Martyna Stasiak, 19, is one of the Best For You volunteers. She’s currently a student at University College London (UCL) reading psychology. In the future, she wants to pursue a career in developmental neuroscience and psychopathology research.
Martyna applied to volunteer as part of Best For You to gain hands-on experience with the population she wants to work with. She also wants to help young people who are also experiencing mental health difficulties triggered by the pandemic.
Martyna’s A-level exams were cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, which had an extreme impact on her mental health. Having not been around people for such a long time period during the first lockdown, Martyna had become quite anxious about integrating with others again.
Martyna often felt isolated and overwhelmed at times and wants other young people to recognise these feelings as common and nothing to be ashamed of.
She explains: ‘I want to help young people to acknowledge that it is perfectly okay to take breaks from studying or from socialising when it seems to all get a little too much. I hope other young people are able to recognise how common it is to feel alone, even when in a room full of people; I think it happens to all of us at some point or another.’
Martyna has worked on improving her own mental health and wellbeing at university when she’s also worked part-time.
She says: ‘I have learnt a lot about how to push myself to work at my best yet simultaneously take care of both my physical and mental health. I’ve also learnt a lot about my own fears and anxieties; proving to myself that nothing is as bad as my mind makes it out to be, reminding myself that I am capable of anything I want to achieve if I put my mind to it.’
Volunteering with Best For You
Volunteering is a fulfilling way to help others and has been proven to impart as many health benefits on the volunteer as well as the people they are helping.
Being a Best For You volunteer has helped Martyna’s confidence, particularly around different age groups. It not only enables her to support others but it also gives her the opportunity to reflect on her own personal growth and goals.
Martyna summarises: ‘Not only can I relate to the young people I’m working with and have a positive impact; I’m also learning more about myself and helping my own mental health.’