Mind

Home and Away star's boyfriend shares open letter about what it’s like living with someone with a mental illness

Home and Away star Sam Frost has shared the heartfelt essay penned by her partner in the hopes it will help others support their loved ones too.

Since the heartbreaking twist which saw Sam Frost jilted as the winner and fiancée of Blake Garvey in the 2014 season of the Bachelor Australia, which later included a stint on the Bachelorette, Sam has since forged a career as a radio host and actress on Home and Away as Jasmine Delaney.
However, while from the outside it might seem like the 30-year-old Aussie actress is going from strength to strength, it has by no means been an easy ride, with Sam often sharing her struggles with depression and anxiety as part of her mental health initiative Believe By Sam Frost, which she created with her sister Kristine.

With the goal to shine much needed light on mental health and to support, connect, inspire and educate others who may be suffering, in a post shared to her website Sam explains she'd asked her partner of two years, Dave Bashford, to share his own experience of what it's like to be with "someone who suffers from the silent disease, in the hope to help others who may be trying to support a loves one as well."
Dave begins by writing that living with a partner that suffers from mental illness can be "challenging", and goes on to explains some of the signs your partner might be struggling with mental illness could include: having a short temper, being irrational, emotional, distant, unmotivated.
"The most important thing that I've learnt throughout my relationship with Sam is that I am not a professional and solving her problems isn't what I am there for," Dave writes.
"When things start to get tough for her I will listen and give some voice of reason, but most importantly I will reassure her. She doesn't need me to fix what is upsetting her. She needs reassurance and an ear.
"Giving her moments to vent out her sometimes irrational thinking. I will listen to try and what understand what is going on in her mind and heart."
Adding: "These feelings are very real and can't be discredited. I know I can't make the pain or sadness go away. All I can do is tell her how much I love her, and remind her that everything is going to be ok."

Dave shares that talking to Sam about her mental illness was his "key to understanding it", and says he took the time to educate himself and research mental illness and together they worked to understand her triggers to help avoid possible breakdowns.
"We work this through together as a team, as well as speaking to her psychologist," Dave says.
Dave stresses the importance of reassurance saying he doesn't get upset or angry with her if she's struggling and her anxiety or depression might get in the way of something they may have planned.
"I reassure her that everything is ok and whatever the problem is, we can work through it together."
And in a touching note to Sam at the end of the essay Dave pens: "Seeing you grow from a beautiful, caring yet fragile girl into a fierce, strong, gorgeous woman has been so special. I am very proud of you.
"How far you have come in your personal and professional life is inspirational. My life is forever better with you in it."