Jayne is a web editor and journalist who loves travel and gardening. She’s also an NCMH Research Champion, helping spread the word about our research. This is her story:
I’m Jayne, I split my time between Cardiff and Cheltenham and I’m a web editor and a journalist; essentially I’m a digital pen-for-hire. I love photography, social media, travel and gardening, and I’ve been killed by Dr Who aliens – twice!
I began experiencing mental ill health at an early age. I was bulimic on and off from the age of 8 until I was 19 and after a rocky couple of years at university I was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
A friend of mine, who is a neuroscientist, told me about NCMH and mentioned that they were looking for people like me to take part in their study.
Eager to learn more, I turned to Google to find out more about the project. I was impressed with the work of the Centre and decided to get involved.
I’m keen for there to be a better understanding of conditions like bipolar, and volunteering for research seemed like a great way for me do my bit. The process was really easy – I met with a lovely researcher and we went through a simple survey. She was really bubbly and a pleasure to talk to, and it only took around 20 minutes or so.
The only part I was a little apprehensive about was giving a blood sample – I’m not the biggest fan of needles! It turned out to be completely painless, and the researcher really put me at ease.
I would definitely recommend getting involved to others – it’s a great experience and knowing that you’re helping forward understanding of mental ill health is a fantastic feeling. The more people that take part, the more scientists can learn.
I hope that the research leads to greater understanding of what triggers mental health problems, better treatments and quicker diagnosis of conditions like bipolar.