I’m Emma and I’m a final year A level student. I have struggled with my mental health over the last few years and am determined to challenge the way we view mental illness. I’m a passionate mental health advocate within my school and community. I’m currently working to promote wellbeing, and address the language we use when discussing mental health.
Mental health affects us all
Like so many others, I have battled anxiety, depression and issues surrounding food for the vast majority of my teenage years. At home I have witnessed the impact having a dad with bipolar disorder has on a family and our unconventional relationships.
I’m interested in pyschotic disorders
For school I’m completing an independent research project. I decided to investigate how being educated about mental health can help break the stigma surrounding it. I took a particular interest in psychotic disorders, as I believe schools give no education to staff or students on these illnesses. I’m currently planning an assembly to present to staff at my school to educate them on the facts of mental health, and to give them advice to help students who may be struggling.
There are so many misconceptions
I think the main misconceptions of psychotic disorders are that those struggling are dangerous and crazy. This is by far not the case, in fact sufferers of disorders such as schizophrenia and post-partum psychosis are more of a danger to themselves than to anyone else.
I have supported many of my peers with their mental wellbeing and through this have seen how everyone can struggle with the same illness but in a unique way. Some people can be very high functioning with their illness whilst others struggle to make it through the day. Despite this, we are united together to support one another become strong again. Without the support of teachers, friends and family, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Technology has had a positive influence on my mental health
It’s connected me with a large circle of supportive friends who I could turn to. It provides me with funny animal videos when I need to laugh, and it has allowed me to access support I was too scared to reach out for in person. As long as you know how to take a break from technology, and to avoid anything that might upset you, I think it’s full of helpful tools.
It’s so important to believe in yourself
Even on the toughest days, remind yourself that it’s you that has got yourself through each day so far and so it is you who can get through whatever comes at you next. But allowing people to support you is okay too – Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t win the match on his own!
I set small realistic goals
I write a daily to do list on my phone that I tick off as the day goes on. On some of my worst days it would simply just say get up, eat something and that was it! You can get through it, just never give up.
AnxietyUK run helplines, email support, live chats and therapy services for people with anxiety disorders. 08444 775 774
Welcome to The Mix, the online guide to life for young people in the UK.
Your Voices is a community-focused section of The Mix where you can share stories about your experiences on a specific issue. Upload your own videos, images, blog posts, and playlists to Your Voices and share them with your friends.
Don't have a Your Voices account? Sign up here to submit your own content.