Why everyone needs to see this message ...
As a teenager my family fell apart after a very bitter divorce.
My sisters, mum and I became homeless and at times had to raid bins for glass bottles in exchange for food.
My young brain was ill equipped to deal with the situation and created the monster of anorexia which is a very complex psychological illness as a way of controlling something in my life.
It became my best friend in a black hole of severe OCD, depression, high levels of anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal tendencies, intrusive thoughts, self hate, self-loathing, social isolation, insomnia, self-harming, lack of confidence, distrust as well as a massive terrifying episode of psychosis.
There was not a moment then when I expected to live, let alone have a great and worthy life one day.
However an incredible doctor gave me a tiny glimmer of hope to which I clung in the off chance it may be true.
Through huge amounts of intense inpatient treatment, medication and self-discovery I turned my whole life around to become a valuable member of society, a wife, mother and friend. I love my life and am truly grateful each day and thankful to all the people who saved it.
I vowed if I ever made it through I would write about it to help others.
Seconds To Snap - was published in June 2015.
It's now helping others come out of the shadow of stigma and offering the same glimmer of hope that I had as I'm living proof that it was all true.
Another reason I wrote the book was to thank the patients who were all I had each day and I developed close bonds with and also a huge acknowledgement to the staff and doctors who tolerated my crap each day in order to save my life. I'm forever in their debt.
Everyone needs hope - love - stability - early intervention and especially knowing that if they did get sick there would be help available in their home town with the same urgency as any other emergency. There would be a bed. Especially so for young people. There is nothing more terrifying than a severe episode of mental illness - it must be a million times worse for child who can't understand what's going on. They need to be close to family each day for extra emotional support. It's also very traumatic for the family when someone can't access treatment or get a bed. And then the cycle of their own stress and anxiety starts.
I asked a Parliament member recently how he would feel if he had a heart attack that day and went to the hospital and was told - sorry you need to come back in a few months as there are no beds, or doctors. How would he feel? As from my experience and everyone I've spoken to in the despair of mental illness you can't afford to wait.
You can die - anorexia has the highest mortality rate of all mental illness due to the medical fragility of the body or suicide.
The brain is an organ and a very special one at that controlling everything about us. Neuroscientists are working hard each day to bring us more knowledge and insight into this incredible part of our body which contains such complexities like our personalities, thoughts, feelings and memories.
It has to be triaged the same way as every other part of our body when it requires help and attention.
If there is early intervention and insight with education regards mind health and everything associated with that - we can help stop the need for it in the long run. Thus less urgency for funds and less strain on the doctors, nurses and NHS.
I did an article recently as there was a child who had to wait 22 months for an appointment with CAMHS. UNACCEPTABLE!!! All due to lack of money as they had no doctors available for the appointments. The family as well as the child were hugely distressed.
Another awful story was a young girl I had been told who tried to end her life last January - the first appointment they had to give her was June!!! UNACCEPTABLE!!!!
Let's get talks like mine into schools, workplaces, hospitals, universities across the globe.
Mind health, mental health, self-awareness, meditation, emotional intelligence, mindfulness, body confidence, resilience all need to be taught and spoken about on a daily basis to prevent the devastating impacts they are predicting on the NHS by 2020.
So in short this is why the world needs to see and hear this message!
It's our society and I'm doing all I can to create change alongside some incredible people one day at a time.
http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lanpsy/PIIS2215-0366(15)00510-6.pdfSuggest a correction