A BUCKS man who survived a suicide attempt and grew up watching his mum struggle with alcoholism has shared his story in a bid to inspire others.

Matt Streuli, from Iver, currently works for the NHS, blogs for the Huffington post, and campaigns for mental health charity MIND - but despite his current successes, it has not been an easy road to get to where he is today.

From a young age he watched his mum struggle with alcoholism and was her sole carer until her untimely death in 2003 when Matt was only 13-years-old.

The tragedy proved traumatic for such a young teenager. Matt said: “By then the cogs of my mind had become warped through my experiences. Anxiety and depression were the start with growing fears around alcohol and those - especially women – under the influence of it.

“As a teenager, my depression became severe resulting in self-destructive behaviour.”

Matt has emphasised how important drama has been to him throughout the hard times. He said: “Being part of the Iver Heath Drama Club has been supportive and therapeutic through my life.

“As a child, it gave me friends and role models while on stage there was escapism - a few hours away from being a carer.”

In 2015, stress at work and his continuing battle with his mental health led to Matt attempting to take his own life - which he thankfully survived. Since then lots has changed - he left his old job that he felt brushed his health struggles aside and got married.

Matt now juggles a few jobs, and his incredible journey has led to him being a media campaigner for mental health charity MIND having appeared on BBC Newsbeat, Sky News and other programmes - sharing his story and hoping to help others going through a similar situation. He said: “Mental wellbeing is becoming more and more recognised in the workplace. Stress is one of the biggest causes of workplace absence, so it is in everyone’s interest to build a supportive and nurturing philosophy where the whole company grows.”

His love for drama continues and he is the chairman of the Iver Heath Drama Club. He said: “As an adult, it’s given me a way to give something back to the community.”

“Over the next few months, the drama club is working towards our January pantomime which this year is Snow White. I’m lucky enough to be the Dame.”

Matt is openly starting discussions about mental health and raising awareness on a national level as well as giving back to the community with his work at Iver Heath Drama Club, as he works to combine both his passions by producing a short film about mental health with production company ManMade.

If you are struggling with any of the issues touched upon in this article you can contact MIND on 0300 123 3393 or text them on 86463 and contact the Samaritans’ on 116 123.