Gill's Story

After a series of major life changes, Gill and her family decided to relocate to Devon in 2011 for a better quality of life. However, ‘living the dream’ didn’t quite go according to plan when Gill became severely depressed. Gill went through a living hell she previously never knew existed. Ashamed and embarrassed, she did her best to hide her illness from friends and family.
After a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, things improved but she never took the time to understand the illness or to make changes to her life. Not surprisingly, a few months later, the illness returned. This time it hit her much harder and her descent was much more rapid. In March 2013, she attempted to take her own life by jumping from a bridge.

Miraculously, she survived. In her journey back to physical and mental health, she learned a lot about depression, suicide and herself. Determined not just to survive but to thrive, she became her own mental health expert, researching depression to ensure she would never find herself in that dark place again.

Motivated by a desire to spare others a similar experience, Gill shared her story at TEDx Exeter in the spring of 2017. The overwhelming response to her talk made her realise that in sharing her journey, she could really make a difference to people’s lives, shining a spotlight on an all too often taboo subject and highlighting the importance for us all to actively look after our mental health.
Gill Hayes

Gill’s story was incredible and I really can’t remember the last time a speaker left me and quite a lot of the rest of the audience with tears in our eyes .. Gill’s story is powerful and needs to be heard.

Susan Gee ~ Yorkshire Water