Posted: 15 May 2015

Walking out of darkness - ending stigma around mental health

Can you tell us how you’re involved with The Children’s Society?

I am an advocate for young people, based in Cheshire. I’ve been working for The Children’s Society for 1.5 years now and have a passion for campaigning, raising awareness and rasing money for not just The Children’s Society, but people and causes in general. Last year I did the Great North Run and raised over £300 and I am currently thinking of doing the Great Wall of China Trek for The Children’s Society too.   

What do you do to support young people with mental health issues?

In my role mental health is a common theme amongst the young people I advocate for and their families. If mental health issues are the main issue faced by young people, for example if they have been hospitalised or sectioned due to their mental health, we would refer them to a specialist advocate known as an independent mental health advocate. In my daily work as an advocate I simply listen and champion the young person’s voice which enables them to express their wishes and feelings.

As a team we are very proactive in spotting and supporting young people with mental health issues and our team have recently undertaken some mental health training with Young Minds which was fantastic. 

Has there been a rise in people coming to you with mental health issues? How do you work with young people?

I believe mental health has become more prevalent certainly. I believe listening and signposting to relevant agencies such as counselling is vital. I think my networking skills are priceless in terms of signposting.   

What are you doing to raise awareness of mental health issues? 

I am taking part in the 'Walk out of Darkness' campaign this Saturday for personal reasons as I have supported my best friend through a tough period of mental health issues. But as well because I fully support stamping out the stigma around mental health. I also have aspirations to become a mental health nurse (when I grow up!) 

How can people get involved?

Follow #walkingoutofdarkness on twitter to learn more about the walk this Saturday, and basically listen and care! Having a conversation about people and peoples mental health is so important. The good old question how are you? – it isn’t rocket science!!

What have you done to prepare for the walk?

Lots of walking lately, some team walks around wales and just last week with my daughter the length and breath of Disneyland for 5 days! 



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Posted: 1 January 1970