Updated: Aug 21
“I got involved in youth advocacy because of my own personal experience of being a young person diagnosed with a chronic condition. I was diagnosed at 15 with lupus, which is an autoimmune condition. There was not a lot of support for me to access when I was diagnosed and there wasn't a lot of understanding from medical professionals about how the delivery of my diagnosis had affected me.
I firmly believe that young people with chronic conditions aren't taken seriously in regard to their mental health. So I started to get involved with organizations including @lupus_uk and @your_rhuem. I have recently been involved with doctors from The Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre for Children, at @EATC4children, in a treat-to-target project where I provide a patient’s perspective to the international task force trying to change the approach to treating lupus.
It’s so important that young people are given a voice and opportunities to share their ideas. It’s vital that there be a greater awareness of young people with chronic conditions and that young people understand the conditions and how these conditions can negatively impact their mental health.
If I was the leader of my country, I would invest a lot more in the mental health and well-being of young people who are diagnosed with lifelong chronic conditions. I would promote more awareness around the difficulties that these young people encounter and how as a society we can be more mindful and inclusive.”