In the UK, mental health support is exceptional for young people. The services available are resourceful. However, I beg to differ with the services for people over the age of 18 seeking mental health support. For instance, booking an appointment with your Doctor can take 8 weeks.
I first fell into the mental health system in 2008, So here it is, the story I pulled through. I hope to inspire people to continue their story.
In January 2008 my Father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, which affected over 60% of his body. At the time, I was at school, studying for my exams. When we found out and I was told, I was shocked, devastated and in tears for days. I couldn’t believe it happened to us, we was just an ordinary family.
I became my dads immediate carer which was really tough, but worth it. He was undergoing radio and chemotherapy.
From September 2008 things got worse to the point where more calls for ambulances where made. In November 2008 he made his last trip to hospital. At this time, I was living at my aunt and uncle’s. I only visited him once in hospital and I left in tears.
On November 15, 2008 my dad passed away. The first thought I had was my dad’s last words “I love you son”. I burst into tears and hid under my bed covers. To me my closest friend, my dad, had just been torn away from me and my world felt like it was falling down around me.
I began to feel low and guilty. I never told anyone this. I bottled it up and just smiled. I began to self harm to the point where self-harm was an addiction. I would cut in places nobody would see just to feel better.
Self-harming for me wasn’t the answer. I started to hate myself for cutting and thought more of just ending things. I had planned ways of ending it and got to the stage where I had written my suicide letter to send to those I love most. All I wanted was to have my dad back and to me, suicide was the answer.
I left the letters, news travelled fast to the point where my granddad arrived within the hour. To me this, seeing my granddads face begging me not to do it, stopped me instantly. My granddad just talked complete crap. He then told me about how proud my dad was and how much he loved me which urged me to get help.
My uncle contacted my doctor and told them what happened. I then saw a nurse every Friday. She really helped me in more ways that anyone could. A few months after my suicide cycle, I moved out from my Aunt and Uncles down to family differences. It sounds worse than it was, but my uncle and aunt were really understanding, helped me move and assured me that everything would be okay.
I was moving in with my mother, who I hadn’t seen in 11 years, so everything was alien to me. She was the lady who put me in a foster home at 8 months old, the one who should have been there for me. Yes I was angry, sad and scared but with what I had already been through. I just simply got on with it. We got on well and still do.
A few years had passed, it was now 2012, I got into my first long-term relationship, which was amazing, I felt love for the first time since my fathers death, It felt great. I felt great and (more importantly) I felt unstoppable. Everything was going great until the inevitable happened. It was my Aunt, telling me to sit down and prepare myself. I stopped cold. My granddad had died on me. I was devastated, shocked and heartbroken.
The funeral passed and I surprisingly coped well with all the support I had from my family and friends. At the time, my partner fell pregnant and life started to sparkle. We chose to keep it. But as the weeks went by, she became depressed. My partner decided to have an abortion and with the love that had kindled within me I objected but nothing could be done.
In November things came to an end. With the stress and heartbreak from the termination and the build up of feelings, I broke. My partner ended things and I couldn’t believe it, it was on the anniversary of my fathers death. At this point, I was in despair and capable of anything, which caused me to have a mental breakdown.
I got to the point where suicide felt like my only option. I was already depressed at this point. I went into the kitchen, grabbed my mothers tablets, popped them onto the side, poured some water and grabbed the pills. I had put a status up on Facebook, saying “My name is Matthew Peter Wills, I’m 17 and I can’t do this any more. I Love you dad.” because of this within minutes the police was at my door, restrained me and I kept saying “I don’t want to die, I just wanted the pain to end.” My mum was shocked and reassured me that everything would be okay.
I was admitted to hospital for 24 hour watch. A friend of mine stayed in the hospital with me and the following day I saw a psychiatrist who decided that I should go to a mental health institute. I agreed with her because I was scared of my thoughts. This place was called “Brookvale House” designed and purposed to help young people like me who are going through a hard time dealing with self-harm and suicide.
After the two week period, I was ready to come out on the condition that I would see them every week to just see how I’m coping.
I have never told anyone my story, until now.
My Name is Matthew Wills,
I’ve been in and around the mental health system here in the UK, from Working with to using the services for myself. I am Currently the Managing Director of a Mental Health Project that I co-founded in 2013 called The Semicolon Project, which offers a wide range of services for people dealing with mental health.
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