We are deeply appreciative of every donation that is given to YoungMinds but we must mention our super supporters, those that continue to give their time and support over the years. Their personal stories are not only touching and inspirational but drive us forward.
Here is the story of how The Aspinalls became involved with YoungMinds, sadly after suffering a devastating loss in their own family.
If you are worried or concerned about a child or young person's mental health. Please call our Parents' Helpline on 0808 802 5544 are lines are open Mon-Fri between 9.30am-4pm or email email@example.com
Prior to Ben’s death we had experienced the trying time that we later realised was common to parents in our situation. We visited our GP, local hospital, searched for help locally and discovered the frightening chasm in services between those for children and for adults.
Our GP was supportive and tried to help but the psychiatrist he sent us to was, to be polite, less than helpful.
The doctor at the hospital, following a self-harm incident, would recommend neither children’s nor adults’ services and could suggest nothing else and so I stopped working to stay at home with Ben.
My school was most supportive, as was Wendy’s, guaranteeing a position should I return; recognising what any teacher or indeed parent would see as an obvious truth, that there is no sudden jump from child to adult. A pity that those in higher places cannot understand that simple fact. Do I sound bitter? With good reason some would say.
We thought he was improving. So much so that I returned to part time work and then one evening, after school, Mike our younger son, found him.
It was the undertaker who discovered YoungMinds as a charity, which, although not local, might be worth supporting at the funeral.
And that did it. We discovered the Parents’ Helpline, the booklets and the pressure applied to parliament and we held our first Charity Ball; to raise funds yes, but mainly to raise awareness locally and to thank our wonderful friends for their support. Allerton High School, where Ben had been Head Boy, began their annual football competition for current and past sixth formers.
This year was the twelfth and still attracted eight teams. Without the continued support and organisation of Mrs Julie Brownrigg, Assistant Head Teacher and Head of Post 16 Studies, this event would not be possible. A local club, Wigton Moor AFC, has also supported the event by allowing the competition to take place on their pitches.
YoungMinds helped us to put a selection of booklets into every school in the city and some schools in Bradford and we have produced Christmas Cards and notelets in order to circulate contact details for YoungMinds and especially the Parents’ Helpline.
We personally want to thank Wendy and Dave for sharing their story and for their passion and commitment in supporting YoungMinds for over 12 years.