Stigma Fighters: Liam Kennedy

Hello my name is Liam Kennedy and I have suffered with mental health problems for seven years but I am currently into eighteen months of recovery.

Through my period of recovery I have become so much stronger and have got my confidence back and then some.

I don’t see myself as being stronger than any other mental health sufferer in the world, I just believe I am very lucky to have accessed this inner strength and have managed to fight back.

Don’t get me wrong I have worked tirelessly since the first day of my recovery and my relentless desire to survive will continue to gather momentum but I am also lucky to be in this position as so many people don’t find this inner strength.

I have acquired a skill I did not know I had in creative writing and also poetry which has a powerful message in each piece directed to my fellow mental health sufferers who are going through tough times and I believe I can motivate and inspire the individual who manage to read them.

I’m in a very privileged position to be able to do this and feel I am a voice that can make a difference to a lot of people’s lives by representing every mental health sufferer.

There are a lot of ignorant people out there who look down at mental health sufferers and perceive us in an extremely stereotypical way which is disrespectful and hurtful.

This also makes it even more increasingly difficult for mental health sufferers to open up and speak about their problems and instead hide away and suffer in silence because they believe it is wrong to have mental health problems and to also admit it.

I know this from experience as I was once in this position and it is an horrendous feeling of worthlessness and confusion, i understand what I have managed to do in terms of recovery and what I am doing now with my writing and being so open and telling the whole world my story and the problems I have faced is very brave but I was confident enough to take on this decision and it was the correct one, I’ve never had any doubt about this.

I want to be able to speak about my problems and educate not just mental health sufferers with wisdom and guidance and giving each individual hope and light at the end of the tunnel but also the people who dismiss us as “mad people”, they make these horrendous comments without even knowing anything about mental health and the problems we as sufferers go through each day.

I want to be a voice that’s heard and represent mental health sufferers and fight the stigma because if I didn’t do this then it would be the biggest regret of my life.

By being able to do this I can hopefully infect my fellow mental health sufferers and give them the confidence they used to have or have never had.

We are all just normal people who have unfortunately gone through a really tough period and then require professional help through possibly medication and support.

There are so many people suffering in the world through denial and the thought of being labelled different by the public is a frightening prospect, once again I speak from experience.

I’m passionate about this subject and I want to be heard and I want to fight for the cause, I live for this and it’s the reason I wake up every single day not just to help my fellow mental health sufferers but also to fight the stigma attached to mental health.

I will be heard and I will be effective with this, all you people out there who are not educated with mental health issues but are quick enough to judge, you will either “see the light” and change your views or you will be silenced by my words.

NEVER GIVE UP!!!

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My name is Liam Kennedy and I am 27 years of age, I have suffered with mental health problems for nearly 8 years.

I have had countless tests thrown at me and have come out on top on each occasion, I am battle hardened and I am now 19 months into a period of recovery were I have blossomed into an extremely POSITIVE man and I have made it my mission to help as many mental health sufferers as possible with my motivational writing, poetry and videos i make.

I love playing football, lifting weights, playing rugby and I love mixed martial arts, any exercise really as it helps me combat my depression and schizophrenia.

I am a member of 2 poetry groups and I have made a few short films with spoken word poetry.

I have my own feature in a couple of articles in the Everton in the Community and Blackburn creative support Social Inclusion newsletters.

My Motto in Life is NEVER GIVE UP!!!