Posted in mental health, mental health awareness, mental health campaigner

Can You Help Bring A Mental Health Awareness Event To Life?

One of my main mental health awareness goals for 2019 has been to hold an event.

I think so often it’s easy to focus on the negatives of mental illness that we forget about those out there that struggle, battle their own brains everyday but go on to help others.

I want to create an event that recognises those people, that recognises those one in a million professionals and that allows people to share their stories to offer hope to others.

I have been lucky enough to have been given a complimentary venue from the Bierkeller in Birmingham which is amazing seen as even Solihull and Birmingham Mental Health Foundation Trust woukd not offer their own venue/function room for this event, telling me that that had yearly financial targets to hit…. (Shocking I know, this is the mental health trust for the whole of solihull and Birmingham!)

There will be many more costs however and while my usual projects are funded from my own pocket with the occasional very kind donation, this project I will need some support with.

Unfortunately it doesn’t fit the criteria for any finding that I have looked at so I’m looking for your help!

This event will benefit not only those in Birmingham or those that attend but I hope as I have found through my other projects those further afield that read about it, hear about it to show that you CAN overcome, you CAN achieve and that there is hope.

I would really appreciate any help and 100% of all donations will go towards making this event happen!

Please see my fundraising page here

Posted in mental health, mental health awareness, mental health campaigner

Tree Of Hope – Mental Health Awareness Project Made Worthwhile In One Single Moment

Some people may think do little mental health awareness projects really make a difference?

What difference can I make to anyone with just little old me?

As you will see from my previous posts, one of my personal mental healrh projects this Christmas was my tree of hope in the local park:

Today an elderly man approached me as I was replenishing the hearts which are attached for those struggling with their mental health to take away which all have the Samaritans number on the back.

He asked if he could have a heart as he lost his wife 12 months ago. I chatted to him for a while and he told me how he was “feeling fed up with himself” and wanted Christmas to be over.

We chatted and he told me he felt he should be moving on and be getting over it but he’s not.

He asked for a pink heart as it would remind him of her and I gave him a hug.

He squeezed me so tight and said “I haven’t had one of those for so long”

I literally wanted to adopt this man forever and I did shed a tear as he walked away after saying thank you with such sincerity clinging to the little pink heart. I am so glad I was able to make if only a small positive difference to his day and I will be thinking of him over Christmas.

This one moment made the whole project worthwhile.

I have made a vlog about this here:

Is this project only created that one moment then that’s what it was for. I always do these things thinking if it impacts one person then it’s worth it. Today I met that person. It reaffirmed why I do these projects and why they are important.

One person helping one person. That’s all it takes sometimes. One moment. One small gesture.

Today made me so happy that I met this man who happened to be walking past at that moment and stopped to talk.

You never know who you will meet, what they are dealing with and just a little moment can mean so much.

Never think as one person you can’t make an impact or make a difference because you could just make a difference to someones day. People helping people.

There’s so much to be said for it so please take a moment to reach out to someone this Christmas. You neber know what it may mean ♡

Posted in mental health, mental health awareness, mental health campaigner

Words Of Hope Video – In Bloom Not Broken

I have put this video together to help and inspire others that may be struggling with their mental health and to promote mental health awareness.

Everyone in this video has personal experience of mental health issues and have all come together to create a video to tell others that it’s okay not to be okay, it’s okay to have mental health issues and to talk about it and most of all, things can and will get better.

I have done projects within the local community and I wanted to do something that was accessible to more people and available online to offer hope and inspire others especially as it is nearly Christmas.

While it may be “The season to be jolly” , the fact is that a lot of people, myself included struggle around Christmas and New Year for a variety of reasons and so I wanted to put something out there from people of different backgrounds, from across the world sharing pieces of hope from their own experiences with mental illness.

There is a lot to be said from hearing words of encouragement from people that have been there and so I hope people get some comfort from this video and will share it to offer hope to others who may be struggling right now.

 

 

follow me on twitter @KatieHoughton85

Posted in mental health, mental health campaigner

UK Blog Awards – Please Vote for me ♡

I’m through to the next stage of the UK Blog Awards 2019 which is very exciting!

