I am pleased to see the choice of charities for the Guardian Christmas appeal this year, as I have worked as a mental health nurse for more than 30 years. Beyond the Cuckoo’s Nest is a project in Rotherham that has been active for over 20 years. The main aim is to challenge stigma by giving a voice to people with lived experience of mental health conditions, especially psychosis. This often involves presentations in schools and colleges.
Your article on young carers (Haven for isolated young carers of parents with mental illness, 13 December) brought to mind an experience we had in a local secondary school. Year 11 students listened to experiences of mental health difficulties and recovery. As we were leaving one explained that she was a young carer for her mother, who had been diagnosed with a psychosis seven years earlier. She had never disclosed this at school because of fear the stigma would lead to her being bullied. Having heard people describe their experience, she now felt able to talk about her own experience. A teacher pointed out that a support plan could now be developed for the girl.