It’s Children’s Mental Health Week and we are sharing different perspectives of those who are involved when a young person receives support from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Jane (not her real name) shares her story of being referred to CAMHS at the age of 11, for severe anxiety and depression: “At the time, I felt trapped and like I couldn’t tell anyone how I was feeling. I tried to tell them but I felt like I couldn’t tell them everything – not the worst of it anyway.
“Getting referred to CAMHS was scary and at the time I really felt like nothing was going to be able to help me to get better. But I was wrong – they did help me.
“Knowing that I had something I could rely on made such a difference. It stopped being scary and they helped push me to do things that I didn’t think I could do - I started to believe in myself more. And now a year on, I am feeling a lot better. I’m also attending the Download sessions that are provided by the Discovery College. These are really helping get me back on track.”
We asked Jane what advice she would give to other young people who might be struggling with their mental health: “Try to get up in the mornings, even if you don’t feel you can. Eat as much as you feel like you can at that time (healthy food preferably). Listen to music and be kind to yourself. Try and get out of the house once a day, even if it’s only for five minutes. And talk to people – having mental health problems is nothing to be ashamed of and talking about it will help you because you won’t be trying to battle it on your own.”
If you are worried about a child or young person and their mental health go to your GP or for more information about the services that Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation provides for children and young people in Sussex, go to www.sussexcamhs.nhs.uk.