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Former Pembrokeshire College student publishes book on mental health

Mair Elliott

Former College student Mair Elliott has recently had a book published surrounding mental health, mental illness, and being autistic. In ‘From Hurt to Hope’, which is now available to buy from Waterstones, Mair also reflects on her role as a mental health advocate.

When asked if she would write a book about her experiences, Mair said her first thought was to create a collection of stories from autistic people: “The autism community has helped me in my darkest times and has celebrated with me in my happiest. The community helped me piece together my true autistic self, for which I am eternally grateful.”

Mair said that she knew the influential position that being given the opportunity to write a book now put her in: “I am very aware that being offered a publishing deal gives me a certain level of power in this world. I have tried to include voices from different walks of life, not just people who look like me.”

Many people will know Mair as an advocate for mental health and mental health care, when asked how she would describe mental health Mair commented: “As I am sure you are aware mental health is a complex thing, but if you were to ask me what I thought mental health was at its constitutional level, I would say ‘hope’.

“Many express the lack of hopefulness when in the pits of despair, I myself have been in that position, and so it seems logical to express mental health as hopefulness.

“Despite how it feels when shrouded in despair, there is a path to hopefulness.”

The short stories included in Mair’s book depict just a handful of ways in which autistic people have made that journey from hopelessness to hopefulness. It is Mair’s hope that the book will broaden people’s horizons. Through reading the book Mair commented: “I hope that you can learn something about yourself, and I hope you can challenge yourself to listen to someone you may not normally hear.”

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