In September I attended the Time to Change training weekend for Young Champions. The night before and most of the journey down I was very nervous about attending. Everything seemed to be trying to stop me from attending, from not being able to collect my train tickets, my contactless card not being read by the tube, going to a different station than I had planned and then getting lost. But having been to previous Time to Change events I knew it would be an amazing weekend and I was determined to get there!
From the moment I arrived I felt welcome and safe. I can’t describe what it feels like to be in a room full of 80 young people all with lived experience of mental illness. It is incredibly inspiring to hear other young peoples journeys through their mental illness, whatever stage they may be at.
As a Young Champion I will be sharing my own experience online and in schools, sharing posts about mental health and its importance and also raising awareness of the stigma that surrounds mental illness.
There were many tears and moments when I heard other peoples stories and thought ‘I remember those days/that feeling’. But there were also so many happy moments and as a result I was able to reflect on where I am now and how I have got here. To be able to sit and eat lunch in the sunshine, chat about my experiences and listen to others stories. I also felt able to take 5 minutes out to get a cup of tea when I just needed some time. Both things a few years ago would never have happened.
Throughout October I will be posting updates about what I am doing as a Young Champion and how you can get involved so please check back 🙂