(Those who resort to Self-Harm for relief of the mind substitute Melancholia for Madness)
Eliza was educated at Tudor Hall School and went on to study Marine Biology at Newcastle University before training as a biology teacher. Whilst at school and throughout her teenage years she suffered with clinical depression and used self-harm as a coping mechanism.
It has taken some time for mental health to be openly discussed as it is now and there is still further to go. Having found it initially difficult to find the support she needed, Eliza made it her aim to normalize mental health through various methods, from open conversations with her peers, to giving assembles, presentations and fundraising events relating to her experiences, as well as working with charities such as Time to Change.
Eliza understands first hand the pressures that students are under – the struggles and resulting issues that can arise. Having become a teacher herself she is acutely aware of the current climate of education in the UK and how students have little choice other than to deal with it to the best of their ability.
In this talk, Eliza will tell the story of how she came to suffer with depression and self-harm and how she dealt with it whilst at an all girls boarding school. She will highlight some of the main mechanisms that helped her, and ultimately how she overcame these issues. Although not a professional, Eliza is able to share some practical experiences that helped her when she was struggling. She also highlights some specific examples of support that can be offered when a friend is mentally unsettled and how the role of staff and parents is so important.
There are numerous myths associated with self-harm, Many think it is attention seeking and many romanticize. Others think that it is something to be ashamed of and that they can’t talk about it. Fundamentally, Eliza’s aim is to normalize self-harm and mental illness, address the myths associated, and ensure that students are aware that no matter what their situation and cicumstances are, there is always help available and life can become manageable, productive and above all else – happy.