Why my own adolescent struggle made me support this important initiative

When I was a teenager, I had some pretty dark times and I almost didn’t make it to adulthood. That is why I have agreed to be a champion for a new initiative, Embrace at Telethon Kids Institute which is launching today.

Embrace is Western Australia’s first research centre devoted to the mental health of children and young people ages 0-25.

Please watch this video and join me to #SupportEmbrace

I invite you to do two things:

1. Please post a photo of a younger you on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to show your support for young people. Tag the photo @TelethonKids #SupportEmbrace

2. Please make a donation (however small) to the Embrace campaign, to support their fabulous team of researchers to do wonderful things. supportembrace.org.au

Let’s support our young people…
@TelethonKids #SupportEmbrace

#SupportEmbrace on Instagram

This is me possibly at the same ages of both my gorgeous girls now.. Growing up in Ireland I always had a sense of security.. I guess that comes from having a huge family with a thousand cousins 😉 even though I went to an entirely different school to all the neighbourhood kids, I still had that confidence, never felt too insecure about who I was or where I belonged... Then at 12 (possibly the worst age ever for a life altering experience) my family moved to Perth.. it could have been Mars for all I cared, as not only did my world fall apart, so too did my confidence & that security.. I was thrown into The Den of Lions, year 8 High School.. where everyone already knew each other and friendship circles had been formed.. I was the “the one with a stupid accent” “the backwards Irish one”... Oh the names that I got called 🤨 
Worse still I came from Dublin not even knowing what surfing was.. and in mid 80s Perth.. you where either a Surfy or a Bogan... I was that uncool I was neither 😉
Sure enough although I did make some beautiful & amazing friends, it’s pretty easy to see that my teen years at High School were HELL.. Back then Mental Health wasn’t a thing... kids being depressed was put down to teen hormones.. or worse they were just “bad eggs” 😔
Thankfully today there is so much more information, more acceptance, and as my kids approach their own time in The Lions Den, more people for them to reach out to for help.
I look at them now and fear what they may go through but knowing they have places like @telethon_kids & their Embrace campaign to help us along our journey.. Embrace is WA’s 1st Research Centre devoted to the Mental Health of young people. ❤️❤️
Thank you @maggiedentauthor & @nicnat for being inspirational to all the mums & kids out there & for your support ❤️ You too can show your support by doing this:
1. Raise awareness and Share your own pictures & stories (you can be strong) 
2. Give a donation to https://embrace.telethonkids.org.au

