Belfast teenager over-coming depression celebrating her 18th birthday at AWARE Mood Walk
A Belfast teenager undergoing treatment for depression, will be celebrating her 18th birthday with 18 of her friends at the Belfast AWARE Mood Walk.
Emma Norris, who actually turned 18 in March this year, was unfortunately too unwell to celebrate her birthday at the time. So instead the 18 year old has decided to mark the occasion with 18 of her friends by participating in the AWARE Mood Walk taking place on Friday 17 June at the Mary Peter’s Track.
Emma, who is currently studying for her A Level exams said,
“Participating in a charity walk is probably not how most 18 year olds would choose to celebrate a birthday, but for me this is very important. Last year I was diagnosed with depression and it was an extremely difficult time in my life. For that reason I was unable to do anything to properly celebrate my 18th birthday.
“I have received so much support from my friends and family in the last year and by participating in the AWARE Mood Walk, I am able to bring everyone together in a bid to stamp out the stigma that’s still associated with depression.
Emma, who is a student at Aquinas Grammar School released a video during Mental Health Awareness Week in May 2016 to tell her story to help educate and inform people about how to talk to someone with an illness that people can still find very difficult to talk about. (Link to video: http://www.aware-ni.org/news/belfast-teen-s-depression-video-helps-break-down-stigma-2.html)
After being diagnosed with depression at the age of 17, Emma found that her family and friends were keen to offer her support but found the subject difficult to approach.
“Through my battle with depression it became apparent that everyone around me wanted to help, but they just didn't know how,” said Emma.
“It is completely understandable and I don't have a problem with that, but maybe it's time to address it.”
By uploading the video on a public forum Emma helped to generate a discussion around how to talk to someone with depression in an appropriate and sympathetic manner.
If you would like to participate in the AWARE Mood Walk, there is still time to register. Visit www.aware-ni.org/moodwalk for more information.Tags: AWARE | AWARE Mood Walk | Depression | emma Norris | Fundraising | Mental Health | Mood Walk | mood walk belfast