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Fiona

Fiona

Name: Fiona Malpass
Age: 20
Year of the Fix: 2009
Location: Essex
Campaign: Taking the stigma out of mental health

Mental illness is becoming increasingly prevalent in young people, and yet it is all too often swept under the carpet in the hopes that it will disappear.

 

I suffered from severe depression when I was younger, and I also suffer with anxiety, so I have a lot of experience of mental health issues and the problems that that can give you in life, and I am just trying to show that it doesn’t stop people from achieving great things.

 

So many people with mental illness suffer in silence, because of the stigma that surrounds it. All too often this can lead to things getting out of control and something devastating happening, when something as simple as having an empathetic ear can make the world of difference.

 

After my own experience with mental illness, I know how important it is to get help early on, and that although at times it may not feel like it, there are lots of people out there who can help.

Through my Fixers film, I hope to take the stigma out of mental illness and encourage people to seek support when they need it.

I had a great team of fellow Fixers who helped me with this project. They are:

 

Andrew Gordon

Ella Sisso

Danny Flynn

Chyna-blue Qureshi

Jessica Smith

James Davis

Annabelle Joynson

Rebecca Horgan

 

NHS Foundation Trust

The NHS supported my project by using my film as a resource.

 

 

(From left to right, Terry Bird from New Town Talent, Fixers Fiona Malpass and Andrew Gordon, and Mike Waddington, North Essex Parthnership Foundation Trust)

 

 

Mike Waddington, North Essex Parthnership Foundation Trust:

 

“What is great about this film is that it is harder hitting than you might have expected - it begins like a piece about friendship but literally takes you to the edge of someone’s crisis; then it is retrieved by a quite simple device about taking the threat seriously and being the friend.

 

"It’s all the more powerful for the acting that brings the street to the screen. Vivid! When people see it they are drawn in by the drama and just when ‘escape’ seems unlikely, it happens. I deliver a lot of sessions in schools and this is what I try to get over.”

 

Terry Bird from New Town Talent

A local production company and drama group, who helped with the Fixers’ film by providing actors for the reconstructions.

Update from 2013

 

Four years after I first joined Fixers in 2009, my film it still being used by NHS Trusts and charities in raising awareness about mental health. The online link has been forwarded and forwarded, and retweeted around the world thousands of times!

 

The feedback I get is amazing. People who had no clue about mental health come up to me with tears in their eyes. It has been seen by young and old in countries across the world.

 

I’m at university now studying psychology at the University of Westminster and still building on the foundations that were first laid because of the time Fixers invested in me.

 

At uni, I am working hard to introduce a mental health strategy and I have set up a student society and on the same issue (click here for the link). I have held talks and events and set up a website to offer information to students about mental health.

 

This year, as well as my degree course, I am volunteering three days a week at an inpatient unit in north London helping 12 to18-year-olds with severe mental health problems who cannot function without support.

 

I hope to go on to have a career in clinical psychology.

 

 

Update from 2012


My project has been really well received by mental health professionals and the general public alike.

 

My Fixers film 'Suffer In Silence' won the 2011 RTS Southern Award for best non-broadcast production.

 

This is a credit to everyone who worked on the film and it really establishes it as an important film that needs to be seen.

 

It’s an experience that I never would have been able to have otherwise. Fixers allowed me to develop my skills and try something different. I am quite surprised about what I have managed to achieve - I never would have dreamed that I would be doing these things.

 

Ruby Wax, TV Presenter on my Fixers film winning the RTS award

“Congratulations to Fiona and all the Fixers for your award.  Thanks for bringing awareness to such an important topic. Let’s hope the stigma will finally end.”

 

It was really exciting to receive a message from Ruby Wax because obviously she does a lot of mental health promotional work and it kind of reassures me that I am doing a good job.

 

My project was also well received by the public and fellow Fixers:

 

Andrew Gordon, Fixer

“It’s a fantastic project. It’s given me the self-confidence and that boost of energy I needed to get off my backside and do something with my life.”

 

At the screening of my film, I received some fantastic feedback. Here are some comments:

 

“We would definitely like to use this [this film] to help the young people we are working with.”

 

 “I suffer from depression.  I have seen the film and I think it will show people that it doesn’t have to be the end of the world and if you have got people there then you are going to get through it.”

 

“When a young person has a problem, it’s a sad fact that the last person they are going to turn to is their parents.  It’s much more likely that they will approach a friend and I think that’s what’s really powerful about this film.  You can really help your mates if you care about them.”

 

A group of Fixers and I also had the opportunity to meet Tim Loughton MP (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families) and his advisers at the Department of Education in Westminster.

  

Being able to go and speak at the Department of Education about my project with Fixers was a great experience and offered the opportunity to discuss the issues that matter to me with influential people.

 

It was also nice to see how Fixers has enabled so many young people to create projects that are making a real difference in society and helping to change the negative stereotype of young people.

 

 

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