Student campaign puts spotlight on mental health

“There's still a huge stigma around mental health and I was worried that no-one would understand. It was really hard telling my family but speaking up was the best thing I ever did.”

Demi-Leigh Freeman, BSc (Hons) Digital Film and Post-Production Technology

A Staffordshire University student is encouraging young people to speak out about mental health issues following her own battle with anxiety and depression.

Demi-Leigh Freeman, 19 from Dudley, is in her second year of the BSc (Hons) Digital Film and Post-Production Technology course and before coming to university suffered anxiety attacks throughout her teens.

“I was bullied at school and felt like I had no-one to talk to, so I bottled it all up.” she explained.

“There's still a huge stigma around mental health and I was worried that no-one would understand. It was really hard telling my family but speaking up was the best thing I ever did.”

Demi-Leigh found help through support groups and counselling, and is now herself a pro-active member of global support group Personality Disorders Awareness Network (PDAN).

She recently received support from the charity Fixers to launch a poster campaign, which aims to raise awareness of mental health problems and encourage an open dialogue among young people.

Demi-Leigh's campaign was recently featured on ITV News Central.

“There is still a lot of discrimination towards those suffering with their mental health - I experienced it myself. Some people thought that because I was young I didn't have any 'real' problems.”

Demi-Leigh added: “People my age are often worried what their friends will think too - but hopefully encouraging people to talk openly about their experiences will help to reduce that stigma.”

 

Staffordshire University is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential. We recognise that students may, from time to time, require support from our Counselling team who provide tailored help and advice . Find out more on our Student Enabling Centre's webpages.

Contact

Amy Platts
Multimedia Press Officer
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L600, Flaxman Building
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ST4 2DE
t: +44(0) 1782 292702
m: 07799341911
e: amy.platts@staffs.ac.uk