Woman’s mental health campaign gains global recognition

A woman who suffers with anxiety has spoken about her new campaign which aims to raise awareness of just how common mental health issues are.

The #itaffectsme initiative was designed to prompt discussion about the various conditions which affect people on a daily basis, regardless of their age, background or gender.

People who have experienced depression, bipolar and other conditions are encouraged to post photos on social media with a post-it note stuck to their forehead carrying the hashtag.

Londoner Laura Darrell devised the campaign – which has been picked up around the world – and explained why she thought it was so important.

“What is so hard about mental illness is that, unlike when you have broken your leg and you can clearly see all the ‘broken” bits’, when your brain is broken it is so difficult to distinguish between what is you, your personality and what is the illness,” said the 29-year-old.

“This is one of the many reasons mental health is such a taboo subject and people feel uncomfortable talking about it because they don’t want to be thought of as crazy.”

Laura, who had a long history of panic attacks but only sought help last year, believes that more must be done to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health.

She would also like to see steps taken to broach the subject of mental illness on the national curriculum, ensuring that young people receive guidance and advice at the earliest opportunity.

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