Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

How can schools help people with mental illnesses?

I think that schools can play a big roll in helping students with mental illnesses. People of all ages can suffer from mental illness, and in todays society a large number of people suffering from mental illnesses are in school whether that be that they are 10 years old and still in elementary school or 25 and in university. One of the things about recieving help and opening up about your struggles is knowing where to turn and then going somewhere you feel safe enough to talk to someone. I personally have never talked about my struggles to anyone willingly and the times i have gone to therapists i have just sat there until the hour was over, but from what i have understood from other peoples stories is that knowing who to turn to and feeling ok to talk about your problems is important.

I dont know how it is in other countries, but i am guessing that most schools need some type of nurse working there atleast a few days of the week? That is how it is in most elementary and high schools in Sweden, however i dont know how helpful a nurse can be. For some, the school nurse can be someone they can turn to and be able to confide their problems to and then with the help of the nurse be able to tell the family members and refer you to a clinic/hospital that can help with your current problems. In my high school there was also a counselor available a few days a week, and he was there for students who needed to talk... whether it was stress, family problems, abuse, mental illness or other problems, and i think that was great. Because within the first week of starting high school he had introduced himself and said that everyone who was struggling could book a time to meet him and he would help, and from what i heard from others he was a great counselor and really did help people. He was warm and welcoming and not judgemental at all, and i think it was great that my school offered a counselor and someone who the students could turn to if they had problems and didnt have anyone to talk to. Because often when you are a student.... You dont know where to go to seek help. You may have admitted and acecpted that you have a problem and you need help, but then you dont know where to go or if you arent over 18 you cant go to certain therapists or clinics as you need your parents consent.... but sometimes parents arent so understanding. They think its a phase and something you can just get over.... but also, some parents for some strange reason, dont want their kids to go to therapy or get help as they think its shameful. So then its up to the kid to get help on their own hands, and that is where schools and counselors/nurses are so important. To be able to listen, help, give advice and most of all.... not be judgemental or look down on the student. For example if someone tells a nurse that they think they have an eating disorder and then the nurse weighs them and tells them that their weight is fine and they dont have an eating disorder - That is not a good job, if anything... that will just make the person sicker. Instead the nurse/counselor has to listen and help, not just look on the outside and make a judgement from there.

So i think that alll schools should have nurses and/or counsellors who are also educated in mental illnesses. Of course they cant act as a therapist or a dietician or things like that, but they can give advice and atleast be the first step and not be judgemental... instead listen, give some advice and refer the person to the right place to get the help they need.

I think that in schools there should also be more education and help regarding mentall illness. To talk about stress, to talk about eating disorders (and not just the physical.... [Side note. I wanted to hit my science teacher when he said that people with eating disorders were always skinny.] ) and talk about depression, suicide, self harm.....  I know many people who have suffered from mental illnesses and in my class alone (in high school) there were 4 or 5 people... basically 1 in 6 people in my class were suffering/had suffered from some form of mental illness.

School is stressful and i think more help with stress and learning to cope with stress, but also offering care for those who do need to talk or are struggling, is important in schools.

But also for teachers to be educated about mental illnesses..... if a teacher notices that someone is skipping alot of school or a student is losing alot of weight or seems to be sort of "fading away", then i think a teacher can help by talking to the student in a KIND way, not a judgemental way or making the student feel bad. But maybe just mentioning that they can talk to them... or referring them to the school nurse if necessary, sometimes people just need someone to tell them that they are there for them and that they have noticed them/noticed them struggling. You can feel so lonely and think nobody notices you when you are struggling, so then to have someone say that they care and have noticed that the person isnt doing so well... that can make a difference!


So this post was super long, but there is so much i could write about this topic. I think that more education regarding mental illnesses and the proper care in school and to help students if they need it. 

6 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more. The only way we can begin to fight these things is with good education. Maybe that way the stigma will disappear more and more and that can only help.

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  2. Great post Izzy! I totally agree with what you wrote!
    In my opinion there should be an hour or two dedicated to stress management and info about mental health at least once a month. Starting in elementary school. There could be info and practical education about different coping mechanisms so that everyone could find the way that works for them.

    Have a nice week!

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  3. My school teachers , in the UK, were totally on the ball. They picked up on me having a problem before anyone at home did. My English teacher reached out to me but I couldn't bring myself to tell her anything. I guess I was just fading away before her eyes...

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    1. That is so good to hear!

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  4. This is right on topic at the moment. Here in England mental health issues are on the rise and the Government has announced they are putting a lot of money towards better funding for those in need of mental health services, which has to be a good thing.
    when I was at school there was a named pastoral member of staff for each year group that the pupils could go to for help, advice or just to talk. I used this service and it was invaluable to me, the teacher really did help me.
    There is definitely more awareness of mental health issues here than there used to be and it is so good that facilities are improving as it is becoming more and more common and there is an obvious demand for the services.
    there is a special phone line set up for children called child line that they can call or email for help and advice about any problems they may have. it was set up initially for child abuse victims but it has gone more widespread now in the issues that it deals with. I think its important that we teach our children from a young age about mental health and how to reach out to others when they need to.

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