Share your story to normalise talking about mental health

From Monday 2 to Friday 20 October 2023 – around World Mental Health Day – we’re asking people across Portsmouth to share personal stories of their own mental health journeys.

It can be anything from when they first identified they were struggling with their mental health, how and when they accessed support, what self-care activities they do, the people they have around them, and any advice they would give to others. We want to normalise talking about mental health and remind people that they are not alone.

Posts will predominantly be shared on social media, and specifically through the newly created Mental Health in Portsmouth Facebook page (like if you haven’t already!), but we will be highlighting the campaign through various internal and external Health and Care Portsmouth channels – and we will especially be encouraging people to share on their own channels.

Stories can be shared in any format – a written post, video, photograph, quote or reel – and on any of their own social media channels. We’re just asking that people use two hashtags on any post – #mymentalhealth and #youarenotalone – to help us bring all the content together in one place.

We are particularly looking for people to share their stories in different languages to represent all communities across the city.

If anyone needs support, we will be promoting the Portsmouth Mental Health Hub phoneline (0300 123 6621) and website, and other organisations are encouraged to promote their own services too.

Get involved

If you’d like to share your personal mental health story, please do so between 2 and 20 October using the two hashtags – #mymentalhealth and #youarenotalone.

Please also email the Health and Care Portsmouth team so we can get an idea of numbers and the type of content.

Some example posts…

#MyMentalHealth journey started when I was XX. I realised I wasn’t feeling great at University and wanted to speak to someone about the negative feelings I was having. It took me XX months to pluck up the courage but I did and I’ve been having counselling for a few years now. Mental health isn’t something anyone should be ashamed to talk about – most of us will experience it in some form in our lives. #YouAreNotAlone
<Shared with #MyMentalHealth campaign asset>

Talking about mental health is a taboo subject in my culture, so when I first started struggling with my mental health, I didn’t know who to speak to or where to go. I searched online for ages and finally found a support service that has been helping me for the last few months. It’s been tough but I realise that I’m not alone and its okay to not be okay. #YouAreNotAlone #MyMentalHealth
<Shared with photo of individual>

I’ve shared #MyMentalHealth journey for World Mental Health Day. Watch it here and remember, #YouAreNotAlone:
<Video of someone talking about their mental health journey>

I would say I’ve always struggled with my mental health in some form, since I was about XX. I was diagnosed with depression aged XX and have been taking medication since XXXX to help. I have good and bad days – like everyone – but I’m so proud to have spoken to my GP when I did, and am learning to live with my depression. #MyMentalHealth #YouAreNotAlone
<Shared with image about mental health>

Here’s a photo of me in XXX when I first accepted that I was struggling with my mental health. Up until that point I’d just kept everything to myself. I didn’t want to speak to friends or family about how I was feeling but in XXX I felt like I needed to open up. I told my girlfriend what was going on and she encouraged to me get help. That was XXX years ago and so much has changed. XXXX
#MyMentalHealth #YouAreNotAlone
<Shared with photo of individual>