Real people and real stories about mental health

Welcome to Mental Health Stories, a place to learn from the journeys of others and find strength in the knowledge that we are not alone. Here, we can be open and honest about our mental health struggles, and support one another through our shared stories of resilience and hope.

People connecting hands

Story by Anonymous

“A number of years ago, I worked a night shift in a Hunter Valley coal mine with four tradesmen all working together most of the night. We were disassembling a dozer for an overhaul. Everyone worked well together and seemed happy enough, so the night went quickly. Around three hours after the end of the shift, one of the group tried to take their life. When I thought back to the night prior, there was very little to indicate this person was having problems, apart from being a bit quiet during smoko breaks. We later learned he was having family problems and had kept it to himself. I have had a few friends and work colleagues with mental health issues since. Some are unfortunately no longer with us. One thing that I have learned is that very rarely do people bring it up in conversation. It is up to us to keep an eye out for signs, and to ask the question, and when they are ready, be prepared to listen. We can make a difference with simple R U OK”

Story by Anonymous

“As a teenager, in my later high school years, I had a difficult time connecting with my father as he was always having very high expectations from me but not my siblings. This pressure really gave me anxiety about failure. This came with aggressive tendencies because I didn’t know how to appropriately control how I was feeling or how I was expressing myself. Eventually, I ended up having a few violent fights with other students at school and began having a terrible relationship with my father. For about 4-5 months we would not even say a word to each other, and we would be glaring whenever in the same room, while still living under his roof. My mother tried her best to help us fix our relationship, but it took me to take the first step of actually trying to say something to him. I started seeing a psychiatrist to help with my emotions.”

“After many long months to years of improving myself and trying to have good communication with my father our relationship became better, and for me, I learned how to better control how I react to my emotions, and how I perceive others and the world. I like to believe that without having this experience I would not be the person I am today. I try to be cheery, happy and encouraging to my friends and work colleagues, and I am grateful to my mother and those who stood by me and helped me through those times.”

Story by Anonymous

“Recently I thought that I was spiralling out of control, thinking that I was one of the many people who were becoming depressed. It got that bad, even at home (I was the worst person to be around) that I sought out some help from my Doctor. After a very lengthy conversation, I was quickly told that I wasn’t depressed at all but extremely stressed. Even though I cannot pinpoint what exactly my triggers are at the moment, it has been a very big learning curve to be able to ask for help. I literally got to the point where I thought that pills were going to fix everything. now I need to just accept that I can’t control everything and that’s okay to ask for help. Also say no when it gets too much. It’s good to know that I am not alone.”

We hope that by hearing from others who have experienced similar struggles, we can find strength and courage to move forward. Thank you for joining us on this journey. Find support by visiting the Wellbeing Gateway on ,

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