I have a question…
Do you run a social club? Are you the assembly coordinator for a high-school? Have you an interest in improving the understanding and acceptance of mental health issues in your community? Do you have a forum for presentations?
If you answered yes to any of those questions above, then let’s have a word! I’m a 5* rated public speaker and I want to spread the word about mental health.
I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety for most of my life. I am so grateful for being made aware of my symptoms and given help to find the support I needed. Not everyone is so lucky. I have read many stories recently about people who were literally pulling their hair out and struggling with the pain of breathing; that couldn’t drag themselves out of bed even though their responsibilities as parents, guardians and carers bade them do so. I have read these stories and I’ve cried because I recognised their pain…and yet the saddest part…
They had no idea they were ill.
Oh they knew there was something wrong but the explanations ranged from “I’m going insane” to “I’m just a terrible person”. Meanwhile, their body/brain chemistry was off.
This lack of recognition is ingrained in us. No one ever talks to us about mental health issues as we grow up. At school we have biology and sex ed and PE…we learn a lot about our bodies but next to nothing about our brain. In further education or at work, we are to “buck up” and get on with things. Stiff upper lip it. There is little to no discussion about mental health. Even if there is, it’s often a hushed and embarrassed discussion in confidence. I hope to change that.
help me to help you (or someone you know)
When it comes to treatment for depression and anxiety, I have been there and done that. Now I want to get out there and talk to people about my experience…maybe even get them to open up about theirs if they’re comfortable. I want to help the teams of people out there already doing amazing work to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues.
I am perfectly comfortable talking to a room full of teenagers or a hall full of business-people – without visual aids or with full multi-media whizz-bang. I can do audience engagement.