The UK is facing a mental health crisis and one in four people will experience mental health problems this year, according to the charity Mind.
The number of people receiving medication for anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic attacks has also more than doubled over the last decade.
But while mental health problems seem to be increasing, talking treatments like counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy can be difficult to access on the NHS.
Government targets say that people with mental health problems should be able to have talking therapy within 18 weeks of referral, but in some cases, it is even longer.
And the distance people have to travel for NHS therapy is increasing, according to the British Medical Association.
Things are getting worse not better. Between 2014-15 and 2016-17 there was a 40% increase in patients being sent more than 30 miles for treatment.
One person was even sent from Somerset to the Highlands for therapy.
TV therapist Steve McKeown is determined to do something to help. This April, he will be walking from Eastbourne to Southampton to raise awareness of mental health issues.
The 90-mile walk, which will take place between April 5 and 8, is intended to give members of the public a chance to access Steve’s therapy and coaching services for free.
“My services are unique because I have a lot of different specialisms, from neuro-linguistic programming, to psychoanalysis, counselling, cognitive coaching and hypnosis,” says Steve.
“All those things combined mean I can generally find a tool to help someone who is suffering from mental health problems.”
Members of the public will be invited to join Steve on the walk and talk about their mental health issues.
“Walking is a great way to tackle mental health problems because of the endorphins that are created by doing it.
People can turn up and walk with me for as long as their legs will carry them,” says Steve.
“Anyone can come along. And any other therapists who want to give up their time to come along as well and offer their services for free are welcome. We’re trying to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.”
The walk will also raise money for YoungMinds, a charity which helps children and young people access mental health support.
“As a psychoanalyst, I know that a lot of our issues as adults come from childhood,” says Steve.
“It’s our blueprint and that determines the way we look at everything else in life.
“If we can help people who struggle with their mental health as children, hopefully we can save a lot of people from suffering as adults.”
On the walk, Steve will be joined by Ultimate Fighting Championship commentator, John Gooden. John knows all too well how important awareness of mental health issues is after losing a friend to suicide last year.
“Sadly, just before the phone call about the walk came from Steve, a friend of mine took his own life,” says John.
“He left behind a wife and a child and it was very sudden. He was the happiest guy in the room. No one ever thought this would happen.”
Keen to stress the importance of men in particular opening up about their mental health, John adds, “Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 35. That is a harrowing statistic. It’s horrendous.
“Three-quarters of all suicides are by men as well, which all points to the fact that they don’t seem to have an outlet, and they’re not opening up.
“We need vehicles in which we can make that more acceptable.”
When he takes part in the walk in April, John will be doing so in memory of his friend.
“To be in a position where you think you have no other choice but to take your own life is petrifying and deeply saddening.
“I’m sure he would be proud of what we’re doing if he were here today.”
Alongside Steve and John, personal trainer Phil Burman, 43 (see panel, right) and mum-of-two Sarah Brown will also be doing the coastal walk.
She has suffered with anxiety for nearly eight years. “One day I was walking through the supermarket with my son in the trolley and I started having a panic attack.
“I felt like the whole world was closing in on me, I didn’t know what was going on and felt I couldn’t breathe,” explains Sarah, a stay-at-home mum who lives in Worthing, West Sussex.
She ran to her car with her son and called her husband Paul, 36, a cable jointer.
“I sat in the car and I was crying. I couldn’t get my breath. My husband calmed me down,” she says.
After that, Sarah was filled with constant dread and started having panic attacks every week. She went to her GP and was prescribed antidepressants.
“I was diagnosed with anxiety and put on tablets called Sertraline, which helped,” says Sarah, who lives with her husband and their two children, Harvey, eight, and Miley, seven.
At first, Sarah was reluctant to tell her friends and family about her condition.
“I was embarrassed about it. For me, it felt like a sign of weakness and I don’t like people thinking that I’m weak,” she says.
But gradually she opened up to Paul and her friends. “My husband learnt how to do breathing techniques to help calm me down.
“When I was feeling panicky or anxious, he used to hold my hand and help me breathe. He’s been my rock,” she says.
Now Sarah has learnt to manage her anxiety, and her attacks have been reduced to around one a year.
By taking part in the walk, she’s keen to encourage others to talk about their issues.
“Taking medication really helped but talking to people you care about is the best medicine,” she says.
“As soon as you get it off your chest and somebody else is helping you carry the burden, it’s much easier to deal with.”
Therapy helped me go from agoraphobic to personal trainer
Phil Burman, 43, is a production manager and part-time personal trainer who lives
in Stevenage, Herts
Opening up about my mental health issues has transformed my life. Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve always suffered with poor mental health.
In my 20s and early 30s, I went through patches of depression when I couldn’t bear to get out of bed. I found socialising with other people particularly hard.
I was so anxious about what others thought about me that I struggled to leave the house.
And if I did go out, I would become paranoid that strangers in the street were staring at me, or whispering about me behind my back. For decades, I didn’t dare tell anyone how much I was struggling.
If I had to go out, I would drink alcohol to give me confidence.
And I was barely scraping through my job as an assembler at an engineering firm.
By my early 30s, I was overweight from drinking and comfort eating, and I was more depressed than ever.
Then one morning, I looked at myself in the mirror and realised I couldn’t go on living like this. I started going to the gym and got into powerlifting.
Suddenly I had something to focus on, and being able to lift heavier and heavier weights gave me a sense of achievement. With this new-found confidence, I finally plucked up the courage to seek help for my depression and anxiety.
Four years ago, I saw therapist Steve Mckeown, who helped me understand my feelings. He showed me how to channel my anxiety into my weightlifting and encouraged me to start my own business.
I became a personal trainer and three years ago I started my own fitness boot camps.
It’s so rewarding seeing people come to the classes with so little confidence and transform before my eyes into people who are fit and happy.
Since having therapy, I’ve been promoted at work and now I’m a production manager.
It’s also given me the courage to talk to my friends about my mental health struggles.
I always assumed that if I told anyone I was depressed, they would think differently of me. But, in fact, everyone has been really supportive, and it’s helped
me to recover.
Now, at 43, I’m a different man to who I was in my early 30s. Not only do I look like a different person because I drink less and exercise more, but I have bags of confidence.
Although I still have the odd day when I feel anxious or down, I deal with my emotions much better.
I would encourage anyone who’s struggling with their mental health to speak to a friend. It’s made me the man I am today.