TWO residents in supported housing have spoken of how mental health can affect anyone.

Hugh Irvine and Steve Swettenham, who live at Plowright House run by Peabody in Colchester, made a film to show how mental breakdowns can hit at any time.

Hugh, 53, is a former managing director of a successful scaffold company and has been in supported housing since January last year, following a nervous breakdown.

He said he did not seek help quickly enough and struggled on until it was too late.

He also describes the irrational but overwhelming anxiety and shame he felt before he was referred to supported housing.

He said: "I was burdened with an awful lot, I fought through all sorts of things in my life but depression is something I fear immensely.

"It's overwhelming, I have been so ashamed but that is probably how this thing leaves you feeling."

Steve, 60, has just moved into Plowright House. He worked for Rolls Royce until December last year when his diabetes caused him to fall and become temporarily paralysed.

Whilst in hospital Steve had a mental collapse.

He said: "I smashed my head open on a brick wall and when I was in the diabetic unit I just fell apart.

"There's loads of people who suffer with it and it's an illness like any other."

People referred to Peabody will be allocated support workers and accommodation for up to two years.

Carolyn Collier, supported housing manager for Peabody in Essex, said: "Working with the county council, NHS and others, Peabody offers people a safe and supportive environment to get their lives back on track.

"We put the most vulnerable first and the service we offer is a platform from which people can regain independence and rebuild their lives."

To watch the full video search for Peabody Voices: Hugh and Steve talk to us during Mental Health Awareness Week on YouTube.