I feel like it's been a whirlwind couple of weeks for everyone around me in some way or another, I'm blaming the winter solstice and this Sunday's crazy full moon (sorry, witch references). A lot has been shaken up in my little world, and although it's daunting, I feel so ready for it.
I have some news to share with you all, which will lead many of you to think I'm crazy (if you don't already) for taking even more responsibility on to my already full plate! However, I've already established that I am a complete loon, so I've totally embraced it and I'm going to harness this crazy and use it to my FULL potential! As of today, I have enrolled in a Diploma of Mental Health! And yes, I'm definitely still completing my medical science degree. (And still working, and still doing lots of modelling - hey, no rest for the wicked right?)
I've come to realise through my recent experiences that I have so much more to offer the world than I originally gave myself credit for. I believe that the personal first-hand knowledge and experience I have in mental health will give me the skills and drive to help people like myself in the future. So, I've taken on MORE study, but I am stronger than ever and I truly feel like it is my time to give back.
The mental health system is in crisis...
In my home town of Gunnedah there is little to no support at all. You have to wait a month or more to get into a psychologist in Tamworth which is an hour drive and it costs upwards of $140 for an appointment with little to no Medicare rebate depending if you're on a mental health care plan or not. Majority of private health insurance still does not cover mental illness - now that's what's really insane! The general public simply do not have access to affordable mental health care and services. People aren't just "...a bit sad up here in the country" people are DYING every day from these serious illnesses, yet they're still not treated with the same importance as physical ailments!
So, I figured there is no point sitting around and complaining about it, I decided to get up and work towards the change myself! Why can't I be the one to make a difference? I feel like so many people are held back from reaching their full potential due to mental illness and lack of support and I want to help others break free from that just like I have been working to do myself.
I aim to eventually do volunteer counselling work and crisis support on completion of my diploma in mental health. I'm also interested in helping out with youth counselling in schools, I think kids find it easier to open up when they have someone they can relate to, and having also been through horrendous bullying and trauma throughout my school years, I really think I can make a difference. I intend on doing all of this whilst still pursuing my dream of becoming a medical scientist in a pathology lab.
I am passionate about destroying the stigma, dismantling judgemental opinions on mental health and putting an end to the widespread lack of knowledge in regards to mental illnesses and the medications used to treat psychiatric disorders.
This decision hasn't been a spur of the moment one, I have consulted professionals, friends and loved ones who have all supported me on this journey, which I am so incredibly grateful for, I'd never have had the courage if it wasn't for the amazing support network I have in my life (you all definitely know who you are).
Alright, back to the full moon, I make reference to this because I have heard this Sunday's full moon as being described as "the moon to bring on the perspective change we all need". I wanted to include this because I want to inspire you all to make a change, however big or small that may be. Accomplishments deserve to be celebrated no matter how big or small. Your brain doesn't understand the difference between a small accomplishment or an enormous one, it only responds to those feel good chemicals produced when you actually say to yourself "hey, good job, you did that thing, shit yeah!" ...Do more of that! Your brain literally produces the same chemicals when you take the time to recognise getting out of bed as an accomplishment as it does when you pass a big test or win a race.
Be kind to your brain! They're weird little things and they can be our own worst enemies at times, but if you work at it everyday with positive reinforcement to retrain your shitty thoughts into good ones - I promise you will feel so much better for it in a matter of days. Mindset is life changing. Sometimes we just need a little help to get on the right track, and that's okay. And sometimes we fall off the bandwagon, and that's okay too! So even if you aren't a witch baby like me and you don't believe in astrology and you're thinking I'm even crazier than you originally thought possible, what better time than now? Everyone's always waiting for "tomorrow" or "the new year", if you were looking for a sign - this is it, GO FOR IT! Grab life by the balls, take charge, kick arse - I believe in you.
In other news, we are only 7 days in to July and I've already been so busy! As far as modelling goes, I started the month off with an awesome 1800's Victorian inspired shoot with Phil Ingram this Tuesday just passed which I'm really excited to share with you all, I'll be busy shooting in both Tamworth and Newcastle this weekend and I'm pretty well all booked up with shoots till the end of the month! I also intend on documenting my trip to Sydney for shoots in two weeks, so that should be lots of fun too. July is absolutely packed with exciting opportunities for me so stay tuned for lots of exciting content to come this month.
On a final note, I want everyone reading this to get off their butt and make a small step towards something you've been withholding or avoiding, find something that lights you up and makes you feel good - BE the change!