A FORMER student of Pembrokeshire College has just had a book published about mental health, mental illness, and being autistic.

In From Hurt to Hope Mair Elliott reflects on her role as a mental health advocate.

The book is available now at major retailer Waterstones.

In a blog post Mair said when she was asked to write a book, she immediately thought of creating a collection of stories from autistic people.

“The autism community has helped me in my darkest times and has celebrated with me in my happiest.

“The community helped me piece together my true autistic self, for which I am eternally grateful.

“I also am very aware that being offered a publishing deal gives me a certain level of power in this world. I have tried to include voices from different walks of life, not just people who look like me.”

Pembrokeshire College said they were immensely proud of what their former pupil had achieved.

“Well done Mair, we hope it’s a huge success,” said the college.

Mair said that she knew the influential position she was in, being given the opportunity to write a book.

“Most people know me as an advocate for mental health and mental health care.

“As I am sure you are aware mental health is a complex thing, but if you were to ask me what I thought mental health was at its constitutional level, I would say ‘hope’.

“Many express the lack of hopefulness when in the pits of despair, I myself have been in that position, and so it seems logical to express mental health as hopefulness.

“Despite how it feels when shrouded in despair, there is a path to hopefulness.

“The stories in this book show a handful of ways in which different autistic people have made that journey from hopelessness to hopefulness.”

Mair finished by saying she hopes the book will broaden people’s horizons.

“I hope that you can learn something about yourself, and I hope you can challenge yourself to listen to someone you may not normally hear.”

The book is available at waterstones.com