#MHAW15 #4: All My Strength
Last September, I was hit by a suffocating bout of anxiety.
This developed into intense symptoms of depression from which I am still suffering.
I have been using services such as CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services) and have become aware of the problems facing youth mental health services in Wales and the rest of the UK.
This led me to start my campaign, All My Strength. It aims to raise awareness about youth mental health, fight for the improvement of mental health services and bring hope to those suffering with mental illness. I understand the frustration of being put on a waiting list for six months and being overlooked by doctors when it feels like your whole world is collapsing.
I began expressing my pain through art and realised I could use my prints and drawings to protest about something I feel passionate about. My anger and frustration towards the way mental health conditions are treated was now being converted into creativity and the urge to make my voice heard. My work has been turned into stickers and posters that can be seen around Cardiff, spreading the word and demanding more funding for youth mental health services. I decided to create a website so that I can share my campaign with the world and have received a positive response. If you are being failed by mental health services, you do not have to suffer in silence. I want to campaign on behalf of all the young people who are too unwell to do so themselves.
Recently, I have been in contact with my local MP who responded to my concerns and informed the Labour Health Minister of the problems regarding mental health services for young people. CAMHS and other similar services are chronically underfunded despite the fact that demand is constantly increasing and a growing number of young people are struggling through mental illness alone. Further cuts to these services are predicted in the coming years, so it is more important than ever to fight back.
I hope to grow my campaign into something that can make a real difference to the funding of mental health services and create optimism among those tormented by mental illness.
You can visit my website here: https://allmystrengthmentalhealthawareness.wordpress.com
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Images: All My Strength