Wednesday, 24 February 2016

How to Prevent and Deter Discrimination

Hi! I'm Matt. I'm 26 years old and I live
on the edge of West London. I'm a
suicide survivor, an adult child of an
 alcoholic and I have
 Borderline Personality Disorder.

And no... I don't suit hats.
A side effect of having a mental health issue is that you lose confidence in whether you are right to feel how you do, or if you are overreacting or possibly underreacting again. Sometimes this means you fight battles nobody else can see or you do not fight at all. This is why, I think, discrimination has continued unhindered.

As I've covered before on this blog and my website, I have faced discrimination due to my mental health issues. The most damaging discrimination I suffered was in the workplace. I felt stunned and it took me a while to process exactly what had been said and what it meant. I remember my mind pacing, unable to focus, as I panicked that I was overreacting. Was that a reasonable or acceptable thing to say?
Whether they are treating someone differently due to their mental health or physical health, disability discrimination is illegal BUT at the moment you have to prove it and then take it to a tribunal... AT YOUR COST AND PERIL! 
Then I tried to imagine what advice I would give to a friend if they had received that treatment and comments. I found myself angry n frustrated. I even felt betrayed. I had been so open and honest; I didn't deserve this. It has really hurt and created a big block in my recovery. I could even go so far to say it exacerbated my condition. If you read back through my blog, I am sure you'll agree.

Please sign my petition - Link below

It has made me think. Would they dare say or behave that way because of my skin tone? My religion? I would hope they would not behave that way due to my gender or race but I really do not know anymore.

As you may of seen, I have started a petition to make 'disability discrimination' a criminal offence that is processed or handled by the Police; in a similar way to how they handle racial discrimination and abuse. Getting justice is a key element but if I can do anything to save other people from be hurt and used the way I was - it is worth a try. I sincerely believe that the if the consequences were the same as racism, no Manager would ever behave that way again and HR teams across the UK would scramble to find comprehensive training like that offered by Mind.

If you have a moment, it would really make a difference if you could click here to sign that petition and share it on your social media and emails.

I'm going to keep this week short and simple. I've felt a bit wobbly - in terms of my emotions nit my obesity - over the past couple of days - but I have some amazing friends and family. I'd like to remind you all that I love you and thank you for bearing with me. Aside from the massive grin that matchmaking couples and making people laugh brings me, you are the core of my life. I'm not sure if this is a reward or a punishment but there is a video me singing down below.

 Meanwhile - happy 13th birthday to my sister! It's all downhill from here in. You are a star (especially in the Instagram clip below!) and you make me laugh my arse off!


Thank you for reading, sharing and subscribing to my blog xx
A video posted by Matthew E Streuli (@matthewstreuli) on


"For he that gets hurtWill be he who has stalledThere's a battle outside ragin'It'll soon shake your windowsAnd rattle your walls"
Posted by MattStreuli.uk - Mental Health Aware on Tuesday, 23 February 2016





Speaker on mental health or male suicide near London with TV and radio experience. After Dinner speaker on Mental Health, Suicide, Male Suicide and ACOA or Adult Child of Alcoholic.
Pantomime Dame and actor with presentation and teaching skills on mental health.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

I Feel Fine!

My step mum thinks I have bipolar and it was one of my first possible diagnoses. My official diagnosis is Borderline Personality Disorder but looking back on the past week I think bipolar might be right!

The past two editions of this blog come mental health diary are somewhat scary for the suicidal subtext throughout them. Yet, this week I feel pretty good. It is completely counterintuitive because the issues I faced last week are still there. Financial ruin is still a possibility however I am happy to keep on; worry about what I can deal with now. I guess that is a good philosophy for life and it certainly relieves my anxiety and panic about my future although I do worry that I'm not worrying enough about my future.
Panto went really well and only now am I ready
for the future! www.ihdc.co.uk

Last week I felt I couldn't face going to drama but on Thursday I pushed myself to go spend some time with friends. Part of visiting friends is socialising with others. One of my bestest friends is a childminder and so to have her nearby is a god send and making the little children she looks after laugh during the day genuinely made me smile.  By Friday evening I felt almost back to zero - a normal middle ground. I went to see my Nan with my normal pessimistic view that she will have mobility issues and her dementia like memory issues. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see she was up and about and her memory was pretty good.

