Mind ambassador and TV presenter Matt talks about his mental health journey and what he's doing for Mind.
Mind ambassadors Matt Johnson and Anna Williamson will lead two teams of trekkers on a gruelling 24-hour challenge to raise £50,000 for mental health. In this extract from our membership magazine, Matt talks about why he supports Mind.
I felt so very alone. I have never felt so scared of being by myself. I pushed away a lot of my friends. I lost a relationship. I think my family was aware of my situation but they kept a distance because they know that I am very secretive when I want to be. I can hide my feelings. I can put on a mask and pretend everything is fine, even when it isn’t.
What helped me was the process of re-establishing myself. I had lost myself over the years. I started slowly regaining the person I was. I began to listen to rock music and to do exercise. I trained for the London marathon. I began to socialise a bit more with my friends. I invited more people into my life. I learnt to drive. That was a major step for me. That gave me independence.
"I’m determined that, in taking on this trek, we’ll raise awareness and vital funds so no one has to face a mental health problem alone."
I have kept up with what helped me at the start. I make sure I exercise as much as I can. I do it not for vanity reasons, just so that I can clear my head. I listen to music as often as I can as I know that it lifts me. It is so important to keep doing those things that you know keep you on an even keel.
As I recovered I let my family and friends back into my live, and they were fantastic. They supported me all the way. My family helped me help myself. Unfortunately I hadn’t been open and honest with them at the time, but now that I have come clean and told everybody about my problem, they have been absolutely amazing. I make it a point to spend time with them and friends as much as I can.
My advice to anyone struggling with depression is to tell somebody. It doesn’t matter who it is. It could be the guy on the street or somebody on the bus. It’s okay not to feel good about yourself. Explaining your situation and talking about it is half the battle. Or tell a close friend of yours. The best thing is to realise that you’re in a situation and it is important to you. I really wish I could have used Mind during my problems. I didn’t. I came very close at times, but unfortunately I didn’t. I really wish I had. So if you’re struggling please talk to Mind.
I’m determined that, in taking on this trek, we’ll raise awareness and vital funds so no one has to face a mental health problem alone.
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