issues. My concern is that older people's needs, in this case mental health, are yet again going under the radar.
A generation of young people who understand their rights and responsibilities is a generation who are empowered to hold services to account and create social change, as a sustainable social movement.
Just as vulnerability is helpful in the right doses, so is failure.
Through our Youth Index young people are saying they need our help, and our volunteers, staff, supporters and partners are all here to answer that need. We'd love you to join us.
Men with depression or any other mental health conditions are not alone. There is a huge percentage of men out there like them, but who aren't talking about it! If you are amongst the huge number of men suffering a mental health problem, having the strength to confide in someone and acknowledge the problem may actually be the most courageous thing you can ever do. And saving a life- your life- really is heroic.
I now take time, when sliding or emerging from that chasm in my mind, to research depression as a social and psychological phenomenon, as well as my own personal brand. As my understanding has grown, the shroud of mystery has begun to unravel.