Interview by Law Emilia
Feature image – Good Studio/Adobe Stock via Mindful.org
19 year old Rosie recently gained internet popularity when a video of her putting together free self care boxes for people struggling with their mental health went viral. I spoke to the inspiring teen to find out more.
Q: When did you first start making the boxes?
A: I think it was September 2019, so I’ve been doing it nearly a year!
Q: What was your inspiration to begin making the boxes?
A: I’ve struggled a lot with my own mental health. In 2018 I got sectioned and spent 9 months in 3 different mental health units across the country. Sadly on 2nd may 2019 my best friend committed suicide, and I decided I had do do something to have a positive impact! So I started up this project in memory of her, with the hope that one day it might save someone’s life.
Q: When you began making the boxes I can’t imagine you ever expected it to get so popular, how do you manage to make and send so many?
A: At the start I had absolutely no idea how it was going to turn out, and I didn’t have much money so that was quite hard. 2 months ago (7 months after I first started the project) I posted a video on TikTok of me making a care box, asking if anyone could donate to help me out. That video got over half a million views!! I’ve had lots of generous donations that have helped me to cover the costs so that I can help more people. Also I’ve had a couple of friends help me make bits and pieces for the packages, and my mum helps me take them all to the post office:)
Q: The coronavirus outbreak has had huge negative impacts on people’s mental health. How has Covid impacted yourself and the mental health packages you make?
A: I finished college at the start of lockdown so I personally really struggled for a couple of weeks, as I was bored being stuck at home. Since posting the TikTok video, I have hundreds of requests for free packages so I’ve been making about 8-10 every day! It’s really helped me to get out of bed and it’s made me feel like I have a purpose. Lockdown has been very difficult even for people who don’t usually struggle with mental illness, so it’s extra important to me at the moment that I am reaching out to show people they aren’t alone
Q: What struggles have you faced with an increase in requests for the boxes?
A: I guess it’s mostly just the pressure of getting them to as many people I can. I get sent messages faster than I can read them!! Some people really struggle to understand why I can’t send their package immediately or why I haven’t opened their message, and that can be quite hard because it makes me feel like I’m not doing good enough. Other than that there aren’t really any negative things about it… oh except my parents keep complaining that I’ve literally filled a whole room with my stuff.
You can request a mental health package from Rosie on Instagram at @mhrecoverypackages
Or you can follow Rosies journey on TikTok at @Recoveringrosie