Jessica is 17. Before taking part in her Mark Scott Leadership for Life Award, she had had several failed attempts of therapy and treatment for her mental health issues. She lived in a ‘bubble’ where she could shut herself off and hide from the world, in her therapy sessions, she felt unable to open up and talk to any of the professionals trying to help her.
"Before the Award, I never thought I’d get out of my bubble - the thought of coming out of my bubble was just terrifying. I was like ‘ this is the best place, it saves me having to face a fear, I don’t have to deal with it, I can just shut it out’. Even going to therapy and going to counselling, I wouldn’t let them in either, even though I knew they were there to help. I was just like ‘nope, you don’t need to know my life, go away’.”
During her Award, she realised what she was capable of, she became more confident; able to open up, talk about her feelings and ask for help. "I've learnt that I can trust more people than I thought I could. Sometimes you need to let someone in and on the course, I was like I actually can, and they're nice, and they're lovely." Two weeks after finishing the Award, she took the decision to check herself back into therapy and she began the long process of recovery.