I feel that many young people don’t understand mental illness and there’s a great deal of stigma associated with it.
When I was 16, I started experiencing mental health problems. I've battled an eating disorder, borderline personality disorder and the urge to self-harm. It’s hard to describe just how low these conditions can make you feel and how difficult everyday life can become.
It’s improved a lot for me over the years, but I realise it’s a long road ahead.
Drawing on my own experiences, I aim to tackle the misconceptions surrounding mental health issues, so there is greater understanding and fewer barriers for young people to seek help.
By raising awareness, I hope people will become less judgemental about such conditions.
For my Fixers project, I plan to create a workshop addressing this topic, which I plan to run in colleges.
Here is a list of Fixers helping me with my Fix:
Mid Powys Mind The charity supports my Fixers project. April Cullen, Manager at Mid Powys Mind, agreed to be interviewed to appear in my broadcast film.
NPTC, Newtown College The team at the college support my Fix. A group of students helped me develop my workshop and were filmed for my broadcast piece.
November 2014 With Fixers, I've helped create a radio play based on my own experiences of mental health. It tells the story of a fictional character, 'Cara', and the struggles she faces with food, body image and self-harm. At the end, the listener hears that Cara is in recovery and is looking to help others living with mental illness. I intend to use this resource at the workshops I run in schools and colleges. Press play below to listen to the piece.
July 2014 On Thursday 17th July I was invited to the Senedd to talk to the Children’s Commissioner and his office about my experiences of mental health services in Wales.
I travelled to the home of the Welsh Assembly withGeorgina Arnold, who appears in the photo with me below.
We were both able to speak about our Fixers projects, how we’re benefiting from them, and how we hope they will help others.
Sarah Harmon (L) and Georgina Arnold (R) outside the Senedd
I met up with my MP Roger Williams who was impressed with my campaign. He has offered to help contact local schools about my project and is enthusiastic for me to meet with other local MPs.
Fixer Sarah Harmon with MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, Roger Williams.
March 2014 My story was featured on the Powys Mental Health blog. Click here to read the post.