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Posted on May 13 2022 by Fiona Bailey

A St Andrew’s Healthcare patient bravely took to the stage to share her recovery story during day five of the mental health festival Headfest.

Kayleigh waived her confideliaty to talk openly about her mental health diagnosis and to talk about her experience. A Life Worth Living, a 10-minute short film that Kayleigh took part in last year was also screened as part of her session.

Speaking after the film, she said: “I now have hope for my future and I’m excited. I love cooking, it’s my passion. Once I leave St Andrew’s I plan to go to catering college and one day I want to open my own restaurant.”

A member of the audience commented on how “brave” Kayleigh had been to share her experience.

Prior to Kayleigh’s session, REDS Recovery College delivered a workshop which focussed on educating attendees about wellness and the sort of things they can do to feel good about themselves.

Peer Trainers Kyle Daniel, Violet Skinner and Suzi Koniarska led the interactive session, which encouraged people to think about self-care.

Later that day Paul Hanrahan returned to the event, which started on Monday at the Royal & Derngate, where he delivered the second LightBulb session of the week.

This time he talked about anxiety disorder and how to recognise it in young people.

He said: “Anxiety disorders are caused by environmental factor, medical factors, genetics, brain chemistry, substance abuse, or a combination of these. They are commonly triggered by stress.

“We know that one in six young people will experience anxiety issues at some point in their lives, which is why we should be educating ourselves so we can spot the signs early and take appropriate action.”

St Andrew’s Healthcare Governor Lady Tracy Northampton also gave up her time to give a talk, alongside David Coleman who is the only person in history to have crossed the English channel to France swimming from two different Channel Islands.

Together they provide open water swimming sessions at the Falcon at Castle Ashby, which they both spoke at length about.

David said: “Cold water swimming is like a battery, it recharges you. When you swim in cold temperatures you get a physical rush from hormones that makes you feel great. They call it a natural high. When I am going swimming, I know I will feel good.”

The session was one of the week’s most well-attended with members of the audiences eager to ask questions about the benefits.