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

How little projects can make an impact

I am super chuffed that in the last couple of days two of my pieces have been shared by the Huffington Post and The Mighty.

 

I think its so easy to assume as one human, just little old us we can’t possibly make a difference to this big wide world.

 

I am starting to challenge that within myself and think that maybe just maybe I can. We can. Not matter small it is, no matter what it is we choose to do to raise awareness, to be heard that it’s possible with a little hard work and determination and regarding mental health I have that in bucket loads oozing from my pores and I am DETERMINED to be a voice for those with mental illness.

My little tree of hope project was so simple. It cost me about £50 which I was more than happy to spend if it bought some hope to someone out there and that it did. It was also picked up on twitter with currently over 20k views and messages from others wanting to do the same, that means it not only impacted those walking past it in my local park but it also inspired people far and wide and it’s something that could be replicated so easily to offer hope and comfort and this gives ME hope.

The tree of hope was also picked up by the huffington post and you can see the article HERE

Screen Shot 2018-12-27 at 15.46.01.png

One of my favourite blog pieces was also picked up by The Mighty, it was one of my favourites as it was regarding the thing that I feel the most passionate about regarding mental health and that is treatment.

It’s a letter to mental health professionals from me and what i’d like them to know, on behalf of all mental health patients. You can see that article HERE

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So please do carry on your own projects, your own awareness activities, they DO make a a difference, we CAN make a difference and as I always say. Don’t be ashamed of your story. it will inspire others. So keep writing, sharing and inspiring my beauties because our voices matter.

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

What does someone with a mental illness look like?

“You don’t look like you have depression / bipolar / anxiety……..(fill gap as appropriate)

Ahhh if I’d had a penny every time I have heard such a statement.

The big question here is what ARE we supposed to look like?

What would make some one say ” ah yes I thought as much” unless they saw you in melt down mode?

This always makes me curious … What is it that people expect to see?

The truth ANYONE can suffer with a mental illness. The same as anyone cam get a flu, break their leg…..Mental health is no different and peaks and troughs just the same….just more so for some than others.

I made this video to try and make that point.

If someone saw me me on the street would they think I have bipolar? Used to have anorexia? I highly doubt it.

Mental illness is Invisible to most. Hidden. Secret at times and this is what makes it lethal at times. Never judge or make assumptions before you know facts. You can’t judge a book by its cover. You can’t judge a person by their face.

Posted in mental health

Coming Through The Worst Times – Suicide Awareness

Are you ever too “broken” to come through the worst times and planning to end your life?

No. It may seem that way, even truly feel like this is it, this is the end but it doesn’t have to be. It’s possible for things to change even when you’re sure they won’t.

I’ve spoken about this before but I believe it’s an Important topic so I’m touching on it again with the the help of my manuscript.

Sometimes it’s only possible to see how far you have come when you look back. That’s a hard thing to do, but sometimes necessary.

Going through multiple diaries to write my story which I hope to have published was difficult but extremely therapeutic and made me realise what I have been through and just how far I’ve come. Not only that but that even when all hope seems to have gone and you’re utterly spent it’s possibly for things to change.

If you’re reading this and going through depression, anxiety, an eating disorder or a really impossible point of your life please know that things can and do change. You just have to hold on.

Posted in mental health

Dear mental health professionals, yours sincerely – mental health patients everywhere.

If I could only raise awareness and campaign on one area of mental health it would be NHS services.

So many are being failed and spoken to in way which should never happen and I feel it’s an area that goes largely unoticed.

This is my letter to mental health professionals, what we want you to know. From mental health patients everywhere.

Posted in mental health

Self Harm And Stigma.

Katie houghton - self harm awareness - mental health
Self harm – BBC News – Katie Houghton

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-45345696

Self harm is misunderstood and often thought of as attention seeking behaviour. This couldn’t be further from the truth. People that self harm will mostly go to great lengths to hide it.

In a way, I was lucky that I learned to control it but this took many many many years and a distinct lack of help – including being told by a psychiatrist on an inpatient ward that it was “child’s play”, “didn’t I like that sort of attention?” ” you haven’t actually tried to kill yourself have you?” and I pretty much dealt with it alone.

It holds a lot of stigmas and people often don’t know how to react to it but the fact is the statistics are on the rise and young people are getting younger…

Once started it’s something that difficult to stop and very easily becomes an ingrained and “go to” coping mechanism.

My advice to anyone struggling is to speak to someone – whoever that may be – someone you trust, a helpline- anyone that will allow you to speak without judgment.
This is a very hard thing to do but it’s a brave and vital step to getting the help you need and the longer it lives in secrecy the harder things can become. It can be stopped. I didn’t think it could after years of not getting any real support for it, but you can come through it ♡

To any parents or carers I would say that just listening is so important, don’t judge, don’t assume they are trying to end their lives – while the self harming may be a way of expressing that this is how they feel the action of self harm itself doesn’t necessarily mean suicidal intent – it does mean there are overwhelming emotions and trying to get to the bottom of those is important and so talking, listening , and kindness are so important. Trying to get the person just to stop and focussing all the energy around that has the danger of pushing them away and making them less open and so supporting them emotionally and getting relevant help are vital.

Don’t judge people who self harm. Don’t assume their reasons for doing it. Listen. Be kind. It’s a very difficult time and words are important.

I hope that schools take note of the new statistics and mental health becomes spoken about it schools as part of a curriculum. Mental health issues are ever growing and children are getting younger.
I hope that children will be given the relevant knowledge and understanding to understand what is going on with themselves and also their peers!

Samaritans : 116 123

#selfharm #endthestigma #mentalhealth