Seeds of hope for young people who self-harm
News Release: 28 August 2012
Jenny*, who is 25 years old, has been helped by the project after struggling with self-harm since she was a teenager – a problem which, according to research from the Mental Health Foundation, affects at least one in 15 young people in the United Kingdom.
People can hurt themselves in all sorts of different ways and for all sorts of different reasons. But in Jenny’s case – physically harming herself was a way of coping with emotional pain and distress.
She says: “Young people who self-harm can often feel very isolated, alone and misunderstood. They may feel judged by their friends and different from other people. Personally, throughout my teenage years, I spent most of my time trying to hide my problem. It was like constantly wearing a mask.”
However, thanks to the staff and volunteers at the Amber Project in Cardiff, Jenny has received counselling and one-to-one support. Alongside this she has had the opportunity to explore difficult issues within the safe environment of theatre workshops and to increase her feelings of worth and self-confidence through activity-based workshops such as craft and cookery. Jenny also got involved in the project’s annual pantomime where she was part of the backstage team.
She says: “The Amber Project has played a major part in my life and at times has kept me alive. I know that sounds dramatic, but during the rough times the staff have really been there for me. I remember waking up in hospital feeling really scared after taking an overdose, but Caryl from the project was right there, sitting beside me.
“The great thing about the project is that everyone treats you as an individual rather than a problem to be solved. Its work really is vital as there’s nothing else like it in the area for young people.”
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