J Grange is a rapper and songwriter based in East London. He’s been recording and writing music since he was 17 though his career really kicked off towards the end of last year. In 2019, he was featured on BBC Look East news and the BBC national website.
Having his own experiences with mental health and challenges with schooling and education, J now seeks to help other children in disadvantaged situations.
J Grange's story
“I am a massive advocate for mental health. 2018 was a hard year for me, full of pain, deep frustration and sleepless nights. I felt alone, trapped by the thoughts in my head, and that I didn’t have a way out. I would say this was the year that ultimately shaped my life. From depression to suicidal thoughts, the relentless pain I felt was obvious to all those around me. I was consistently battling my excruciating fight with mental health. Consequently, my education was extremely disrupted, I fell behind in my studies due to regular being excluded or placed in isolation, had family fallouts, fell into altercations with the police which ended with me sitting in front of a judge, and then the final straw, my suicidal thoughts. I am not denying that a lot of issues could have been prevented. My family were supportive, but I didn’t receive the support I needed from the education system: it was not for me at all. I feel a lot more should be done, that new things should be put in place in the education system for students who suffer from mental health.”
“I was eventually diagnosed with ADHD after over 5 years of what I can only describe as being humiliating for me and constantly experiencing the feeling of being misunderstood. The diagnosis was a huge weight of my shoulders. I saw my life differently and I could eventually understand myself. My anger and frustration started to turn into positivity. In 2019 my music career began. I started to gain great traction and a growing fan base. My story was featured on BBC Look East news and the BBC national website which was then picked up by local newspapers and music magazines. People eventually started to listen to me, a massive difference to how I felt during my darkest days.”
“Now, I feel like a changed man. Although I am 18 years old, I have matured extremely quickly. I hope that the undeniable contrast that 2 years has made for me inspires other young people who have been what I’ve been through and can relate. Whilst I’m now a growing artist with my career only just beginning, I will never ever forget the challenges I faced in my childhood."
“I believe every young person around the world deserves a chance to shine. Where people live and their personal circumstances should never be allowed to stop young people from being happy, having access to education, food, water and the basic human necessities to feel safe and loved. No child living on this planet should feel that they have no hope. The work ChildHope does, does not only provide hope for children but helps to provide a future too.”
“I cannot claim to understand how some children are treated or the abject poverty in which they live. However, I did spend several years feeling that there was no hope and that my life had no meaning. This impacts on mental wellbeing which creates feelings of worthlessness and a complete lack of belief that anything can change for the better. The work ChildHope does is inspiring and has so many beneficial direct and indirect impacts. They are not just helping children they are helping the families, their communities and society. Every child has untapped potential. If you provide them with education, love and support they can and will thrive. I would love to help ChildHope by helping to build resilience in young people, many of whom have been through and are still going through incredibly difficult times. I would love to play a part in the ongoing support they receive by showing them that they can believe and achieve their goals. No of us can predict the future, however, this is a positive as it allows us to create our own.”
“I am currently in the process of looking to start up my own initiative and turn it into a record label/ public relations company for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and those who suffer from severe mental health issues. I feel this will show people how far I’ve come and my ultimate passion for creating a message around positive mental health for young people. We should never look at mental health as something bad, but something to use to understand ourselves more. We all go through dark days but it’s about our strength and perseverance to make the next day positive."
"Dream, Believe and Achieve."
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