A woman leapt from a plane to raise money for a charity which helped her deal with a mental health crisis.
Ashleigh Lancaster, from Countesswells, braved a skydive on October 11 to raise funds for the mental health charity Mind.
The 23-year-old is no stranger to adversity, having faced battles with borderline personality disorder (BPD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), body dysmorphia, and an eating disorder in the past.
Ashleigh explained why she decided to raise funds for Mind, which works to provide advice and support.
She said: “I’ve suffered from various mental health problems on-and-off for a few years.
“It was the charity Mind which gave me all of the support and the information I needed to help with my diagnosis.
“When I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, I came across Mind’s information and resources online and they are incredible.
“If it wasn’t for the charity I wouldn’t have understood why I felt the way I felt or thought the things that I did.
“Mind talk about grounding techniques too which help you in moments of crisis and keep you calm.”
Ashleigh smashed her initial fundraising target of £430 and has raised £1,070 so far.
She told how her skydiving experience was both “frightening” and “empowering”.
She added: “It was supposed to take place back in May but because of coronavirus it had to be cancelled.
“I rescheduled it and it just happened to be on World Mental Health Day. I went down to the airfield, I was suited and booted and ready to go, but the weather turned and it got cancelled.
“I got up again the next day and I went back down to the airfield in St Andrews and did it then.
“It was the most frightening thing I’ve ever done in my life but once you get back down on the ground it’s the most incredible feeling, it makes you feel so empowered.
“If I can do that, I can get through anything.”
Ashleigh is now encouraging others struggling with their mental health to seek support.
She said: “As dark as it feels right now there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it will get better.
“There is so much support out there and people just need to learn how to speak up and get the help they need because you can’t do it alone.
“Some people try and do it alone but if it wasn’t for the support I’ve had, I probably wouldn’t be here today.”
Mind offers mental health information and support through its Infoline, which offers callers confidential help for the price of a local call.
It also has a Legal Line, which provides information on mental health-related law to the public, service users, family members, carers, mental health professionals and mental health advocates.
The charity’s award-winning publications and website are now certified by the Information Standard.
Mind campaigns on a range of issues that could affect anybody with a mental health problem including health services, legislation, protection of legal rights, and employment.
To donate to Ashleigh’s fundraiser, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ashjlancaster
To find out more about Mind, or to access support, go to www.mind.org.uk/