Eating Disorder Awareness Week – Day 5

Today’s been quite exciting! I interviewed my local MP about plans for mental health services, it was our Silly Sock day at school, we’re a lot closer to our fundraising target and I’ve done some more baking for Sunday’s Coffee and Cake afternoon.

I had a great day at school today, Friday’s are usually good days anyway but today was especially good. Everyone was so kind and lovely and we raised  £60.08 which is amazing for such a small school.

I attend a medical school/ pupil referral unit for young people who’ve either been excluded or are unable to attend mainstream school for whatever reason. Mainstream education isn’t the best fit for me at the minute and I am really grateful for my school for taking me on and being such a safe and welcoming place. I’ve been there since September and I’ve made some amazing friends – everyone there has fought or is still fighting a battle and so the vast majority of people are incredibly understanding. There is also far less pressure put on students to achieve and attain the highest grades as all of the staff are aware that we’re all going through our own individual struggles and lots of us have missed big chunks of school. It’s a really nice, supportive environment to learn in and while I probably won’t get A*’s because of how much school I’ve missed and my current struggles, I’m pretty confident that I’ll be able to achieve the results I need (fingers crossed!) to move on to the next step, something I once didn’t think possible, and I honestly don’t believe that I’d have got any GCSEs if I’d been made to stay on at mainstream.

My friends at mainstream that have already done their GCSEs MP Ben Wallace were put under a huge amount of pressure, they were even put in detentions for getting Bs in tests because their targets were As, which is absolutely ridiculous. One of the topics that arose when I was speaking with our local MP today, was this ludicrous amount of pressure. As Mr Wallace rightly said, “Something they don’t teach in mainstream school is that failure is okay.”  

He also mentioned the fact that around 5 of of the 10 leading entrepreneurs were expelled from school, an astonishing proportion. Now I’m in no way recommending expulsion as the preferred course of action, but I am saying that academic success isn’t the be-all and end-all and you can still be massively successful without it.

Image result for everything will be okay in the end. if it's not okay then it's not the endIf you do get the high grades then that’s amazing and you should be super proud of yourself but if you don’t, even though it might feel like the end of the world at the time, there are still so many things you can do. And, as it was intoned to me while I was in hospital, ‘you can always re-do your exams, but you can’t re-do your health.’ If the only way you’re getting high grades is with huge amounts of pressure and stress and it’s coming at the expense of your health then it’s really not worth it. I know people that didn’t get any GCSEs until they were thirty and they’re incredibly successful now.

In the meeting with Ben Wallace we also discussed some of the government issues concerning mental health including the lack of inpatient beds for young people, waiting times for referrals to CAMHS and adult services, and more training in mental health for teachers and DR’s and nurses in general hospitals. We actually put some things on his agenda to be taken forwards and discussed further in the government (and potentially even in parliament) which is quite exciting!

Below are some pictures from the Silly Sock Day (there were more than three of us I promise, we just took the pictures at the end of the day!), thank you to everyone that made it one of my best days at school yet! You’re all lovely humans ❤

And you are also lovely humans dear readers, I look forwards to seeing you tomorrow and I’m really excited for Sunday’s post when I can hopefully tell what our grand total is 😀

Thank you again for reading,

Love and hugs,

Anna x

(Make sure to share your #sockitselfies on your favourite social media platform and show your support for Beat!)

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