A young woman who has struggled with several mental health conditions has made a film with Fixers to raise awareness about social anxiety.
Becky Lawley, 19, who has suffered from crippling anorexia, depression and anxiety for 8 years, says it is incredibly important young people are given the tools to help recognise signs of social anxiety before things ‘get too far’.
She hopes her film will give others the strength to reach out and find help.
‘My campaign is about understanding emotions and mental health,’ said Becky. ‘This is something I'm passionate about and I know so many people, including family and friends, who either have a diagnosed mental health condition or are struggling with their emotional well-being.’
Before Becky found Fixers, she designed postcards that illustrated different emotions to help others understand their own feelings.
She said: ‘The film features my own art from the postcards that explores different emotions and feelings, and an audio that also speaks about being able to recognise how you feel and being able to reach out for help.
‘If I had had a resource like this when I was 10 or 11, something that helped me identify when I was depressed or anxious, then I don't think I would've gone without help for such a long time,’ said Becky, the Local Health Champion from the West Midlands.
‘I faced many hospital admissions for treatment after attempting to take my life and I think it is so important that young people feel able to reach out for support before it gets to that point in their struggle.’
In the film the narrator talks about how people isolate themselves to avoid the outside world. It goes on to encourage others to focus on what makes them happy.
Becky hopes to show her resource to young people and professionals to encourage a conversation about social anxiety.
‘If more people were educated, more people would feel comfortable and able to open up and get the support they might need,’ said Becky.
‘Mental health can't be reduced, but the stigma and ignorance towards it can and that's what I hope my campaign can do.’
Becky's project was supported by the Wellcome Trust