Stand Up

Angela McCrimmon - a professional singer and poet – was diagnosed with a severe mental illness when she was 19 years old. She writes poetry about her experiences of living with her condition. She is involved in advocacy work to help remove stigma and discrimination from people who have a mental illness. She says:

”I'm so grateful that I have an inner strength and determination to live the best life I can. For years I was a passenger in my care. It took me years to find my voice but now I want to stand up for myself and all those who have yet to find their own.” 

Read more about Angela’s journey. Below is her poem 'Stand Up' which we are sharing as part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2024. You can click below to listen to the poem being ready by Angela.

Stand Up  

They say we should stand for something so I’m standing for this, 

A voice for the broken, to ensure we’re not dismissed, 

An example of the fact that you should not discriminate, 

We don’t dislike ourselves, it’s the illness that we hate! 


We don’t want to wear a label to help you define, 

Whatever mental illness takes over our minds, 

To you a diagnosis, to us a compromise, 

Our place within society and all that it implies. 


We are all individuals yet quite often just the same, 

We get off the rollercoaster then we get back on again, 

We have much more wisdom and the credit we are due, 

That’s why I’m going to fight to try and educate you. 


We don’t want “attention” it’s “understanding” that we seek, 

All we want is you to listen when we take the time to speak, 

It’s important you’re aware that our opinion counts too, 

It’s crucial that you realise what your ignorance can do. 


I won’t drown anymore in the sadness or the shame, 

If I get knocked down I’ll get up and fight again, 

I’ll fight for all the many damaged injured souls, 

And for all the self-respect that our mental illness stole. 


Most of all I’ll stand up for what I truly do believe, 

The things so clear to me yet what you do not perceive, 

The things that I have learned as I’ve travelled on life’s way, 

I’ll stand up for the reasons I am standing here today. 

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry