Tackle Mental Health unveils New Fanbassador
We at the foundation are delighted to announce Louise Woodward-Styles as our ‘Fanbassador’ for our Tackle Mental Health and State of Mind activity. Supporting SCRF raise awareness of Mental Health Conditions, Louise will add weight to our work sharing her real life experience of a mental health condition.
SCR Foundation is committed to raising awareness of issues surrounding Mental Health, and with partners such as NHS Salford, StartinSalford and the Rugby League Foundation, we deliver a comprehensive awareness campaign that targets local sports clubs, businesses and community groups
We met with Louise to hear her story as she attempts to break down the stigma of Mental illness and encourage others to seek support.
“My story of Mental Illness began from an early age, when at 13 I was sexually abused, resulting in a highly stressful court case. Due to this I was bullied and ridiculed throughout my school years, physically and verbally abused on a daily basis.
“At age 15 I went straight into employment, though many years of abuse had cemented itself into my psyche and I spiralled into a world of drug and alcohol misuse.
“Anybody who has had experience of depressive illness knows such action acts as a vicious cycle. I asked my GP for support who started me on a course of Fluoxetine (Prozac) and referred me to the local Psychotherapy services, though this was no quick fix.
“The one positive that remained throughout those periods was my love and passion for Rugby League, where I could feel a sense of belonging at 'The Willows'. I used physical exercise as a self help strategy and playing for Swinton Ladies gave me sense of well being and importance.
“In 2009 I applied for a job as a Mental Health support worker, having decided to use my experience to support others. Now with a diploma in Mental Health under my belt, I manage a supported living project for females with severe Mental Health illness.
“I can say with conviction it DOES get better. Mental illness doesn't nor should it define you. What defines you is your inner strength and the desire to live a positive, kind life.”
Louise gave us permission to publish our story as part of our joint ongoing efforts to tackle issues surrounding mental health. Louise can be found at @MsCityRedGirl
Danny Doherty, SCRFoundation Health Officer said, “Hopefully Louise's story can help to raise awareness of Mental Health Conditions and help to reduce the associated stigma. Sufferers of such conditions should not feel alone as there is support, with organisations such as our Tackle Mental Health, and partners StartInSalford and the Rugby League wide State of Mind.”