I was invited as a guest speaker and panellist at Time to Change’s Story Camp 2018, which took place yesterday.
Time to Change are an organisation incredibly close to my heart and I’ve spoken about my journey with them before, both on my own blog and in a guest post. When I was ashamed and afraid to share my mental illness with even the closest people around me, they gave me the encouragement and motivation to do so. They gave me my voice and the trajectory of my life since I was taken on as a Young Champion has been hugely influenced as a result. I owe some of the greatest opportunities that have been presented to me as a result of my journey with Time to Change.
Because of this, I am always thrilled whenever I am invited to take part in anything. I was lucky enough to represent them at the Global Mental Health Summit 2018 in October which was an amazing event that I feel very fortunate to have been a part of. I was truly honoured to be asked to speak at Story Camp, especially as my chronic imposter syndrome always leads me to believe that I don’t know anything about anything!
My role was to talk about tackling stigma through blogging and social media, and I actually really enjoyed getting my presentation ready because it showed me that maybe I do know a little bit after all.
I spoke about why I started blogging, how I got to where I am now and what I have learnt along the way. Most importantly, I wanted to share my thoughts on why we as mental health bloggers need to look after ourselves first. We are making ourselves vulnerable every time we share, and we should not at any point feel like we owe anybody any part of ourselves. Our stories are our own and ours alone, and we need to stop putting ourselves under pressure.
Something I also like to remind everyone is that other mental health bloggers aren’t our competition. There’s no such thing as a saturated market when it comes to mental health, we are all on the same side.
One of my very favourite parts of the day was getting to meet and chat to some of the other Young Champions, and to finally meet some of my favourite twitter friends and catch up with old ones too!
Thank you to Joss and Jodie for their role in getting the day up together, as always you were both incredible. Thank you to Nicole, Peter and Anneli, who I am so glad I got to meet in real life. Thank you to everyone who attended, asked questions and shared your thoughts and reached out to me afterwards.
Most of all, thank you to every single person who puts themselves out there, day in day out, to fight stigma and raise awareness.
You are all changing the world, never forget that.