Wanstead resident Amina Kayani will be running 15km in aid of Young Minds this summer. Here, the Woodbridge High School student explains why we need to destigmatise mental health issues
Hello, my name is Amina, I am a high school student and I have been living in Wanstead my whole life. I attended Nightingale Primary School and am currently studying at Woodbridge High School, set to do my GCSEs during the summer of 2021.
I live at home with my parents and four brothers. I enjoy my local area, including the community spirit and the various events that take place here.
I started high school in September 2016. Soon after starting, I began struggling with my mental health. I started to frequently feel anxious and lost. I was oblivious to the fact I needed some extra help. It was only when my form tutor sat me down and explained what I was experiencing that I finally accepted support.
After finding my way out of the darkness, I became increasingly aware I was not alone in what I was facing. In fact, many people in my peer group were struggling with their mental health. Also, I realised the support I was receiving at my school was much more than any of my friends at other schools were getting. I felt privileged yet sorry for other young people struggling to reach out for much-needed help.
My struggles are not over, but I am on the road to recovery and have come a long way from where I started. However, many young people are in the midst of a crisis and in desperate need of help. Which is why I am fundraising for Young Minds through a 15km sponsored run on 31 August.
Young Minds is a charity fighting for young people’s mental health by providing training courses, taking care of vulnerable and excluded young people, providing mental health aid to those in crisis and empowering the next generation.
The stigma surrounding mental health is stopping young people from reaching out for support, allowing them to fall into crisis point. Now, more than ever, we need to destigmatise mental health issues, especially because 83% of young people have said the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a decline in their mental health.
I am fortunate to have been residing in an area where support in the community spirit could not be better, and to be attending a school where students’ wellbeing is paramount. So, let’s take this opportunity to recover the one in eight school-aged children facing a mental health problem.
Please help make a difference to the lives of young people.