“Before I joined the Addaction service, I was a lost teenager who felt I didn’t have much control over my life and emotions. As a result of this I was self-harming. I felt as though it was my only way of getting some kind of relief. It was if I became dependent on it. I was convinced that I was coping but now I see that was not the case.
"My school found out about me self-harming and they gave me the choice to tell my mum or they would have to. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. However, afterwards I was glad it was out and I didn’t have to hold this secret anymore.
"Shortly afterwards my head of year asked me if I would like to take part in the Mind and Body Programme. At first I was a bit sceptical as I had had school counselling before and it did not help. But what did I have to lose? So I said I would take part and I’m so glad I did. Both the one-to-one and group sessions were very discrete and I felt as though I could easily open up due to a comfortable and non-judgemental environment. Furthermore, in my one-to-ones it was nice to talk to someone who wasn’t afraid to talk about self-harm, something I hadn’t previously experienced.
"I was pleasantly surprised with how far I had come from the beginning to the end of the programme. Not only had I stopped self-harming but my wellbeing had also improved. I was a much happier person knowing that there were people there for me. I can honestly say I loved every minute of the Mind and Body programme.
"I am so glad that Addaction reached out to me otherwise I do not believe I would have found help myself. Everyone who I have been involved with on the service has been so caring and supportive. I really recommend this service to anyone in a similar position to me. ”
Emily's story shows why we are so excited about rolling out this programme further so that more young people can access this specialised support. We need to make sure that a vulnerable individual's first experience of mental health support arrives before they reach crisis point, and we are confident that Mind and Body can play a significant part in achieving this.