We Are Essex

Emilia's story

Emilia Ilieva image

"People who speak up about their mental health conditions – they are my heroes."

I’m from Bulgaria originally and I came to Essex straight from there. At first it was a massive cultural shock. But after that it was just very exciting. Meeting so many different people, learning so many different things. I would say that the University experience is just mind-opening, that’s the only way to describe it. I’ve changed a lot from when I first came here.

Now I’m on a placement year for Mid and North East Essex Mind, the mental health charity, helping people with mental health problems and drug and alcohol misuse issues. I’m very passionate about mental health. People who speak up about their mental health conditions to try to raise awareness – they are my heroes. There’s a lot of stigma around mental health and I just want to help people as much as I can.

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