Andrew was just 13 when he and his family were caught up in a terrifying attack. Afterwards, he really struggled with his mental health. It took four years for Andrew to get the help he needed. After receiving therapy from one of our specialist practitioners he was able to process his traumatic memories safely. Now he feels like what happened that day has helped him to feel grateful about life. It has given him a new sense of purpose and motivation to help others.
Traumatic event for a young person
A life changing moment
A few years ago, Andrew witnessed a terrifying attack that claimed 16 lives and left over 100 injured. Along with his family, he fled the scene and hid in a cafe. He was just 13 at the time.
When Andrew returned home, he struggled to get the help he needed.
Losing confidence after a difficult event
“It was about a year after it happened that it really hit me. I was so paranoid that another attack might happen.”
I was in shock. I didn’t know what was going on.
“I had flashbacks. I was afraid and found public spaces too scary to be in. It was really hard to regain my confidence.”
Children's mental health statistics
worse of parents said that their child’s mental health had got while waiting for support
2 in 3
young people with a mental health condition are not able to access NHS care
Not being able to get mental health support in school
Years passed and Andrew’s school still wasn’t able to provide the level of support he needed.
“Anything could set it off. I told my school that I needed some help, but the only thing they gave me was a time-out card to use if I felt uncomfortable. It wasn’t enough.”
It wasn’t until he moved up to sixth form and a routine check was done, that it became clear he had never received the level of support he needed.
It was then that he started speaking with the reverend at his school who helped him to reach out to his GP. From there Andrew was referred to us for specialist support.
Therapy benefits for young people
Learning to cope
After receiving Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR) from Jessica, a specialist practitioner, Andrew was finally able to process these traumatic memories safely.
“When I first spoke to Jessica, a sense of relief washed through my body. I felt like my voice was being heard and I was so grateful that I was finally getting the support I deserved.”
Therapy with jessica
“Our weekly therapy sessions helped me process my memories and stop them lingering in my head. I was able to confront the sad memories and find a safe space I could go to. I still use those techniques I learned today.”
It’s thanks to the tools Jessica gave me that I have the confidence to do what I’m doing now.
Full of pride
Today Andrew feels happy and hopeful about his future. Last year he finished exams and secured a job as a learning support worker. Andrew now feels like what happened that day has helped him to feel grateful about life. It has given him a new sense of purpose and motivation to help others.
‘For four years, I was scared to go out. But now I’m in a very good place. I've done all my exams and I've got a job. It is all really exciting. I’m a learning support worker in my old school. The work makes me happy.’
I wouldn’t be feeling hopeful about my future if it weren’t for The Children’s Society.
No child should be left waiting years for help. Teenagers are still children, and every child deserves a good childhood. Please give to help others like Andrew get the help they deserve.