Worth Living Ambassador Linda Dias Menezes

I would like to start by introducing myself. My name is Linda Dias Menezes and I have epilepsy, however epilepsy does not define me. 
I am also a wife a mother, a mentor, an ambassador, a support group facilitator, a Psychology Honors Student at the University of South Africa and an advocate for mental health and epilepsy.

I am a founding member and chairperson of Epilepsy Awareness SA an NPO aimed and spreading Epilepsy Awareness in South Africa.

The Month of Love and St. Valentine.

Saint Valentine (Italian: San Valentino, Latin: Valentinus), officially Saint Valentine of Terni,[2] is a widely recognized 3rd-century Roman saint commemorated on February 14 and since the High Middle Ages is associated with a tradition of courtly love.(Wiki-pedia)
February is commonly known in some countries as the month of love. Suicides typically spike during the holidays and of course Valentine’s Day. Love is all around us on Valentine’s Day, it’s on the radio, it’s on the TV, it’s in shopping malls, and even in the classroom and office. It really makes it obvious of the relationship you have with yourself and others.

Depression has a strong link to suicide. Feeling unloved or unworthy of love can be a strong contributing factor to suicide on or near Valentine’s Day. You are not alone! Being with yourself on Valentine’s Day has its perks you just need to look for them. It’s all a matter of perception ♥

Going out with friends and family is the obvious one and usually what most single people do even though what you really want to do is just hide away at home in your own space! There are many other ways to share, give and receive love this Valentine`s Day. Volunteering has such good benefits whether you single or in a relationship.

I volunteer whenever I can and the benefits far outweigh any small sacrifices I may make to get there. By volunteering, I have learned so much not only about the organizations I have volunteered at or the people I have helped but about myself as well.

Everyone is different. Whether you love animals and would like to volunteer at an animal shelter or at a children’s home or a retirement village, the sky really is the limit. Many organizations are looking for volunteers to paint buildings and help with painting and the upkeep of facilities. If you are creative and have a love of painting and making murals, imagine your art work on a wall at an organization or community hall in your area. The amazingly positive feelings you get from volunteering really are indescribable and will surprise you. Smaller studies have shown and proven that 6% percent of people who volunteered in the last twelve months said that volunteering has made them feel healthier; 94% of people who volunteered in the last twelve months said that volunteering improved their mood and overall wellbeing; 78% said that volunteering lowered their stress levels; 96% reported that volunteering enriched their sense of purpose in life; and 80% of them feel like they have control over their health. About a quarter of volunteers in the study reported that their volunteer work has helped them manage a chronic illness by keeping them active and taking their minds off of their own problems. Volunteers have better personal scores than non-volunteers on nine well-established measures of emotional wellbeing including personal independence, capacity for rich interpersonal relationships, and overall satisfaction with life. Volunteering also improved their mood and self-esteem. Making a difference by volunteering really makes a change more in your life than the organization you are volunteering at. Volunteering can have a real and valuable positive affect on people, communities, and society in general.

Through volunteering, you network and meet a variety of people, people you would not normally meet. Volunteering can help you meet different kinds of people and even possibly make new friends.

By being part of a community, volunteering can help you feel part of something outside of your “normal” day to day; outside of your friends, family, and social circles. You also learn new skills, gain experience, and sometimes even qualifications. What skills do you have that you may overlook? Are you a great painter, can you play an instrument, are you good at organizing and coordinating? Take on the challenge.

Through volunteering you can challenge yourself to try something different, something new. It is possible to even achieve personal goals, practice using your skills, and discover hidden talents you may not have realized you had. Most of all! Have fun! Volunteering brings its own sense of fulfillment many of the people I have met over the years genuinely have a great time, regardless of what the reason may be of why they do it.


I look forward to hearing from you and your volunteering experience.

Kindest Regards, Linda Dias Menezes Twitter: @diaslr Instagram: epilepsyawarenesssa Facebook: EpilepsyAwarenessSA Email: epilepsyawarenesssa@gmail.com Website: www.easa.org.za

Worth Living Ambassador Beth Allen

Beth Allen is a Mental Health Advocate, and an active video blogger who aims to be informative, fun and truthful whilst showing life with Mental Illness. Having suffered in silence for 10 years with GAD, Emetophobia, Anorexia and Depression, Beth is 100% committed to showing the world that it’s okay to not be okay.

Hey everybody! This week began Self Care Fortnight – so what better time than now to share those things that help us with our mental health?!

