It is one of the most pressing issues facing a generation: the growing number of young people diagnosed with mental heath problems.
One in 4 people sought help last year nationally, with 39 million prescriptions for anti-depressants administered and more than 107,000 people spent time in hospital. 
This week Advertiser reader Ruby Macey has bravely opened up about her own experiences in the hope of helping others.

I was the last person I thought would ever suffer from anxiety, writes Ruby. I had a very happy childhood with two amazing parents living in the small village of Perham Down, just outside of Andover. 
But things started to change after I moved out of the family home at the age of eighteen and into a shared house. I wanted to be independent and to have my own space. However I never really settled as the people were older and unkind. 
When I moved into a flat with my ex-partner, to start with it felt like a dream come true. But he suddenly left with no reason and it broke me, so I moved back home. 
It was around this time I started a job as a mental health support worker. I never really knew a lot about mental health but I knew I wanted to help people. I found it hard to understand why people wanted to take their lives as death was a big fear of mine, so I joined this job to widen my knowledge and help those in need of love. 
Around six months into the job, I started to realise I had more in common with the patients I was treating than I first thought.Andover Advertiser: Pictured: Ruby MaceyPictured: Ruby Macey
I dealt with situations I never thought I would be faced with. When I saw people hurting themselves, it hurt me because I couldn’t fix them and couldn’t make the realise how loved and special they all really were. 
As time went on I changed jobs and as I spent more time away, I started to realise I had picked up many of their habits without realising and I also had things in common with them, I’d worry until I was physically sick and scratch my skin sore with anxiety.
I turned to alcohol to give me a high on what it would be like to forget the worry and to feel “normal” again. I used going out as an excuse to be able to drink my problems away. 
Things then started becoming more extreme. I was beginning to self-harm to settle the craving of hurt and worry. I found myself spending time in the bathroom on the floor with a razor, upset and alone. My wounds would burn and keep me awake at night until the point where it became unbearable. 
This shockingly became a new way of life for me and I found myself withdrawing from loved ones. I would cope with the smallest inconvenience or upset by harming myself. I felt that I hurt so bad inside that I had to show it on the outside, my brain craved physical pain to punish me. 
Eventually it got to the point where I could no longer hide it. I was scared of how far it would go. I took a deep breath one day and decided to show my mum. This was my cry for help.
After talking things through with her, I got the idea to write a diary about my feelings to keep as a log. This became the friend and confidant I so badly needed to talk through what I was going through. I named the diary 1 in 4 as a staggering one in four people in the Britain suffer from mental health problems, according to figures. 
It is no exaggeration to say the diary saved my life. It gave me a purpose and it made me feel like I finally had someone to talk to who wouldn’t judge me. I found myself looking forward to sharing things in this diary and felt I didn’t have to explain myself.
Reading it back it shows my journey and thought process from the beginning of my illness in my darkest of days and now, it shows the good days and the bad, also how I helped myself. 
Now I am happy to say for the first time in years, I feel like I have so much to look forward to. I’m living with my fiancé who supports and loves me and I am working towards becoming a mummy, a nurse and a wife. 
I would love to find a publisher to publish my diary to help others. Yes, there is lot of awareness around mental health but what we don’t hear enough from is the young people going through it. We need to hear more voices like mine to help the public and health authorities know what it is like to suffer and how best to help. 
My message is to never give up, an arrow goes backwards before it goes forwards. 

  • For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see for details