Living Library   


The idea of the Kingston Living Library is that you can borrow a person to speak to about their lived experience rather than borrowing a book to read. Thereby helping others to understand the impact mental illness can have on people’s lives and to reduce the stigma.

The Champions wanted to share their experiences virtually to give people the option of learning more about mental health from the comfort of their own home.

On this page, you will find Champion’s written stories and audio recordings on various mental health topics, talking from their personal experiences. If you would like to learn more about someone’s story, simply click on their page. 

We hope you find it interesting and informative!  We regularly organise Living Library events throughout the year, where you will get the opportunity to speak with our Champions in person. Our upcoming events are advertised here


Eli’s Story

I am a classically trained musician and music teacher. I love going to the theatre and music concerts. I have been living with a mental health condition for 15 years.



Rachel’s Story

I love podcasts, travelling and disappearing into a good book. I currently have three jobs: working in mental health, with children in schools and most recently as a trained massage therapist.



Sarah’s Story

I am a fashion designer, exploring social issues through sculptured garments. I also work part-time for Mind in Kingston. In my spare time I enjoy meditating, going for walks in nature, and being creative. I have Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD).




Sheena’s Story

I love to sing. It’s my therapy. I sing in the Sisterhood Choir at the Kingsgate Church. I was diagnosed with ADHD at 47.




Tony’s Story

I’m passionate about community-led projects and making things happen that grow my
own wellbeing and the wellbeing of people around me. 10 years ago I was diagnosed with
depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation.




Fabian’s Story

Trigger warning: suicide. Overwhelming feelings of work-related anxiety led Fabian to a complete loss of
self-confidence, followed by depression and, ultimately, thoughts of taking his own life.




Jun-te’s Story

Hey I’m Jun-te, a software engineer in London and currently 27 years old. I suffered a severe manic episode
back in June 2019 and wanted to share my story from how I got crazy, to realising that I was ill and then getting




Hannah’s Story

In 2017, a single mum to an 11-month-old baby, Hannah thought life was over, homeless, heavily in
addiction with severe mental health difficulties. Today, Hannah is able to share how they conquered
their demons.




Dorota’s Story

I am a self-taught artist and poet/writer based in London who lives with bipolar affective disorder. Art making is my medicine. Creativity helps me to cope with mental health challenges but it also became my way of advocating to raise awareness around ill mental health.




Deborah’s Story

I am a beauty and lifestyle blogger and enjoy getting involved in community projects. A traumatic childhood and toxic relationship in university, led me to thoughts of self-harm before I summoned the courage to seek therapy.




Jacqui’s Story

Hello, I’m Jacqui and I’ve been asked to talk to you for a few minutes about my personal experience of the stigma around mental ill-health. I’m going to be mentioning suicidal thoughts and if, at any moment you get triggered or feel distressed, please take a break and take a moment for yourself … or even skip this recording
as a whole.




David’s Story

My name is David. I am a writer, and have struggled with my mental health for many years, it has become part of me, has shaped me, but my diagnosis is not all of who I am. I am proud to be a Champion for Change and part of the Living Library, because I think it is important that we know that mental health affects so many of us. Everyone’s experience is so unique, diverse, and fundamental to who we are, and I have shared one fragment of my memory, to offer a window into my life.




Monique’s Story

Trigger warning: sexual abuse. I am a trained Language Arts middle school teacher born in South Africa and
working in the UK. I love anything children in education, volunteering, writing and art. I have been living with a
mental illness for 15 years and counting.