A CHESTER woman has published a collection of poetry, all dedicated to mental health awareness.

Leah Jones, 26, is behind the book called Semi Colon.

The publication aims to explores the stigma surrounding mental health and highlights the key warning signs that are all too often ignored.

Leah said: “Mental health is still surrounded by the stigma in that young people are told it’s a phase, we all deal with stress. However, they are not told how to deal with these feelings they’re experiencing.

“I myself, suffer terribly with anxiety, stress and depression. I sought help my school when I was younger. It was my English teacher Melanie Henderson that advised I start writing poetry as a way of expressing myself.

“I was 17 and I was feeling a lot of stress with my exams. The poems helped release the stress I was feeling.”

Since then Leah has dedicated her time to completing her first poetry collection.

Leah, who attended Ysgol Glan Clwyd in St Asaph, added: “The aim of my poetry is to expose these taboo feelings we have. They are all personal experiences.

“I want to explain to young people that, they’re not alone. That it is okay not to be okay and what they’re feeling is actually pretty normal and there are ways of coping, recognising the signs and acknowledging that they can talk to people about these feelings.”

Semi Colon takes the reader right through a journey of mental health awareness. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, stress, and the general feeling of helplessness.

Leah hopes the book helps teenagers and young adults in their 20s.

“Poetry has been a massive help to me,” Leah added.