Portishead teen Lara Tang's mental health care box helps young people – BBC News

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By Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley
Broadcast Journalist

A teenager has been making free mental health care packages to support young people who are struggling.
Portishead skater and surfer Lara Tang started making them during lockdown and has had more than 200 requests so far.
The 19-year-old said she was bullied at school and had anxiety and depression as a result, and wanted to help others finding life hard to not feel alone.
She said: "I just want young people to know they are loved, there is hope and things will get better."
Miss Tang said she had sent more than 200 packages by November.
Her wellbeing project started during lockdown and has since gained support from a Gofundme page.
Each package contains up to 11 items for self care, pampering, a personalised card with a "hopeful message" in it.
Miss Tang said she was very aware of the mental health crisis that was looming over young people worldwide and wanted to do something.
Miss Tang said she had "to take 18-months out from school to recover my mental health".
"I was lonely and felt like no-one cared.
"I don't want anyone else experiencing mental health issues to feel like no-one cares about them."
Seventeen-year-old Hannah from Ireland said she had struggled with self harm and suicide attempts when she contacted Miss Tang for support.
"I struggled with using drink as a coping mechanism and that only made things worse," she said.
Hanna said Miss Tang sent her a box that included toothpaste "because I struggled to have motivation to brush my teeth".
"Her package made me feel so unbelievably loved and cared for in a time where I didn't see light in my life.
"A small gesture from a girl with a big heart. She is amazing," she added.
Northamptonshire student Esther Tennant, 18, said she was struggling with anxiety, depression and Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) when she received her care package.
"I was an inpatient for my mental health in 2019, so it's things like Lara's care packages that have helped me get through difficult changes in my life."
She said it was really helpful to have a self-care package with toiletries in to help her look after herself at a time when she was not able to.
Miss Tang said the project had helped her too by giving her "a feeling of purpose."
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