Young carer shares his story

One of our current mentees, 11-year-old Joseph, had previously received therapy after being referred to us by school. He felt that a big part of his mental health journey would be to help other young people.

He was invited by ‘Global’s Make Some Noise‘ (GMSN) to tell his story to help raise money for Kids Inspire and other small charities that have increased their response during Covid-19.

Joseph’s story:

“I’m a carer for my mum who lives with MS. During lockdown I have taken her in her wheelchair to the shops, so she was not always housebound, which was making her get stressed, vitamin-D is needed to help her stay physically well too.”

Alongside being a young carer for his mum, Joseph had another story he wanted to share with GMSN:

“On my housing estate I’m a victim of bullying and I started having suicidal thoughts and was feeling very down in the dumps. I just was not feeling great and felt stressed and anxious – what with the caring side of life, I was just feeling really down.

It was last year, before the pandemic (and before we shifted services online) that Joseph met with one of our creative therapists. As part of his step down from therapy, Joseph was given a mentor – a trained volunteer and professional friend – and he continues to meet his mentor ‘virtually’ on a weekly basis.

“When I was referred to a therapist it was face-to-face. I now have a Mentor and as time has gone on, sadly Covid-19 entered the UK and social distancing measures were put in place. My mentor and I could no longer meet in person, but we’ve been doing audio and video calls so that we can talk to each other.

How meeting ‘virtually’ has helped:

“Meeting through audio and video is helping a lot. I would prefer to be face-to-face but with technology today I am grateful because if I couldn’t speak to someone then I feel I would be very depressed and not the way I am today.

Coronavirus makes me angry

“Coronavirus just makes me feel angry. It’s stopped the way I live and it’s stopped the way my family live, it’s stopped the way other people live and its also affected adult and children’s mental health being stuck indoors and not being able to see friends and maybe they feel isolated like I do.”

Joseph continues to be supported by his mentor and this relationship will be a constant in his life until it naturally comes to an end as he feels empowered to make positive life choices alone.

Listen in to Joseph here.

For anyone interested in training to be a mentor, you can email and find out more here.