Christopher Reid is 24 years old, from East London. He is a keen athlete who hopes to represent Team GB in the next Paralympic games in 400m and 800m running events. Christopher has a learning disability and has had mental health difficulties in the past and he blogs about his experiences to raise awareness and advocate for others who may need support. As part of his work, Christopher is a Star Supporter for DanceSyndrome, helping us to spread the word about our work and working hard to raise much needed fund for our work. Here Chris shares a blog about his life and work, and how dancing has helped his mental health. (If you have experienced mental health difficulties yourself, we would like you to know before you read on that this blog gives details which may remind you of your own experiences.)
My name is Christopher Reid and I am 24 years old and I am a T20 para athlete which means I have a learning disability also.
I was first diagnosed with bi polar disorder when I was 15 years old. When I found out from the doctors that I had a mental health problem, I was very shocked and a bit nerve wracking because I didn’t know what this could mean to me but once the doctor talk to me about It made me feel felt me more at ease.
Once I got told with my mum and dad from my consultant saying that you have bi polar disorder.I was bit worried and frightened what my future holds. once they will tell me you will have medication and take tablets for it. At first I was a little reserved at first.
As I heard more about the medication and tablets that I was taking it made me feel a lot better.
When I first had my first breakdown which was in secondary school.
I first I didn’t really want to go into school because I was getting bullied a lot and it really affected my mental health.
I had some support from the learning disabilities department. Which helped me in class.
And some of my friends trying their best to help me but didn’t know how to best support me at the time.
the teachers didn’t know how to stop the bullying and support me with my mental health.
I think their needs to be better system and Education how to support people with their mental health in school college and workplaces.
And to stop bullying and prevent it from happening in the first place.
Then my mental health was slowly deteriorating because I had lots of breakdowns and I was sent into children psychiatric unit. It made me feel a lot worse because and it I feels like I am in a box on a boat and I can’t get out.
One of the things that has helped me is dancing. It made me feel relaxed. And that I was keen to support dance syndrome. And I think their work is really important.
Christopher has shown a significant committment to supporting our work at DanceSyndrome in 2021. In August, he took part in a sponsored walk in memory of his dad, which has raised over £2000 to date. He has had a successful year on a personal level, receiving a Young Hero award from Young Work.
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If you would like to support Christopher Reid’s fundraising, you can still donate to his Just Giving page or you can donate directly using the form below.