Posted: 19 November 2019

Jamie's story: 'I feel like you need a voice'

Jamie had difficulties with his mental health at school and couldn't rely local government services to provide the support he needed.

It was only when he started talking to one of our practitioners that things started to get better. This is his story. 

School wasn't a happy place

At school, Jamie faced bullying from his classmates who would often steal his money and force him to buy things for them, ‘I was just doing it to keep them off my back and when I joined their school football team, they didn’t want me in the team. That made me feel really left out. School wasn’t a happy place for me.’

Jamie’s mental health declined further at college when he began to struggle with anxiety and suicidal thoughts, I kept on leaving classes and just hanging on top of the stairs wanting to jump off and end my life. I feel like I didn’t want to live at that time.'

‘I was saying things that I didn’t mean to say, like I didn’t want to live anymore.’

Jamie was referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), where he began receiving treatment, but he still struggled between these appointments, as he had no one he could rely on or talk to. It was only when he was signposted to us by his college tutor that he received the support he needed.

Finding someone to talk to

At the easy-access, drop-in service for under 25s, Jamie had access to immediate mental and emotional health support seven days a week. Nicky, a practitioner at the service says, 'knowing that we are there seven days a week to come in and talk to has been a huge help to him.'

‘I am glad I got help, because my life was a downward spiral.'

'When I’m having a difficult time and I come in and have a chat with someone, I feel better...I feel like my life would be rubbish if it wasn’t there, because there’d be no one to talk to.'

jamie talking to practitioner

At the service, Jamie is able to talk about his emotions and how he's feeling with someone he trusts. 

Getting your emotions out there

Jamie regularly attended workshops for young people who may be feeling isolated, where they can support others and socialise. At our service, he has made friends, gained confidence and learnt how to manage his anxiety. 

'Friends are always good to have when you are down.'

He goes on to say, 'sometimes having that one person to talk to is really good so you can get your emotions out there like how you are feeling.’

Helping those that don't feel listened to

Jamie is passionate about raising awareness of the importance of children and young people’s mental health and well-being and hopes to be an advocate for those experiencing challenges themselves or don’t feel listened to.

‘I feel like you need a voice because some adults, they don’t want to listen to you, because you are young and you don’t know what you are saying.

‘The Children’s Society has helped and it does help a lot of young people...It’s important to share your expressions and how you are feeling with other people. It’s helped me to talk about my problems.'

Only by listening to young people like Jamie can we help them overcome the challenges of modern childhood. 



* Photos posed for by models. Names and identifying details have been changed to protect those involved.

By Kaja Zuvac-Graves

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