My name is Callum McNamara. I am 18 years old and originally from Dundee, Scotland. However, I spent my childhood growing up in the Middle East due to my father's job, more specifically in Qatar. For those of you who are unaware of the background of Qatar, it is a very small and stable peninsula located just north of Saudi Arabia.
Unknown to myself or my family I have been living with a mental illness since I was 12. I thought that the way I was feeling and things I was experiencing were completely normal. I could not have been more wrong. Upon moving back to Scotland to begin my university career my mental illness came to a head. On the evening of my 18th birthday in September 2015 I was admitted to my local mental hospital after having a complete mental breakdown. I lost my ability to speak and the majority of my memories. The psychotic voices in my head got worse and worse. Eventually I attempted to end my life which landed me back in the mental hospital being held in detention. I have now been given a diagnosis of Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD), severe chronic depression, and severe anxiety disorder.
At the time I thought that would be me for the rest of my life. However after chatting to a trainee mental health nurse that was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia I realised that instead of being the end of my life it was the beginning of a new one. I had the sudden urge to pursue a career in helping children and adolescents understanding and conquering mental health issues. Thankfully I am now well on the road to recovery and I am finally able to persue my goal of helping children and adolescents with their mental health issues to help them grasp hold of their illness before they reach the same state I was regretably in.
If I had been able to access help with my mental health issues, even just talking about the stress of school, I might not be suffering as badly as I am today. My aim is to help and raise awareness amongst children and teenagers and teach them that it is okay to feel down and it is okay to talk to people about how you are feeling. No one should feel ashamed about having a mental health issue and everyone has the right to express feelings and experiences without fear of harassment or bullying.
The youth of today need to know about mental health issues and know what to do if they experience any symptoms. Directing feelings outwards instead of inwards is the key to a healthy mind.
My aim is to spread the word amongst schools, students, and parents about the dangers and seriousness of mental health in children and adolescents. To begin this selfless career I want to start where I grew up - in Qatar. I already have willing contacts at schools in Qatar that are willing to assist me with this goal. All I need is financial assistance towards a return flight out to Qatar from Scotland. Upon arriving in Qatar I will also pursue past connections in Qatar to assist me in carrying out the same task here in the UK through means of sponsorship.
All donations will be greatly appreciated and all money will go towards a return flight ticket (cheapest I can possibly find) and towards helping expatriate children living with mental health in schools in Qatar.
I'd like to say a huge thank you in advance to anyone who is willing to donate their hard earned money for such a great cause.