We have mental health. We should all take better
care of our minds! Check our the #InTheMind season
on the BBC and my Facebook page!
I had a brilliant weekend with her and then friends and this week I've been working on doing more public work online. Seeing people happy and making them laugh makes me feel really good.

Did I mention I updated the two pages on my website?

After my recent article in The Guardian, my Psychologist is encouraging me to do more of this work as it is a positive release for my condition. I’ve even tried emailing some agents to little success. I have been on LBC and even sat in to Shelagh Fogarty’s show earlier this year just to try and get myself and my mental health blog better known. Meanwhile, as The Beatles said "I feel fine!"

Still, now is a good time to worry about what I can control. I have an appointment with my Psychologist this week and plans a plenty for a new career in case this media work doesn't quite pan out.
"I know you don't want this to go on any longer but please keep having a crack at it, and one day you will be glad that you did"

I guess there is hope. Which neatly leads me onto thanking everyone who has retweeted my blog, or tweeted and commented with their support. It means so much and I realise that I am not as alone and life is not as futile as my illness would have it seem. So thank you xx

Meanwhile my sister is 13 next week. Oh my god... What do I get her?

Don't forget to tune into my radio show each Thursday. Music and mental health on SouthWaves Radio.  I'm on air every Thursday from 8pm

In the meantime, I emplore you to have a look at  my Facebook page:  facebook.com/mattstreuli.uk




  I love you all xx


Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Happily Suicidal

Find me on twitter @MattStreuli
I should be happy. Yet all I can think about it how I empty my future is and my lack of enthusiasm for it.

I met with my psychologist on Friday who I mentioned in my article for The Guardian. He was really happy with the article especially as we live in world all too quick to complain and too slow to compliment. I explained that the 'conflict' (my disability discrimination complaint) is still ongoing and the system seemingly biased towards the employer.

Financially, I am OK for now but what happens when this debacle rolls on for another few weeks or months? I've applied for jobs but I agree with my Psychologist who I felt was being very honest when he said it would be a shame if I could not making writing, talking and presenting especially on mental health into a career.

The problem is, how the hell do I get there?
I have been writing a mental health blog for almost a year after suffering disability discrimination at work and then surviving a suicide attempt. I am looking to do more work with the media and I would also be interested in events such as ‘After Dinner Speaking’. As mentioned in my article in The Guardian, I have been a pantomime dame for almost 5 years so performing a script or ‘ad libbing’ in front of an audience is almost second nature. 
Life has drained the enthusiasm from me - so why would I keep fighting? Where would I draw the strength to do more?
Click pictures to view fullscreen

My mind keeps throwing up this idea that it's time to resign from life. I've done enough. For more opportunities you have to be in the right place at the right time or know the right person; so do I just keep shouting out the window and annoying retweeting this blog?

If I had cancer, I would have the right to refuse treatment. To slowly let the disease I've been fighting kill me. So when can I turn off my life machine? When can I shut down my life?


12 months ago on this blog I spoke about Post Panto Blues and this quote is still relevant and makes me realise I suffer more than the 'Post Show' blues: "I would kill myself in exactly the same way we euthanase pets when it’s the ‘kind’ thing to do. Why am I any different to your cat?"

In last week's post I spoke about how our pantomime had been a brilliant success with each cog working together so well.

There were some silly little issues that in pantomime past would of been key triggers to a black patch however they seemed to have minimal effect; I assume thanks to therapy and medication. I am so proud of the club and every member. Some of those people are amazingly talented and beautiful - not just in looks but also how they treat others. At the moment I am due to produce and direct the summer play for the youth team but how I can lead them feeling the way I do.



I've been ignoring messages from people because I couldn't face processing what they might of said - to the point where I've ignored invites to events. The only person I've spoken to in the past 24 hours is my cat - and if it wasn't for having to get medication and bread I could easily go several days in isolation.

Have you ever stared off into the distance? Found yourself having a dream but you're awake? They have happened to me a few times since my last post. In one I was driving a Transit van with a lift on the roof. I parked opposite the entrance to my old work and lowered myself on a noose from the cradle. In another I sat in the middle of road and reenacted the famous immolation photograph from the Second World War. Either way I get to end my life and it would mean something. You only ever hear suicides on the news as a footnote for delays on your local rail line or motorway. Did you know Grant Shapps, a Tory MP resigned after a member of the youth team committed suicide over bullying?
I'm not sad or low. If anything, I feel content. I've had a good crack at it and would leave a good impression on this Earth. - Read more from last week's post here
I know you really don't want me to be sad or for me to die. You may say to me how much hurt it would cause and how much fun we've had. It's better to rip the plaster off. I keep thinking about going to 'A and E' and asking to be admitted but I've heard the horror stories. I think I'd rather die at home.

