|Campaign:||Taking the stigma out of mental health|
Mental illness is becoming increasingly prevalent in young people, and yet it is all too often swept under the carpet in the hopes that it will disappear.
Mental illness affects 1 in 4 people, and yet it is something that a lot of people pretend it doesn’t exist. So many people suffer in silence because of the stigma that surrounds it. All too often this can lead to things getting out of control and something devastating happening, when something as simple as having an empathetic ear can make the world of difference.
After my own experiences of mental health problems, I know how important it is to get help early on, and that although at times it may not feel like it, there are lots of people out there who can help.
Although substance abuse can sometimes make you feel better, it can be addictive and can affect concentration, physical health, and cause you to act in ways that you wouldn’t otherwise. Drugs and alcohol can also increase the risks of developing a mental illness, or making existing symptoms worse. It is important to know that there are other options aside from drink and drugs to help resolve problems rather than masking them, and ones that won’t have a negative impact on your physical and mental health.
I decided to make a film with the help of Fixers which follows a boy who contemplates suicide due to his depression. It is a hard hitting film which won an RTS award in the Best Non-Broadcast category and has been successful in changing people’s attitudes to teenage depression. Since working with Fixers, I have continued to campaign for mental health awareness as I believe there is still a long way to go to lift the stigma surrounding it, and working with Fixers gave me the confidence as well as a platform, to speak out on what I feel strongly about. I am currently studying psychology at the University of Westminster and hope to become a clinical psychologist.