My name is Matt Doogue, I'm a father, husband, brother, uncle, friend....and a survivor of a suicide attempt.
In my teens I struggled with my identity, I struggled with society and who I thought I 'had' to be in order to fit in and get by. I struggled at school, college, at home, in every aspect of life, and the help was not made readily available to me. There was no advice, no guidance, just a 'man up' attitude that surrounded all mental health related issues. This ultimately lead to a huge mental health breakdown where I would attempt to take my own life in my early 20's. (My story here - Youtube)
The simple fact is young people's mental health needs are not supported early enough, and often only when they have reached crisis point, this is a problem I want to try and help with.
In my local area where I live there has been at least 2 suicides a year in the high schools. It breaks my heart.
Did you know that 1 in 6 children aged five to 16 were identified as having a probable mental health problem in July 2020.
YoungMinds is the UK's leading charity championing the wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. Driven by their experience, YoungMinds creates change so that children and young people can cope with life's adversities, find help when needed and succeed in life.
At YoungMinds, the mission is clear: for all young people to get the mental health support they need, when they need it, no matter what. There is a very important word in that statement – that word is ‘all’.
Black and mixed-raced children accounted for 36 per cent of young people detained in the highest level units, despite representing just 11 per cent of the population. These children also made up only 5 per cent of general CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) lists, and just one per cent of those accessing community eating disorder services.
Did you know that two thirds of young people who need specialist support couldn’t access it. Many young people got told they were not ‘ill enough’ to qualify for support. I have been this person, at 15 I was told I'm 'Too young' to have stress or depression and I never received the help I needed which resulted in me reaching crisis point.
So I have decided to team up with Young Minds to raise funds and awareness that surrounds these problems.
I have set myself a challenge. To row 1 million meters, and I will try to do at least 10,000 meters a day, 5 times a week, until that target is hit.
I'm no professional rower, I'm not in peak fitness, I'm a 37 yr old father with a dad bod to match, but recently I did row 100 miles to raise funds for the National Autistic Society so I suppose we could call that training for the main event!
I will also be offering a free talk to schools in the west lothian area of Scotland. I would love to come in and share my experiences with students and hope to inspire and help those that need it.
You can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
I would love any support you can offer, donations, shares on my social media channels, words of encouragement and support, even joining me if you see me in the gym?
Together we can make a difference, I know it!
Let's help the young minds of today.