I'm fortunate to be alongside 11 other amazing young people who have openly shared their stories, not just amongst friends, but to a national audience. For some, this may seem like a dream, however for others, it's the complete opposite; even acknowledging it within themselves, or being open with their loved ones can take years, let alone being ready to share with the country.
It is a true reflection on the recovery, strength, and wellness of all these individuals.
Having articles like this further breaks down the stigma surrounding mental illness. This shows that mental illness can affect people from any and all walks of life, and that suffering can start at a variety of ages and from multiple causes.
Each of us have our own unique experiences, but there is an underlying common struggle. It shows the value of seeking help, and being persistent.
Most importantly this shows that there is hope, that even at the depths of despair there is a way out. This journey isn't an easy one, but these young people are examples that it is possible to not just survive the darkness, but to thrive from it; to be happy, to feel joy, to study, have careers, to live a life 'just like everybody else', a life that a few years earlier seemed lost.
As hopeless as some days might feel, always remember that every life is worth fighting for.
Your life is worth fighting for.