Hi, I'm George.
I'm a severe anxiety and OCD sufferer.
For 3 years I suffered from crippling anxiety and OCD, so bad that I couldn't actually leave my bedroom. Eventually the very understanding GP referred me to a psychiatrist (unfortunately the GP had applied for treatment at CAHMS - Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service - but the waiting list was 40 weeks and I was not well enough to wait for this period of time - at this stage of my illness I was crying, suffering severe panic attacks, shaking, washing my hands 50 times a day, not sleeping, experiencing suicidal thoughts and finally suffered a breakdown). Under the expert treatment of the psychiatrist, who used a number of methods including Hypnotherapy I began to recover. This took about a year; after this period although my mental health was improving my OCD was still very much in place. The psychiatrist referred me to a CBT Therapist who put in to place coping mechanisms which I still employ today. Although my anxiety and OCD levels are vastly improved in comparison to 3 years ago, I have accepted that this is a condition that will be with me all my life.
"CAMHS are, on average, turning away nearly 25% of children referred to them for treatment." - YoungMinds Statistics 2016
Now recovered (I say we are never cured of a mental illness) I am now running a fashion label, which I started during my suffering using my anxiety drawings and printing them onto T-Shirts. During my suffering, I came across YoungMinds while looking on the web for resources about my condition. I became very interested in what they stood for. Later during my recovery, I approached them with a view to getting involved with the charity. I am now partnered with YoungMinds Charity donating 25% of proceeds from the anxiety range I have produced to the charity. I specifically partnered with YoungMinds because they help the person that I was, I was that young person suffering severely from a mental illness, only I was in the fortunate position that my incredibly supportive parents had the resources to send me for treatment. Now that I have the platform to be able to help the young people who aren't in the same position, by working with YoungMinds to get them the mental health care they desperately need.
I am also a YoungMinds Youth Advisor, making strategic decisions on for the Amplified Programme and advising YoungMinds on what best decisions to make to see that children and young people get the mental health care they need and that we can reach and encourage many other young people to speak about their mental health.
There has been an average increase in referrals of 25% to targeted Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), with the range being between 20-70%.
For World Mental Health Day this year, I have decided to ride 130 Miles from my home village, Overton, all the way to Exeter, in Devon to raise money for YoungMinds to help continue the incredible work they do for children and young people suffering from a mental illness. So please, if you know anyone that is suffering from a mental illness or struggles with a mental illness, do donate however much you like to help raise money for YoungMinds to continue the incredible work they do for Children and Young Peoples mental health. I know how frightening and debilitating suffering from a mental illness can be like, in a bid to change the way young people get help, I'm riding 125 miles!
Thank you so much in advance for all your support and donations, I hope this will spread some awareness of the issues young people face in getting mental health care in today's age.
Approximately 850,000 children and young people have a clinically significant mental health problem.