Champions stories

As a grassroots campaign, we encourage our Champions to speak up about their mental health, in their own voices.

Elaine's story

James' story

My story of Mental Illness really began when I was 20 when I experienced a mental break down. I did suffer from low mood and feelings of isolation during my time at school but it never developed into a Mental Illness. I felt like I was in the depths of a deep canyon.

Unemployment

I had been unemployed for a few months, not really doing much since leaving school two years prior.I felt like my life was going nowhere, with no real sense of direction.

Bereavements

I had experienced the deaths of many people in my life, from a God Parent, Great Uncle, School Friend.I never really knew how to process these new feelings of grief that I never had to deal with before.

Caregiving

I had also been spending the past year learning a great amount about Mental Illnesses and conditions through acting as a supportive caregiver for friends of mine. This had me talking to people in their times of need and crisis, providing a listening ear.

OCD

I also had to deal with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that was sparked by the bereavements. This was mainly when it comes to Pure Obsessional thinking. I underwent Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with the mental health service, facing the thoughts and learning to not react to them.

Poetry

It is in this time, that I decided to start writing poetry, to express how I was thinking and feeling. Writing in structure and to a beat came naturally due to my past of song-writing. After sharing some of the poems with some friends, they encouraged me to share them with more people as they struck a nerve. This then led me to compile some of my poems into a book, print and release it.

Fixers

A few years later, at a time when I was trying to find a purpose in life, I found out about an organization called Fixers, who took an interest in my passion and drive. This later led to me going to London to represent young people in a television debate where we expressed our concerns about.

Peer Advocacy

Following the event, I wanted to do more in the field of Mental Illness and stumbled across an advert in the paper for a Mental Health Peer Advocacy Course. This went on to create Bee Heard, a safe place where people could come and talk about their Mental Health.

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