Lydia's Story - tackling mental health stigma through Arts for Health at Alder Hey.
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’. This 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 can’t wait to start my training to become a children’s nurse; something that wouldn’t have been possible without all of Alder Hey’s support!