Just a few months ago Shannen Hehir had a ‘breakdown’ after suffering from depression and anxiety. Now she has a clearer perspective and is using her experiences to help others after self publishing a self help book, Well You’ve Gotta Be, Haven’t You?
In July, Shannen Hehir felt no one understood how she was feeling after losing her grandfather a few years prior.
The 24-year-old admits she lost her way and had a ‘breakdown.’
She was referred to the NHS mental health team and spoke to a grief counsellor.
She began exploring self help books and whilst she found The Secret Law of Attraction was useful, there were not many raw and relatable books out there for young adults.
She enjoyed a new sense of stability and self belief and set about publishing her own book to provide guidance for others.
Shannen, of Ribbleton, says: “I have seen different people go through things and felt a bit naive about my own mental health.
“I didn’t feel there was anything for people in the 16 to 20s age bracket.
“I wanted something to make them feel better about themselves, and help them see they were not the only ones feeling like this.
“I have anxiety and depression and in July I had a breakdown.
“I had always had these things but losing my grandad made it more prominent. It just made me feel low and horrible.
“I felt no one got it and I was on my own.
No one was understanding me and that is why I had a breakdown.”
Getting the help she needed gave Shannen more clarity on how to deal with her feelings.
She adds: “You have to flip things to a positive, rather than dwelling on little things that don’t matter, as that is what gets you to the dark place.
“You have to think more positively and have a different outlook on life.
“I have a completely different mindset now and I am really happy.”
Shannen, who works at ATOS, in Preston, believes her book is more relatable as it is written by someone who has experienced difficulty.
She adds: “My friends say they can relate to this book and it goes much further than that.
“Mental health is more prominent in younger people. I think you are more likely to be read a book from a girl of a similar age who has gone through the same issues.
“It is down to earth and to the point. I find other books hard to relate to.”
With her new mindset Shannen is hoping to enter into a career in mental health services and is currently studying sociology, anatomy and physiology at Preston’s College.
She has begun her crusade by organising an invite-only charity launch night for her book, with proceeds going towards the Arkwright Unit at Royal
Preston Hospital, which offers short term crisis help.
Shannen adds: “Growing up I chucked money at stupid things but now I want to give something back.
“So I decided to organise the event for family and friends to raise money for a brilliant cause and promote the book.
“I wanted to raise money for the Arkwright Unit which offers short term help for anyone who feels they are breaking down and will be a harm to themselves.
“They can drop into the unit at the hospital and speak to someone.
“I am also hoping to visit schools and talk to youngsters about mental health.”
To buy the book, at £6.99, visit https://www.amazon.co.uk/Well-youve-gotta-havent-autobiography-ebook/dp/B07JW2FYYR
Shannen adds: “Most of the sale of the book goes to Amazon, but I am hoping to donate 49p from each book sale to the Arkwright Unit.”
“Even now when I tell people I have it or take anti-depressants, it’s always, ‘Well you don’t seem like you’ve got anxiety. You’re loud and talk to everyone.”
“Or the classic one my grandma loves: “What have you got to be depressed about?”.
“Now, obviously, it is frowned upon to headlock my grandma or throat punch someone at work, but what you need to understand is some people just don’t get it. That is the be all and end all of it, and sometimes this causes them to say the stupidest things.”