Model Adwoa Aboah (perhaps the most satisfying name ever to say) has collaborated with The Heads Together campaign, spearheaded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to end the stigma around mental health.
The charity has released 10 mini-films (featuring Professor Green, Ruby Wax and more) to talk about their story and the life-changing conversation with the first person they opened up to about their mental health struggles.
Aboah discusses her story of depression with her mother Camilla Lowther in her film. Her mother admits in the video she didn’t realise her daughter had any underlying mental health issues. “I just thought you had a problem with drugs,” she tells her. “Until you tried to kill yourself.”
Adwoa Aboah had a turbulent start to life through fighting addiction. She was young when she started experimenting with drugs. Her concerned parents sent her to a treatment centre in Arizona for rehabilitation, where she says she met the “women who came into my life when I needed them the most – the women who actually saved my life?” and inspired her to start Gurls Talk. She lost a friend to an overdose and soon relapsed. Despite being a model, being judged on her appearance made her question her self-worth -“I think if you don’t like being in your skin, it doesn’t matter how many times people say you’re beautiful.” In October 2014, Adwoa tried to take her own life and was in a coma for four days before being committed to a psychiatric hospital.
Adwoa attended an all-female recovery meeting where she says women “were sharing the most intimate details of their lives-their relationships with their husbands, to their exhaustion with their children, their sex lives- all the things one might feel too ashamed to talk about in front of men, or even in front of each other. But there was no competition, no judgment, no shame.” Realising that she was not alone on her journey, Aboah felt compelled to reach out to others, found strength in her weaknesses used Instagram to create her Gurls Talk account (which already has close to 80,000 followers) as a way to kickstart her GurlsTalk campaign and share her story. Gurls Talk is a unique online platform that promotes and nurtures female empowerment, equality, and strength. A website and quirky merchandise quickly followed suit. Gurls Talk is her way of using her own negative personal experience of depression and addiction, to get girls around the world discussing mental health, sexuality and body image.
Check out the Instagram @gurlstalk and join the conversation at GurlsTalk.com.
Featured Image: @adwoahaboah.