Yasmin’s Mental Health Journey


How my own mental health journey helped shape the vision for The Village.

By Yasmin.


Throughout the month of May, you may have seen a lot in the press and social media promoting mental health and maternal mental health awareness. These vital campaigns are continually trying to break through the stigma and change the narrative surrounding mental health and mental illnesses. 

I’d like to share my own personal experience with mental health and how that led me to want to create a support hub for parents and carers. 


Starting to struggle

For me, my own mental health story came into sharp focus during my early thirties. Whilst I wouldn’t say up until that point I had ever felt particularly happy or joyful in my life, I don’t think I had yet experienced depression.

At that time I was living a fun, carefree lifestyle in London for quite a few years. I was earning a good salary, had loads of friends, was very sociable and fell in love with my now husband.  Suddenly out of nowhere, I lost the desire and the ability to communicate with anyone and I had the heaviest sadness around me, crushing me. This was an extremely dark period. I remember blocking all of my friends. I didn’t want to see them or speak to them and my own unwillingness to cooperate with their pleas scared me. I didn’t feel like I could share this load with anyone close to me.


Seeking help

I somehow managed to pluck up the courage to book in with the doctors and I remember the appointment so vividly. I couldn’t speak, I choked up and burst into tears. I don’t know how we got anywhere but it was obvious I needed some help and I was swiftly booked onto some counselling sessions.  

Week one of counselling and I struck gold with the kindest lady who provided sessions from her gorgeous home in Pimlico, where her purring cats pootled around the place. But I encountered the same issue here again, the complete inability to express my feelings. Shut down. I mean, I was able to talk about events, people and my potential depression triggers, no problem, but when it came to feeling anything or trying to communicate feelings, I was overwhelmed. My counsellor introduced me to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and at first I found it quite useful and interesting but weeks passed and really, it didn’t scratch the surface in unearthing or dealing with anything underlying. What the wonderful counsellor did provide me with, and I will be forever grateful, were books, and lots of them. 

Learning about psychological health and wellbeing, with some self-help stuff thrown in there for good measure, started to change things for me. For the next five years I became hooked on reading about brain development, adverse childhood experiences and trauma. The more I read the more I was able to understand myself. This understanding made me feel more confident with who I was. I started to learn that I could be compassionate towards myself. Around this time, I also started looking after my own wellbeing by finding a yoga practice and working with various coaches and holistic healing practitioners.  For the first time in my life I found I was able to see more beauty in the world and not just focus on the pain and the suffering. 


Becoming a mum

The following few years saw me preparing for and becoming a mother and the desire for learning about childhood brain development, trauma and the effects on longer term health continued to be at the forefront of my mind. Even after doing all of this reading and learning I still felt I had unresolved issues and was desperately trying to fix myself, believing that if I didn’t, then I would pass on all of this bad stuff onto my son. I wanted to be an emotionally happier and healthier person so that I could provide my child with the best chance of a happy and healthy life.

I’d spent so much time ‘fixing’ myself and a lot of it did help but I still had a lot of unfinished work. Logically, I had this figured out thanks to all of my reading. But emotionally and physically, I was stuck, my unresolved emotions were still stored in my body somewhere.

This is where it all started to get messy again, because this stuff is hard to identify and work through, and importantly you need the right support around you to have a good chance at healing.

After the birth of my son, I struggled to find the support I needed postnatally. I had an emotionally very traumatic birth and this took a toll on my mental health again. I had a debrief with the head of midwifery, was booked into counselling (again provided by the NHS) but after the first appointment, we didn’t click and my trauma from this experience went unresolved for many years.


Figuring out what I need

My personal experiences aren’t uncommon. The way that they are dealt with within our medical system and talked about in society can be great for some people I’m sure but for me, it just wasn’t working and I felt that there must be a better way to help people heal, including me. I needed safe spaces with no one trying to fix me. 

I needed unconditional love. I needed people to listen to me without judgement and for the bombardment of unsolicited advice to stop. I wanted people to trust me as I was finally learning how to start trusting myself.

These days I feel like I have learnt ways to look after and support myself, I’m much better at noticing my emotions and my overall mental wellbeing. Eating well, moving my body and checking in with my feelings are really important to try and keep me in balance.  Particularly food, I’ve noticed that when I eat terribly, I feel terrible too and then this seems to have a knock on effect in all other areas. Recently, I worked with a spiritual coach and was guided through some beautiful visualisations to help me release bad feelings and energy when it all gets a bit too much.

Throughout most of the pandemic we had family dance parties at home every day which was a great way to lift our moods and we spent a lot of time in nature at parks or in the woods. I also try to surround myself with supportive people that are happy to talk openly and honestly about all of this kind of stuff and that really helps. The more I talk, the less heavy it feels. 

I’ve definitely had some low points in the last 6 months, but knowing where to find help and what type of support works for me is a real comfort these days. I would definitely say it’s all still a work in progress. Nothing in life stays the same so our emotional health and wellbeing can’t be expected to stay the same but I feel lucky to have picked up some useful tips over the recent years to help me ride the ups and downs a bit better.  


Helping others get what they need

Every parent wants the best for their child but I really don’t feel like aspects of our society are set up to help parents be the best they can be. There are services and support networks out there but they can be really hard to find if you don’t know where to look. These services can also be financially out of most peoples reach unless you have a lot of disposable income. And this is where the idea of The Village was born. Ultimately, I didn’t want other parents going through what I had been through.

I’m still on my healing journey and I believe The Village will be able to provide me with some of the nurturing and support I will need in the coming years: to help me navigate the ups and downs, twists and turns that being a parent throws at us. If this feels like what you may need, I hope The Village is there to provide this for you too.

Much love




For all parents and carers to have access to modern, inclusive, and safe spaces that provide services and connections that support mental health and emotional wellbeing.


To support all parents and carers with their mental health and emotional wellbeing, so in turn, they can support their children’s development in the best possible way.


If you need some peer-to-peer or professional support with your mental health, join us at The Village.

More to read...

Learn a song with Chris

In this video, or choir leader Chris teaches you a short song. You can use it to warm up for singing or just for the day. Teach it to your kids and see if they can keep up!

Read >