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Self-expression through writing lyrics

Children and young people are constantly growing emotionally. They could be overcoming insecurities, managing anger or coping with depression. But it is also easy for them to feel mentally stuck. Climbing out of this hole takes time and support. Especially after a traumatic experience. This is Peter's story of how he learned the tools to put his mental health first.


Suicide attempt

boy in t-shirt looks out of window pensively

A cry for help

Peter is living in care. His family has a history of mental health issues that mean they can’t take care of him. Being away from them left him feeling lost and alone. He was taking drugs to kill the pain.  

One day, Peter’s worker dropped by his placement to find that he had been discovered by staff trying to take his own life. Here they recount that day and how it was the turning point to rebuilding Peter’s life.

Difficult emotionally

'I remember, we sat outside and the floodgates just opened up. He spoke all about his past, about his family and how he has no connection to them. There was a real sense of loss and pain.’ 

Emotionally, he was on the floor.

‘He told me he didn't intend to kill himself. He just wanted everything that was going on to stop.’ 

Opening up

‘Slowly with my support, Peter started to take steps to improve both his outer and inner self. He began to express his emotions in ways he never had before.’ 

‘Previously he had been blocking his emotions and he wasn't dealing with what was actually inside and hurting him. But now he is taking medication. He recognises their benefits to him. Using a mood tracker journal, he can see what's happening in there.

girl smiles at camera in a white room

Improving young people's well‑being

We are fighting to reverse the decline in children and young people’s well-being. We want them to be happy and look forward to a brighter future. Find out more about our work we are doing to improve children’s mental health across the country.

Musical expression 

Musical expression

Peter has found new ways to channel his thoughts and feelings. He has started writing lyrics to help come to terms with the more painful things in his life. 

‘He sent me some song lyrics talking about his experience. In it he opens up about the hurt he feels being in care and not with his family. They are quite personal and they're also expletive. There is a lot about his anger and pain.’ 

Boy lies on bed looking at his phone

Positive well-being

Through continued sessions, Peter has gone from strength to strength. He is now able to manage his mental and physical health. Not only that, but he is about to start training within construction. Things are looking up.  

‘In a conversation I had with him, I highlighted how he’d settled into a new placement, made new friends, made the decision to cut down on drugs and alcohol, his budgeting was on track, he was eating healthily and talking about his emotions.’  

‘He took that in and thanked me. We were able to find peace, together, which was lovely. He was genuinely back in that good place and I couldn’t be more proud of him.’ 

He's doing brilliantly, really brilliantly.

‘With Peter, we've come on this complete journey. It's great to take a step back and think, “Wow look at what he’s done”.’ 

Model message

This is a true story but names and identifying details have been changed to protect the young person and the photographs are posed by a model.