Fashion journalist launches site to highlight mental health problems in young people

Victoria Aitchison at her graduation from London College of Fashion
Victoria Aitchison at her graduation from London College of Fashion
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A GRADUATE who has launched an online youth magazine to raise awareness of mental health issues in the fashion industry has been overwhelmed by the positive response.

Victoria Aitchison, 27, originally from Turnberry Close, St Leonards, came up with the idea for You Must Be Mental while studying Fashion Journalism at the London College of Fashion, and it took the form of her final year project.

She is concerned that there is a lack of understanding on the subject of mental health, along with a huge stigma, and a shortage of information aimed at a young audience.

The magazine launched in June and Victoria has already been asked to join the Youth Media Agency and appear on radio shows in the UK and US to talk about her project.

She said: “It has been amazing, I’ve been really shocked by the response that I have got.

“I think it’s because it has not been done before. “People keep telling me it is a brave idea to approach the subject of mental health in the fashion industry.”

“There are certain mental health illnesses that don’t get covered. Depression is not the only mental health problem, and I think people forget that sometimes.”

Victoria herself suffered a breakdown, and was diagnosed with depression and anorexia in 2008, part-way through a course in Fashion Design at the University of East London.

She has come a long way since then, and has just graduated with a 2:1 in Fashion Journalism. Her own experiences have spurred her on to do what she can to help other young people suffering from mental health problems.

Currently, all the magazine content is written by Victoria herself, although her plan is to get young people involved with writing stories for the site. Visit www.youmustbemental.com.