I started self-harming when I was eleven years old. I’ve never understood why.
I suppose I’d always been a miserable sort of person. I couldn’t even seem to enjoy Christmas like most kids my age did – the fun and laughter just seemed to pass me by.
By the age of fourteen, I’d started self-harming badly, and I’d become so depressed that I was having suicidal thoughts.
I knew I needed help, so I went to my GP. I was put on anti-depressants and sent to child counselling. I tried lots of therapy groups but nothing helped. Eventually, after years of trying and failing to find answers, my depression became too much for me to cope with and I tried to kill myself. I was nineteen.
Eventually I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, and started receiving treatment. This was nearly ten years after I’d started showing the symptoms of mental illness.
Even now at 27, I'm still dealing with issues despite having been in therapy and on medication for the last seven years.
I still have hope for the future, especially now that I know that MQ is committed to funding scientific research programmes. The work they do could help us understand how mental illness develops - and find truly personalised treatments.
Finally, it feels like someone is taking action. MQ means there is determination to tackle mental illness and find the answers that so many people like me have been waiting for.
No child should have to go through what I did.
But it’s so good to know that in years to come we might find ways to diagnose children earlier, and give them a real chance of a happy childhood.
To protect Kirsty's identity, the photograph is of a model.
Last updated: 13 January 2017