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David's Blog

Our local Time to Change Champions are leading the fight against mental health stigma. Read David’s story below.

Men’s Health Week 2020

For Men’s Health Week 2020 local Time to Change Champion David shares how opening up about his mental health helped him to take control and started him on the path to a happier life.

“My Story:

Let’s start with how I really enjoyed playing my Xbox games most days for six hours or more and sometimes through to the early hours of the morning. However I did notice after doing this I usually woke up tired and depressed. Those days I felt lost and didn’t always know what day it was.

My lifestyle a few years later due to family issues involving my father and some unkind friends meant all I wanted to do was go out, party, dance and drink until I was sick. Needless to say this wasn’t the best strategy to becoming successful in life.

A couple of years after that one day I felt awful. I ended up being rushed into hospital because an ulcer burst in my stomach. I had to have keyhole surgery to repair the damage to my stomach. This was my turning point as I knew there had to be a better way than this.

I contacted Steps2Wellbeing. At first I found it was a bit hard to talk about my experiences that made me feel unwell however the lady on the phone made it easy to talk about them. From there I had one to one sessions with a therapist from Step2Wellbeing. Overall the experience was okay and the following sessions was easier the more sessions I attended.

I started to feel much better and following this, I no longer lived with my father and I looked after my mother part time after the divorce. I started reading self development books to try and learn the patterns of how others became successful in life.

After searching for answers I took up kickboxing for two years, Buddhism for a year and now I am a member of a public speaking group.

Today I’m on my way to starting up my own self development business, because this is what I’m good at and I really want to help others help themselves.

So the first and most important step is asking for help and once you’ve done that it gets much easier.  Most people need a helping hand now and then so be brave and take your first step.

I hope you find the right balance in your life too.”


“At this time I wasn’t feeling that well in myself. I often slept most of the day and didn’t have that much energy. I felt there was a cloud hanging over me and I wanted the silver lining to show.

I felt uneasy about taking the next small step however, I also felt the need to speak with someone. So I contacted Steps2wellbeing and they kindly arranged (for free) for me to have one to one sessions with a qualified member of their team. It was good that I decided to do something and though I was a bit unsure overall, I was happy with my decision to call them.

I attended the first session on a bright and breezy sunny day. As I entered the room I was greeted with a warm welcoming greeting.  After I sat down she was smiling and had a calm and relaxing tone to her voice. At first, I found it was a bit hard to talk about my experiences that made me feel unwell, however the lady made it easy to talk about them and at the end I filled in her questionnaire. Overall the experience was okay and the following sessions it was easier as I got to know her.

I had to remember that this was her career and there were many more people she sees during the day. A part of me wished I could have stayed longer as she really calmed me down and helped me. I understood that the session had to come to a close and she needed to see someone who maybe was in the same boat as me, so I was happy to wait until the next week.

Steps2Wellbeing and that lady showed me kindness by helping me but not only that, she showed me it’s okay to say something if I’m not feeling okay and she helped me in a warm and friendly way. Thanks to her I’m in the process of setting up my own business which will also be kind to others and help them.”

About the hub

The Portsmouth and Southampton Time to change hub is delivered in partnership by Southampton City Council and Portsmouth City Council, co-ordinated by Solent Mind.

We are committed to the Hub being led by Champions. There are many ways that registered Champions can get involved in the direction of the Hub, including joining us at Steering Group meetings. If you’d like to find out more please contact

If you are looking for support with your mental health or wellbeing at this difficult time, please visit our services page.