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To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, Into Film's Mental Health Ambassador, Georgia Dodsworth (20), shares her thoughts on the importance of the event, and the power that film has to help young people by sharing experiences and promoting awareness for mental health issues.
For me, Mental Health Awareness Week is a time where I feel the most visible, vulnerable and empowered.
I feel like everyone's attention is on mental health, and on the people who identify as having a mental health condition. I am one of those people. I am a person who has a mental health condition called Borderline Personality Disorder.
BPD affects my everyday life. It feels like I have 2 masks on. I never know when I'm going to feel extremely happy or extremely sad. It's scary. Some days I dip into a dark place and I feel hopeless, and other days I am so enthusiastic and happy.
Alone is a feeling I fall into a lot. I feel alone when people don't understand me, but there are so many times I don't understand myself.
I feel alone with my emotions, why are they so extreme? I ask myself that question on a day to day basis.
Comparing myself to the people around me is a daily habit. Why can't I be like them? Why can't I be happy?
There are so many thoughts going round and round in my head, it's often overwhelming.
Crying is a regular thing for me. It's a beautiful thing. I cry when I simply need a break. I am very connected/ in tune with my emotions and I see crying as a release for me, a release of tension and all of my fears.
BPD affects me in so many ways, but I don't and won't let it take over who I am. I am an artist who likes to curate worlds which in turn effect change, and having BPD doesn't ruin that, it motivates me to do more.
I have learnt to self-monitor myself by practicing self-care. I take time out every day to practice a mindful activity, like writing, walking, meditating and/or breathing.
I go to therapy once a week to talk to process situations and feelings. I take medication to help me get out of bed every morning, and I am not ashamed of all of this.
Watching film really helps me. It transports me into another world and helps me think outside of myself. Film is especially powerful when you can see yourself in some part of it, whether it be the character or one of the emotions the character is feeling.
My personal favourite is Inside Out, as I now imagine all of my emotions like the characters.
My wish for Mental Health Awareness Week is that more people learn about mental health, not just depression and anxiety, but of all conditions, like personality disorders, psychosis, OCD, bipolar etc. Film is a powerful learning tool to communicate our experiences and emotions and to hopefully help young people understand that they are not alone.
I hope people take the time to ask their friends "How are you feeling today?" Or "How is your mental health?" As everyone has one. It is time we, as a society, start speaking out and breaking down the stigma attached to mental health.
Film can be a wonderful tool for developing emotional understanding and mental wellbeing.
Time to Talk Day aims to encourage young people - and everyone - to discuss mental health issues more openly; an initiative we're proud to support.
Reading time 6 mins
A film guide that looks at Inside Out (2015), exploring its key topics and themes through informal discussion.
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