Sarah Le Blanc
Writer, Consultant, and Trainer in United Kingdom
When a third of us can expect to experience at least one period of mental ill-health across our lifetimes, and with the World Health Organisation citing depression as the world's most widespread condition mental illnesses are perfectly normal.
And yet so many suffer in isolation afraid to speak up because as a culture we have no language or frame of reference for discussing it.
But when I reached the point last year when hiding, and evading, and concealing were no longer sustainable, even at work, I found that if I spoke confidently about my diagnoses most people happily took their cues from me rather than having to think about it.
I've since taken the decision to be completely open about my health, and if as a result I end up being excluded from certain spaces then it's probably healthiest that I not have tried to squash myself into them anyway.
I have a few projects through which I'm working towards more open communication about all matters related to our mental health and wellbeing.
The first of which is my blog - Make Up & Mirtazapine - a magazine style space where mental health stories, advice and information are treated as just another lifestyle topic. The hope is that by starting conversations and building a community in this way the issues will start to become more noramlised.
I've also recently launched a business, Le Blanc Maison, offering workshops and training sessions around communication, equality and diversity, interviewing and advocacy, and managing mental health in the workplace.
And I eventually aim to open a 24 hour community and mental health focussed café.
Outside of work I have a cat named Natalie Portman. Hoummus makes me happy. I like tea, dancing, and dinosaurs. And I'm currently a little bit obsessed with Scandinavian detective dramas.