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

http://mattstreuli.tumblr.com/post/138825575112/thank-you-clairelouisef1989-champagne-from-the

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Time To Talk Day 2016

When I started writing this week's blog I had to stop. It looked too much like a goodbye letter someone thrusts in your hand as your whisked away on a steam train; if we all lived in a black and white movie from 1946.

I have been so high over the past week and I am filled with this warm soppy glow. Pantomime, thus far, has been an amazing success with ticket sales suddenly boosting providing the vital funds the drama club needs. The same drama club I spoke about in my article for The Guardian newspaper.
However, I am still at war with my mind and the world around me. I still have to battle the  discrimination and the financial collapse I am now facing. I simply don't want to do that. Don't misunderstand me, I have enjoyed aspects of life but I don't want to fight anymore. Whilst I have never refused treatment for cancer, I can only assume that this is how it feels.


I need not worry about the drama club, my cat, my little sister or any assets I may have. I would be leaving them all in the capable hands of my amazing friends who I trust. Those people know me well and know the values I hold dear and the envy I have for their ability to not just survive but also to live.  I have appointments to see my psychologist and my GP around the final few shows of pantomime and I have every intention of going. As hard as it may seem there is some relief that an end and the relief that brings is a distinct possibility. I guess it is an endgame.
For the 75% of the UK public who have little or no mental health issues at all, I would be interested to hear how this, and my other posts, read. Can you relate to this? Or is this garbage?
"  The biggest killer of men aged 45 and under in the UK is not war, drugs or cancer. The biggest killer is suicide - themselves. How can we live in a world where this happens and no one notices?   "          --MattStreuli.uk - Mental Health Aware Facebook Page

This Thursday is Time To Talk Day.Everyone has a mind, body and soul. The soul is your spiritual needs whether that is religious or something that brings you joy such as spending time with your family or a KitKat Chunky. Your body is that fleshy thing we should all probably take better care of unless you are incredibly fit; in which case how have you not tried a chocolate caterpiller cake? The bit we, humans in general, are particularly bad at looking after is the mind. Now is the Time To Change and the best way of doing that is making Time To Talk.

Mental health is fast becoming one of the great issues of our time with growing numbers of people in the UK seeking help.

People are genuinely scared to openly talk about their mind because of stigma and how it will affect their jobs or relationships. That's not right. I write every week on my blog about my
struggles but this battle needs your help.


It can start with a simple "how are you?" Whether you meet up for a tea or coffee and just have a chat or send someone a message on Facebook, email or twitter, that is all you need to be a good friend and to make a real difference. Sharing tweets or blogs like mine draws that damping field that stigma creates and enables those with mental health to take a stand like I tried to do.
 Need help? In the UK, call The Samaritans free on 116 123. Further information plus legal support lines are available from MIND, the mental health charity, at www.mind.org.uk 

I'm not sad or low. If anything, I feel content. I've had a good crack at it and would leave a good impression on this Earth.

As I type this there are a few more tickets left for the final shows this weekend. I love our family. Every single person is a valuable and loved cog in a machine which, despite the fact we are amdram, is oiled and running pretty well. I knew this was a good pantomime but it isn't until you have an audience riding the show with you do you realise just how good it is. Despite the 'drama' of it all, I am glowing with love for the best fun you can legally have with the best people working together with the support of our community. We have the best chorus ever and my Sister has done a brilliant job of joining the team. I simply cannot wait for the 3 shows this weekend. I ask everyone one of you to keep up that love and energy and carry my passion for our community and IHDC ensuring future success. I'm so proud.

 In the meantime, I emplore you to have a look at TIME TO TALK DAY online and my new Facebook page: facebook.com/mattstreuli.uk

Below are the usual array of tweets and media to collaborate my post. It would be great if you could like and share and even have a browse of last week's mental health post or even the top posts of 2015.
Every view and share makes a difference. xx




http://mattstreuli.tumblr.com/post/138474042047/httpsfacebookcommattstreuliuk-like-and