Mental Health Favourites

Worth Living Ambassador & Official DJ Scratchley Q

To each person mental illness is different, it feels different. If you could pick one song that portrays what mental illness feels like to you, what would that song be? Here are 10 songs that I feel explain mental illness and how mental illness feels on a day to day basis. Enjoy! – Scratchley Q

10. I Go To Extremes -Billy Joel

9. Hate Myself – Blue October

8. Our Bipolar Friends – Johnny Foreigner

7. I’m So Tired – Beatles

6. Modern Chemistry – Motion City Soundtrack

5. Hold On – Good Charlotte

4. Car Radio – Twenty One Pilots

3. Manic – Plumb

2. Take Me As I Am – Tonic

1. Manic – Coleman Hell

Worth Living Ambassador Lesya Li

Lesya is a notorious insomniac, avid book reader, psychology nerd and #techforgood cheerleader. She runs http://www.havingtime.com– a digitally native story magazine and worldwide human-centric community that’s all about storytelling, personal development, well-being, mindfulness; supporting #mentalhealth – #oktosay initiatives.

How to Start Feeling Confident, Worthy, and Relevant Again

“The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to reflect their inner beliefs.” – James Allen

I was walking down the street feeling stunningly empty. No thoughts were rushing through my forever busy mind. No feelings were attached. I felt nothing at all. The kids were laughing loudly in Hyde park chasing each other; it was sunny and warm. The spring was in its full swing, and I could feel all the smells of blooming pink trees and flowers feeling my nostrils with each desperately taken breath. I was breathing it all in… and yet I felt nothing.

Aliveness and its delicious electricity that used to run all through my veins and every cell of my being seized to show up! I was walking down the street feeling a bit lost and out of place. It was crowded, like never before and yet I felt lonely. I felt isolated. Alone with myself.

“What time is now” – some stranger asked passing by. “It’s time to live (out loud “ – I responded. He raised his eyebrows in mere disbelief and then kept on walking probably thinking I was a manic street preacher about to jump into a meaningful conversation… a meaningful conversation – something that often seems to be so out of place these days…… these days – when it’s “best” to keep yourself under cover of perpetual gladness filtered beyond recognition in one of those apps we tend to be so fond of… to share our daily lives, where in fact, we share nothing at all, nothing at all. How can I live my life out loud turning into a legend when I don’t even feel alive? How could I be a guide, a mentor to so many people reaching out to me, trying to follow my vision, when am lost and not even sure when am going?

“Follow your bliss, Follow your heart”– I see so many posters like that almost every minute knocking on heavens doors, rushing through, trying to get to us via notifications on our locked screens, getting through our locked hearts, knocking on our windows at night when we lie awake in bed forgetting what it’s like to find peace and have a good night sleep. Follow your bliss?! What does it even mean? Where do you find bliss when you even can’t bare a thought of getting out of bed in the morning every so often?! Is this a joke – you reckon?

Have you ever felt irrelevant? No matter the past and circumstances that are swirling around you right now – have you ever felt THAT? How do you validate your relevance? Who’s there to judge? The truth is, no matter how worthless I feel, no matter how worthless you feel too, we were placed here for a damn good reason! A good reason indeed. Think about it for a second. Tell your sh**ty thoughts that tell you otherwise to shut the hell up! Think about your relevance

…in case your mind is playing tricks on you today: You matter. You’re important. You’re loved. Your presence makes a difference.

Think about the lives that you’ve touched. The lives that you’ve influenced. Think about the conversations you’ve had that might have been a life turning to the others that had a privilege to hear you speak out loud… think about the courage you have that sparked up that beautiful gift you came here to share… What is it? THAT’S what makes you relevant.

The lives that you touch of simply being THERE. Being present in the moment, listening, giving your time, listening patiently, encouraging, participating, being. There. Right now. The NOW is the only thing that we share and is the only thing that we truly have in common, no matter the past and the backgrounds we all came from.

Think of the now. Think deeply. What makes YOU come alive? What brings your life that extra kick of spice that makes you bolt right out of your bed each morning anticipating to seize the new day? What is your passion? Look no further  – just look deeper inwards, into your beautiful and unique heart.  Beating so relentlessly… Touch it, feel it beating, then share it when you are ready.

Worth Living Ambassador Jessie Fawcett


Hello, my name is Jessie and I’m a first-year student attending Ryerson University to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. I am dedicated to being able to work in a juvenile detention centre in order to help aid youths who are struggling with their own lives. Mental health has always had a huge impact on my life and I’m finally starting to be able to share my story in hopes to help others who are also struggling with the same issues as well as shedding some light onto mental health.

Depression isn’t about being sad all of the time. It’s about not being able to feel anything but feeling absolutely everything at the same time. It’s crying for no reason. It’s not showering for days because you just don’t have the energy. It’s sleeping 15 hours a day and still feeling tired. It’s having your body constantly aching and nothing to help the physical nor emotional pain subside. It’s about being constantly angry at the world but especially at yourself, having the smallest things like dropping a spoon or a friend canceling plans on you, sending you into a blind rage. It’s about wanting to just let go.

