So as Mental Health Awareness week draws to a close I thought I would do a little BLOG post about Mental Health.
It think it's great to have a week that focuses everyone's attention on Mental Health but we need to make it top of the agenda for the rest of the year as well.
I have Mental Health problems and I am not ashamed anymore to be open about it. I used to worry that people would judge me or criticise me but now I realise that by being open I can really make a massive difference to other people's lives as well as my own.
Unfortunately for me I have been bullied really badly in a couple of previous jobs and roles by people who I trusted and was open with about my mental health and my identity and this has had a massive impact on my life. It is easy to say I should forget about them and they were the problem not me - but that is not so easy and I am still working hard with a team of professionals to deal with the fall out of these events. But I have some amazing people in my 'support team' and I am so grateful to them all.
I have had some really dark days in the past when I could not see a future and the thought that it was the actions of another person who caused that is really tough. I know that they were at fault but the impact of those actions on me was massive. I will not tolerate bullying in any form in any of the clubs and organisations I am involved in as I know the effects only too well.
I went on a brilliant course this week all about using the CWP CAMHS Next Step Cards - to work with young people to start to have conversations with them about their Mental Health. My plan is to roll this out with all the players I work with as a goal setting tool for their lives and to help give them some skills to deal with the events that life throws at them.
Running my own business is the best thing I could have done - when I am having tough days with my mental health I just have to think about all the amazing people I am working with and remember the difference I am making to their lives and that helps to get me back on track.
I heard this week that I have been nominated for a 'National Diversity Award' in the Positive Role Model, Disability category. I am so honoured to be nominated for this award and so grateful to the young Lady who nominated me and to all the people who have voted for me and written such lovely things. I struggle sometimes to believe in myself and can often doubt myself and my abilities, but reading those comments really helps me to realise what a difference I am making.
Sport and Wheelchair Basketball has made me the person I am today - and I believe that the bad times have taught me some really valuable lessons.
Thankyou to everyone who has played a part in my journey so far - you are all amazing.