Another successful chapter!
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Tayyibah reflects on her achievements over the past few years.
– Tayyibah Hussain
Reflecting on the past couple of years, I have achieved more than I thought I would have been able to. I finished my L3 Extended Diploma in Children’s Play, Learning and Development in 2020 with a DDM proving my Sixth-Form Head wrong. Furthermore, I proved that I am capable by achieving5 unconditional offers from all my chosen universities.
However, lockdown and COVID-19 struck soon after. Throughout the pandemic, whilst being in college, I launched ‘Asafeplacex’. Through Instagram, I spread awareness for anyone, especially students, who are struggling with mental health. During COVID-19, simultaneously, I could observe the struggles of reduced human interaction around me. I believed that it was difficult to be online, and have fewer people to confide in. Hence, I thought this would be a great way to promote positive mental health.
I posted daily reminders and useful information, advice and resources. I became a Student Representative for the Early Childhood Studies degree. Through this role, I was able to help support others, gather feedback and ensure that voices are heard. I was especially active in posting messages for students during mental health awareness week. This was a role I was very unsure about to begin with, especially since I was struggling with my mental health and lacking communication skills. I did not think that I would be able to go ahead and take on a role like this. However, I managed it and will be the senior student representative in my final year.
I worked with Hannah within One/Third Project for University Mental Health Day to ensure that students know that they are not alone. Whilst being in University I have seen so many students struggle with mental health and wanted to spur some change and really make a difference. I have completed online courses within the domain of mental health, including Psychological First Aid, Special Educational Needs, and Mental Health Awareness by FutureLearn. Moreover, I completed a course about suicide prevention by Zero Suicide Alliance. This was also a great opportunity for me to build on my current knowledge about mental health and expand on my own experiences with mental health. Later on, I went on to write a quote book. Unexpectedly, I was nominated for awards as well I also launched my own podcast which will be fully running soon. I have been supporting YoungMinds since 2019 when I first started struggling with my mental health and was unsure what was going on at the time. Since then I have raised money over the past 2 years for them. YoungMinds has also been excellent in supporting so many young people like myself with quotes, tips and awareness. Through university, I have also been supporting Student Minds by writing blogs for them based on my own experiences of mental health and words of advice for other people. I have even moved on to gaining a role with Beyond Charity as their ‘Youth Board Member’. I also collaborated with Championing Youth Minds as a Volunteer to help launch something exciting around mental health within the education space. I have been recognised and thanked by many students, staff and young people for the support and work I do in general and since launching ‘Asafeplacex’.
Achieving all of this has had a positive impact on my mental health during university. The journey has not been easy. During my first year of University, I lacked confidence, communication skills and self-belief. However, I made an active effort to improve on this by taking on the role of a student representative. This helped me develop both courage and skills. Presenting to peers was a difficult thing to do but knowing I had peers cheering me on I managed to achieve it and even come out with a first something I would have never thought about. Even now I’m able to liaise with staff and students and speak confidently – something which would have really scared me earlier! There are times when it is difficult, but remembering that I got through that, and accomplished the small achievements motivates me.
I am proud of myself for reaching this far. This is a sign that even if you are struggling, everything will start to improve. You are not alone and you are cared for… you matter! I believe that we all go through something that hurts us but also changes us to make us stronger. Life knows we can fight it so lets us make this our reason to live, to keep going, to recover, grow and heal. Why? Because I promise you, it’s worth it in the end.
Whether you are looking for support for your own mental health or supporting a friend, help is available.
Tayyibah Hussain is currently a student at the University of Derby studying Early Childhood Studies. She is interested in Mental Health, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and supporting others and hoping to inspire them to have self-belief and faith in themselves.
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