Everyone feels anxious at times; it’s our body’s way of keeping us alert. But it becomes an issue when worry or fear starts to interfere with your day-to-day life. This week for Mental Health Month, our CARE Foundation partner ReachOut has shared Belle’s* story on how ReachOut, and connecting with others for support, has helped her manage her anxiety.

2 min
14 October 2020

I was bullied when I was younger, there were lots of people I didn’t get along with and this lead to a lot of negative talk and actions thrown my way.  ​

I wanted to be normal and to fit in, I wanted for everyone to like me. After a while I essentially bullied myself and eventually, I became my own worst enemy.  ​

I wasn’t in a good head space, my body image was crap and my eating started suffering because of this. My health and my spark started to deteriorate. I didn’t even notice how much damage I was doing to myself trying to fit in, I was hurting myself emotionally and physically and spiralling out of control. ​


Everything started to be out of my control, my eating or lack thereof was causing my body and my mind to shut down. I couldn’t control my emotions - I was constantly sick and sad. The cycle just went round and round. I struggled doing daily tasks, like walking down the street. It wasn’t uncommon for me when in class or walking down the street by myself to start getting dizzy, I would see dots in my vision and feel a hot flush before everything went black and I passed out.  ​


This went on for a few years and I was just about to turn 17 when I finally admitted I needed help. I couldn’t keep living like that, I wanted to be the bright, bubbly girl I once was. The girl with a million dreams and a spark in her eye. I was sick of hating myself and putting my body through so much torment. I reached out to my mum, and my family and my friends. I luckily had a great team of people by this point wanting to help me get back to being me.  ​


After reaching out I was diagnosed with anorexia, depression and anxiety – it really hit me how unwell I had become. With the help of my family, friends and some amazing medical professionals - but most importantly myself I fought to get better.  ​

At first I would take two steps forward and five steps back, I’d have a great day and then three bad ones. But I kept on pushing through. I found lots of coping strategies, nature, breathing, yoga and meditation. There are some great apps that can help with all that, including the ReachOut app Breathe which I still use all the time. 

ReachOut provides mental health services for young people and their parents in Australia

Flash forward a few years and I am now 24. I have a job, I have travelled, I love food and I have a smile on my face more days than not. I still struggle with anxiety, and my eating at times, I’m not saying life is picture-perfect all the time, but I have steps in place to help me, people to support me and lots of breathing techniques, oh the breathing techniques! ​


5 years ago if you had told me that I would be able to be this functioning, I probably would have laughed and cried and called you crazy. I never thought I would get here.  For those of you who are struggling with fitting in, loving yourself, being kind to yourself or struggling emotionally in any way all I can say is you are not alone, and by reaching out you can find so many great resources and so much support!  ​

Whether it be your friends, family, maybe the old lady you sent next to on the bus - she surely will have some wise words, or if reaching out to someone in person isn’t for you - ReachOut offers amazing online resources at a touch of a button for so many different things, you can find online support or research what’s going on!  ​

If you can only take one thing away from my words today- Know that you are worthy of happiness and reaching out for help was the best thing I ever did.


ReachOut is the most accessed online mental health service for young people and their parents in Australia. Their trusted self-help information, peer-support program and referral tools save lives by helping young people be well and stay well. ReachOut is a free service that’s available anytime and pretty much anywhere. If you need more support or information, head to ​


*Not her real name  

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