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MQ supporters swear to take on mental illness

Right now, three children in an average classroom are facing mental illness. Find out why these campaigners, poets and mental health advocates are demanding more and swearing to take on mental illness with MQ. Join them by creating your own photo.

"During my upbringing, I saw no one from a Pakistani background talking openly and challenging the misconceptions attached to mental health in South Asian communities. It frustrated me but motivated me to start breaking down barriers and stigmas. Being part of MQ is a privilege, especially knowing how research can provide understanding, which therefore breaks down the barriers of lack of knowledge and prejudice about mental health." Asha Iqbal
“Being diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder was a long and painful ordeal of trial and error, guesswork and delay. I felt loss and frustration more times than I was ever gifted hope, knowledge or effective treatment. MQ immediately struck a chord with me. Finally! A tangible glimmer of a future I want to know and be a part of. Arming communities, doctors, politicians, people. With science, with research, with the promise of searching for preventative solutions – as opposed to sigh-strung shoulder shrugs, 'Here try these pills', 'I know you're struggling but there's little else we can do', 'Have you tried going for a run?' – that's where we'll see change.” Charly Cox
Chris Parsons
"Anyone who has suffered from severe depression and related alcoholism will know how it can destroy lives. I was in the grip of both for too many years. If research can help us understand these and other mental health issues better and go on to find an effective treatment (or even better, stop them occurring in the first place) that would be wonderful. MQ offers this hope." Chris Parsons
Claire Eastham
“In 2013, when I was diagnosed with social anxiety and panic attacks, I was shocked by the lack of treatment options available. There was very much a sense that 'this is as good as it gets’, and with a prescription in hand that ‘might help’, the doctor sent me away. I'd never felt so alone. I'm swearing to support MQ because this is f**king nowhere near as good as it gets! In the years to come I know that future generations will benefit from this research.” Claire Eastham
Flo Sharman
“I have suffered with mental illness from the age of eight. I lost my childhood due to the stigma surrounding mental health and my school not having any understanding of how to deal with someone in a mental health crisis. I support MQ for the wonderful research work they’re doing to find a cure for mental illness, but also I love the whole philosophy of the charity and how out there they are.” Flo Sharman
Hope Virgo
"I often question why out of five children I developed anorexia. Why was I the one who had this voice in my head? I want MQ to start finding out why some people develop eating disorders and some don't. It took me a year in intensive treatment in a mental health hospital to find the best way to recover, but imagine if we knew how to ‘fix’ someone in a short timeframe. I am swearing to support MQ so that we get the answers. It is as simple as that!” Hope Virgo
James Downs
“Conversations are only a starting point: we need to move beyond mental health being something we are OK to talk about to making real change happen. In my experience, even the experts were at a loss about how to help me with disordered eating and extreme emotions. This left me feeling alone and prevented me from receiving the treatment I needed. My recovery was like an experimental DIY project rather than something with clear oversight and a plan. We need to understand and research the drivers of mental health, just as we do with physical health, exploring what keeps people well and why some people become unwell. We need to provide evidence of which treatments give the best chances of recovery, and work to prevent illness in the first place.” James Downs
Jayati Das-Munshi
“I’m swearing to support MQ because it’s shocking that people with severe mental disorders die 15 to 20 years earlier than the general population, mostly from preventable physical causes. This situation has been known for decades and it’s at least partly caused by the inequalities which people face when trying to access care. These inequalities impact on research funding too, where mental health seems a lower priority than physical health.” Jayati Das-Munshi
John & Susan Wilkes
“Four years ago we lost our beloved son, and we are painfully aware of the damaging consequences of mental illness left concealed, unrecognised, underestimated or ignored. Our support for MQ comes from our understanding that this is a charity meeting a real need: the promotion through scientific study of the medical and social mechanisms that give rise to mental illness. We want scientific knowledge to dispel fear, and to win better outcomes for people suffering mental distress and for all who care for them." John & Susan Wilkes
Jonny Benjamin
“When I was 20, I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Since then, it has taken me almost a decade to find the right support and treatment. Although we are talking about mental health more, there is huge inequality compared to how physical health is treated. This is why I am a huge supporter of MQ and the work they do. With better research, my hope is that the next generation won’t have to face similar challenges if they receive a diagnosis of mental illness.” Jonny Benjamin
Nikki Warby
“After a traumatic period of my life began in my late teens, I began to self-harm. My illness was given many labels. I tried different forms of talking therapy, and tried and tested many types of medication, but nothing quite fitted for me. We still, as a society, do not have enough understanding of why the illnesses happen, or what would be the most effective and efficient treatments. I support MQ because I believe the future for better understanding of mental illness is ours for the taking.” Nikki Warby

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