Maya Jama on how young people can look after their mental health | ITV News



maiya thank you very much for sitting down with ITV News you're back at your old school in Bristol what exactly are you doing here I'm here on a school tour at the moment it's the third school that we've been to so we started him Sheffield then Manchester then Liverpool and back to my old school cotton and it basically came about because I got so many messages from young people in my DMS on Instagram and on Twitter asking for advice about things and asking how I'd cope with certain things and I thought back to when I was in school and I didn't really have many people that I could connect you come in to speak there was never anybody that looked like me or anybody that did a job that I wanted to do and so the aim of it is just a kind of round up this troop of amazing people I know from different walks of life different backgrounds different ethnicities different shapes and sizes and to talk about our experiences and open up about mental health and hopefully somebody in the audience any of these schools that we go to can connect to one of us and leave that room inspired that's the aim you've always been very open about your background and your growing up in Bristol how has that impacted your mental health as a whole and who you are now I'd say grown up in Bristol it G has made me the person I am a hundred percent I love Bristol have like not a bad word to say about it I always say that Bristol I probably would have still lived there it wasn't for job opportunities in London and but in terms of like my life so far impact in my mental health I mean it's only really since I was in the spotlight kind of world or have however many eyes there are online looking at you that you actually start to feel a little bit anxious and you start doubting yourself a little bit and maybe there's a lot of pressure online to be the perfect person and if you're not perfect like me it can get a bit overwhelming sometimes when you're trying to be this and one thing I've always done is try to show every aspect of my life and try to show me when I'm glamorous and dolled up on telly but also at me when I'm rough and I'm not feeling my best and be open with that so that if there are young people following me they can see that matter how perfect my life can look at some points and just as normal I have down days have mornings where I wake up and I don't feel like I want to do anything I can look rough if I don't have a glam team of ten and just try and be as honest and as open about myself and my life as possible so though yeah they're not looking online and I'd never be like that because they can be like that do you think young people now with social media even more susceptible to feeling anxiety or nervousness or jealousy in some form through seeing these kind of hyper idealistic views of life on Instagram and Twitter and that sort of thing yeah I think so I mean when I was in school the only thing I could compare myself to was like maybe Beyonce on the cover of a shiny magazine and that didn't ever really make me feel much pressure because it was like that's a magazine that's glossy you separated it quite a lot whereas now everybody has the same apps everybody has the same access to phones and cameras and you could see a famous person with the selfie and think oh I don't mind look like that not knowing that there's a team of 10 behind that photo that have edited it and had it all lighting and hair and makeup and things like that and I think yeah it's just about reminding people young people especially about the reality of online like Instagram is literally a highlight reel that is people's best moments that's not them when they're crying that's not them when they've woken up and had a bad day or when somebody's passed away and they have to deal with that it's literally just them showing that ourselves and yeah I think the more that you drill that into people and hopefully remind young people that it's not real it's just the best bits it could be a lot easier to deal with I suppose and it would take away some of that pressure I read your vogue article recently which I really enjoyed and you're very open about how you are and how your upbringing affected you and how you went through some really tough times especially in Bristol growing up do you think it's important that people are able to talk about those things with the openness that you are and reflect on them as building blocks to success in some way going through really tough times so it makes you appreciate the good ones yeah definitely I mean not everybody's as open as I am I think I'm quite an open person and that's probably how we quite a lot throughout life where I've been able to speak to people around these people close to me and speaking really does help as cliche as it sounds like once you're carrying all your own issues on your own head you feel kind of trapped in them but as soon as you open up to somebody it's like okay like it's a way of almost and getting understanding from other people and knowing that you know through me speaking out about things that I've gone through there's so many people that we have reached out to me and said I'm going through exactly that and like Reid now you have made it out of it and you don't feel low anymore based on whatever happened to you in the past like that's inspired me and I think the more people that are brave enough maybe to speak about their personal situations the better but I'm not naive to the fact that not everybody wants to broadcast their personal life problems and I just say that if you can't speak about it do if you can't just make sure you speak to somebody whether it's publicly or not I think getting things out of your chest and out of your mind and into the air helps everybody and is it important that people see the difficult times as part of who they are rather than something to bottle up and try and ignore and put away in a corner 100% I'd say never let anything that's happened in your past define you when I was younger I didn't see anybody in the media in the spotlight that maybe had a father that went to jail or somebody that passed away a young age that they spoke about and I remember