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By mental illness we mean things like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, anorexia, obsessive compulsive disorder and lots of others. People often look for help for related problems around stress, anger, tension, sleep problems, low self-worth, family and relationship problems, alcohol and drug problems, self-harm and physical health problems (like feeling sick). There’s nothing weird about mental illness. One out of every four adults and one in every ten teenagers will have a mental illness at some time or other.

The label isn’t really that important. What matters is getting advice and finding ways to get on with life and overcome difficulties. Research evidence suggests that the earlier you get support, the easier it is accept and overcome difficulties. The more involved you are in deciding what’s best for you, the better the outcome.

You may have come across people with mental health problems in films, TV and books. Sometimes this is accurate and sometimes it isn’t. Everybody is different so whatever you’ve seen or heard, it doesn’t mean it will be the same for you.

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The EYE Project is a research project supported by:

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Swandean, Arundel Road, Worthing, West Sussex, BN13 3EP