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.
It is a stark and tragic fact that the biggest cause of death among young men in the UK is now suicide. And in the majority of cases, people who lose their life through suicide have not been in contact with mental health services prior to their death.
Every 20 minutes a youngster in this country attempts to take their own life, according to the Samaritans. What will it take for children's mental health to be taken as seriously as their physical health? Physical health education or P.E. is a compulsory part of our school curriculum. Isn't it about time mental health education became a compulsory part of it too?
Schools can make a huge difference to young people's lives, and could be crucial to ensuring good mental health and wellbeing. They just need the help to do so.
To report on the crisis in children's mental health, as I have done repeatedly on ITV News, is one thing. To have it crash headlong into my family with devastating consequences was something else altogether. For two or three years we were in despair as someone we love descended alarmingly quickly into the bleak, unremittingly dark world of depression and anxiety.
I have worked closely with Place2Be - a major charity that provides counselling in schools - and I have been inspired and moved by individual stories charting the transformational change and meaningful support that counselling can offer to children. I have understood more clearly what kinds of skills and interventions are helpful and appropriate.
We know that the need is great. During their first eleven years, one in five children will experience a mental health difficulty. Children who are distracted and unable to deal with their worries will not be able to engage with their learning and reach their full potential... My hope for the future is that all schools will have the resources to provide excellent mental health support for all their pupils, that all teachers will be empowered by training to understand and support children's mental health, and that every child will have the opportunity to grow up with prospects not problems.
Autumn is hands down my favourite season. The crisp frosty mornings, crunchy leaves, beautiful colours and opportunity to wrap up in lots of layers; never ceases to make me happy. The only issue is that it brings with it Halloween... which I meet with an equal amount of excitement and trepidation.
As the Government propose the re-introduction of Grammar schools and the segregation of our kids from their brothers, sisters and friends at the age of eleven and on the basis of one specific, under-developed human characteristic I wonder if we haven't just added one more nail in to the coffin of what were once the 'best years of our lives'.
University managers cannot be allowed to pretend this will resolve itself. They cannot continue to award themselves higher salaries than the counselling budgets and claim there is just no money. They cannot continue to pass the buck onto overworked staff. It is time our institutions face up to the mental health crisis.
We know already that half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and that mental distress costs the economy in England over £105 billion each year. I profoundly hope that all the recent reports and publicity translate into actions that really make a difference.
Moving to a new school, or up a year at an existing school - with new friends, teachers, subjects, rules and expectation - is a big deal for young people. All of us who are adults remember how daunting it was, but we sometimes take it for granted that children will be able to cope with the change. The truth is, for many young people, the changing schools or starting a new academic year is really difficult to deal with...
Agoraphobia is the fear of being away from your "safe place", the place where you feel you can handle anything that comes your way. (Or at least, you can handle it in your own way without being judged, or you can handle it "better".)
If we're serious about improving the mental health of young people, we need a sea change in our approach to monitoring the issue. A prevalence survey once every 14 years simply isn't good enough. It's time to recognise children's mental health as a national asset, and do everything we can to understand, strengthen and protect it.
We have to make sure that all children know that they won't be abandoned to deal with the stresses and strains of life. Wen you know someone is listening, things can and do get better. The first conversation might be the hardest, but plucking up the courage to speak to someone is the first step.