Nightmares and flashbacks

Nightmares and flashbacks

Nearly half of people in the UK have spoken about mental health over the last three months, a new survey suggests. But for some, addressing their problems can be much harder.

"We didn't really know what we were being sent to," Dan Farnworth, a paramedic in the north-west, says. "The next thing I knew, a child was just placed into my arms."

It was 2015, and Dan had just been sent to a 999 call that would change his life.

"When we arrived we knocked on the front door, but we couldn't get in. We didn't know what had happened inside," the 31-year-old told the Victoria Derbyshire programme.

It quickly became apparent the call involved the murder of a young child.


"All of a sudden this little girl was just placed in my arms," Dan, a father-of-four, says.

"I just remember looking at her. I remember thinking she looked like one of my own children. She had the same colour hair as one of my children.

"I just felt like I froze. It was scary. It is the worst thing I have ever seen in 12 years of doing this job."

Celebrities including cricketer Andrew Flintoff, comedian Ruby Wax and ex-Downing Street communications director Alastair Campbell have released films about their mental health struggles.

In a statement, the royals said: "We have seen time and time again that shattering stigma on mental health starts with simple conversations.

"When you realise that mental health problems affect your friends, neighbours, children and spouses, the walls of judgement and prejudice around these issues begin to fall."

The royals say attitudes towards mental health are now "at tipping point."

As for Dan, Prince Harry had a more specific challenge.

"He told me we should run the London Marathon," Dan says, "so we started running the very next day."

"Stigmas still exist and [mental health] is a taboo subject," Dan says.

"People think mental health is a big issue, but I'm Dan, I'm 31 years old with a job and a family and my life is normal. But I have a mental health problem."

Watch the Victoria Derbyshire programme on weekdays between 09:00 and 11:00 on BBC Two and the BBC News Channel.



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