#supportembrace #mentalhealthawareness #kidsmentalhealth #telethonkids #research #reachout #yourenotalone #shareyourstory #embraceourkids #thepopupbraboutique #grateful #mumofgirls #hormonesandhealth
This is me possibly at the same ages of both my gorgeous girls now.. Growing up in Ireland I always had a sense of security.. I guess that comes from having a huge family with a thousand cousins 😉 even though I went to an entirely different school to all the neighbourhood kids, I still had that confidence, never felt too insecure about who I was or where I belonged... Then at 12 (possibly the worst age ever for a life altering experience) my family moved to Perth.. it could have been Mars for all I cared, as not only did my world fall apart, so too did my confidence & that security.. I was thrown into The Den of Lions, year 8 High School.. where everyone already knew each other and friendship circles had been formed.. I was the “the one with a stupid accent” “the backwards Irish one”... Oh the names that I got called 🤨 Worse still I came from Dublin not even knowing what surfing was.. and in mid 80s Perth.. you where either a Surfy or a Bogan... I was that uncool I was neither 😉 Sure enough although I did make some beautiful & amazing friends, it’s pretty easy to see that my teen years at High School were HELL.. Back then Mental Health wasn’t a thing... kids being depressed was put down to teen hormones.. or worse they were just “bad eggs” 😔 Thankfully today there is so much more information, more acceptance, and as my kids approach their own time in The Lions Den, more people for them to reach out to for help. I look at them now and fear what they may go through but knowing they have places like @telethon_kids & their Embrace campaign to help us along our journey.. Embrace is WA’s 1st Research Centre devoted to the Mental Health of young people. ❤️❤️ Thank you @maggiedentauthor & @nicnat for being inspirational to all the mums & kids out there & for your support ❤️ You too can show your support by doing this: 1. Raise awareness and Share your own pictures & stories (you can be strong) 2. Give a donation to https://embrace.telethonkids.org.au #supportembrace #mentalhealthawareness #kidsmentalhealth #telethonkids #research #reachout #yourenotalone #shareyourstory #embraceourkids #thepopupbraboutique #grateful #mumofgirls #hormonesandhealth
“1 in 3 deaths of young AUSTRALIANS is because of suicide” 😭 This stat is absolutely heart breaking & seems unbelievable! ...
I know many of us are trying hard to break the stigma & we are starting conversations all over the country everyday but there is still so much work to be done & it starts with you ❤️ ...
I’ve teamed up with @telethon_kids to share my story & let kids know they aren’t alone in what they’re going through! AND you can do this too ❤️
....
Growing up I was always the LOUD clown 🤡 and you’ll see that if you swipe 👉🏻 but deep down I was full of fear & worry & lacked confidence (although this pic would make you think otherwise) I was constantly worried 😦 and anxious 😥 BUT I didn’t know how to express this as a child so I would put on a brave, silly face 🤪 & pretended everything was ok when it wasn’t! ...
This only got worse in my teens & I went on to have an eating disorder & became obsessive about my weight & by the time I hit my twenties I was self medicating with booze & drugs! ...
In my late twenties I was diagnosed with #anxiety & it was the best thing that ever happened to me because I FINALLY understood myself for the first time ever! I don’t regret my childhood or teens...but what I wish I knew, was that I had a #mentallillness so I could understand myself! I want our kids to remember they aren’t alone & many of us before them have been through what they have & survived! They can too!! ...
You don’t have to be strong, you just have to know it’s ok to not be ok! Please share with your kids & donate www.embrace.telethonkids.org.au/ 🙌🏻🙏❤️ #telethonkids #supportembrace
“1 in 3 deaths of young AUSTRALIANS is because of suicide” 😭 This stat is absolutely heart breaking & seems unbelievable! ... I know many of us are trying hard to break the stigma & we are starting conversations all over the country everyday but there is still so much work to be done & it starts with you ❤️ ... I’ve teamed up with @telethon_kids to share my story & let kids know they aren’t alone in what they’re going through! AND you can do this too ❤️ .... Growing up I was always the LOUD clown 🤡 and you’ll see that if you swipe 👉🏻 but deep down I was full of fear & worry & lacked confidence (although this pic would make you think otherwise) I was constantly worried 😦 and anxious 😥 BUT I didn’t know how to express this as a child so I would put on a brave, silly face 🤪 & pretended everything was ok when it wasn’t! ... This only got worse in my teens & I went on to have an eating disorder & became obsessive about my weight & by the time I hit my twenties I was self medicating with booze & drugs! ... In my late twenties I was diagnosed with #anxiety & it was the best thing that ever happened to me because I FINALLY understood myself for the first time ever! I don’t regret my childhood or teens...but what I wish I knew, was that I had a #mentallillness so I could understand myself! I want our kids to remember they aren’t alone & many of us before them have been through what they have & survived! They can too!! ... You don’t have to be strong, you just have to know it’s ok to not be ok! Please share with your kids & donate www.embrace.telethonkids.org.au/ 🙌🏻🙏❤️ #telethonkids #supportembrace
Me: The next time I open up to someone is my autopsy. ALSO ME: When I got asked to be a champion for the latest @telethon_kids campaign I was shook. Especially when so many amazing people like @nicnat , @brendan_pang and @thestyletrust shared such inspirational stories and they are so influential, then someone reassured me it’s not only about followers but about people resonating with you and y’all know how I love to share so here we goo... ( this picture doesn’t have relation to the story because I avoided photos in the year it was) When I was in eight grade I auditioned to be an extra in a tv show for channel 7, after I auditioned,  my acting teacher pulled me out of class and said I probably won’t make the cut because I don’t look “Hollywood “ I don’t know if she was trying to protect me from the industry or something else but I burst into tears and ran to the bathroom. Some of my classmates came to check on me and they did make me feel better and reassured me but I was still so upset and embarrassed. fast forward to the present I am in the fashion industry and  even though I am not a stick and I have learnt to love myself and embrace my flaws because that’s what makes me me. 
Some people don’t like sharing personal stories because they feel it may make them seem weak ( when really you never know it could save someone’s life) but I wanted to share this to show young kids that they can do anything and don’t let anyone tell them they cant.

