Young Brimington woman to skydive to raise awareness of mental health

A young Brimington woman is to jump out of a plane to raise vital funds for a mental health charity.

Tuesday, 1st May 2018, 10:19 am
Updated Tuesday, 1st May 2018, 10:21 am
Rhianne Knightley overcame her anxiety and fears  after speaking out and went on to visit Thailand.
Rhianne Knightley overcame her anxiety and fears after speaking out and went on to visit Thailand.

Rhianne Knightley, 21, who has suffered with her own mental health, is to complete a skydive next month for MIND during Mental Health Awareness Week.

The inspirational woman has bravely battled severe anxiety, panic attacks and emetophobia – an extreme fear of vomiting – since the age of seven.

She said: “Turning 20, I had a lot more responsibilities that weighed down on me more than they should have and my mental health continued to deteriorate. I had absolutely no enjoyment in life. I constantly longed to be as truly happy as other people were and to be able to go on holiday, visit friends, walk my dogs and 100 per cent enjoy the amazing times I was having.

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“I got tired of worrying and trying to escape from things that more than likely were never going to happen. I would go to the cinema and restaurants and would completely panic if I wasn’t near the exit and would be planning in my mind how to escape the whole time.”

Rhianne said that she decided ‘enough was enough’ and that she did not want to be feeling like this as her 21st birthday was approaching.

“I managed to speak out after struggling for so long and it felt like such a relief,” she said. “From there I had support from colleagues, doctors, nurses, counsellors, psychotherapists – you name it. I couldn’t thank them enough and without that I would not be the person I am today.”

Since speaking out she has visited Thailand – a place she says she would never have been able to go to because of her fears.

She added that she wants to prove how far she has come and raise as much money as possible for MIND from the skydive on May 19.

“I want to raise the awareness of mental health and the misconceptions that people have about it,” she said.

n If you would like to make a donation, visit Rhianne’s fundraising page at www.gofundme.com/Skydive4MHA.