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‘Stigma never helped anyone, did it?’ I say,

and you look at me
like a baby from a pram,
desperately seeking reassurance;
your vulnerability tracing 
my every move.

And your eyes
stare –
a body of emotion, rising; 
sadness surging, flowing down 
your face.

And in this fixed gaze
humanity ties our souls,
and we scream a silent recognition: 
we are all mad 
for happiness, love, acceptance.


Lizzie Ashworth


This poem was inspired by my support work in South Queensferry. 

As professionals working within mental health, I’m often aware how we can appear to ‘have it all sorted’ when actually most people are struggling to manage parts of themselves; their problems, their families, their anxieties, their pasts.

Herein lies the importance of tackling the stigma around mental health. We all have mental health, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse, and it's okay to need to help. We need not be alone or ashamed by our struggles.


Lizzie Ashworth is one of Health in Mind's Community Mental Health Workers. In her spare time she paints, draws and writes poetry. Her images and prose explore human relationships and vulnerabilities, and commonly draw similarities between human experiences and those that exist in nature. 



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