MENTAL illness is leaving friends in Hampshire lost for words and suffering on their own, latest figures have revealed.

A shocking 77 per cent of people in the south-east who have battled with mental health problems say they have lost friendships as a result of their illness, according to a survey commissioned for Time to Change.

It comes as the country’s biggest ever mental health anti-stigma programme, It’s Time to Talk.

It’s Time to Change aims to get people talking about their issues and end needless isolation.

The survey also revealed that 68 per cent of people in the south-east know someone who has experienced a mental health problem, highlighting the fact that most people will have a friend who needs their support.

The campaign, run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, hopes by getting people to talk, the awkwardness surrounding the issue will be removed, allowing people to be more open about it.

Amanda Lamb, who is backing the campaign just weeks after offering her support to the Dave Wellman Cancer Trust in Hampshire, said: “Mental health problems have affected members of my family in different ways over the years, and my brother Simon has suffered with bouts of depression his entire life.

“Being there for him and talking about his condition has brought us closer together. It has helped me to understand what he is going through and shows him that I am there for him when he is having a tough day.

“It’s so important that we all become more open about mental health so that we can help those around us who need our support.

Simple things such as asking someone round for a cup of tea, keeping in touch and reminding them you care can make a big difference.”