After surviving a suicide attempt about a month ago, Gigi Lamayne is determined take back control of her life and wants to help others at the same time.
At the beginning of November Gigi, who has suffered from depression for seven years was admitted to hospital after she attempted to take her own life.
Now that she's on the journey to healing Gigi has joined hands with an NPO to give talks to young people about depression.
In a chat with TshisaLIVE, Gigi explained why she felt it's important to heal while helping heal others.
Gigi explained that she hoped to be the voice that she never had when she was younger.
Someone to explain her constant sadness or someone to tell her there's hope and healing for the 'cloud of darkness'.
How did the idea to give talks come about?
I was invited down to Durban by an NPO to talk about mental health and illness. I was really excited about this exclusive workshop and the team and I decided that this should be something we could do to make a difference. The name of these talks is #GigiGangDa
You said, it’s the first step towards healing for you, why is that?
This is because for the first time, I can be in a neutral environment with people who want to know rather than to judge. It’s no secret that many South Africans are unaware of mental illnesses, i.e. depression and I feel that this therapeutic form of sharing will empower not only me but young people around me.
What message are you hoping to share through these talks?
I am hoping to make people understand more about depression and the importance of healthy environments. It’s important moreover in African homes to understand that mental illnesses do exist.
As a young person dealing with depression, what do you wish someone had said to you to help?
I wish I could have known that ailments are not always physical and that being constantly under a dark cloud isn’t how life was supposed to be. Having a difficult upbringing could’ve had detrimental effects on me and I wish that somebody older could have realised and told me.
How are you hoping the talks will influence the youth?
I’m hoping that young people, who may suffer from this receive the assistance they need from the talks and that we become more interested and informed about mental illnesses.
Where and how will you be giving the talks and how will people know where you are?
We as a team identify demand on social media and select accessible venues. This is still self-funded however we are open to assistance in any way. These are titled #GigiGangDay and we select people online with real stories to benefit from the workshop.
We discuss all facets of our wellbeing. We have done Durban and Johannesburg is on Friday 14 December.
People in SA are slowly opening up to talking about depression and other mental illnesses, how does that make you feel?
I am elated because this means that more lives will be saved.
– Tshisa live