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Breaking the stigma: 'You can live a normal life with a mental illness'

A teacher with bipolar disorder says it's possible to live a normal life with a mental illness. Nik Allen works with her pupils to break down the myths and stigma surrounding mental health. Whilst taking a class at Rossall in Fleetwood she took the plunge and told pupils all about her illness. One teacher responded by telling her she was a 'danger to children,' but Nik says it's had an astonishing effect on pupils opening a real dialogue about what it all means.


Tragic teen couldn't get the help she craved says mum

A mental health nurse from Lancashire is criticising services for teenagers following the death of her daughter. Lauren Johnson killed herself last year in Accrington at the age of 17. Her mother Dawn say's she fell through the gaps in care:

Dawn has set up mental health charity Lauren's Place to try and reach others before it's too late.

Mind Matters: Caring for the vulnerable out of hours

There's a warning cuts to mental health services will leave more people in crisis - especially at night.

Merseyside police say a quarter of all emergency calls involve mental health issues.

The force now works with specialist nurses on patrol until midnight but once they finish it's down to charities to take over.

Sarah Rogers reports on the pressures of coping out of hours.


Suicide helpline: 'there is a crisis'

A charity in Manchester who work through the night helping suicidal callers say there is a crisis in mental health services. The Sanctuary operates from 8pm-6am picking up the pieces after regular services close their doors. Manager, Joanne Harding admits they are inundated all of the time.

Click here for more on the charity.

Mind Matters: 'Social isolation is a massive problem'

A project in Bolton aimed at staving off isolation in older men is proving to be a huge success. The Men in Sheds of Breightmet trade in skills as well as advice, encouraging older retired men and those with mental health problems to create new social networks. The scheme which is run by Bolton at Home is open to all men. Tony Cottram from the charity said the idea comes from Australia.

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