We spoke to Amelia, 19, about her experiences with Kids Inspire, one of our charity partners:
I started going to Kids Inspire because of my social anxiety. I also suffer with depression and schizophrenia. My earliest memory of having anxiety was when I was just two or three, it’s been part of my whole life but it got to a point when I was in year 7 or 8, and I was like, ‘this isn't normal’. I couldn't go to lessons, couldn't make friends, couldn't leave the house some days.
We went to the GP and I was referred to different services but they had years long waiting lists, so they told us to contact Kids Inspire.
I wasn't expecting anything to work at that point, I'd already tried hypnotherapy and acupuncture but I just didn't have a clue what was actually going on in my head. But I was willing to try anything.
I thought they were going to tell me ‘Everything's fine, suck it up’ but it just it wasn't anything like that. My parents just couldn’t understand what was wrong with me, they got very frustrated. But the therapists deal with this day in, day out. They've got degrees in this. They understand and could normalise it a bit, explain that I’m not crazy.
Kids Inspire is so welcoming. I'm part of a group called The Voice, there’s a range of people there from 13 to 22 and it’s somewhere we can talk about any problems we've got, and share experiences.
They’ve helped me develop lots of tools – like breathing techniques. I thought ‘breathings not going to solve anything’ - but it's magic! It calms you down enough so that your brain can refocus and understand what's going on and why, what caused it. I’m on medication for my depression now but all the techniques that I've learned over the years, so hand in hand with that, the medications wouldn’t work on its own.
When you've got anxiety you're constantly thinking you're constantly on the go in your mind, thinking ‘what if?’ What if I fall over? What if I drop this? What if? And then you get anxiety. A therapist once told me ‘your brain is like a train station - you've got all these trains coming and going, but it's your choice as to whether or not you get on that train’, and I really liked that. It made sense.’
I feel within schools they don't have like the facilities for people with mental health issues. Literally, I had a corner to sit in - there was no guidance, no nothing. Just a corner and some colouring books.
If I don't go into journalism, I want go into therapies. Because I've been in it my whole life it's all I know really - it's something that me and my anxiety can do together
Through Kids Inspire I’ve met people I never thought I'd meet, got opportunities I never thought I’d get, it's like a community.
You never stop needing help when you've got mental illness and I know if I ever need help with anything, Kids Inspire will be there. They’re like my second family.
Kids Inspire provide mental health and trauma recovery support for children, young people and their families.
Through a range of therapeutic and community activities it promotes resilience, self-awareness, and relationship building to help young people re-engage in education and empower more positive life choices.