Adwoa Aboah: “Gurls Talk is everything I wanted at school”

As the model’s online safe space for young women gets a new look, we speak to her about Gurls Talk going global, tackling issues as varied as mental health and motherhood, and the importance of creativity to her community

Gurls Talk began life in 2015, as a way for Adwoa Aboah to talk about her mental health problems with people who were going through similar experiences. Aged 23 at the time, the model wasn’t just struggling with depression, but bipolar disorder and drug and alcohol abuse as well. The turning point for Aboah came after three stints in rehab, when she overdosed and ended up in a coma. She created Gurls Talk as a safe, online space for herself and other girls so that they could share their stories of mental health, motherhood and disability, among many other things.

“It was an idea that I’d had for some time,” says Aboah. “I’d been in and out of treatment for addiction and mental health, and what came up all the time [at rehab] was the ability to talk in a space with a group of people confidentially and honestly. I didn’t realise it was so simple. There were lots of things that went into self-love and self-care, but actually a major part of it was talking openly about everything.”