Me and My Mental Health Story

Hi... I'm Chloe, I'm 18 years old and I'm from the UK

I used to love playing football and multiple sports. I say used too... When I was 13 or 14, everything changed for me, but life went on as normal. Well from the outside it would have seemed normal, but for me, it was far from it.

Mental Health is something that is extremely stigmatised in the UK and across the world. This is my ongoing battle with mental health and what my experience of being in the UK mental health system is like. Everyone's experiences are different... but here's my story.

**TRIGGER WARNING**

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4. Me and Asking For Help

It took me a while to come to terms that I had made suicide attempt (the first one). I needed to talk, I had kept everything to myself for about 3 and a half years. I only spoke out about in February 2016. My tutor at college was a big help. I emailed her asking about the colleges confidentiality and what they would have to tell parents and other professionals. She talked it through with me, explaining what they have to tell others and what they can keep confidential. It took me 3 or 4 meetings before I was able to tell her about the self harm. She didn't rush me into telling her, and didn't judge me when I did. However, she did have to tell my parents and that's something I didn't exactly take well. She called my parents to tell them, I think I took it worse than my parents, they took it bad but it wasn't as bad as I thought. It was a relief they finally knew. My tutor contacted the Early Intervention Team and I had to do risk assessments so they could recommend what would be best to do. 

They recommended that I get referred to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) or self refer to IAPT (Improved Access to Psychological Therapies). We talked about which service would be best for me and my situation and we decided on CAMHS. The referral got sent off in March so I started to have weekly meetings with her whilst we were waiting for my referral to go through, therefore she and the head of safeguarding could keep an eye on me and make sure I wasn't deteriorating rapidly. It takes me time to trust anyone, but as the weeks went on, I trusted her more, slowly starting to open up about hearing voices and suicidal ideation. Once again, nothing I said shocked her and she didn't judge me over it. I was finally starting to get the help I needed.   

I still didn't accept the fact I was mentally ill, everyone was able to recognise it apart from me. To me, I was still that child who didn't give a shit what people thought about me, I was still able to go to college (my grades were dropping considerably but I didn't think it was down to my mental state). I wasn't noticing the obvious, and that's one of the things that concerned people the most.

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