At the age of seven Billie Nordkil remembers hating herself and feeling like a burden to everyone around her.
When she was 19-years-old, Billie made a serious attempt on her life and was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.
Now 22, Billie wants to increase the profile of mental health problems in young children and teach kids coping strategies for when their mood is low.
‘I spent quite a lot of my childhood feeling depressed and anxious,’ said Billie from Dumfries, Scotland.
‘I had been through quite a lot of trauma, but I didn’t know how to communicate that to anybody. I was quite bullied by my peers.’
Billie will be telling her story on ITV News Lookaround on Thursday, August 9, between 6pm and 6.30pm.
The young woman believes if she had been helped sooner with her mental health she would not have attempted suicide. She now lives happily with her diagnosis, thanks to the support from medical professionals.
‘I am able to live a very happy life with my diagnosis and that is because I’ve got coping mechanisms I use,’ Billie explained. ‘I know how to distract myself when my mood swings take over.
‘So it’s really important children who are suffering are taught those strategies from an early age, so if they are ever needed they’re able to use them.’
Susan McEwan, from Support in Mind Scotland, agrees with Billie. ‘Children need to talk about their mental health and how they feel and it needs to be without stigma,’ she said.
‘I think it’s really positive that Billie is raising awareness for mental health.’
Billie hopes parents will be encouraged to teach their children to talk about how they feel and teachers will become more aware of childhood mental health.
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.