Mental Health & Disability - A Note From Amelia...

May is mental health awareness month and it's something that is incredibly important for everyone but particularly if you are navigating life using mobility aids.  For every physical health impact there is a mental one too, sadly often not as visible and so can go undetected and untreated for longer.

Over last couple of months the press have featured a number of heartbreaking stories around disability. One in particular hit me like a train, the tragic story of Caroline March dying by assisted suicide in the wake of her spinal injury. It was shared far and wide and has honestly taken me this long to know how to articulate the impact it had on me and I’m sure so many others.

The importance of this cannot be understated, adjusting to disability and the mental repercussions are huge.  Undeniably huge.  To live with a serious injury or disability is not straightforward which is why I wanted to share some insight into it, to raise awareness of mental health when it comes to living with a serious injury or disability.

Whilst Caroline’s decision deserves the utmost respect and an understanding that we really can never know what goes on in someone else’s life. The headlines focused on one thing - girl suffers spinal injury and as a result, chose to die by assisted suicide as life with a spinal injury ‘is not an existence’ she wanted.

The press shared the letter Caroline left and honestly it is heartbreaking for obvious reasons but also so many others. Whilst the story is tragic and desperately sad it’s also important to share that there is a lot to remember if you’re reading it either living with a spinal injury or in fact, any disability ❤️

Please know this isn’t to detract from Caroline’s decision, I don’t know the details of Caroline’s reality but I do know if I’d read this within 5 years of my accident the mental impact could have been permanently damaging so I want to share what I do know, from my experience, in the hope it gives context and a different point of view…

Living with a disability is hard, acquiring it is devastating and for not just the individual but others around them. It changes everyone’s lives forever. With this comes a pressure to ‘get better’ to make everyone ‘feel better’. It’s alarmingly isolating, lonely and statistically more likely to cause depression and suicidal thoughts, than not. 

Did it cross my mind? Yes. Did I meet people in hospital who felt the same? Yes. Did anyone ask me to help them find a way to do it? Yes. Is thinking about it a natural reaction to spinal injury or any life changing injury or diagnosis? Yes. 

But here’s the thing…Life after the darkness is light, bright and full of hope and JOY. I’m quite literally walking proof. This is from someone who never thought they’d say that. I’m 18 years down the road and I can confidently say I feel happier and luckier now than I ever think I would have been without my accident.

It’s given me friends, family and work that are better because of my accident, not in spite of it. It’s given me a razor sharp understanding of what makes me happy and how to do more of it, and not tolerate anything that goes against that.

It’s been a baptism of fire but one that’s invaluable. Life with a disability is different to life without one, but is it worse? Mine isn’t! 

So if you’re in the darkness, please know there is light and when you find it you will have higher highs than you’ve ever had. The good bit is coming I promise - sending love to everyone and anyone reading this. Always. 

Amelia x


If you are struggling with your mental health, please do get in touch with someone who can help - even if just a chat it can make the world of difference:

NHS Mental Health Referrals -

Mind Charity -

Samaritans -


If you enjoyed this article, why not check out:

Hayley Shares Top Tips for Supporting Your Mental Health With MS

The Ultimate Guide to Disability Benefits in the UK - Everything You Need to Know

The Importance of Community When Living with a Disability - Meet Eliza



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