Hayley is a mum of two currently studying to fulfil her goal of becoming a child counsellor. She enjoys walking the dog with her family and taking care of herself through practising mindful meditation.
Hayley is also an NCMH Research Champion, helping to spread the word about our research. This is her story:
I am a 37-year-old mum of two and a former restaurant manager.
I have struggled with my mental health for as long as I can remember. My early teens are my first memories of serious struggles with depression and anxiety, along with body dysmorphia.
As I struggled on as best I could and following a difficult and upsetting event in my life, I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder in 2003.
I first learned about NCMH through my own interest in learning more about mental health and how to maintain positive wellbeing.
Whilst searching for more information about my newly diagnosed disorder it became apparent there was very limited information or studies on Borderline Personality Disorder, especially in the UK.
This really disheartened me, and the information I was finding was not very complimentary of a BPD patient.
It was, for this reason, I decided to start taking part in any mental health research I could find.
If there is limited information out there, I want to be a part of making the right information more readily available.
I hope this will help stop other people from feeling the frustration I previously felt and help extinguish the negative stigma that can be attached to BPD and any other mental health condition.
I’d encourage anyone else interested in mental health research with lived experience to get involved with NCMH.
The more people that take part in these surveys, the more information we get to help us transform how we support people with their mental health.
I think this kind of research is the most important way we can educate ourselves and improve everyone’s quality of life.
I hope NCMH’s research will help everyone have healthier minds, healthier attitudes towards mental health, and introduce skills that can be used by everyone, every day to help us think, feel and act that little bit better.
I want everyone to be able to start living their ‘best life’ instead of their ‘I’m just getting by’ life.
Tell us something people might not know about you
I was once an extra in a music video!