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Mental Health Awareness Week: Woking woman opens up about her lifelong struggle

3 minute read
Mental Health Awareness Week: Woking woman opens up about her lifelong struggle

Published by Lettie Buxton at 6:01am 18th May 2020. (Updated at 4:48pm 18th May 2020)

A Woking woman has spoken about the importance of kindness, as today (18 May) marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week.

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, this year's awareness campaign comes amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The 22-year-old, who has asked to remain anonymous, told Eagle Radio that she has struggled with her mental health for most of her life.

She has been diagnosed with anorexia, borderline personality disorder and complex PTSD.

She has also been admitted to hospital several times -  and has even been sectioned.

The woman described what has helped her during the COVID-19 lockdown:

"Being able to still speak on the phone and know that someone is still there to listen to you even though you can't see them in person is really, really useful.

"Everyone should be kind because it doesn't cost anything to be kind.

"Even small bits of kindness - really, really simple things like 'oh, your hair looks nice today' or something really small can actually make such a big difference to someone's day.

"You have no idea what anyone else is going through that day."

She has been getting help from Woking Mind, which has reportedly had a "huge increase in demand" during the lockdown.

Emma Martin, services delivery and development manager at the charity, said some people might have suffered mental health issues for the first time during this period:

"We're really passionate about helping anybody, particularly in lockdown, that feels alone or isolated that they know they can reach out for support and be met with kindness, and have an opportunity to talk about how they're feeling, to have somebody to listen to them without judgement and to help them understand that support is available.

"We need to be prepared and equipped that there may be some people who are now experiencing elevated rates of stress or anxiety for the first time and this might not just go away with the ease of lockdown.

"So I think it's really important that we introduce new ways of dealing with the new measures and different impacts."

Anyone needing support with their mental health can text or call Woking Mind on  07860 340739 or email info@wokingmind.org.uk .

For ideas to help you keep well during the coronavirus outbreak, visit the charity's wellbeing page.

Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be joined by music stars and sporting heroes for a special radio broadcast this morning. 

The 'mental health minute' will go out on stations across the country - including here at Eagle Radio - 10:59am.