Cory is a paintball-loving psychology graduate training to become a counsellor. She’s also an NCMH Research Champion, helping to spread the word about our research. This is her story:
My name is Cory, I live in the Rhymney Valley and I love to keep fit; whether it’s through cycling, paintballing, playing tennis or just going to the gym. I also like to spend time with my loved ones and enjoying the little things in life.
I studied psychology at university and I’m currently training to become a counsellor. It is a strenuous course but I am really enjoying it and I feel like I’ve finally found my passion!
I battled with anxiety throughout my teenage years and suffered with a bout of depression. It was a difficult time in my life but I feel like I’m finally on top of my mental health. I’ve found mindfulness really useful and I keep as active as I can (I’m no athlete!) – even a long walk can really help.
Mental health has always been close to my heart, particularly depression, and I’ve spent time volunteering at Mind. When I first heard about NCMH I was eager to learn more about their work.
I volunteered to take part although I did worry about being judged for my problems. I’ve experienced this in the past and it has made me reluctant to talk about my struggles, even with people I’m really close to.
After meeting the researcher I didn’t feel judged at all – in fact, I felt accepted and like I was a person. She was very approachable and made me feel at ease talking about my experiences. All I had to do was answer a few questions and give a small sample of saliva. That was it. Painless and very easy.
I would definitely encourage others to take part too – research is key to learning more about mental health conditions and how to treat them. I also believe better understanding is really important in tackling stigma – something that is sadly still a big issue for many people with mental health problems.
Also, it’s a great feeling knowing you’ve done something that could make a difference to future generations.