Just a year ago, Mandy Jones was married and had a career working for a marketing agency.
However, spiralling difficulties with her mental health saw the 28-year-old spend three weeks in the city’s Carseview Centre after she attempted to take her own life on the Tay Road Bridge.
Now Mandy, who lives in the West End, is using her blog The Empowered Woman Project to try to help others.
On it, she has told of her own experiences and has also invited other women to share their own.
It was during her time at the psychiatric care unit that she decided the “taboo” subject of mental health was something she wanted to tackle.
And she says her main focus is not only to help herself but to provide a platform for other women to share their experiences.
Mandy said many looking from the outside would have thought she was living a dream life.
She added: “If you looked through my social media, people probably thought I was leading the picture perfect life.
“I was married, working and had a great social group of friends.”
However, after a series of personal misfortunes, things took a turn for the worse. “My marriage had broken down and there had been an arson attempt at the block of flats where I was living in Dunblane,” she said.
“My life probably started to go on a downward spiral from there.
“I stopped showing up to work and I decided I needed a new start.”
Mandy enrolled on a personal trainer course last August at Dundee and Angus College.
She said: “I don’t think I really dealt with the two issues I’d faced in Dunblane.
“Fast forward to March this year and I was prepping for a body building show, doing my course work and it fell apart – I tried to kill myself.”
Mandy said she remembers running towards the Tay Road Bridge before being stopped by a jogger.
She added: “There was so much going on in my head. I almost felt embarrassed at the time to speak out and share my experiences – I just wanted to disappear.
“I don’t remember much, I just remember frantically running towards the bridge and a man spoke to me before the police arrived.
“I was admitted to Carseview – I don’t remember the first three days at the centre.
“I can’t thank NHS Tayside enough. The help I got there has changed my life and I was really supported by the community health team when I came out.
“Although this all happened to me in Dundee I didn’t want to leave as I felt the city had been good to me.
“I know I’m still on my own journey but I feel like a new woman and believe the Empowered Woman is giving people a platform to speak out. We’ve had women speaking about their battles with issues such as postnatal depression.
“Certainly, in speaking out I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me for the experiences I’d had.
“The project is now there to try to help others and to let them know they are important.”
Mandy said the blog has already been read by thousands of women.
And she hopes The Empowered Woman project could become a long-term career as well as inspiring people to tell their story.
She said: “I nearly wasn’t here so now I feel I need to use my voice to help others.”
*If you feel suicidal, or need someone to talk to, volunteers at the Samaritans can help. Contact their freephone number 116123, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Link to Evening Telegraph article here.