we need to start talking more about mental health! If you want to #supportembrace and help kids with mental heath simply post a picture of yourself and share a time you were vulnerable or head to @telethon_kids to find out where to make a donation #telethonkids
Me: The next time I open up to someone is my autopsy. ALSO ME: When I got asked to be a champion for the latest @telethon_kids campaign I was shook. Especially when so many amazing people like @nicnat , @brendan_pang and @thestyletrust shared such inspirational stories and they are so influential, then someone reassured me it’s not only about followers but about people resonating with you and y’all know how I love to share so here we goo... ( this picture doesn’t have relation to the story because I avoided photos in the year it was) When I was in eight grade I auditioned to be an extra in a tv show for channel 7, after I auditioned, my acting teacher pulled me out of class and said I probably won’t make the cut because I don’t look “Hollywood “ I don’t know if she was trying to protect me from the industry or something else but I burst into tears and ran to the bathroom. Some of my classmates came to check on me and they did make me feel better and reassured me but I was still so upset and embarrassed. fast forward to the present I am in the fashion industry and even though I am not a stick and I have learnt to love myself and embrace my flaws because that’s what makes me me. Some people don’t like sharing personal stories because they feel it may make them seem weak ( when really you never know it could save someone’s life) but I wanted to share this to show young kids that they can do anything and don’t let anyone tell them they cant.
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we need to start talking more about mental health! If you want to #supportembrace and help kids with mental heath simply post a picture of yourself and share a time you were vulnerable or head to @telethon_kids to find out where to make a donation #telethonkids
As you all know this is unlike my usual posts but one very close to my heart. 
There’s a new campaign to show support for young people, particularly those that struggle with mental health. Simply post a photo of your younger self,  hashtag #supportembrace and include your story if you wish.  Australia has just launched Embrace; its first (and long overdue) research institute focused on mental health for our youth from 0 to 25 years of age. Apart from raising awareness for youth mental health through this campaign, Embrace is also looking for donations to further their research. 
Such a great initiative and I will gladly share this to show our young people that they are not alone. Because really; most of us have experienced challenges at one time in our lives. I hope you all share this too. 
#supportembrace #raiseawareness #supportouryouth #mentalhealth #weareallinthistogether
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...and this is me; brand new to Australia. Being kept active daily by trying to outrun bullies (I can’t remember my success rate, but I got pretty fast!) while trying to figure out if it was my poor English, my boyish looks (my sister insisted on giving me this stylish haircut), my large family or my German background that made me their target. 
In the end, I figured out it was just better to take the long way to school to avoid the boys trying to hunt me down on their bikes and to try and keep a low profile. Until luckily for me my parents went bankrupt one day and we had to move to a school where everyone was a lot more culturally diverse and accepting of who I was and life took a turn for the better (well kind of) for a while at least 😉❤️ And thank you @0to100wa for making me aware of this campaign. So proud of this guy too ❤️
As you all know this is unlike my usual posts but one very close to my heart. There’s a new campaign to show support for young people, particularly those that struggle with mental health. Simply post a photo of your younger self, hashtag #supportembrace and include your story if you wish. Australia has just launched Embrace; its first (and long overdue) research institute focused on mental health for our youth from 0 to 25 years of age. Apart from raising awareness for youth mental health through this campaign, Embrace is also looking for donations to further their research. Such a great initiative and I will gladly share this to show our young people that they are not alone. Because really; most of us have experienced challenges at one time in our lives. I hope you all share this too. #supportembrace #raiseawareness #supportouryouth #mentalhealth #weareallinthistogether * * ...and this is me; brand new to Australia. Being kept active daily by trying to outrun bullies (I can’t remember my success rate, but I got pretty fast!) while trying to figure out if it was my poor English, my boyish looks (my sister insisted on giving me this stylish haircut), my large family or my German background that made me their target. In the end, I figured out it was just better to take the long way to school to avoid the boys trying to hunt me down on their bikes and to try and keep a low profile. Until luckily for me my parents went bankrupt one day and we had to move to a school where everyone was a lot more culturally diverse and accepting of who I was and life took a turn for the better (well kind of) for a while at least 😉❤️ And thank you @0to100wa for making me aware of this campaign. So proud of this guy too ❤️