“They supported me in creating a life that I couldn’t have imagined.”
Consultancy business owner Emma Quinn shares her battle against her mental health and how the Prince’s Trust Women Supporting Women project helped her recover from her mental breakdown, which helped to empower her to set up her own business...
Since her early teens, Emma Quinn has struggled with depression but felt like she could never tell anyone due to the stigma of it being seen as ‘attention seeking’ – shocking, right?
But when her beloved gran died, Emma’s depression began to get worse. ‘She was my best friend and it was all so sudden. I was 17 and I didn’t cope with it well. I ended up not going to sixth form and cancelling my university choices. But when I was offered bereavement support, I became shut down and was determined to get better on my own – but it didn’t work’, says Emma.
After years of suffering in silence, Emma sadly reached crisis point aged 25. She quit her job as an intensive care nurse and two months later she became severely unwell and tragically tried to take her own life. She was then referred to the crisis resolution and home treatment team before being transferred to the community mental health team, who diagnosed her with bipolar and OCD; her medication was changed making her more stable.
Looking back on her darkest days, Emma now sees that period of her life as part of her self-growth. ‘This was hugely upsetting at the time; however, in hindsight, it’s now such a small part of my journey and I’m grateful for the challenges as much as I am the successes.
“For any women who are struggling, I would advise them to find their support network. I was so surprised by the positive response when I opened up about my mental health and the amount of support that is actually out there. Have the courage to speak with someone and don’t be afraid to try again. Write down how you’re feeling if you’re struggling to open up to someone, you can also take someone with you to appointments – you don’t have to do any of it alone”, added Emma
As part of her recovery, Emma started art therapy which inspired her to set up her first business Piffy & Egg to support others suffering from mental health issues by running craft courses for organisations. This is where The Prince’s Trust Women Supporting Women project came in and helped her.
Women Supporting Women’s mission is to change 6,500 young women’s lives by raising £10 million over five years and using the funds to nurture, empower and inspire the women to build their own futures through employment or training.
‘I wanted to be able to make this type of art therapy more accessible to others, a low-level intervention for mental health support. All of the staff were so supportive and it was the first time I didn’t feel ashamed of what had happened a few months prior. The Trust reignited my confidence and not only supported me with their resources, but they also supported me in creating a life that I couldn’t have imagined before. I’m so grateful.
Now Emma uses her personal experience to help in her consultancy business EClarity Coaching providing services and wellbeing support within organisations across the nation and globe. And her work doesn’t stop there; Emma also works alongside her best friend Kelly Tamplin to run their business Complete Confidence Makeover that supports women struggling with their self-esteem, confidence, body image and wellbeing.
Feel inspired by Emma’s story to help change young women’s lives? Why not host your own Brilliant Breakfast fundraising event?
All you have to do is simply ask groups of friends, colleagues, businesses and brands to host a Brilliant Breakfast during the week of 11th – 17th October 2021, which will change lives by raising money for young women who need support, helping them have a more positive future.
Follow this link to find out more on how to host a Brilliant Breakfast.
If you are struggling with mental health and need some support visit the Samaritans website.
Want to know more information about the Women Supporting Women project? Visit The Prince’s Trust website.
Join O and The Entrepreneur’s Forum’s The Brilliant Breakfast on 14 October
The Secret Tower – 8.30am – 10.30am
Hosted by Kari Owers, the first North East ambassador for the Prince’s Trust ‘Women Supporting Women’ #ChangeaGirlsLife campaign, this event will ensure that young women’s futures are not predetermined by circumstance, but supported and inspired.
Kari will chair a discussion between a panel of some of our region’s most exciting and inspirational entrepreneurs and business leaders, looking at how they tread their own path and what challenges they faced along the way, their resilience and ability to adapt to change and disruption.
Kari Owers, Founder and MD, O.agency
Joanna Feely, Founder and CEO, Trend Bible
Katy Sayburn, ex Monarch Group director and business leader
Sarah Pittendrigh, Entrepreneur, Coach and Mentor
Emma Quinn, Consultant and Prince’s Trust AmbassadorBook Tickets