Campaign to combat mental health stigma in young people

A new campaign has been launched today to stamp out mental health stigma Photo: ITV Central

Paranoid, anxious, depressed, difficult feelings to express but more so if you are a teenager that is one of the messages behind a campaign about mental health in young people.

Carly Townsend from Birmingham was just 14 when she started to hear voices. Fear of being treated differently stopped her from seeking help.

Carly Townsend from Birmingham was just 14 when she started to hear voices Credit: ITV Central

"It was quite scary because I knew it was not a normal feeling to be having, I could look round and see everyone else wasn't reacting to it like this so why am I? So I found it quite difficult to confide in anyone because I didn't want to be labelled as somebody who had something wrong with them."

– Carly Townsend

It wasn't until 5 years later that Carly acknowledged she had a problem.

"I didn't have a clue what was going on I was very much under the impression that a metal health problem is something that happens to other people not to me."

– Carly Townsend

An event to raise awareness of mental health issues and how they affect young people was held in Birmingham today.

Suffering from mental health problems can be a terrifying experience at any age but especially if you are a teenager, today's event hoped to breakdown some of the stigma associated with words like depression and schizophrenia through a range of activities young people are sharing their own personal stories with members of the public.

Stigma and discrimination on the grounds of mental illnesss stops young people from doing an awful lot of stuff, it stops them from achieving their true potential they don't apply for college it puts them off relationships and interacting in the way we would want every teenager to be able to do.

The film made by the event organisers Time to change is going to be shown in schools across the West Midlands.

It is hoped the time to change campaign will reduce the fear around mental health and encourage more young people to come forward for help.