The UK Blog Awards celebrates bloggers from a whole range of different categories and I am under the “Mental Health” and “Wellbeing” categories.

These awards mean the world to me due to their ethos and what understand for. Alot of their social posts are very much of my own beliefs and what I try to convey and so I’m chuffed to bits that I am in this next round.

40% of this next round is on public vote and so very much in your hand and I would be SO grateful if you could take seconds to vote for me HERE

To win this would be amazing, I often doubt myself and so this would not only be a major achievement for me but it would also have the potential to open up further possibilities and opportunities to use my voice and experience to help others which is what I ultimately want to do.

Some of you may or may not know that I start a counselling course next week (on my birthday!) Which I have wanted to do for at least 8 years!! My ultimate goal and dream is to one day have a little retreat where people can go when feeling suicidal with no where else to go for a respite.

All of the things I am doing here with this website, with the media things I’ve been involved with, these awards I feel it’s all to lead to something where I can use my voice on a larger scale and have a little house of hope! That’s the dream. That’s the goal and these awards are another little step in that direction for me so it really would mean the world to me if you could vote and share to as others to do the same. I really would appreciate it ♡

Thank you lovelies ♡♡

Posted in mental health, Uncategorized

In Bloom Not Broken Publishing Contract!

As some of you may be aware I have written a book “In Bloom Not Broken” based on my own mental health journey.

I wanted to write a raw, honest account on the reality of living with more than one mental illness whilst offering hope that it is possible to come through the other side.

Writing the book was both difficult and therapeutic going through all my old diaries as I wanted to add unedited diary entries and poems written at the time of hospital admissions, depression, feeling suicidal, anorexia, self harm, bipolar and psychosis.

My book aims to take the reader through all of these things in an honest, non flouncy way.

I wanted to create something real knowing that in the time of suffering This is what I myself wanted. Something real to connect to to.

So the fabulous news is that I have signed a publishing contract with the fabulous Eliezer Tristan Publishing 😁

I can’t tell you how happy I am knowing that my story will be an actual book that actual people can actually read!!!!

It meant more to me that that they have an awesome non profit Stigma Fighters as this book to me was to raise awareness and fight stigma by giving an honest account so I am delighted to sign with them for the publishing of my book and I hope this will further allow me to.use my experiences and my voice to raise awareness on mental illness and treatment.

I recently took part in an awesome project called The Open Shutters Project which was about the positives that come from having a mental illness.

We had to take along an object that meant something to us In terms of our mental health this was my portrait which has been in an exhibition in Manchester (Copyright Lisa Marie Gee)

My object was my manuscript as it was a marker to me how far I had come to be able to write 84,000 words about my own journey, go through multiple diaries and be able to do that without melting in an aim to help others and show they are not alone and so the publishing contract has meant the world to me!

I will post and update when its available to buy and if it helps one person then it will have been worth it. ♡

There is a lot to be said for books and relating to someone else’s story and that is my aim so please do keep an eye out for when it’s available to buy and let me know what you think!

Never give up on your dreams guys – You never know what tomorrow will bring. We never know what is just around that little corner ♡

Posted in mental health, Uncategorized

Who would have thunk it?!

So today I Did a shoot for Lloyds Bank #GetTheInsideOut campaign.

Who would have thought just as little as three years ago that I would be doing the things that I am for mental health awareness?!

Today I’m stood there being filmed and realised how far I had come and how none of us know what will happen.

Here’s why…..♡

#GetTheInsideOut

Talk to someone – Don’t be ashamed of your story. One day it will inspire others ♡

Posted in mental health, Uncategorized

To You On World Mental Health Day 2018

It’s World Mental Health Day 2018 and it’s great when these dates come around as there is so much more conversation around mental health which can only be a good thing.

It’s also important to remember however that mental health is something we need to be aware of everyday. For ourselves and for those around us. Mental health awareness needs to be there 24/7 the same as our physical health.

