A woman who decided to help people with mental health problems after suffering depression has been nominated for an award.
Natasha Benjamin, who runs the website Free Your Mind from her home in Herman Hill, Wanstead, is among five businesswoman on the shortlist for Inspirational Businesswoman of the Year at the Ebony Business Recognition awards.
The 31-year-old was diagnosed with acute depression relating to domestic abuse she suffered as a child in 2012 and begun to write an blog about her experience.
It became so popular, she launched the website offer support and advice to those facing similar issues.
The website, which also organises events and workshops and offers merchandise to help people express themselves through music and writing, now has 20,000 customers.
Miss Benjamin, who is currently training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming, is qualified in mental health first aid and sits on a committee overseeing mental health provision in Waltham Forest.
She said: “I can’t believe I have been nominated but of course I am really proud.
“I work so hard and this is my passion and has basically become my purpose.
“It is amazing how the blog got so popular. It attracted so many people because everyone can relate to the difficulties I faced.
"It was a difficult experience that I went through but it has now been turned to something good that can be used to help others.
"We need educate people about mental health and wellbeing, and show people how they can self-manage their emotions safely. My own experience brought me to want to help others.
“My business is all about self management and self care with advice for how to deal with depression.”
She will attend the red carpet event at St John at Hackney church in Lower Clapton on July 4.