Thielen like well maybe I'm just not like part of that crowd or maybe I wouldn't fit in because I'm not from a rich background or I haven't had that level of education or whatever it was and I think nothing can stop you now adays especially with the internet that's the plus side of it you can self promote yourself and you can go out there and you have access to find all these incredible people around the world that you will probably connect to and I just say yeah bad stuff happens in life to everyone it's inevitable you can't help it you can't control it but never let that define you because you are just as worthy as the next person do you think going forward it is important for you to continue spreading this message like you are to more generations as they involve with Internet more and learn more about everyday life that you are not defined by your past you create your own path and that's you know positivity is always the message going forward yeah 100% if I can do anything it's just spread that message or just like do not stress life's life bad things are gonna hit you it's the way that you deal with them that defines you and it's the way that you move forward from those things if anything I'm thankful for some of the things that have happened to me because it's made me who I am today and maybe if I did have a smoother ride going on I might not have been a nicer person nice person or I might not have ended up in the job I'm in or whatever like you just have to take everything as a lesson rather than a setback how tough was it leaving Bristol at such a young age it was tough but I was also super I don't know as a 16 year old I was really determined like I had my vision in my mind of what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be and I was kind of like I'm gonna do it mainly because I'd be too embarrassed to go back to Bristol say oh god I failed but also just because I didn't want to do anything else and I think when you're so adamant about your dreams and you've got one focus like you have tunnel vision almost and yeah that's why I'm always like to young people like if you have something that you're really passionate about just do it and especially in your teens like when you're at school you have all the room to mess up all the room to fail and try again you can have a million different jobs by the time you're 30 if you want to and I just think to it the only thing stopping you is yourself has cliches all these things sound so what was life growing up in Bristol like how you know day to day at cotton school yeah what were your friends like having to have one was a debt was an average day in my Gemma's lifer 12 years old yeah um school 12 years old my job is in order well I'd go to school with a massive group of friends cuz I lived kind of on the hill on the way to got him there would be a crew of us that would go to school together I don't know I was like the class clown pretty much I was never that active academic like I got through I got enough grades to get into sixth form pretty much but I wasn't like the smart one I was more just like the silly fun one love drama obviously cotton it specializes in performing arts so it was perfect for me and yeah I had a really good a good job did I enjoyed school a lot like we had so much fun here everybody was lovely I had students from all over the world like everyone came from a different background it wasn't just one kind of person which I think opens you up to the world a lot better because you have no surprises you know how it is to come from that place and do that and do love and yeah cotton was good dad fun what's your fondest memory of being a Bristol child at Bristol child I think my fondest memory of just growing up in Bristol is just like its small enough so that you know a lot of people and you feel a massive sense of community but is big enough that you're not on each other's toes and you're in each other's faces and in each other's business I feel like that's where it's got the perfect balance and yeah it was fun it was just really fun I almost always used to say it's kind of like skins but like a bit more PG version yeah no it was good if in one sentence you could sum up your message to young people growing up today what would it be in one sentence I would say my message is life's not always fair but you can make the best of bad situations and I'd say don't let any else's opinions or anyone else's views control your actions and do ever makes you happy I mean that's like four messages and none but yeah they're more mixed together do what makes you happy live your life and yeah what's what's next what can we expect the sex I don't know I'll kind of want to act now okay yeah originally I wanted to be an actress and then I like fell in to present in because I felt like all the acting roles that I was taking on would just exaggerated versions of myself and yeah presenting came naturally but yeah I wouldn't mind wouldn't mind being in a few films and stuff now but also just more stuff like this like giving back I've worked so hard over the past few years that I'm just like he doesn't mean that much unless you can do things to help up the people so yeah a bit more of that maybe see me in a film one day as a West country girl you're gonna be Eccleston Bri but some of her being with the radio one yes I'm gonna be a glossary I got way and of a sea storm as headliners I'll be there with a flag and that's yes I know is it strange being kind of from where it from where you were picturing yourself 10 years ago it's being you know part of a power couple on a global stage having people yelling your name taking hundreds and hundreds of selfies did you ever imagine that is maybe not exactly I didn't imagine that but I did I don't know I did have a vision in my mind like yeah one day you're gonna be that person did I why that American accent jumped out but yeah I think I probably I hoped it would be like that in terms of just like having the dream job that I wanted and and being in a position where people will Fortuner that people look up to you and stuff but yeah maybe not so specific of like having selfies and feeling like some power coupling thing

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