How a West Norfolk mother of three went from thinking her family were poisoning her to running mental health workshops
A 38-year-old mother of three is starting brand new workshops focusing on mental health, self esteem and body image.
Christina Daw, of Harpley, will be using a peer support model to empower and inform people as well as promoting body acceptance and wellbeing.
Her first ever workshop will take place at the Swan Project, a youth organisation in Downham, on October 27 and will be limited to six people due to the current Covid restrictions.
Having recently studied beauty therapy, which she qualified for this month, Christina is now setting up the workshops for all ages and genders.
These will combine the skills she has learnt from beauty therapy with her mental health training and peer support work .
She has openly talked about her own struggles in which she developed an eating disorder and depression when she was 34.
This resulted in having psychosis and staying in the Fermoy physiactric unit in Lynn.
Such an experience shapes her work and desire to support others. As part of her workshops, she plans to conduct discussions as well as practical skills such as learning a skin care routine.
She said: “Wellbeing is for everyone. I never dreamt I would be in a psychiatric ward. The more support and openness about the way people struggle, the better it is really.”
Christina recalled how her eating disorder led to severe paranoia in which she believed her family were trying to poison her food. She called the police saying her family were trying to kill her.
“I always struggled with anxiety and body image from a young age,” she said. “It became much more than I thought it was very quickly. Things went from bad to worse.”
The effects of having medication to help with her psychosis resulted in rapid weight gain.
After receiving support from the Recovery College, Christina is now striving to teach people how to learn wellbeing techniques.
Her website is in the process of being created but her Instagram page is @fundamentalsbeautyinmind.