Mental health signposting
617. Naomi Lea
Naomi Lea, 18, from St Asaph in Denbighshire, Wales has struggled with severe panic attacks in the past and began to self-harm as a result.
Having found that getting involved in volunteering was giving her self-confidence and helping her recover; she worked with Fixers UK to make a film for young people about spotting the signs of a developing mental health condition and became an avid mental health campaigner. The film is used in mental health workshops she delivers in schools across Wales.
Naomi was presented with her award by the Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP, at the launch of this year’s #iwill Ambassadors programme, held at the Houses of Parliament.
In a personal letter to Naomi, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“By bravely drawing on your own experience, you are supporting others to understand the signs that a friend might be struggling with their mental health and to know how they can help.”
“I feel extremely shocked and very honoured to have received this award. I have been lucky to work with some amazing charities who have really inspired me to keep volunteering and keep working on my project to encourage people to talk about mental health, especially in schools where both pupils and teachers feel they do not know enough. It’s important that young people feel that they can support each other and also that they can identify the signs of difficulties so that they can get help as easily as possible. I love every second of all the voluntary work I do and being recognised with this award has made me even more determined to carry on talking about my experiences and making sure that conversation can be started where it never was for me.”