Rainham and Dagenham teenagers’ debut novel about technology and mental health

L-R: Lucy-Paige Willingham, Daisy Robbins, Seun Oshinaike and Esther Showemimo at the People Like Us

L-R: Lucy-Paige Willingham, Daisy Robbins, Seun Oshinaike and Esther Showemimo at the People Like Us book launch at Rainham Harris Academy. - Credit: Archant

Pupils from a Rainham school explored the realities of young people navigating their way through a technology dictated world in their debut novel.

The launch event for People Like Us, a debut book by Esther Showemimo, 15, from Woodshire Road in Dageham and Daisy Robbins, 16, from Harold Hill took place at Harris Academy Rainham in Lambs Lane South on Wednesday, November 21.

People Like Us discusses how difficult it can be to remain optimistic and deal with issues that may arise.

The writers hoped to show that no matter how alone people may feel, they are surrounded by countless of others who feel just like them.

Esther said: “At first, writing the book was given as project to us to me and Daisy from Seun Oshinaike, who is the CEO or Cypher App.

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“When deciding what the context would be we realised how much we wanted it to influence other young people and be an advice sourced for them in times of comfort and need.”

Cypher App is a mental health company that encourages people to anonymously share their feelings and also receive advice from professional organisations regarding their wellbeing.

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The launch event aimed to open up the conversation surrounding mental health in teens and technology and how self-help and wellbeing seem more attainable than before.

“Daisy and I are both passionate people about changing the stigma surrounding young people and mental health and we take part in various events,” said Esther.

“Through meeting members of the Havering Youth Council, we have worked closely with others to be the voice of the youth.

“We feel that every young person needs to be aware someone is watching out for them - either old or young - everyone needs guidance and support, and in this day and age, young people do not receive enough.

“This needs to change, otherwise I fear authentic communication between the old and new generation will be lost and the lives of young people will be affected and influenced in such a way that it can never be reversed.”

People Like Us can be purchased online at Amazon.

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