Offering insight into life with mental health issues, 21-year-old Sarah Harmon, from Presteigne in Powys, Mid Wales, wants young people to listen and learn more about the conditions.
Having battled an eating disorder, borderline personality disorder and the urge to self-harm, Sarah wants others to be able to understand and identify when someone they know is unwell.
‘I would like to help young people spot the signs when a friend or family member has a mental health problem,’ explains Sarah.
‘I hope then they’ll have the courage and confidence to do something about it, instead of watching that person deteriorate.
‘If people can be more aware and can pick up on the signs more quickly, then early intervention is more likely.’
Based on her own experiences of mental illness, Sarah has written a radio play telling the story of fictional character, Cara.
With Fixers, she’s helped record the piece, which introduces Cara’s struggles with food, body image and self-harm.
It explains the impact this has on her relationship with her mum and her ability to focus at school.
By the end of her story, the listener learns that Cara is in recovery and is offering support to others suffering mental ill health.
You can listen to Sarah’s radio play 'Cara' below.
‘It’s been fantastic to make the radio play. People should really be able to feel the emotion when they listen to it,’ says Sarah, who's also told her story on ITV News.
‘Hopefully they’ll be able to understand where someone is coming from when they’re ill. It’s very good and very powerful.’
Sarah would like to use the resource to encourage discussion of mental health at workshops she’s planning to run at schools and colleges.
‘I didn’t realise until I was ill how difficult people find it to understand when someone has a mental health issue,’ she adds.
‘I want others to know more about mental health so they don’t just walk away from it.
‘I feel that my project can benefit many people.’
For more information and advice on mental health, visit www.mind.org.uk.
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Also keen to start conversations about mental health, Miriam Jarvis shows
that it is possible to move past the dark times. Watch her TV story.