84: How to Thrive after Hospitals & Sections with Stella & Joel

What a privilege to interview these 2 young people on mental illness, being sectioned, suicidal & building a life of purpose.

Joel & Stella volunteered with the mental health project I used to work for about 5 years ago. They were 16 and 17.  

They both have a mental health diagnosis, have been sectioned under the mental health act and spent some time in psychiatric hospitals.  They have both been suicidal on more than one occasion, have self-harmed and attempted to take their own young lives. 

They are also beautiful, passionate people who have turned their lives around and are creating a life of purpose. 

Joel works for the rail service & Stella is training to be a paramedic. 

We sometimes hang out at my flat, eat pizza, drink wine (well not me) and we straight talk about the struggles of life, we reminisce about the past and we think about what a close call we all had to our lives ending. We appreciate each other and I hope I tell them many times, how proud I am to watch them grow into beautiful adults. 

This is an informal conversation catching up on all of those things. It’s a bit longer since it’s essentially an interview with 2 people. If you’ve ever wondered what a challenging mental health journey looks like at a young age, if you’ve ever wondered how to build your life up from crisis when you barely know who you are & want to rightfully rebel against authority then this episode will provide insight on all of those things. If you want to know the inside track on the mental health system & how empathy is everything, then know that young people aren't conditioned to be politically correct yet! That’s what I love about them!

It also challenges the myth that these journeys simply switch into perfection. They don’t. However they do highlight the messy, beautiful, sad, joyful road to recovery, filled with purpose, meaning and creating something meaningful. 

Joel & Stella, I’m so proud of you both! 

You inspire me.