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Spalding woman creates online community to help others with mental health issues

A Spalding woman is drawing on her own mental health issues in a bid to help others through the power of social media.

Emily Faulkner (25) has struggled with depression and anxiety from a young age, experiencing suicidal thoughts which worsened when she became a mother aged 19.

Emily says her new Facebook support group is there to help and support others who feel as though they are alone.

Emily Faulkner, pictured with her family, is helping others struggling with their mental health with an online support group. (47949077)
Emily Faulkner, pictured with her family, is helping others struggling with their mental health with an online support group. (47949077)

She said: “I have struggled throughout my life when it comes to my mental health but I didn’t realise it until I was 19. It really came out when I had my daughter at that age and I felt so judged by people for being a young mum.

“My partner supported me as much as he could but I bottled it up, which made it worse. It wasn’t until I spoke to one of my health visitors about it that I started to get help. Just talking to her about it made me realise that I wasn’t alone in how I was feeling.”

Emily, who is a mother of two, found herself in a similar position a few years later, which is when she sought medical help which helped her to grow to where she is now.

Having experienced mental health issues first hand, she wants to guide others to talk about their issues.

She said: “Everyone will struggle with their mental health at some point in their life. I want people to realise that it’s nothing to be embarrassed about and having suffered with depression and anxiety myself I want to help people in the same position.

“I have struggled with suicidal thoughts and I didn’t think there was any help out there for me at first - but help is out there. I have been in contact with Mind and they were amazing, but I also went to my doctors and then to counselling.

“I think people often feel too scared to go to the doctors but there is so much support out there other than doctors if you need it.”

The Doorway to Acceptance Facebook page has been joined by more than 200 members so far, many of whom have contacted Emily to talk about their battles.

She said: “It’s been overwhelming, shocking and heartbreaking to see how many people are struggling. I’ve been sent so many messages and I’ve also been thanked for setting the page up as people feel there’s someone there for them and that they’re not alone. That is exactly what I set out to do!

“I want to get people talking about it. I’m aware I’m not a professional but I’ve been through it myself so I can support them and lead them in the right direction to the support they do need. Connecting with someone who is going through the same thing can really help and anyone can join. They don’t even have to talk if they don’t want to at first, but it’s just knowing that people are there.”

Emily is hoping that once lockdown restrictions have been lifted, the group will be able to meet in person. In the mean time, the group is on hand for anyone who needs it.

She added: “If you are struggling, my advice would be to to and talk to someone you trust. Let it all out, whether it’s something big or small, and you will automatically start to feel better.”

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