A woman who was invited to Buckingham Palace for World Mental Health Day is encouraging more Wiganers to reach out for help with their mental health.
Angela Burchall rubbed shoulders with Prince Harry and other famous faces, as they all attended the Palace to raise awareness of mental health.
Angela, who works for mental health service Making Space, was one of 300 mental health workers from across the UK to be invited, after being nominated by the CEO of Making Space, Rachel Peacock, specifically for her contribution to mental health over her 12-year career.
Speaking about William and Kate, who also attended the event, the Golborne mum said: “They were so down to Earth. They are stepping in to make sure people know they can talk about their mental health.
“I had a chat with William and he asked where I was from because of my accent. When I told him, he said: Oh I love Wigan, I may have to come and see you!”
And Angela intends to hold the Duke of Cambridge to his word: “I’m going to send him a letter, inviting him up.”
Angela was also pictured engaging in a group conversation with Prince Harry, who is one of the ambassadors of mental health awareness.
“He was talking to us about speaking to The Queen, and saying they (The Royal Family) are now trying to get people to talk about mental health, and get more people on board.”
And Angela echoed the Prince’s comments, saying she avoided seeking help for her own mental illness out of fear of the reaction she might get.
“I told Harry that I had been in a black hole after losing my sister, and I said to him that I couldn’t talk about it.
“If I had told someone at work that I was struggling, I was worried I might lose my job. I thought, if I am working with mental health patients, how can I do my job properly if I have mental health problems too?
“People don’t talk about these things because they don’t know they can. But it’s good to talk. Don’t bottle it up.”
Making Space is a registered charity which provides high quality health and social care, including dementia support and mental health services. Visit www.makingspace.co.uk for more information.