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Experiencing Mental Heath Problems? You are not Alone!

I saw an advert on Facebook that caught my eye “Prudential London Ride” and I read all about the charities and the road cycle from London to Surrey, they had options for the road cycle miles: 25, 46 and 100. I love cycling, so I decided to take this challenge. I decided to compete in the 46-mile category. I was nervous because I am deaf woman on my own amongst thousands of hearing cyclists but hey, I won’t let fear or nerves stop me doing what I want! I am doing this to raise funds for “breast cancer now”. This charity is close to my heart as some family members and my darling friend have been through this. Unfortunately, my youngest aunt passed away because of breast cancer after it spread despite an operation.

I'm doing this for the people out there that are struggling with cancer and going through immense amount of pain and experiencing the fear of mortality. Some cancers can be ‘cured’ or put into remission but the mental scars don’t cure. The mental scars for the patient and the family members are deep and should be addressed as well as the physical symptoms. Those are my reasons, the Prudential Ride is a tough test for amateur cyclists, 46 miles is obviously a long journey with many difficult climbs. I will be donating money myself as well as fundraising. If you know a friend or family member doing a fundraising event, I would encourage you to sponsor them, even a small amount is great,

"You Never Know Which Pound makes the Difference…"

I love being on the road, cycling, because it helps me ease my stress. I am profoundly deaf and life was great, I had a successful job doing what I love! Fashion designer/pattern cutter. Then things in my life began to change, I moved to Suffolk from Leicester, I changed jobs which didn’t go well and I had problems with the Access to Work scheme, which I rely on to provide the support I need for my career. Needless to say, I was incredibly stressed and would often feel down and depressed. I cycled many, many miles on the road, as it helps me relax my mind and is good for my body. The mind and the body go hand in hand, you often find people with depression stop exercising or doing hobbies.

"Being active will not cure everything but it definitely helps release good chemicals in the brain which helps you feel better about yourself and life."

Access to Work is so important for the deaf and disabled community. It provides us with the communication support we require to integrate into the workplace. As I changed from an employed role to a freelance role, my Access to Work budget became confused and subsequently I had approximately £3,000 worth of BSL interpreter invoices, unpaid. This caused me so much stress, as the interpreters were chasing me constantly, Access to Work advisors would say, no budget in place and the effect of all this, has been my reputation with interpreters is not good. BSL interpreters are incredibly difficult to find so these unnecessary difficulties caused me immense problems.

I am slowly but surely sorting these issues out but I would say being active and doing a hobby I love, feeling the fresh air against my face and the freedom of the road has really helped my mental state. If you are struggling with mental health, problems at work or difficulties with the Access to Work scheme then you are not alone! I would recommend a hobby, preferably something outdoors. Play football, tennis, go running or cycling. The effects on your mind will change your outlook on life and how you interact with others… Try it today!

DeafAbility is about inspiring the deaf community. With the right support, you can achieve your professional goals.

"Every success starts with failure. If you don’t try, you won’t know…"
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