Renske reflects on the support she received from Carlisle Eden Mind…

My name is Renske, I am 18 years old and currently in year 13 at Kirkby Stephen Grammar school.

I first accessed Carlisle Eden Mind in 2016 when I was in year 10 at my previous school, where I spoke to Lynsey through the Your Voice Advocacy service. This meant I met with Lynsey in school time and she talked with me about issues I was facing with friendships and helped me figure out how to work on these problems.

To me, this experience was important because I was finally able to talk to someone about how I had been feeling. For almost a year I had been feeling low and was struggling with the pressure of friendships and school. When I first spoke with Lynsey through Your Voice, I immediately felt comfortable with her and was able to finally talk to someone about what was going on in my head.

Lynsey helped me to talk to the school and my parents to let them know that I was struggling. Then we worked together to resolve the issues that were causing my low mood. For example, with her I managed to create a list of things I wanted to say to my friends, as my friendship group was a difficulty for me, and she helped me arrange a meeting where I could say these things.

This helped to reduce one of the stressors in my life, however after a few months, it came to a point where I felt I needed some further support. Therefore, Lynsey helped me to fill out a referral form for CAMHS (children and adolescent mental health services). Through this, I was able to get an appointment with CAMHS, leading to further support.

Around a year later, I felt much better and was moving schools. I felt quite anxious about this, so my Mum reached out to Lynsey and we set up some meetings again. This made my transition to a new school much easier and I received many useful resources.

I have worked with Carlisle Eden Mind again, helping with interviewing to find a new member of the Children and Young People’s team. Here, I met more people working for Carlisle Eden Mind and found interactions with them were just as lovely as the ones I had with Lynsey.

Overall, I feel Carlisle Eden Mind is a vital service, especially for young people currently, as there are so many more things to be anxious about now. Personally, I want to thank them, and Lynsey especially, for helping me see that asking for help is okay. If I had not had access to the Your Voice service, I feel that I would not be in the position I am today; applying to university and feeling much more confident about my future.

If you would like to support Carlisle Eden Mind to help ensure that young people in Cumbria, like Renske, get the support and respect that they deserve, donate to our Christmas Challenge Page between 1st and 8th December to see your donation doubled.