UWE Bristol third year photography student Courtney started experiencing a panic disorder when she was 16.

Courtney“I developed agoraphobia and would get really panicky about being in certain situations,” says Courtney. She confided in her parents and they were very supportive, helping her to find the right support. “The treatment that really helped me was almost like a kind of Reiki,” she added. “It would help calm me down and over time it taught me how to manage my symptoms.”

Courtney felt her condition was under control enough to be able to go to university after A-levels. She said: “My parents live in Yate so I’ve been able to carry on living at home whilst going to UWE. I know I’ve missed out on some of the social side of university and nights out, but I know I couldn’t have coped with it. “I’ve still been able to make some good friends and really make the most of my course.”

Courtney’s advice to anyone suffering with a mental health issue is to tell someone about it. She said: “I got the help I needed early on so I didn’t need to seek wellbeing support at university and could manage my symptoms myself.

“But it’s really important to let someone know how you’re feeling and to know that there is help if you need it. Once I told my parents, it made it much easier for me to get help. Without it, I might have struggled to go to university.”

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