Doubleview resident recognised for effort highlighting mental health


Mental Health Minister Roger Cook and Youth Focus board chairman David Gray with Jared Stone. Picture: Alex Howell
Mental Health Minister Roger Cook and Youth Focus board chairman David Gray with Jared Stone. Picture: Alex Howell

DOUBLEVIEW resident Jared Stone has been recognised for making a difference by sharing his experience with mental health.

The 25-year-old was appointed a Youth Focus ambassador mid-last year and speaks about his battle with depression and anxiety at fundraisers and events.

“It can get pretty confronting to stand in front of a crowd of strangers to share moments in my life when I didn’t feel the greatest,” he said.

Mr Stone experienced symptoms of depression and anxiety from when he was about 13 years old but said it “peaked” several years later.

“I had essentially a breakdown. That was a really tough time,” he said.

“I ended up being a high school drop out. My mental illness and a couple of other things really disengaged me from my education.”

He had help from a GP and psychologist who taught him coping mechanisms and said support from family and friends was vital.

“It’s still an ongoing process; you never stop gaining these skills. I was lucky enough to have good family around me and lucky to have good friends to support me,” he said.

Mr Stone said he was in a fortunate position to give back to the community and was passionate about helping others understand their life was not defined by mental illness and that things would improve.

“I really hope they take away (from my talks) that no matter how dark it got in the past or how dark it is at the moment, to have hope because it gets better,” he said.

“I never want people to give up hope.”

He recently finished an advanced diploma in electrical engineering and works for Western Power, but wants to continue his public speaking work.

Mr Stone won the Youth Focus’ Make a Difference Award in the youth category at its awards night last week.

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