Live it Library
The Library is an online resource of stories from people who have experienced or are experiencing mental health issues.
The Library has over 60 films that include individuals experiencing mental health issues, carers, friends or relatives and mental health professionals.
Join us and speak honestly about your experience. You can also share the stories in the Library to help others while challenging stigma, promoting understanding, and offering hope.
Join us at an event near you.
The Live it Library stories will become part of a Kent and Medway wide resource that allows individuals, professionals and groups to easily access the ‘books’ and it is hoped that our story tellers can become involved in training and events to talk about their stories and experiences.
If you have already shared your story, why not consider volunteering at a future event. Interested? Register to become a Trust volunteer.
The Live it Library is a collaborative project between Kent County Council (Live It Well) and Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust.
The Live it Library is an online resource supporting mental health recovery and is in not representative of anyone with a similar name to any of the ‘books’ in our online resource.
- Alison talks about suffering from depression after experiencing bereavement, this lead to her having suicidal thoughts.
- Arthur talks about having his mental health problems which lead to problems with him self harming and overdosing, he even self medicated with alcohol.
- Ben wanted to share his story on the library as an opportunity to give back to those who have helped him and he also sees it as an opportunity to help others. Ben talks about four things that helped during his recovery.
- Read about one woman's journey with Bipolar
- Read day one of Blogging for Bipolar
- Bobbie Taiano works for Carers First supporting families of people who have disabilities.
- I instantly became quieter and lost sense of what was around me. I ignored this and carried on until the age of 19 by then I had psychosis.
- Brian talks about bipolar disorder. Brian experience some physical illness in his 20’s which lead to his bipolar being diagnosed.
- Bridget talks about having long term mental health problems.
- Carla has been experiencing problems since being a teenager. Carla speaks about how linking in with employment services has helped her gain confidence..
- Chris was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. In his film, he gives advice on staying well and tips on where to get useful information.
- Chris talks about his diagnosis and how he campaigns for change for dementia.
- Colin talks about challenging the stigma of mental health. He talks about when having mental health experiences that it is important to know who you can trust.
- Daniel is a member of the Buddy Scheme, he has received multiple diagnosis – depression, psychosis and temporal lobe epilepsy. He speaks honestly about the bad reaction of family and friends.
- David talks about having a violent father and being taken away from his parents.
- David is linked in with SpeakUp CIC and has been diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder. He has been hospitalised in the past but has now been stable for years.
- Dawn gives an account of caring for someone with psychosis and how a diagnosis of mental illness can change the dynamics of a family and brings fear and questions into family.
- Derek explains although he young when his illness started in childhood but he only was diagnosed in his adult life.
- Diana tells her story and talks about having a happy childhood but how she has struggled with chronic fatigue since she was young.
- Dianne has vascular dementia. In this film she talks about positivity, keeping well and the importance of reaching out for help when you need it.
- Eddie talks about his journey having been diagnosed with Bipolar. He wants to help people turn the chapter in their story. Here he talks about the importance of empathy and understanding and the acceptance needed surrounding mental illness.
- Edward uses poetry and art to express his feelings and improve his wellbeing.
- Gail wants to support other people who have mental health problems. She has experienced anxiety and depression and at times felt like no one was listening. She soon found that they were and with medication and people around her to help, she started her journey on recovery.
- Gary suffered an accident which caused him to become very depressed, when depressed he struggled to find a way forward. He wants to offer help to others who have been in a similar situation as himself.
- With help I’ve made things that if I was to try on my own I just can’t do or begin but not finish, and I would feel I had let myself down.
- James tells us about being ill and how he now stays well and what has helped him in his recovery.
- James is from Ireland and talks about his history with alcohol and being homeless.
- Janice talks about having depression following on from being abused as a child; in addition Janice experienced a bereavement which caused her to feel suicidal.
- Jo talks passionately about people who experience mental health issues to have access to employment or further education.
- Julie was diagnosed with depression and psychosis eventually she was assessed by the mental health team and agreed to have help at home.
- Cathy began to forget the names of places which prompted her to seek help. In the film Cathy talks about tips and the support she has from friends and family.
- Keith was a head teacher before being diagnosed with early onset dementia. Knowledge is one of his coping techniques, in addition to support from family and friends.
- Laura talks about feeling different from her peers when she was at school. She talks about hearing negative voices and how this has affected her which finally lead to her being diagnosed with schizophrenia.
