From a young age, Mahum has cared for a close relative who suffers from depression. It’s been a very demanding role and one that has weighed heavy on her young shoulders. So much so that by the time Mahum was 15 it all became too much for her. The constant pressure and responsibility of being a carer led Mahum to start harming herself and resulted in her developing a fear of being out in the open.
Thankfully, Mahum was put in touch with Girls Xpress, a project funded by Comic Relief and run by the charity The WISH Centre. Its aim is to support girls aged 13 to 19 who self-harm and raise awareness of the issues facing young people who self-harm.
Mahum says, “The first thing with the project is that you feel totally comfortable, because you know that other people there are self-harming or have done. You’re not embarrassed or shy about it and that’s a huge thing. To have peer support, a group of girls rather than an adult, makes it easier to talk about the issues.”
Today, Mahum is an enthusiastic law student who still attends the support group to help other girls like herself. “To be honest, if it wasn’t for Girls Xpress, I don’t think I’d be alive. So now I talk to the girls who come and provide them with different solutions – different ways to take the pain away.”
“To talk to a group of girls rather than an adult, makes it easier to talk about the issues.”