Teenager skydives for charity that saved her from self harm and suicide

PUBLISHED: 09:12 10 September 2018

Lorna (left) and Leanne Gibbs are organising a fundraising sky jump for Mind charity. Photo: Leanne Gibs

Lorna (left) and Leanne Gibbs are organising a fundraising sky jump for Mind charity. Photo: Leanne Gibs

Leanne Gibbs

An 18-year-old mental health blogger is jumping out of a plane to raise money for the charity that helped her overcome self harm.

Leanne Gibbs, from Lowestoft, is doing the sky dive with her sister Lorna, with all proceeds raised by the jump going to mental health charity, Mind.

The Lowestoft teenager has been battling with severe depression and psychotic episodes since high school and has made several suicide attempts.

Her self harm was first noticed by a teacher when she started refusing to take part in PE lessons in her final year at a school in Lowestoft.

She said: “Home life was as good as it can get with no problems at all. School life was pretty tough for me though, I was getting kicked out of class and getting excluded.

“I realised I was [self harming] 3-4 times a week. It wasn’t a healthy way of coping and at this point I started to hear voices as well as suicidal thoughts.”

After a GP appointment Leanne was finally referred to the Child Adolescent Mental Health Service.

She said she wants to raise money for Mind because the charity has supported through her “toughest days”.

She added: “There’s not very much mental health support in Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

“I hope that raising money for the charity will help more young people suffering get help.”

Leanne is determined to not only raise money but awareness too and has started a blog sharing her personal journey through the mental health system.

After an interview on BBC Look East about her experience with self harm, Leanne said she’s been contacted by others looking for advice on how to battle depression.

“People were reaching out to me after they saw my story on the BBC. It was good to see people asking for advice they wanted to know how I dealt with it and the first steps I took for getting help.”

Moving forward the teenager hopes to qualify as a mental health nurse so she can use her difficult experiences to make a positive difference in the community.

The charity sky dive is due to take place on October 1 at Ellough airfield near Beccles.

Find out more about the sponsored sky dive here.

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