Mikhala Swinson is promoting a book to help young people with mental health issues.
Mikhala Swinson is promoting a book to help young people with mental health issues. Allan Reinikka

Teen back from brink with help

ROCKHAMPTON teen Mikhala Swinson knows exactly how it feels to hit rock bottom.

After years dealing with depression and self-hate and battling an eating disorder, the 18-year-old managed to turn her life around and is now using her story to help others.

After telling her story in The Morning Bulletin last month Mikhala became involved in the launch of a local booklet to help others like her.

The booklet, Yes – Youth Emotional Support, will be launched as part of National Youth Week at Budaroo House this afternoon.

It was specifically developed for Central Queensland youth by the Central Queensland Healing Our Youth (CQHoy) Project.

Mikhala said the booklet would be a good tool for young people battling mental health problems, as it gave them all the local contacts available to them.

“It’s great because it has all the contacts and stuff and you don’t have to look through a million different websites and stuff like that to find the help you need,” Mikhala said.

Mikhala realises that mental health is something that affects a lot of young people and wants to help fight the stigma associated with it in the community.

A survey by SANE Australia found that 76% of sufferers and carers experienced stigma at least every few months.

This is despite the fact that the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing 2007 found that one in five Australian adults experienced some form of mental illness in any year.

Copies of the booklet will be distributed to community service providers, schools, and most health and youth services in Rockhampton and it will also be available online at www.darumbal.org.au.



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