The Thorn that Built the Rose

When I was twelve my parents got a divorce. It’s not a big deal, right? Forty-five percent of marriages end in divorce so it’s not as though I’m the only one to ever have gone through this type of situation.  However, it was the beginning of such a dark ride for me. I was required to adjust to a life where I didn’t live with my mom. My brother, sister, and I were in your standard broken home. But during my thirteenth year, my perspective on life began to change. All I could see was darkness. I felt the bone shattering feeling of being alone. The silence that surrounded me was so intensely numbing that it was almost deafening at the same time.

Depression is an incredibly odd illness. It’s as though what is suffocating you is caused by always feeling alone but the only thing that you want to do is to be alone. People try and make the effort to hangout but all you can do is push them away to avoid inflicting more pain onto yourself. At least, that’s how it worked for me anyway. I stopped leaving the house, I stayed in my room all of the time, and I hardly ate. Eating was the one thing in my life that I had control over.

People began to become increasingly worried because I wasn’t leaving the house and I seemed to be losing weight. I didn’t care. Self-destruction seemed to be my coping mechanism for the longest time. It wasn’t much different at school neither. I always secluded myself from the other students. I spent my lunch break alone a lot of the time during grade 9 and 10. I didn’t participate in any school activities nor extracurricular ones. My teachers came up to me quite often asking if I was alright and why I was so quiet. They could see something that I couldn’t; that I was fading away to nothing. I was so mortifyingly consumed in self-loathing that it became all that I could think about. I wanted the darkness to go away, I wanted the pain to stop. I felt like nobody cared for me, that I didn’t matter, and that people would be better off without me around to add darkness to every room that I walked into.

My teachers saw something else in me that I couldn’t and that I still have trouble seeing to this day, talent. One of my teachers saw true potential in me in the art of theatre and writing. Unfortunately, when the depression became increasingly worse I stopped writing. Also, due to the generalized anxiety disorder I was unable to go in front of others and demonstrate the theatrical talent that my teacher saw in me. Theatre was something that ignited a spark in me. Every aspect of me changed, according to my teacher. My face lit up like the night sky filled with glistening stars and it felt like my voice could echo through the mountains. But the paralyzing anxiety that I faced made me unable to show everyone else what I was able to do. So, instead of shining like the night sky, the darkness came and shadowed that too.

Suddenly, fate stepped in. I found a best friend, someone who acted like a mother to me. She saw my potential too. I opened up to her about everything; my pain, my self-destruction, the entirety of my darkness. She stood by me and she pushed me to get help. I was petrified of getting help, of letting someone into my head so intimately. I was afraid of being labelled crazy or ill or even worse, of being hospitalized. It was one of the most challenging things that I have ever had to accomplished in my life. But that’s the thing, I did accomplish it. It took time, it took tears, it took pain, and it took humility. Fortunately, it was worth it. I was able to find myself again; I was able to start seeing a speck of light once again. Even though it took me nearly five years to get help, I was able to.

During my recovery, I was required to do things in order to combat my depression but also face my anxiety. My friend made me join the school theatre club, so I could face my anxieties of crowds as well as show my true colours on stage. The feeling after a show is so mystifying. There is the utmost feeling of pride when you see all the people that you care about in the crowd cheering you on, especially seeing the person there that pushed you to do it in the first place. She also pushed me to join several different sports and school activities. Of course, those achievements did not come without a fight, however. Regardless, they were still accomplishments.

I think my greatest accomplishment in high school was graduating and being my classes valedictorian. I spoke from the heart and I gave it my all. I never thought I would be able to make it to graduation let alone speak on behalf of my class. But thanks to my amazing teachers and best friend for pushing me so hard I was able to do that. I would not be where I am without them.

I am pursuing a career in social work to hopefully help adolescents who are struggling and whom have made the wrong decisions turn their thorn into a beautiful rose too. The pain that I was enduring seemed never ending. I didn’t think I would be able to survive it. But after everything that I conquered my friend would say the same thing to me, “you survived.” And that is exactly what I did.

To commemorate that, I got the words you survived in her handwriting tattooed on my collarbone to remind myself every day that life is worth fighting for, recovery is possible, and that no matter how alone you feel, you never are. I turned my thorn into a rose too.

Worth Living Ambassador Beth Allen

Beth Allen is a Mental Health Advocate, and an active video blogger who aims to be informative, fun and truthful whilst showing life with Mental Illness. Having suffered in silence for 10 years with GAD, Emetophobia, Anorexia and Depression, Beth is 100% committed to showing the world that it’s okay to not be okay.

Beth, “This week is all about raising awareness for Health Anxiety. It’s one of the many topics around mental health that isn’t often spoken about. It is a real THING!”

