Feature Image via Facebook.

Published on December 23rd, 2015 | by Zoe Simmons

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A special kind of card this Christmas.

She’s only a year older than me, and already, she’s been through and done so much.

Caitlin Bush is a 21-year-old from Unanderra, and this Christmas, she’s doing something beautiful—she’s writing heart-felt and meaningful cards, and sending them to those who are struggling; particularly with their own mental health. To the average person, this may not seem like much. But to someone who is suffering and alone, it can mean the world.

“I know first-hand how lonely and hard Christmas can be, especially if you are alone or have a broken family,” Ms Bush said.

“It really hits home at Christmas, so I thought I could try and help in any way. I wanted to make others know they’re not the only ones, and people do care.”

“If anyone would like some extra Christmas cheer this year or knows someone who’s suffering. Let me know, everyone deserves something at Christmas even if it’s just a card.” -The Silent Sufferers page.

While this is her first Christmas card run, Ms Bush knows it most definitely won’t be her last. The response to her campaign has been “amazing”, with over 200 hand-written cards already sent out—and this is all coming from Ms Bush’s back pocket.

“It’s great to know someone is thinking of you. Getting even just a simple thing like that [card] can make your day, week or even the whole Christmas month worth it,” one card receiver said.

Ms Bush said she has been called a “Christmas Angel” by some, a title she modestly turns down.

“[I’m] just a girl trying to make a difference,” she said.

Ms Bush also began a Facebook page, the Silent Sufferers, a few months ago in order to let people know they’re not alone. Ms Bush says she was sick of the judgement, alienation and the lack of understanding of what people with mental health issues go through. She intends to raise awareness, as well as provide support to those who are suffering.

Image via Facebook.

“Honestly, I just help people know they’re not alone, no matter how bad it seems,” she said.

Ms Bush has posted her own struggles on the Facebook page, with one particular video gaining over 80,000 views. She said the video’s intent was to urge people to consider their actions, and support those around them.

“If mental health wasn’t swept under the rug so much, people might be able to understand it instead of running from it.”

“If you see someone who looks like they need help, ask! Say hello to the random that sits at the back of the class or the bus, hiding themselves.”

“If people just took the time to dig a little deeper and look around, [they’d see] everyone is fighting a battle.”

If you wish to request a card, please private message the Silent Sufferers Facebook Page.

The views expressed in this article are of the authors, and have no affiliation with the views of the Tertangala.

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About the Author

Zoe Simmons

Zoe is a third-year journalism student at the University of Wollongong with a passion for all things wacky and strange. Follow her on Twitter @ItBeginsWithZ, or on Instagram @SomethingBeginningWithZ.



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