Young person stories and feedback

Hand drawn heart coloured in red

Karen's story

Karen was struggling with anxiety and depression and had trust issues due to growing up without a dad. When she first started seeing the counsellor, she found it difficult to talk about challenging things going on in her life, often laughing it off. As time went on, she began to open up and share difficult experiences she went through as a teenager including being sexually assaulted where she originally blamed herself for being drunk when it happened. She also blamed herself for her dad leaving when she was younger. Through her work with the counsellor, she was able to stop blaming herself for the various experiences in her life and slowly begin to trust again by sharing things with the counsellor.

 

At the start of counselling she always described herself as strong and guarded, not letting people in and being detached from her feelings to protect herself. During her time with the counsellor, she was able to be vulnerable and explore her feelings and this wouldn’t have been possible without the space and work that Platform for Life provides.

Annie's story

Annie was 12 and had been diagnosed with anxiety and panic attacks.  The anxiety and worry she felt about having future panic attacks was preventing her from attending school. The school link teacher referred Annie to Platform for Life and an appointment was made for her to be seen the following week at school. During the initial meetings Annie explained how she felt and how overwhelming the anxiety was. The thought of more panic attacks prevented her doing the things she wanted to do.  She didn’t want to go to school, attend lessons, even PE which she explained she used to love, she stopped talking to her friends. Annie withdrew at home too, sitting in her bedroom on her own until mum, dad, brother and sister had gone to bed, then getting up to watch tv until the early hours of the morning, not able to sleep.

She explained that she had never felt so scared, unhappy and alone.

 

Through counselling, Annie began to understand her anxiety and panic attacks, and developed understanding and coping strategies to manage them.  She began attending school again, initially for part of the day. By the end of counselling Annie was attending all lessons every day, had re-engaged with sport and her netball team, was not withdrawing to her bedroom and staying up late and having fun again with her family. Annie explained that she was now much happier, had more friends and her confidence and ability to cope had increased as she put it from from 0 at the beginning of counselling to 10 out of 10 now.

Drawing of mum and two children

Megan and Viv's story

Megan was a single mum with two children, both on the autistic spectrum. Her daughter Viv was 15. Viv found attending school extremely challenging and was refusing to go to lessons. Due to high levels of anxiety, Viv also refused to access external services for support. Viv met with the counsellor at school, and as she was in a familiar setting, agreed to engage with the service. Within three weeks of accessing counselling Viv had started to return to her classes and had set goals for her attendance. By the end of counselling Viv spoke about feeling more confident, particularly with her friendship group.

 

Megan too, opted to access the counselling service. Whilst she had engaged with many professionals in her efforts to find support and understanding for her children, she had never been offered any support for herself. Counselling allowed her to reflect on her feelings about the challenges of family life as well as considering new strategies and skills in her relationship with her children. She described this as having ‘a ripple effect on all the family.