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WATCH: Living with Schizophrenia - one man's story

What's it really like to live with a long term mental illness?

Jon Paul Bamford began to hear voices as a teenager. He's lived with his condition for more than 20 years.

But after support and therapy from Rochdale MIND, Jon Paul says he now thinks of his voices as a gift.

And he says he uses the voices only he hears to help him write songs.

In the next in our series of pieces raising Mental Health Awareness he's been talking to our correspondent, Matt O'Donoghue, about his illness and about how people's attitudes towards it need to change.

'Epidemic' of mental health problems among young people says expert

A mental health professional says that our young people have "walked into a mental health crisis of epidemic proportions" .

Some experts say up to 70% of young people may suffer from a mental health issue before they reach adulthood.

But, in many cases, extra funding for austerity-hit councils has been spent elsewhere.

Now - speaking exclusively to ITV News - one former child psychologist tells us "young lives are being lost."

In the first of a series of pieces looking at mental health issues, our correspondent, Matt O'Donoghue has been to meet one father who has taken his message out to 200,000 young people across the country:

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Liverpool woman heading to USA for Lyme disease treatment

A businesswoman from Merseyside is going overseas for treatment she hopes will give her back some quality of life after ten years battling a cruel illness.

Emma Horlock, from Liverpool, contracted Lyme disease after being bitten by a tick. It left her bed-ridden and suffering severe pain.

She's heading to America next week by boat - as she's too ill to fly.

Our correspondent Ann O'Connor went to see her:

Emma heads to the U.S for treatment

Emma Horlock Credit: youtube

Emma Dolan Horlock was left bed-ridden and suffering severe pain after contracting Lyme disease from a bite from a tick 10 years ago.

Now the 42-year-old, who grew up in Skelmersdale, is heading to the USA for vital treatment after raising £25,000.

But she has been left so poorly by the tick bite that she has to make the long journey by ship - as she is too ill to fly.

Emma is keen to share her story with as many people as possible to warn others of the dangers, as well as calling for better medical treatment in Britain.

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Super Slimmer to become weight loss coach

Super slimmer Les Beazley Credit: MEN Syndication

A super slimmer from Greater Manchester who lost nearly 17 stone after being told he could die early is setting up a clinic to help others follow in his footsteps. Les Beazley dropped to 15st 3lbs from more than 32 stone after gorging on fast food. Since losing weight, Les has decided to open a clinic in Denton , where he hopes his success can inspire others.

Les was told by doctors he would die if he didn't lose weight Credit: MEN Syndication

Les said his weight ballooned when he started bingeing on takeaways and drinking two bottles of port every night. He said that everyday tasks such as walking up the stairs or putting his socks on became difficult. Les is planning to sell his bakery business in Stockport so he can work full-time in weight loss counselling.

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