Jonny Benjamin knows what he’s talking about when it comes to mental health. Jonny has struggled with mental illness since he was very young. In school he felt different, struggled with depression and anxiety and heard voices. He managed to do okay at school so nobody knew how ill he really was.
Things got so bad when he went to university that at one point he stood on the side of a bridge ready to jump. But an amazing thing happened – a passerby called Neil stopped and persuaded him not to jump. After getting help and finding ways to cope Jonny now talks to young people about looking after their mental health and campaigns for better support. Here’s Jonny’s advice if you are feeling down or are thinking of hurting yourself:
- Find an outlet. Do something to get the feelings outside of your head – keep a diary, make a video, draw, paint, play sport.
- Create a crisis box. Fill it with things you know make you feel better – favourite music, food, films or books – anything you can turn to when you are feeling down.
- Find out if there is any support near where you live. There might be a group you can get in touch with if you feel able.
- If you find talking about your feelings hard, text or email a helpline. They will get back in touch with advice.
- Use a safe online forum to share how you’re feeling. Elefriends is somewhere you can share what’s going on with you.
Jonny has lots of videos on You tube sharing what has helped him to cope day-to-day. Take care of yourself, watching some of these may bring up some difficult feelings.