Being a Time to Change Young Champion has given me a voice

Nicole: “I used to dread  talking about mental health, but now I feel a passion driven desire to talk about it whenever and  wherever I can.”

Becoming a Time to Change Young Champion has completely changed the way I live; it has given me the confidence to talk openly, without shame or fear, about my mental health. I no longer feel I need to lie about my experiences, or worry that conversations about my health will make others and myself feel uncomfortable. I have learnt a lot by sharing my experiences and I hope I have helped others too.

If only people did not believe the mental health stereotypes in the media

Because of the beliefs I had about mental health, I hid more, I never spoke up or asked for help, I was ashamed.  If only somebody could have seen, not my body or a number on the scales but what the illness was doing to my mind.

I spent most of my childhood and teenage years hiding my mental health, partly because it was never spoken about. I didn’t know what mental health was and the little I did know was based on what I had seen on television. I grew up believing that a person had to be thin to have an eating disorder and that a mental health hospital was all strait-jackets and restraints, but my beliefs were wrong.