Anxiety troubles a lesson to share
MIKE Anderson knows first-hand how important it is for young people experiencing mental health issues to seek help.
The Fremantle man has been named as one of 21 new Headspace Youth National Reference Group members.
Mr Anderson, who is now 21, found headspace four years ago when he was in high school and having problems with anxiety.
“In Year 12, the pressure of getting good marks and all the expectations exacerbated things for me,” he said.
“I remember calling the Fremantle headspace after an exam that I felt like I bombed; I passed with 53 per cent.
“I was sweating and shaking even though it was in mid-June but the person on the line treated me as though they believed me and I felt that was important.
“They never made me feel like I was making it up and that helped me make the next steps.
“I was then referred to a doctor and a psychologist.”
Mr Anderson has been part of the Fremantle reference group but the opportunity to be involved in the national group will enable him to guide what headspace does around the country.
“The local group advises the centre – because it’s a youth-based service, you need young people involved – and for me it was an opportunity to learn,” he said.
“The national reference group then blows up what the local group does on a bigger scale and we have input on projects and services as well as improving our skills.
“When I recognised I had anxiety I didn’t do anything initially because I was fearful but I want people to know their experience is valid.
“I want people to know if they aren’t feeling right, they can reach out and headspace will listen.”