Why I’m speaking up on my mental health

Youth Voice

Content notice: graphic discussion of mental health

This post was written by Kerrie Starkie, Representative for the North West of England on UK Youth Voice. You can read more blogs from UK Youth Voice by clicking here and follow them on twitter @UKYV.

This week is all about mental health, and what better way to get an understanding than to get someone who has suffered with mental health to try and help you understand what it’s like.

My name is Kerrie Starkie, I’m 18 and I’ve struggled in silence for many years. It wasn’t until last year that I spoke out and realised that I needed the help. I hope by reading my story you will too.

My mental health

Mental health is a daily struggle for me. As an individual, I have bad days and good days and these days can differ from time to time. There can sometimes be bad times that last for weeks and even months. It’s a horrible thing to live with.

My thoughts affect my life more than one person ever could. That little voice that sticks in the back of my mind is my biggest fear, and I face it daily. Everyone knows this voice and it’s the only thing that we listen to most. Whatever that voice says I believe. No matter what people say, that voice is the only thing I truly listen to.

There’s a constant fear of messaging people for help or even answering the phone to that friend you once could talk to. Before accepting that help, I was constantly in fear of myself and others, I didn’t go outside or even want to look at myself in mirrors. I had dreams but wasn’t able to step outside to achieve them. When I go outside now I make sure I’ve got one thing to keep my hands occupied while I keep looking at the people around me. I still get anxious paying for something even though I’ve counted money dozens of times.

Mental health support is important

But no one deserves to suffer in silence with their mental health. I’ve found huge benefits from speaking up and letting others know how I feel. Even though I may be slowly getting the help I need after so long it’s still a daily struggle to even get out of bed in the morning. This is okay – because I’m not suffering this alone.

If you can’t speak up, please message someone you feel safe talking to. Let them help you every step of the way, like people have me. Now I’m more confident in raising my voice and I’ve found they’re there to support me. There will be people there for you too.

If you need more support, make sure you view these resources

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