Supermodel Adwoa Aboah has always been forthcoming about her mental health struggles, but her latest Instagram post displayed an open rawness, the extent to which we haven't quite seen before, all in the name of World Mental Health Day.
Just last week, the 26 year-old spoke to ELLE UK about her journey to self-acceptance: ‘I know that rejection doesn't feel as painful, that a lot of things in my life don’t feel as painful, when I stick to who I am.’
And now, the British model has continued this thread in the most personal way possible, with a series of intimate photographs depicting her on the brink of attempted suicide, four years ago.
The nude bath stills, taken by her then boyfriend, show a tired and emotional-looking Aboah, she detailed what these images meant:
‘I look at these photos and I see a different person staring back at me...the darkness had over taken me, the grey had engulfed my life, I was broken, exhausted and the light has completely left my eyes. On the 29th of October these photos where taken by my boyfriend at the time, 4 years ago on the 3rd of October I tried like many others before me and many other after to take my own life. I look at these photos and my heart breaks, I mourn the girl I once was, it’s almost as if I’d like to jump into the photo, kiss away the tears, hug her forever and tell her that she’s not alone, tell her that many others suffer with mental health problems but that there is light at the tunnel, tell her that this to shall pass, it will return but it will pass. I love that girl in the photo, I remember her and everything she went through to get me here today.’
In 2017 the shaven-headed fashion darling spoke to her battle with depression in a video campaign promoted by Heads Together – the mental health charity spearheaded by Kate Middleton and Princes William and Harry which works with numerous organisations such as CALM, Minds and the Anna Freud Centre.
In the video she explained, 'When you're that unhappy, it's scary, it's dark and horrible. I didn't know how to tell someone that I was depressed. I went to meetings and talked and talked. Now I'm here and I'm happy, and I didn't know it was going to be something that simple, to talk.'
Having clearly realised the need for more open discussion around depression, Aboah's intimate post encourages other people in similar situations to feel understood, to speak up, to accept help.
The inspirational message concludes:
‘For anyone suffering today, tomorrow and always please know that you are not alone... For the rest of my life I promise to shine light on this illness that so many times is forgotten, I promise to give the unheard a voice whenever I can, I promise to remember the girl In that photo and everything she had to go through and to protect the woman I have now become. Sending mad amounts of love out today from one very happy but exhausted woman. Mad love Adwoa. Xxxx’
The post received three times as many likes as her recent pictures, with thousands of people flooding the comments section to thank the model for speaking out, and some sharing their own stories.
As calls to action go, Aboah's is incredibly powerful.