Lydia's Story in her own words


Lydia was almost 16 when she was referred into Alder Hey's community mental health services after visiting her GP, presenting with worries and behaviours that were constantly escalating. These behaviours made her feel very isolated, anxious and fearful. An appointment with a mental health practitioner and psychiatrist followed where Lydia began medication in order to get her to a point where she could then access talking therapies. She was diagnosed with OCD, anxiety and depression. Lydia says the diagnose was a relief to her and marked the start of a long recovery. She believes she will always live with OCD but doesn’t believe her diagnosis controls her. Lydia says she has learnt ways to live a more normal life, and was so inspired by her experiences at Alder Hey that she has now started training as a paediatric nurse. This is her story in her own words:


"Hi I’m Lydia and I have been a patient under CAMHS for 3 years. My journey began when I was 15. I had been struggling for a long time - I knew I needed help but was so scared and feared how those around me would react. Telling my parents was the hardest thing of all. Admitting that I was unwell and couldn’t help myself was scary. I was quickly assessed here at Alder Hey and have since had regular weekly appointments. I’m extremely grateful to all the staff at Alder Hey who have supported me in my darkest times. I have learnt to live and accept that my illness will always be with me; but I have been able to find ways to cope and can now look forward to the future - something that was not possible only a year ago. I joined the ‘Fresh CAMHS participation group’ which has enabled me to use my own experiences of the service to have a voice in how the service can be improved and help many other children and young people. We recently created a ‘smashing stigma’ animation video, as well as working on the plans for the new building! I love meeting with other young people to help improve the service and feel part of the Alder Hey community. I’m also a member of the Alder Hey Youth Forum - and have been able to represent the hospital at conferences. I cannot believe how many exciting things I have been a part of - all of which have come out of a not very good situation. I have so much to thank Alder Hey for. I decided I wanted to be a children's nurse and started my paediatric nurse training in September; something that wouldn’t have been possible without all of Alder Hey’s support!"

7 in 10 children and young people who experience a mental health condition have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age. Alder Hey Children’s Charity’s ‘7 in 10 Children’s Mental Health Appeal’ is aiming to raise vital funds to enhance inpatient and Community mental health services at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, enabling more children to access the treatment they need at the time they need it.

A new ‘Clinical Hub’ is being built which will include mental health outpatient facilities and a brand new twelve bed specialist inpatient mental health Unit, alongside other cross dependent community health services.

Located right next door to its state-of-the art specialist hospital and within a modern, child-friendly building, the enhanced provision of mental health services will increase current available inpatient bed capacity and enable more children and young people to be seen and treated quickly by experienced, specialist clinicians.

Patients and their families will be able to receive rapid and early access to co-ordinated multi-disciplinary care, benefitting from the most up to date assessment and diagnosis facilities. The Hub will also enable Alder Hey’s community services to link more closely with its specialist hospital services, enhancing care for children with long term conditions such as neurology, cardiology and infectious diseases.


Lydia was one of the models used for the Matalan 2020 Campaign, along with clinicians and two Alder Hey families.

“I was really excited to be a part of this campaign to promote mental health well-being for children and young people and the services available here at Alder Hey. Never Give Up stands out to me from this campaign, no matter how much you may be struggling - help is available. You are braver than you think, talk to someone and never give up". 

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