For high school student, Esther, her mental health struggles arose when she had to take mock exams.
‘I was getting really stressed out and I was working myself really hard,’ said Esther. ‘It got to the point where I was forgetting to eat, and it started to really affect me…there wasn’t any break from it'.
In 2019, Action for Children’s Blues team visited Esther’s school and she signed up. The Blues Programme equipped Esther with coping strategies and mechanisms to help her understand her thoughts and feelings.
‘It was strange at first, as I wasn’t used to talking about my mental health. I didn’t realise others felt the way I did either, it made me feel normal and that I wasn’t going crazy.
‘The programme taught me that I don’t need to be so hard on myself and equipped me with coping strategies and mechanisms that I can use whenever something is bothering me’.
The last year has turned Esther’s world upside down. Her parents are both keyworkers and she has not been able to see her friends or her grandparents, as she usually would. School compacted with Covid-19 restrictions while caring for her younger siblings meant she began to feel overwhelmed. Luckily, Esther was able to apply the skills she had learnt from the Blues Programme to be able to cope with the uncertainty of the pandemic. She even opened up to her teachers about the pressures she was under so they could offer support. It also allowed her to rediscover an old hobby: sewing.
‘I never would have had the confidence to speak up about it before the Blues Programme. It doesn’t faze me now,’ she said.
Thank you to everyone at Royal Mail and Parcelforce for funding the Blues Programme for Esther and thousands of other young people across the UK.
In conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Week, looking after your mental health is the priority. For more, please access the Your Mental Health page on myroyalmail.com