This week, 13-19 May, is UK Mental Health Awareness Week 2019.
The campaign, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, has chosen this year’s theme as body image – how we think and feel about our bodies.
To mark the occasion, Discovery Support Worker Mollie has been brave enough to share her own struggles with mental health.
Watch the video to find out how volunteering and support work can change not just the lives of the people we support, but your own as well:
Mollie was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 17 and spent a lot of time in psychiatric hospitals.
Now 23, and after volunteering with Discovery for the past few years at a day centre for adults with learning disabilities, she says: “Volunteering has helped my mental health in ways I never expected.
“It has given me a purpose and has taught me a lot about myself. I have learned many new skills, which apply to all areas of my life. I’ve met a lot of new people and I’ve grown to be a lot more confident.
It gives me a real sense of accomplishment and I feel proud of myself knowing that I am making a difference in the lives of vulnerable people.
Mollie, Discovery Support Worker
“It gives me a real sense of accomplishment and I feel proud of myself knowing that I am making a difference in the lives of vulnerable people.
“Volunteering has given me the opportunity to gain all of that valuable experience – and I recently became a paid member of staff at the centre!
“I have felt supported by Discovery throughout my journey with them so far and I can’t thank them enough for accepting me for who I am despite my struggle with mental health.”
Mental health is a cause that is close to home for Discovery. Experiences resulting from having a learning disability increase the likelihood of having a mental health problem. A 2007 study found that 20-40% of people with learning disabilities had a mental health problem.*
You can keep up with this year’s campaign on social media by searching for the following hashtags: