Nic Newling visits Newington
On Wednesday, 27 June, the Newington Year 12 cohort had the pleasure of hosting Nic Newling, a mental health advocate from his own initiative, ‘The Champions’. Nic’s engaging speech shed light on the serious mental health issues that we are all susceptible to, suicide prevention, and also provided the boys with his own personal experiences that plagued him during his youth. An outspoken advocate for mental health, Nic openly discussed his ordeal in battling severe depression during his childhood, highlighting that despite the best personal circumstances we are all vulnerable to these problems. Growing up, Nic had a loving and supporting family structure, loved playing sports with his friends and attended the Shore School. It wasn’t until he began to excel academically that Nic became overwhelmed from the pressures of school and began to develop anxiety. It was during this time that his older brother lost his life to suicide and Nic began to suffer from severe depression. Nic discussed how the negative stigma’s surrounding the perceptions of masculinity created a closed environment, in which he felt he could not express his emotions, as they would be perceived for weakness. He continued to discuss how he would hide his emotions from friends and family, refusing to let anyone see him in a way that could be perceived as “less of a man”.
Since overcoming his mental illnesses, Nic has strived for making a positive difference in reducing the stigmas that surround mental health issues, encouraging the open discussions of these issues in safe environments where those who feel they are suffering will not be judged. Nic’s initiative “The Champions”, aims to achieve this through providing support, strength and positivity to those in need, whilst teaching others how we can help someone that we think may be suffering from mental illnesses. All in all, Nic’s speech was extremely rewarding and provided all the boys with a valuable insight into the severity of mental health issues and how we can provide those suffering with an inclusive environment where they can be heard. Thank you Nic!