Liz is an executive assistant and mental health advocate based in Essex. She’s also a Research Champion for NCMH, helping spread the word about our research. This is her story:
My name is Liz and I live in a beautiful village called Coggeshall, Essex with my partner and two springer spaniels, Charlie and Boris.
I currently work full time as an executive assistant for an insurance broker and I love it, my current work colleagues and manager support me 100% with my mental health and I have just recently become qualified as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor.
I also talk in secondary schools, and help universities, police, employers and am a MIND and Sane media volunteer.
I have a website called Heads2Minds where my sister and I work together to educate people with regards to mental health and reduce to stigma and discrimination which is around us.
I am a qualified Angelic Reiki and crystal healing practitioner, along with completing mindfulness and meditation classes.
I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder in 2003, I have experienced clinical depression and extreme psychotic episodes. Having being sectioned numerous times which has saved my life and I am extremely passionate about sharing my experience to try and help others.
I heard about the NCMH via MQ: Transforming Mental Health and I applied to get involved in the research to help people understand and learn from our lived experience.
This is so extremely important as how are we ever going to improve mental health if people don’t investigate why it happens in the first place?
I initially had an interview and went through some questions to ask about me personally and also my diagnosis.
It was all completed very professionally and then I received a pack through the post asking me for a blood test which helps with the research.
I was a little apprehensive about this as I don’t particularly like blood tests but then I was overcome by the actual reason why I was doing this in order to help people, so my fears soon disappeared.
I would encourage people to get involved in this research as you can really make a difference to this world and help other people which is an amazing achievement and makes the world a better place for the younger generation.
I am hoping that the research will help make a difference to people’s lives and to gain an understanding as to why people have mental health conditions and how to avoid them in the future.