“It can be hard to seek help, but you will find a bright light.” – Wayne’s experience getting support.

It can feel daunting reaching out for support when we’re struggling, and we might not know what help is available. We spoke to Wayne about how he accessed mental health support and how he tried different options until he found something that he felt empowered him and provided him with techniques that he still uses to this day.


“I’m 34 years old, I live in Cornwall and I work in the retail industry. I have been living with mental health problems for the past 15 years now, which include anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

At the start of my journey I didn’t really understand the whole “mental health” subject and how mental health problems might impact my thought processes. As I try to look back and see when my mental health issues started, I think it began in secondary school, but I don’t think I fully recognised that until I was about 21 years old. I had so many thoughts that included good ones as well as the bad, but I had no way to express them and I couldn’t handle them all at once, so I just tried to block it out as much as I could.

As time past, the thoughts got worse and I got to a bad place where I felt I needed to seek advice. I spoke with my doctor and he asked me to write down all my thoughts on a bit of paper, and after looking at it and after a short break, he called me back in to tell me that he thinks I have been experiencing mental health problems. It was very tough to hear and I didn’t really want to believe him at first. I went home to process everything and after speaking with my amazing support network, I went back to the doctor to seek advice. The doctor referred me to my local online counselling options through the NHS and I completed the sessions. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel this worked for me. After returning for more advice from my GP, I was referred to my local “Be Me” service which introduced talking therapy to me, and it was truly a gift. It filled me hope and gave me some amazing techniques that I still use to this day.

I’m very grateful for the guidance they showed me on how important it is to get my body and mind working together to succeed and have the best life possible. After a series of sessions, I started to feel more positive about life. It’s been a while since I finished my sessions and although there are still days where the positive outlook is not so much there, I am able to remind myself of my progress; thanks to my hard work and perseverance.

I’ve learnt to believe in myself and my ability a lot more, and learn to stay living in the moment, as we can’t control the future and the next moment will take care of itself. I’ve also learnt to realise my mental health problems are what they are; they might always be there in my life going forward, but that’s OK because we are all amazing and unique and we can continue to live a good life. I believe everyone is doing an amazing job in the journey of ‘life’ and we don’t have to let poor mental health stop us from living the lives we want to live and the lives we deserve. I currently still attend a wellbeing group once a month, which I enjoy as I get to meet new people.

"Talking therapy filled me with hope and gave me some amazing techniques that I still currently use to this day."

– Wayne

I also started a “health kick” about 21 months ago where I started to eat more healthily and look after myself better by going to the gym once or twice a month, whilst also exercising at home twice a week. I enjoy boxing, hand weights, kettle bells and using my very own exercise bike. I also go running once a week and go for walks with my family which enables me to spend quality time with them. I have fallen in love with exercising so much, and it has been truly amazing for my mental health. When I finish my workouts I feel so refreshed and ready for the day ahead of me. It has also helped me to sleep so much better at night, which also boosts my mood and supports my wellbeing.

If you are struggling at the moment, you are not alone. Please seek advice when you feel down or alone because there really is some amazing help out there. Open up to your family about this important topic and how you feel, it’s important to rely on your support network. It can be hard work to seek help and make changes as you might have to enter the inner dark places in your mind, but you will find a very bright light shining within and a gift of strength that you can take going forwards.

I hope to inspire people to realise we all have one journey and one life, so please never feel ashamed of having feelings or emotions – keep talking and feel proud of who you are!”

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