Support the mental and physical wellbeing of young people and their families in Gloucestershire

Jake gained independence, empowering him to reach and achieve his goals.

“I was referred to Young Gloucestershire for help with stress and social anxiety as part of my Disability Student Allowance assessment when I started at the University of Gloucestershire. My stress had gotten so bad that I had developed a habit of rubbing my eyes, which was causing sight loss.

“My family has a history of mental health challenges, including autism, OCD, and depression. We have become a bit of a well-oiled machine over the years as we have learned to cope and support one another. But, this has meant that I feel limited, as I am caught between staying where I feel safe with my family, wanting to support them, but also wanting to see a future for myself outside of my family.

“I am autistic, as are my two brothers. When I was younger, I was hot-headed, getting into lots of fights and being bullied. I’m not proud of my behaviour; I don’t want to be an aggressive person. But, my autism means I can often go very quickly from being withdrawn to high-functioning and excitable.

“I have a phobia of public transport. The only reason I was able to give YG’s support a go was because the counsellor was able to offer our sessions online, and my youth worker met me in the community near my house.

“Among the everything else, I struggled with my vocabulary with expressing my emotions, so we worked on being able to express and communicate how I had been feeling. Compared to now, I never used to talk about things as in-depth as I used to because it was always that kind of adage that you had to grip your teeth and get on with it. The counselling has allowed me to find a way to start tackling problems. I also learned some meditation with my counselor to manage my stress and control aggression.

“I wanted to grow and be able to be someone who can move out of the family and finally become my own person. Still helping them, but also finally being able to live my own life. I’m moving towards being someone who can be more sustainable and stable with myself and my family. At YG, I looked at how I could grow my independence, and driving was one of them so we looked at how I could start learning to drive. It is now something that I’m learning.  It’s a big step for me starting to learn to drive. I started my first few lessons and practicing with my parents.

“I’m certainly much more reflective now. I’m not a person who tends to be very self-loving or self-respecting, but now I don’t think that critically of myself as much anymore because I’m able to look at things and pick up the reasons why something happens and come up with solutions.

“I hope to graduate and pursue palaeontology despite challenges. I tried to apply to Bristol, and I got rejected three times, so hopefully once I’ve completed this university course, I can then go on to what I really want to do. The Independence I gained through has enabled me to reach and achieve my goals.”

You may also like...