A widow has spoken to reporters to discuss the death of her husband after a battle with depression, and how it sparked the beginning of a Facebook page to help those in need.
Ricky Anderson was diagnosed with depression in 2009, but despite being admitted and discharged from hospital, his condition rapidly worsened in 2012, when he committed suicide.
He left behind a widow, Sally Anderson, and their three children, when he hanged himself in a cemetery aged 48.
His wife said that he was admitted to Medway hospital in April, but was discharged after a week.
Within 48 hours of leaving the hospital, his mental state had drastically deteriorated and he became suicidal. “They discharged him with no aftercare, no medication,” Sally said.
Describing depression, Mrs Anderson said: “People tell you to stop feeling sorry for yourself but it doesn’t work like that.
“Your brain becomes your worst enemy. You can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“I want to take the stigma away from depression.”
Misunderstanding of mental health, both in the public eye and in the healthcare system is one of the biggest obstacles to efficient mental health treatment.
As a result of this wish to abolish the stigma, and to let people know it is okay to discuss mental health problems, Mrs Anderson has set up a Facebook page called Depression Matters, to give people affected by depression a safe place to talk.
In 2014 we expect healthcare to be suited to everyone, but mental health often goes under the radar and people can be left without care that matches their needs. There is help available outside of the healthcare system, such as mindfulness based cognitive therapy courses, but this kind of help should be available as standard through the country’s welfare system.
It is personal stories, like that of the Andersons, that really strike home the impact that mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, can have on both those affected and those who love them. Community driven projects, like Depression Matters, as well as the plethora of other social media pages, show that people do, in fact, care.