Mental illness has been the reality of my life for over a decade having first struggled with bulimia as a young teen, to then experiencing depression and finally, receiving a personality disorder diagnosis in my early 20's.
I have had first hand experience of suicidal thoughts, self-harm and alcohol misuse and I've dealt with both the stigma and discrimination that comes with these.
I understand the degradation that accompanies the removal of your freedom of choice when you no longer have the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself and, I know the pain of supporting a loved one with mental illness all too well.
In stark contrast, I have also experienced the overwhelming power of support, understanding and compassion that has been fundamental to my recovery.
I have lived in and observed a society that is taking baby steps to challenge and change the negativity that surrounds mental ill-health and I aspire to be part of the huge steps forward we will continue to take.
Professionally, I have worked in community mental health settings in the form of supported accommodation as well as an inpatient psychiatric hospital.
For the last 5 years I have worked for the South East Coast Ambulance Service and I also work as a Crisis Volunteer for Shout - the crisis text line service.
I am a fully insured instructor approved by Mental Health First Aid England, I have a Certificate of Higher Education in Life Sciences, a Level 3 Diploma in Health & Social Care and a Level 2 Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems.
I have worked with the South East Coast Ambulance Service to help produce a mental health awareness video as well as the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to aid the production of an online training video on how best to support people experiencing a mental health crisis.
I have such a wealth of knowledge, experience and skills acquired from a vast amount of personal and professional exposure to mental illness and so grew Changing Minds Training. I am enormously passionate about making mental health an every day conversation and I'm advocating for a world where nobody is ashamed or embarrassed about having a mental illness.
My mission is to empower each and every person with the skills, knowledge and compassion required to support the mental health of themselves and others and I provide a growing number of training courses which aim to achieve just this.