A teenager who missed school after battling anxiety is raising awareness about the mental illness after an adult branded her hormonal.
Bethany Lamb is now working with Fixers to help schools identify mental health problems so they can help pupils.
She says: ‘I had a lot of adults telling me it was hormones and that I would get over it.
‘I really want that to change. I think it’s important for people to realise the difference between attention seeking and genuine problems so that young sufferers of anxiety can receive the help they need.’
The 17-year-old, from Blackwood, South Wales, says her experience left her feeling anxious and more isolated.
She says: ‘In year nine I was periodically taken out of lessons and in my last six months I had a mental block that made me unable to even walk through the school gates.
‘Schools have lots of help for the disabled and those with learning difficulties, but not so much for mental health issues like anxiety.’
With Fixers Bethany has created leaflets and business cards highlighting the symptoms of anxiety.
To view the cards, click on the image below.
She says: ‘I hope people will look at the leaflet and be able to relate to it and empathise with a person suffering from anxiety.
‘Ultimately, I want people to take mental health in adolescents seriously.’
It was only when Bethany started seeing a counsellor that she started to understand her anxiety and was able to explore ways to cope with the mental illness.
The teenager, who managed to pass her GCSEs despite missing school, is currently studying health and social care at Coleg Ystrad Mynac and is looking forward to her future.
Bethany's project was supported by The Wellcome Trust
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.