Let’s talk about mental health #nofilter

We started #myunfilteredlife so people felt they could talk about mental health and it could encourage people to challenge stigma. It has been great to see the reaction. We wanted people to see that it can be okay to share what we usually keep hidden, that it is okay to share our unfiltered lives, in the same way it is okay to speak out and get help if we're struggle with our mental health, without worry about stigma. Today, ask someone if they are okay, and post your picture and story using #myunfilteredlife and tagging us and two other friends asking them to share their story. @teamnotashamed @anxietysupport @mindcharity what's your #myunfilteredlife? #myunfilteredlife #powerofokay #mentalhealth #anxiety #depression #SeeMe #Scotland #EndStigma #OkayNotToBeOkay #MentalHealthAwareness #MentalIllness #StigmaFighter

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As See Me Scotland launches a new campaign asking us to go beyond the filter and take a closer look at mental health, we chat Tartan Explorer Josh Quigley about conquering his demons and cycling across the globe.

In a world where we share everything from our Higher results to our lunch online, it’s easy to think we are all #blessed.

But no one’s life is as flawless as that Valencia filter might suggest. Take Josh Quigley for example. To the outside world Josh had it all. At 23 he owned a business,  had flashy offices in Edinburgh and a team of staff who were also his best friends. But inside Josh was struggling to cope.

“It all started when I was going out and drinking at the weekend and I would start to have suicidal thoughts,” explains Josh. “But soon the thoughts were there all the time, every minute of the day.”

“I didn’t feel like I couldn’t open up to anyone,” he adds.  “I couldn’t tell my best friend who was staff in case she didn’t want to work with me and I couldn’t tell my mentor because he wouldn’t want to invest anymore. That was completely wrong but that is exactly what was going on in my head.”

Then on the 26 May 2015, Josh got into his car and sped towards a concrete barrier at 80mph in an attempt to take his own life. He survived unscathed and is now he wants to use his second chance to help others.

He came up with the idea the Tartan Explorer – a charity cycle that aims to raise awareness of mental health worldwide. Josh plans to embark on a world tour and share his story in over 80 countries across the globe. He hopes that talking about his journey with mental illness will help others to realise that anyone can be affected.

“If you look at people who stereotypically have an mental health problem, I don’t fit in,” says Josh. “So that is why I am telling my story.  If someone who is perceived as successful – as I was at the time – can suffer a mental health problem then it can happen to anyone. It can and does happen to anyone, no matter who you are or how successful you are perceived to be by society.”

The world trip could take anything between two to four years. So what does he want to achieved by the time he returns?  “I want to have saved more lives,” says Josh. “I want people to be more aware of mental health and I want people with mental health problems to open up and speak to their families about it, that’s it.

“I want to remove the stigma. If I can do that anyone can do anything.”

WATCH THE VIDEO OF JOSH TELLING HIS STORY BELOW:

You can follow Josh’s journey on Instagram and Twitter.

Join in the campaign and use the hastag  or find out more informartion at seemescotland.org

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