My Mental Health Hero – Abbie Foster

“Don’t be ashamed of your story. It will inspire others”

I started using twitter at the young age of 13 years old and I’ve met a huge collection of wonderful, supportive and truly amazing friends online. Myself and Abbie instantly clicked due to our love of Demi Lovato – and we’ve been such close friends since.

We’ve both been through similar experiences, and she’s an amazing campaigner for mental health issues – and I cannot thank her enough for helping me at my times in need! – so thank you so much Abbie for being my hero, and thank you for being such a powerful voice!

Introduce yourself –

I’m Abbie Foster from Abbie Foster’s stay strong, I’m 22 and I’m from Norwich. I have past experiences of self harm, bullying, depression and suicidal thoughts. Now I try and use my past and my story to help others to know they’re not alone.

What did you first start to experience mental health issues? –

I think I was depressed from a young age, although I didn’t realise I was depressed; I just thought there was something wrong with me. It got much worse after going into high school, I didn’t feel safe anywhere, I was bullied whenever I went and I wanted to be in control of my emotions so I started self harming.

Do you feel like mental health issues are still stigmatised? –

Most definitely, although it is getting better of course, you still get people who tell you ‘oh don’t be sad’ when they find out you’re depressed. If I broke my arm people would ask if I was okay, however when I was signed off work after being suicidal I was asked if I enjoyed my holiday. For some people if they don’t see it they don’t believe it.

What helped you in your time of need? –

Luckily I discovered Demi Lovato and her story of hope after she’d been through similar issues. It really helped me to know that recovery was possible and that I really could enjoy life one day. I also changed my outlook on things, making sure I was more positive about everything even in negative situations.

What do you think about the NHS cuts towards mental health issues and services? –

I think it’s ridiculous, we should really be focusing on helping people as much as possible, especially since it’s affecting lots of young people more than ever.

What advice would you give to anybody who is going through something similar? –

Id personally say, try to find positive in everything, it makes a massive difference when you have a positive mindset. Also, talk, get everything out because holding things in will only make you explode. If you speak more often about what’s on your mind it’s much easier to deal with.

Do you have any social media accounts that people can follow you on? –

Abbie Fosters Staystrong on Facebook!

I have started a Just Giving page to help me with the costs of my top surgery. I am currently saving up every penny I have, I am working part time in McDonald’s and I am also in university so money is already extremely tight for me. Over the last year my mental and physical state has gone downhill due to me binding and having moobs – I wear my binder for 15 hours a day because I am so self conscious and that is putting extreme pressure on my back and upper body. So far I have saved up £2,000 and altogether I need around £6,500 (For the surgery, hotel costs and transport costs). If you could spare any sort of change – it would honestly mean the world to me and I promise I will repay the favour at a later date. You can check out my Just Giving page here.

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