Erin’s Mental Health Journey

Erin reflects on how she got to where she is today with the help of Carlisle Eden Mind’s Children and Young Person’s Team…

My name is Erin and I am 18 years old. I attended Appleby Grammar School, obtaining my A-Levels this summer, and I started my degree at Newcastle University this September.

During Year 9, my teachers encouraged me to speak to Lynsey Eland, who works with children and young people who struggle with their mental health. I would speak to Lynsey every time she came into school and she helped me to realise that the way I was feeling was down to a mental health condition. She also helped me to identify and then deal with triggers that made my anxiety worse; this improved my school experience as it meant that I was staying in more classes.

Lynsey, alongside my parents and my head of year, referred me to CAMHS and continued to contact them until I received the professional help that I needed. Lynsey also supported me throughout my journey with CAMHS until I began my CBT treatment.

Without the help of Carlisle Eden Mind, I’m not sure that I would have received the professional help that I did and certainly not as quickly as I did. The services I received from CEMind helped me to pursue my school career and obtain my GCSE and A-Level grades which I never thought possible before I started working with Lynsey and my mental health improved.

By the time signs of my anxiety and poor mental health alerted my parents and teachers, I had become depressed and I had begun to self-harm and experience suicidal thoughts and so my experience and support from CEMind, not only allowed me to get to the place I am in with my academic career, but it also saved my life.

In Year 12, I took part in the “Share A Smile” campaign which was an excellent idea and taught so many young people about mental health and how best to support others. I think that this campaign has done so much to destroy the stigma that accompanies mental health and has greatly improved the school environment.