We announce the incredible Abbie Chatfield as an Ambassador for Borderline Youth Camp 2021. Abbie shot to fame in 2019 on the hit show 'The Bachelor' on channel 10. Lovingly known as 'Gemini Girl' globally, Abbie ended up as the runner-up on the TV Series. Abbie went on to win Channel 10 show, I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.
Abbie has since paved her way for an exciting and bright future as a loud and proud advocate for some important topics in Australia. She speaks her mind, is strong and powerfully minded & is someone who is making the world a better place. We sat down with Abbie to ask her a few questions around Youth Mental Health, Bullying and how she is feeling as she prepares to be an Ambassador for Borderline Youth Camp!
How important is it for young people to do something like Borderline Youth Camp?
Having somewhere to be openly mindful about your mental, physical and emotional health is tremendously important for youth today, particularly with all of the distractions that come with social media.
Do you have any advice for young people who don't know whether to apply for BYC or not?
I think as you get older you realise the importance of personal development and self care and if you start early, your older self will thank you!
Do you have any advice for young people dealing with Mental Health?
oh god, so much. I think my biggest one is trying to tell someone, even though it is so hard, there is always someone who cares about you. I have been extremely depressed in my adult life, and have even contemplated suicide, but once I have called on my friends, family, and psychologist to help me, I have been able to keep on living and have had SO many moments where I have thought "I am so glad I survived"
Have you experienced bullying as a child and into adulthood and how?
As a child, I was extremely lucky to not experience any major form of bullying. As all kids, I was teased here and there but generally had a happy school life. I was the same into adulthood, until I went on The Bachelor.
From my experience on The Bachelor, I was cyber bullied to an extreme end. I received thousands of messages, sometimes hundreds daily with anything from a simple insult to a death threat. The pain that caused in such a short amount of time really made me realise the potential impact of words.
I always knew that bullying was an issue, but I quickly went from being happy and excited about life to suicidal within 6 weeks of purely online harassment. Now, I am passionate about advocating for bullying and wish that I had this perspective earlier on in life.
What is your advice to young people who are being bullied at school, home or work?
It's difficult because my experience was entirely online. If someone is being harassed online, I would say the main thing is to put your phone down, get off social media and realise that your life is completely different online and offline.
In person though, I think a huge issue with bullying is how invisible it can become. It's important to tell people what you're going through, both so that it can stop at the source but also venting to a friend, family member, peer or psychologist can help tremendously.
What is your opinion on youth mental health?
I think the struggles associated with the general mental well-being of youth today have rapidly evolved beyond what society is able to cope with. I know that personally, I have an addiction to my phone, which leads to serious mental health issues if you are not having an entirely positive experience online. I think that the stigma around mental health issues is lessening, but there is still so much work to be done.
Do you think Australia can do more as a country to support young people with mental illness?
Absolutely. I don't think there are nearly as many resources are there needs to be, both with youth and with adults.
Being on a public platform now do you feel people just see you as robot rather than a human when bullying you online?
100%! I am seen as a character, not as a real person. The amount of negative comments I have received has truly impacted my own mental health and self esteem and they are hard to ignore. Prior to going on The Bachelor I can't think of one instance of receiving an insult online. Now, if i go a day without a message with some sort of negative message, I am shocked.
Are you ok?
Sometimes, but also sometimes not, but I think that's just a part of the huge transition that I have experienced in the last year.
Stay tuned on our social media for some exciting videos and updates with Abbie!
Your life & everyone's life is important. If this article triggered you or someone you know please speak up to someone. Your family, your friends or one of the contacts below.
LIFELINE: 13 11 14
KIDS HELPLINE: 1800 55 1800
SUICIDE CALL-BACK SERVICE: 1300 659 469
LIFELINE ONLINE CHAT: https://www.lifeline.org.au/Get-Help/Online-Services/crisis-chat