Written by Anouska Levart – Senior Features Editor
Spreading mental health awareness will hopefully ensure more support is provided for those who are suffering, but there is still a long way to go. Oli Regan, an actor, director and mental health ambassador, was forced to spend an uncomfortable night in a police cell and made to feel like a criminal after being turned away from a mental health hospital due to the lack of beds, “I got detained in a cell as I had a meltdown and my old dear couldn’t take it or even help me, it was like being locked in a cell whilst being in a cell in my brain. Services for young people are awful. I didn’t know what mental health was until I got detained, and that’s something that needs a big change in my eyes,” he said.
Oli, who suffers from bipolar, describes his condition, “It feels like an emotional rollercoaster with twists and turns that you’ve never been on before, so you don’t know what the rides like and lose grip of reality while focusing on the negatives.”
Acting, however, helps Oli’s mental health as he can be someone else for the time on set. “Social media is such a powerful tool to use but it has different effects on the mind, but using the small bit of fame I have to promote men’s mental health works to help more people. Try mindfulness and meditation for self-help but always contact your local services to get the ball rolling if not A&E as a last option.”