tom mental health
When we talked to Tom last year, he was 16 and studying for his A-Levels. Things at school were tough since losing someone close to him. Realising he needed bit of help, he went to the GP and a referral was made to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services).
Tom had never heard of CAMHS before. He didn't know what he was being referred to. When he found out, he really didn't want to go. He wasn't used to opening up and talking about his feelings.
first CAMHS session
I feel like inside someone’s head they’re probably, like, laughing at me. So that’s why I don’t really open up to someone.
Despite not really knowing what to expect, Tom went to his first session and arranged to meet regularly with his therapist. After a few sessions, he was discharged from the service.
I felt like I was on my own again
Taking that step to see a therapist was a big deal for Tom. He overcame his fear of talking about his emotions. But only getting two sessions did not go far enough.
Tom says that mental health services for children need to be friendlier and more accessible, so young people find it easier to ask for help. 'When they are helping it does help, but when it's not working right it just makes you feel even worse'.
He also thinks society needs to open up more about mental health in general. By talking about it, listening to others, being open with friends and family, we can make mental health accessible to all.