For people affected by mental health which is 1 in 4 it’s not exclusive to mental health day, it’s a day to day battle of fighting for ourselves and far too often, our lives.

With the success of my recent campaign “hearts of hope” with personal notes being an effective way of reaching people struggling, for those of you that don’t live local and so haven’t been able to go and get one of my notes and whom haven’t received Happy post from me I wanted to write you a letter here, to anyone that may be struggling and finding things difficult – This is for you.

Dear You,

To the person that feels lonely, scared, ashamed, hopeless and who is struggling today, I want to tell you that you are going to be okay. It may not feel that way now, but it will.

You see I have felt hopeless, lonely and had given up on my life once too. I planned to end my life. I was in so much pain with so much confusion that I didn’t know which way was up. I barely functioned and I battled my way through 15 years of trying to get the right treatment. That may be the last thing you want to hear. 15 years is an awfully long time but there were good times within that too and I battled my way through. It’s not like that for everyone, everyones journey and path is different. Even with the same diagnosis no two people are the same. For you, your journey will be different too, it wont go the way mine did – because you are you and that alone is something to celebrate. There is not another you on this planet – just you – one of a kind and you are all kinds of amazing.

You may be new to struggling with mental health and wondering what you’re supposed to do and may not have told anyone yet how you are feeling. Or like me you may be an old hat and more aware of what is going on and how to manage that better. Wherever you are on that journey however it still hurts the same when it hurts and the black is as black when going through a depression, the delusions are still as scary each time they roll around – Whatever it is that you are struggling with when it’s bad it’s bad and we all cope in our own ways as will you.

What I want you to know today is that I know what it’s like to feel hopeless, I know what it is to break in to a million tiny pieces and feel like it’s impossible to glue all those pieces back together to resemble something called life. I also know that is possible.

Now I’m not perfect. Far from it. I have moods that flail around at times, I have anxiety and that gets the better of me, I still check pointless objects at night as part of an OCD ritual to make sure they are still there. I still take lithium and quetiapine to keep my brain on track and throw in a clonazepam a day to keep the anxiety at bay. There is no such thing as a perfect recovery in mental health. It’s a process of management. Of learning about yourself, what makes you tick, what makes you break, your limits and learning to manage your life and your illness but do you know what? That’s okay!!!! if you’re not there yet then you will be.

You may be thinking “That’s great for her and I’m never going to feel that way” That’s okay too because that’s exactly what I thought when I read things like this, I thought it happened to “other people” and how great that was for them but that I was too broken.

This is why I created the hashtag #InBloomNotBroken which will also hopefully be the title of my book when it’s published because no one is too broken, we are simply in bloom. That means you too.

I nearly ended my life and quirk of fate stopped that from happening and now my god am I glad I didn’t!! I struggle but i’m better than I was, I do things that matter to me, I have a beautiful daughter to see grow up. I may not have the uni degree or the career…I’ve spent so much time in hospital and in the depths of mental illness that wasn’t possible but just because that’s what society tells us is success, actually it’s not. Success derives from happiness in whatever form that will take so screw what anyone thinks – If I have a period where I’m happy and healthy then I deem myself very bloody successful.

You have a purpose. If you feel you don’t then you just haven’t found it yet. You will find it. If you are struggling remember – This isn’t the forever you, it’s just the for now you and you will find the true you again, just give yourself time. Everything needs time, a cold, a flu, a broken leg – Mental Illness is no different.

You will be okay. I promise. Just be gentle with yourself, give yourself time, don’t push yourself to do what you think you should just for that reason alone, listen to your gut, take time for you, listen to yourself and fight for the right help and treatment – you deserve that, don’t put up with being lost in the system.

If you are struggling but haven’t told anyone yet please take the first step of doing this. It’s hard, scary but it’s vital. Holding it back doesn’t nothing but make it grow. Tell a friend, a family member or talk to someone in confidence like the samaritans who you can call free 24 hours a day on 116 123.

Don’t suffer in silence.

Don’t be ashamed to be you.

And don’t be ashamed of your story. One day it will inspire others.

Take care of you

Lots of love

Katie

xxxx