Sunday, 18 June 2017

June 2017 Collage

Each month on my re-booted blog, I'm collating a collage.

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I'm going to show a selection of things from my radar and throwback to past posts on my blog. Comment with your favourite and with your suggestions for next month's collage

#ProudChairman   #Where'sMyOBE

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Back to Blog : Reboot V.2017

I knew my Childhood wasn't normal but I certainly didn't dwell on it. Children don't. They can be a lot stronger and more adaptable than we realise, depending on their age and how it is explained to them. My mother was an alcoholic.

What was a typical day like as a child? Well I got up and went to school. I've never needed a parent to wake me, did it all myself. Couldn't really be bothered with breakfast but I acted old enough to get to school and nag myself to do homework or clean the house.

I was her sole carer until she died when I was 13.

Flash forward to June 2015 and I tried to kill myself. Depression has been an ongoing symptom of my battle with mental health and the discrimination and stigma I have faced, mostly in the workplace, has only exacerbated the problem.

The main cause of my suicide attempt was stress and workload at work, since we had lost several members of staff without them being replaced, but the trigger was an incident at work where I defended someone I 'saw' as vulnerable but I came under attack. Without consciously knowing it, I needed to look after that vulnerable person just as I did when I was the sole carer for my Mother between the ages of 8 (my Step-Mum says it was when I was 10) and 13. She died from alcoholism. My 'damaged' hardware and software of my mind crashed.

I lasted just over 3 months. The trigger was when I brought something to the attention of my Senior Manager and challenged him, just like we are always being told to. I told him he had offended some of the staff and he replied with "I don't care". It set off the same cascade failure we had seen a few months earlier except this time, I asked for help. When I told that same manager I had been signed off due to work he replied "No one else has a problem." He even tried to convince me to resign. I've seen GPs, my NHS psychologist, I've spoken with solicitors and legal teams at Citizens Advice Bureau and ACAS as well as the fantastic team at MIND. He discriminated against me, I assume because of my disability.

I self harmed because of him. They knowingly exacerbated my condition. If I didn't ask for help they would have my blood on their hands.

In the end, with thanks to ACAS, I took the company to an employment tribunal but settled before the first hearing. Part of me wishes I held out just to have my ‘day in court’ but by this point, months after I ended up on long-term sick and having my pay cut off, I needed the money. I went from taken 100+ phone calls a day, handling orders in excess of £1m to being unable to make or take phone calls and crying when trying to handle basic paperwork.

Almost Two years on I am so much better than when I tried to kill myself, I am will always suffer anxiety and depression linked to my condition (Borderline Personality Disorder).

I then saw a job offer as a Lollipop Man. Perfect.
Stop Means Stop!
 Failing to stop for a Lollipop Man or Lady is a £1000 fine and 3pts
A great way to get me out the house, give me reason to wake up and avoid the risks of an office. It hasn’t been easy – I’ve been sworn at, had cars swerve round me and I was even hit by a courier van in February 2017 – but in the last year I’ve become a Teaching Assistant, re-met an old school friend and fell in love with her. MADLY in love. She moved in with me, taken care of me and I proposed to her on New Years 2017. She has given me hope in life and love. We've had a few explosive adventures! The council has given me hope in employers again and being one of two male staff at the school has given me a lot of lovely caring mother figures – I can’t get away with anything!

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter  -  @MattStreuli
I should also mention how amazing my drama club has been - giving me love and care of a family of friends as well as a way of self-exploration and desperately needed distraction.

Despite being busy with road safety and school work, I still write and I aim to reboot this blog. Over the 2 years, I've produced YouTube videos and I have even taken part in Public Speaking to the MoD with Time To Change to actively encourage everyone to speak out and seek help in an attempt to fight the frightening suicide rate, despite my ongoing depression and anxiety. I even help with shortlisting for the Mind Media Awards – this will be my second year. I've even appeared in The Guardian and written for HuffPost.

I might be a lot poorer than when I worked in that office, but I am happier and physically healthier than ever before.

BELOW are links to some favourite posts of my past blog. Every view and share is really appreciated. 
When I looked at my friend sat on the kerb, I didn't see her. Just how am I to describe it? A hallucination? A flashback? It was like watching a film and suddenly the actress playing my friend was swapped with the one playing my dead mother, but I was the only one who could see it. Why did my head decide this was a helpful thing? 
 It makes me feel I have achieved something and I'm not failing at life. Having a disability means I'm succeeding in survival.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Review & Signposting

A quick little blog  after the hectic for #WSPD World Suicide Prevention Day.

The second post was written by a very close friend Claire Freeman. It was actually refreshing to hear how suicide and the wider mental health subject affects your friends and family; from their viewpoint. We have both had some fantastic feedback and I hope I can encourage her to write for us again soon. Her post is certainly worth a read and share. You can find it here.

The first post was looking at the anger and rage that was expressed online and by the media as Sainsbury's changed their meal deal. It made me angry that people were 'incandescent with rage' over a sandwich and yet not interested in the suicide crisis spreading across the world. Over 70% of UK suicides in 2015 were men. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 50. Why are people not furious about this?

Finally, I also wrote a post for The Huffington Post's Lifestyle section called 'How Can We Prevent Our Suicide Crisis?' which you can read by clicking here.

Before I wrap up, I just wanted to highlight something called signposting. Before I saught help from my Doctor, I spent a lot of time reading and researching different aspects of mental health. Last week was the culmination of weeks of work, reading or listening submissions, for the Mind Media Awards. All of the entries I saw were fantastic and deserve a wider audience - some already have a much bigger audience than this silly little blog ever will. The biggest point that it is worth noting is that we all need to do more 'signposting'. This is where at the end of te bog or article you suggest some further reading - I tend to offer my social media but below is brilliant example. It is a truely vital element of mental health awareness, not just leaving your audience to fumble on but to guide them onto other posts or supportive websites. Perhaps you could check out these charities as well as some of my other websites and posts.

SIGNPOSTING - Useful websites and helplines:

  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
  • Mind, (I'm a proud member and volunteer) are open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
  • CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) is a registered charity, which exists to prevent male suicide in the UK. Call 0800 58 58 58 or visit
  • The Mix is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email:
  • HopeLine runs a confidential advice helpline if you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide. Mon-Fri 10-5pm and 7pm-10pm. Weekends 2pm-5pm on 0800 068 41 41

A photo posted by Matthew E Streuli (@matthewstreuli) on

Thanks for reading!! -