AN Erskine mum has penned a special poem as part of a campaign to break down the stigma of mental health. 

Suzanne Baines, 48, has taken the decision to speak out about the subject with her work featuring in a booklet produced by the Renfrewshire Anti-Stigma Alliance (RASA). 

After working in health and social care for several years, the mum-of-two found herself out of a job as she struggled with mental health problems stemming from abuse in childhood.


She had lost her income and her family life and marriage began to suffer.

As her feelings of desperation plummeted to a new low, Suzanne felt as if she could not go on and made an attempt to end her life.

But, Suzanne has thankfully recovered and has shared her story in a poem and spoken to The Gazette in an attempt to help others. 

Her poem was put in a booklet, called Poems with Purpose, along with work from other peoplpe and each of them focuses on the importance of connection and the difference that can make to someone’s health, wellbeing and recovery.

Read Suzanne's poem below 

STIGMA is defined as a mark of disgrace, 
A negative mindset that we have to replace,
It pollutes the core principles of our very humanity,
And has no place whatsoever within our society.

It immediately devalues a person’s sense of self,
By labelling them as different from everyone else,
It’s unfair, unnecessary and very unkind,
And it can affect both the body and the mind.

It can destroy a person’s self-esteem,
As they lose sight of who they could have been,
Because suddenly they are viewed as broken and flawed,
And assessed by what feels like the firing squad.

Instead of seeing the person inside, and all the knowledge and skills they provide,
A label is created by societal views, which decades on, we’re still trying to diffuse.

But where there’s a will, there will be always be a way, to make social change, starting today,
By standing up to injustice more and more, 
Remember, courage can whisper and not just roar.

There are so many tasks that we all can do, 
Individually and collectively to make a breakthrough,
It can be in your home, community or workplace, 
And be as simple as offering some breathing space,

So, how about in the year 2019,
We keep facing our fears and following our dreams, 
As we continue to support one another, peer-to-peer 
And strengthen our communities, year on year?

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