Aspiring mental health nurse, Karis Grange, knows first-hand how mental health can affect wellbeing and is determined to support those who are suffering.
As part of her college social action project, Karis has been volunteering at the Recovery Shoebox Project; a charity providing mental health toolkits for individuals who are struggling.
A worthy cause
After receiving a shoebox herself, Karis appreciated the thought and care that went into the box and wanted to help in making a difference.
“When I was going through a difficult time, the shoebox really cheered me up – I couldn’t believe the effort that had been put into my bespoke box. I decided to volunteer at the Recovery Shoebox Project as my placement, as I wanted to encourage those struggling to not suffer in silence.
“The initiative was founded and funded by Harrogate resident, Megan Reid, who sadly passed away in February 2019. Her mother, Jo, carried on the project in her honour in order to help individuals with mental health difficulties.
“Due to Covid-19, the past year has been extremely difficult for many people, especially those suffering from mental health issues. The shoeboxes include useful items, such as tips to manage anxiety, self care ideas, stress balls and Megan’s envelopes of distractions and positivity.”
Working with the project
Each week, Karis works with the shoebox initiative to create tailored packages.
“It’s amazing to be involved with such an important cause. I help organise the boxes and contribute to tips on how to manage insomnia, anxiety and PTSD, quote strips and reasons to carry on fighting.
“I really want to promote the message ‘It’s okay not to be okay’ and for individuals to reach out if they’re struggling.”
Karis studies Health and Social Care Extended Diploma Level 3 at Harrogate College and hopes to become a mental health nurse in the future.
“Following a break from my studies last year due to my mental and physical health, I returned to college determined to pursue a career in the care sector. I’m passionate about talking to other young individuals about the importance of positive mental health.
“Harrogate College has supported me to achieve my best, constantly helping me work towards my ambition of becoming a mental health nurse.
“Working with the Recovery Shoebox Project helps me learn how to manage mental health illnesses. If my support with the shoebox has helped even one individual, it will have been incredibly worthwhile. Don’t suffer in silence – order a box if you’re struggling.”
Read more about how you can work with the charity here.