“You need to see depression as an intruder, as something that is not a part of you and that needs to get out of your life.”
TV presenter Chrissy B spoke to an audience of around 100 people at an event called “Living or Just Surviving?” held at the University of Westminster. This is the same place she studied at over 20 years ago and where she was also going through terrible depression and panic attacks.
“It was wonderful to go back under very different circumstances; to talk about my recovery and offer hope to people who are still going through this terrible mental health condition, or whose loved ones are affected by it.”
There was also an interview with Chelsea Football Club’s first black player, Paul Canoville, who joined the club in 1982. Paul’s life spiralled out of control when his career was cut short by injury and his infant son died in his arms.
The event was organised along with Damien Ridge, Professor of Health Studies and a psychotherapist at the University of Westminster. He said, “The remarkable courage and creativity that those dealing with depression, and striving to get better, can reveal human spirit at its best. This event offered hope. Chrissy B and Paul Canoville opened up about painful experiences to help support others going through depression. I am sure it moved people and made a big difference to those in the audience.”
Katherine Cormack, Project Manager of WellHappy App under the NHS, who was present at the event with freebies and information for students said, “Chrissy was incredible and such a fantastic ambassador. I think her story is really inspiring and she is doing an amazing thing by being open about her experiences.”
Fiona Malpass, a psychology student and promoter of mental health awareness with the University said, “Everyone I spoke to who went to the event had very positive things to say, which is fantastic. “Living or Just Surviving?” is an incredibly apt way to describe how it can be for someone who is battling mental health issues, and a fantastic way to campaign against mental health stigma, as well as hopefully inspiring others to question their attitudes to mental health problems and maybe do more themselves to help change negative attitudes.”
The audience was also wowed by two VYG performances, one of which was “Live Life to the Fullest”, very fitting for this event, showing people that it is possible to be happy, even after the worst kind of depression.
Major depression affects one in four people in their lifetime, but many more will experience some sort of milder depression, which at times can be very debilitating.
Chrissy continues to speak out about depression and spread a message of hope and happiness.