Worth Living Ambassador & Official DJ Scratchley Q

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought why not set the mood with some songs about love. These just might be some of the most romantic love songs of all time. Enjoy!  – Scratchley Q

Worth Living Top 10 Countdown – Country Love Songs

10. Your Man – Josh Turner

9. God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton

8. You Decorated My Life – Kenny Rogers

7. My Love – Little Texas

6. I Love You – Martina McBride

5. I Need You – Tim McGraw and Faith Hill

4. Making Memories of Us – Keith Urban


3. When We Make Love – Alabama

2. I Run To You – Lady Antebellum

1. I Will Always Love You – Dolly Parton   

Worth Living Ambassador Rebecca Theobald

My name is Rebecca Theobald. I am 21 years old and I live in (the not so sunny) East Yorkshire, UK. I am a psychology student at the University of Hull.  I find joy in good  food, good company, and my dog.

Caution: Rebecca discusses sexual abuse and suicide


“We need to change the culture of this topic and make it ok to speak about mental health and suicide”

If you are reading this and feel alone, I am here for you. You are not alone. There is hope.

I’ve always been fascinated with the human mind. A unified set of cognitive abilities; consciousness, thoughts, memory, language, and judgement. The mind is a powerful tool, which of course is both fascinating and scary given people often feel their mind has turned completely against them. This feeling for me is all too familiar.

After experiencing sexual abuse as a young teenager, I don’t recall a time I was ever just happy. There were good days and bad days, yet everyday I’d always felt like I was giving fear and anger a piggyback. For eight  years my way of coping with these internal negative feelings was to overcompensate externally and keep everyone that loved me at arms distance. These avoidance mechanisms allowed me to go weeks even months of feeling “okay” until something (big or small) pushed me over the edge and the fear and anger would consume me entirely. In some of my darkest moments, I truly believed the only way I was ever going to escape the confusion and fear inside my own head would be to end my own life. I always wanted to live, I wanted a life. I just didn’t want a life if I was going to have to spend it all feeling trapped, scared, and depressed.

If you are reading this and resonate with any of these words, please know that things can and will get better. There is hope. And I am here for you. The first step to finding a happier version of yourself is to ask for and to accept help. Call a friend, reach out to a family member or send me a message so I can talk to you and give you the contact information for the relevant people that can help.

Today, I feel overwhelmingly lucky to have had the continuous support from my amazing family and friends who have held me up and reminded me all of the reasons I had to live. Early 2017, my auntie passed me on to a psychologist named Lesley who I have seen just about every week since. At first, I was pessimistic, how much could talking to a stranger actually help me? But it was freeing just to have my truth listened to and accepted. It took me months of weekly appointments before I started to fully trust Lesley and to be completely honest with her about my most negative thoughts and feelings. Since that point, my life has taken a dramatic turn for the better.

I feel it’s important to add that psychologists are not miracle workers, it hasn’t stopped my depressive episodes. But my thoughts and emotions are easier to deal with as I’ve learnt healthier coping mechanisms and I have realised I am not alone in this.

Ask for help. Surround yourself with people that make you happy. Make a list of things that make you happy and read it every day. Be kind to others and be kind to yourself. Talk positively to your reflection every day. Believe in yourself. Write your thoughts down. Take time for yourself. Accept that nobody is “normal”. You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.

Worth Living Ambassador &  Official DJ Scratchley Q

New week, new music. Enjoy! – Scratchley Q

Worth Living Top 10 Countdown – New Releases Part 2. (Jan 2018)
10. Supplies – Justin Timberlake

9. Wait – Maroon 5

8. Sativa – Jhene Aiko ft. Rae Sremmurd

7. Dura – Daddy Yankee

6. Stranger Things – Kygo ft. One Republic

5. I Know You – Craig David ft. Bastille

4. Place To Start – Mike Shinoda

3. Miss You – Cashmere Cat ft. Major Lazer & Tory Lanez

2. Sick Boy – The Chainsmokers

1. Cadmium Melody – Alan Walker ft. Charlie Puth

Worth Living Ambassador & Official DJ Scratchely Q

From time to time we have all had our struggles. This week the countdown is all about the different kinds of struggles one may face in their lifetime. The hopeful part about struggles is that we always can overcome those struggles and they are only temporary. Enjoy – Scratchley Q

Worth Living Top 10 Countdown – (The) Struggles (Are Real)


10. Stay – Yello

9. You Don’t Know – Katelyn Tarver

8. Hard Times – Paramore

7. Broken Ones – Jacquie Lee

6. Tell Me I’m A Wreck – Every Avenue

 5. Broken – Lifehouse

4. Hopeless Wanderer – Mumford & sons

3. Move Along – All American Rejects

2. These Times – Safety Suit

1. The Struggle – Tenth Avenue North