WATCH: 'Embarrassed': Gladstone woman talks anxiety battle

FOR three years Bec Frost had a silent battle with anxiety.

But this week she stood in front of a small crowd to share her story.

Ms Frost, the ambassador of Headspace Gladstone's The Big Stigma campaign, said it was easy for people suffering from mental health issues to feel isolated.

Now she tries to share her story as much as possible to encourage others to speak up.

When she was 12 she struggled to get out of bed and felt sick most days.

Ms Frost regrets that it wasn't until she was 15 she decided to seek help.

She said it was a lack of knowledge about mental-health issues that stopped her from seeking help.

"To this day I have no idea what triggered it (anxiety)," she said.

"I became familiar with what it was like not to be able to get myself out of bed every morning.

"Every day I was sick before school and, personally, I felt selfish about it all.

"That's why I didn't seek help, because I thought I had nothing to be upset about.

"I felt embarrassed to talk about it because I felt like no one would understand.

"I had this great life with a loving family and friends so I would think how could I possibly have anxiety."

Headspace youth reference member Bec Frost launched the Big Stigma campaign, sharing her story with her experience suffering anxiety.
Headspace youth reference member Bec Frost launched the Big Stigma campaign, sharing her story with her experience suffering anxiety. Tegan Annett

Headspace Gladstone youth reference group member Shae Bunge watched Ms Frost deliver her speech and felt inspired to share her own experience with depression.

"I had my own views of how someone who was depressed was supposed to look and act," she said.

"It stopped me from getting help for almost six years because I didn't fit into those ideas.

"To me I was just being over-dramatic because 'these things don't happen to me'."

Colleen Tribe, general manager for Roseberry Community Services, the lead agency for Headspace Gladstone, said stigma played a profound and significant role in stopping Australian youth from seeking help for mental-health issues.

"Stigma can make it harder to ask for help and get support for mental-health issues out of fear of being judged," Mrs Tribe said.

The Big Stigma is a four-week campaign in which people will be invited to "tear down" the stigma and share their own mental-health stories.

This will be done by removing a piece of stigma from the structure - a panel from its outer shell containing information about mental health issues and how to seek help for them.

If you would like to get involved visit thebigstigma.com.au to digitally tear down the stigma on the website.


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