Councillor speaks out on his mental health struggles to mark Mental Health Awareness Week

Newhaven councillor Sean MacLeod has spoken out on his own mental health struggles to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.
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Mental Health Awareness Week is an ideal time for us all to think about mental health, tackle stigma, and find out how we can create a society that prevents mental health problems from developing and protects our mental well-being.

Cllr Sean Macleod said: “For the past 20 years I’ve struggled with my mental health battling depression and different mental health diagnoses. I have Bipolar and PTSD and like most some days are more difficult than others. I have been sectioned following a suicide attempt about 8 years ago and since then my life has turned around.

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“Our mental health at times can control us, it can dominate us, but the most important thing is it does not define who we are. I’ve become a councillor, the chair of a committee and dad again and have had many wobbles along the way, but I’ve had support, from my medication to my friends and family and from support groups that are in our area.

Councillor Sean MacLeodCouncillor Sean MacLeod
Councillor Sean MacLeod

“My mental health does not embarrass me it’s who I am, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Please don’t let your mental health control you, seek support find help and embrace it, we can’t control it sometimes but we must not let it define who we are.”

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Also in Newhaven, councillor Pinky McLean-Knight founded Nebula, a peer-led mental health group aimed at helping people who are struggling by giving them the support of people who can understand how they are feeling.

Pinky describes Nebula as “the middle ground. Where if you have struggled recently and you're trying to recover, or you're trying to maintain your mental health, that's the sort of thing where I really want to encourage people to come in. You're going to come into a room full of people who understand what you are feeling or have a very, very good idea.”

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Nebula meets every Monday, 2pm until 4pm at the Hillcrest Centre, Newhaven.

Mental Health Awareness Week is run by the Mental Health Foundation. Donations can be made on their website.