for better mental health

Loose Women Lighten The Load Hero 2019

The Lighten the Load Hero award honours someone who has gone to extraordinary lengths to be there for a loved one, friend or colleague living a with a mental health problem.

It might be in recognition of a moment of inspirational kindness, starting the conversation which motivated someone to seek professional help or it could reward all the small things that they do to support a Loose Women viewer through their mental health problems.

Winner: Peter Martin

This year’s winner is Peter Martin, nominated by his wife Hayley for the way he has cared for her as she dealt with severe anxiety.

For most of her life, Hayley has been living with severe anxiety, panic attacks, agoraphobia and post-traumatic stress. For two years, she slept in the back of her car because her obsessive compulsive disorder made her too afraid to go into her own home.

"Fifty-two thousand nine hundred and twenty-five! It’s there abouts by my calculations. 29 years, around five a day. That’s how many he’s brought me." She’s talking about cups of tea. One of the small but hugely impactful gestures Hayley’s husband Peter offered through her decades of poor mental health. 

Peter never gave up and, as Hayley describes, "He’s the stable in my unstable world." Peter was much more than just a dutiful husband. He had stuck by his wedding vows - in sickness and in health - because without his help and the counselling Hayley received she wouldn’t be the happier and healthier person she is today. 

Watch Hayley's speech

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