ONE of the most effective health campaigns of recent years has to be the shift in attitudes when it comes to talking openly about mental health.

Once upon a time, this was a fiercely taboo subject; rarely spoken of in the home, the workplace, or mentioned in public life.

It is shocking to think back to those times. Society often made it worse by refusing to recognise such problems existed and made sufferers feel isolated.

Sufferers were dismissed with vague euphemisms such as being ‘bad with their nerves,’ – such was the unnecessary social stigma.

Yet fast forward a couple of decades and mental health is firmly part of our lexicon and not before time.

Wider society woke up and realised that this is a topic too dangerous to be brushed under the carpet.

Talking about mental health is often an important first step towards feeling better, while discussing our problems openly should be seen as a sign of strength, not weakness.

That is why it is great to see sporting figures such as ex-rugby star Danny “Scully” Sculthorpe openly telling his own survival story about depression.

When people see that even a rough, tough strapping six-footer who played one of our hardest sports at the highest level can be affected and recover, it sends an important message of hope to people out there.