When Jamie’s dad passed away unexpectedly it turned the whole family upside down.

His mum became increasingly house bound and often wouldn’t get out of her pyjamas all day. His sister was older and had already moved out of a chaotic family situation, leaving Jamie feeling alone and confused.

Jamie was angry and didn’t want to go to school. In fact, he shut down from everything and refused any kind of support. For a while a teacher went to visit him at home in an effort to keep him engaged but Jamie was not interested.

The school asked Bethany if they could help and our worker went on a home visit. The first time, Jamie stayed in his room and just passed notes under the door. However, on the second visit he came out of his room and played Play Station for a while. Over the following weeks and months, Jamie was able to articulate his feelings as the Bethany worker gave him time to open up. Jamie described feeling angry and confused, “I don’t understand why I feel like this.”

Jamie has continued to meet with the Bethany worker and is slowly opening up:

I feel better when I talk to you about stuff.

He has been back into school a few times and Bethany are working alongside other agencies to provide the best support possible.

The Bethany worker describes the support process as:

We are trying to get them into a place where they can handle these challenges. Ultimately we can’t change their life situations but we hope that through relationship building they can process and cope with what’s been. And be better able to cope in the future.

Often a young person’s anger or poor behaviour is a symptom of a challenging underlying situation. That’s why Bethany’s support isn’t limited by time or a set number of meetings. Each young person is unique and we want to give them the space to reveal their struggles. When that happens we find that the sessions with the Bethany worker can become a real highlight of the week.

Jamie reported that:

I look forward to coming in to see you each week.

The demand for our support is at an all-time high due to huge numbers of young people reporting poor mental health. We are at a stage where we need to bring on additional staff to meet the increasing need and help people like Jamie to feel valued and loved.