My sister, Leah (25) battles depression on a daily basis. While she has struggled with mental health since her teens, everything changed when her companion died this December, leaving her with a complete lack of hope in everything, her life and future especially. Leah is more creative and loving than I could ever hope to be. She is a visual artist, model, poet, musician, activist, writer, comedian, friend... But unsurprisingly, all of these things have taken a back seat to her depression, anxiety and grief.
My mum and I have not been there for her in the aftermath. Leah has had to fight the battle alone with little progress. I'm naive to think that some days she manages better than others and that Mum and I have been doing everything we can to help but neither is true. We need to do more because she is in a crisis.
Leah has been living off student loans but not attending uni at all for 6 months. As it is now summer, her payments have stopped and without a job or hope to take action, she is in a limbo stage until I can help find a temporary living situation.
After deferring her final year at university for two consecutive years due to previous mental health struggles, this was meant to be the year she finally finished....
My mum is a single parent currently on sick leave from her cleaning job, earning just enough to get by herself. She lives in Sweden while Leah and I both live in London due to our studies. I just graduated from university and am working but have my own rent to pay. Leah and I have little to no contact with other family members and have struggled with money almost our entire lives. While my mum and I have looked into charities, little is available when Leah is over 18 and not a UK citizen (her nationality is Swedish). Leah also has a mountain of debt in student loans after deferring for two years, not to mention poor bank credit.
Leah feels suicidal a lot of the time and NEEDS professional help if she has a chance at getting better. And to do that, she needs financial help.
My aim with this fundraiser is to raise enough money to afford to pay 1 month of Leah's rent (£600) so she can move in with me or a friend and still have enough to pay for the first few sessions of private counselling, something she has never had access to in the past.
Words cannot describe the pressure and stress that would be relieved if we did not have to worry about waiting until the end of the month just to get by, but instead on the most important thing which is her well-being.
We have until the end of this month to try and raise the funds and regain some hope. Anyone who has ever experienced depression and grief knows that will kind acts don't cure, they certainly can make us feel more hopeful. And that's all I want for Leah right now.