It’s the first but most crucial step to addressing mental health issues, like anxiety.
Next Tuesday, July 25 Macarthur mental health advocates will gather for a forum targeting young people with anxiety to speak up.
Campbelltown resident Ashley Concepcion knows first-hand the crippling effects anxiety can have on a young person’s life.
The 28-year-old has suffered from depression and anxiety for about 14 years.
At times her mental demons left her feeling sick.
“When I get anxious I don’t concentrate as well or I get so worked up I shake. When it’s really bad my stomach gets to a point where it’s so tight I’m almost sick,” she said.
With her illnesses at their worst, Ms Concepcion felt there was no other way to deal with her conditions than to commit suicide. Her last two attempts occurred in 2012.
“My mum was ill and my cousin who had battled with depression committed suicide. I was depressed and just wasn’t coping,” she said.
“I thought it was best if I wasn’t here anymore.”
Ms Concepcion’s story is, unfortunately, not uncommon. Suicide accounts for more deaths in people aged between 15 and 24 than car accidents.
Beautiful Minds founder Sandra McDonald, also of One Door Mental Health, said the forum – held in conjunction with Headspace Campbelltown – was a great opportunity to raise awareness.
“The forum is a fabulous opportunity to start a conversation about mental health, and specifically young people and anxiety, while at the same time raise awareness of the support services available in the local community,” she said.
Macquarie Fields MP Anoulack Chanthivong – who will champion the forum – said organisers wanted to send the message that “mental health matters”.
Ms Concepcion has adopted several techniques to help deal with her conditions.
Details: Greg Percival Community Centre, Ingleburn, 6.30pm, cost free and bookings essential. Call 9618 2077 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.