- Lea has bipolar and she wants to highlight the issues that people with bi-polar have. She talks of the high’s and low’s of the illness. Lea exercises regularly and that helps her keep well.
- Lorraine was only diagnosed with mental health problems recently after struggling to manage her mental health herself for most of her life. She talks about hiding her mental health issues and being in denial.
- Mark talks about how being transferred in his job made him become ill, this affected not only his physical but also his mental health.
- Diagnosed with Alzheimers, Martin relies on friends, family and yoga to help keep well.
- Maureen says how sharing her problem with other people helps her. She likes to get other peoples perspective on the issues that she is having.
- Michael speaks about having depression from 2005 and how this has affected him and made him feel isolated.
- Nicola shares with us the story of how a horrific attack on her which led to her suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
- Paul talks about experiencing a psychotic episode which included negative thoughts, this caused Paul to starve himself, which lead to him being hospitalised where he received treatment.
- "I force myself to get up, make myself look vaguely respectable – oh, I had better clean my teeth and wash my face."
- Peter speaks about how he has had undiagnoised depression for most of his life. He explains that a family disharmony with his children and wife combined with him leaving work and this made his depression worse.
- Rachel explains how the death of a close friend changed how Rachel felt about being ill and helped her accept her mental health needs.
- Richard talks about being diagnosed with Bipolar disorder when he was in early 30’s. This lead to him losing the business he was running.
- Richard talks about the benefits of work. Richard has suffered several bouts of mental ill health and by taking small steps with voluntary work and courses to get him back into the workplace.
- Ronnie talks about the importance of supporting people with mental health issues, as well as experiencing issues of their own.
- Roy explains how he is a vetran and was experiencing problems when serving for which her self medicated for instead of dealing with the issue.
- Ruby has had an eating disorder since she was 17.
- Ruth talks about being diagnosed with bi-polar. She is now supported by friends and family although it has taken some time for her to be able to share her issues with them.
- Sandra tells everyone not to dont give up hope – there is treatment or help for you out there.
- Sandra tells her story. Her mental health issues started when she was younger when still living with her family, as she was an ‘unwanted child’ and she believes most of her mental health issues stem from this issue.
- Shaun speaks about working with people in supported accommodation who have been diagnosed with a mental illness.
- "I first became unwell around two years ago, I was very depressed and suffered from anxiety. I isolated myself from the world and my only other contact was with my daughter who lived with me at the time."
- Stephanie talks about wanting to help someone who has had similar experiences as herself. Stephanie has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Stephen talks about an incident three years ago that caused him to have a severe stress reaction that caused him to be off of work.
- Sue talks about working in the Medway HOPE project with Rethink Mental Illness.
- Tad speaks about being hospitalised following a suicide attempt as a teenager. Tad suffers from depression and says how he finds it difficult to talk.
- Tilley has been diagnosed with Aspergers which is a form of Autism.
- Tracey talks about being unwell with puerperal psychosis and postnatal depression and how returning to work and getting good support from family and friends helped in her recovery.
- Tracey talks about having post traumatic stress disorder and conversion disorder. She talks about problems from her childhood and how they have affected her.
- Tracey talks about having a diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and personality disorder. She has found a group (Steps and Stairways) which has helped her deal with emotions, and enabled her to gain control.
- Trish talks about how the Grove (rehabilitation centre) has helped in her journey. Trish shares the things that have helped her with her recovery journey.
- Venetia has suffered mental health issues for a long time, she talks about how work is helping her maintain her mental health and how she has been supported back to employment. Venetia is now employed and has found being back at work very beneficial.
- "My mental health problems started in 2007; I’d been a nightclub DJ which hadn’t worked out, in fact nothing had worked out for me, not community regeneration which I fell into after university either."
- Vince talks about how easy it is to become isolated and how challenging yourself when you are experiencing mental health issues is sometimes difficult.
- Warwick talks about using mental health services for over 10 years. He explains how his diagnosis of paranoid Schizophrenia meant he felt different in his home and social life – which eventually lead him to losing his job and becoming isolated.
- Wendy is from the Buddy Scheme, is a service user and is a carer for her son who has mental and physical health problems.
- Yolande speaks about how whistleblowing contributed to her being hospitalised. She also talks about the stigma attached to having mental health problems.