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World Mental Health Day: How Childline helped Dartford teenager

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 October 2019

Hollie Evans is encouraging others in similar situations to seek guidance at Childline. Picture: Hollie Evans

Hollie Evans is encouraging others in similar situations to seek guidance at Childline. Picture: Hollie Evans

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As Mental Health Day arrives, one Dartford woman has opened her heart on how Childline helped her cope.

As a teenager, Hollie Evans started her battle with epilepsy and a panic attack.

Now 22, she said: "I have always suffered with anxiety from a young age, yet to the outside world I was happy and confident.

"But things changed for me in 2013 after I was diagnosed with epilepsy and suffered a panic attack.

"Within a matter of months my mental health deteriorated so much that I dropped out of 
school, isolated myself from my friends, and was admitted to hospital.

"Following a suicide attempt I contacted Childline and spoke to a counsellor about my feelings. It was that chat which stopped me from trying to take my life again.

"Over the next couple of years, I had more stays in hospital as I stopped talking, walking, eating and taking care of myself.

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"Yet despite not talking to anyone I knew, I would often call Childline and chat to a counsellor when I was feeling low.

"Every day, Childline helps young people like me talk about their mental health.

"In 2017/18 the service gave more than 106,037 counselling sessions to children and young people regarding their mental and emotional health, and more than 24,500 about suicidal thoughts and feelings.

"If I hadn't called Childline there is a chance I might not be here. That is why today, on World Mental Health Day it is important to remember that talking to someone saved me and it could save you."

World Mental Health Day today, Thursday October 10, aims to raise awareness of mental health issues across the world.

This year's theme is suicide as it is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds.

The NSPCC said a child's mental health is as important as their physical health and it is important that young people speak out so they can get the necessary support they need.

They said a young person struggling should talk to a trusted adult like a parent, teacher or doctor.

Childline is free at any time of day on 0800 1111.

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