People didn’t know what to say to me. I was 19, in my second year at uni, when my boyfriend died in my arms of a heart attack. We’d been lying in bed together, chatting about our plans to travel the world. And like a silent breeze, the world sucked the last breath from his body. One friend even laughed when I told him a few weeks later – a nervous reaction, I think. But the less people knew what to say, the less I wanted to talk. And the more I wanted to end my own life.
I wouldn’t have called it a mental health issue; the despair and loneliness I felt. Mental illness was a weakness, and society had given its stamp of disapproval by shushing anyone who spoke its name.
Little did I know, however, that I wasn’t alone. That I wasn’t the only one struggling with a mind intent on battle with itself. There is a crisis in young women’s mental health, with almost half of young women suffering from anxiety, eating disorders, depression and trauma. And many of these young women suffer in silence, as I did, fearing the laughter – or condescension – of others.
That is why we need Fearless Femme – a safe, inspiring and kick-ass online magazine that empowers young women to overcome stress and other emotional challenges. A space where young women feel connected with others and emboldened to make their voices heard. Fearless Femme will shine a light on mental health and celebrate our vulnerabilities as our strengths. And when sadness, trauma, grief, or overwhelm comes knocking at your door, Fearless Femme will be there to help you find your courage.
Applications to the 2017-18 Good Ideas Academy are now open – apply here before Sunday 1 October 2017 and turn your good idea into a reality.