“My Dignity Has Been Destroyed”: David’s Testimony

As a part of the Our Minds Our Future Wales – Call to Action campaign, we sat down with 16-year-old David to ask him about his mental health journey.  

Tell us about yourself and any mental health support you may have received? 

DAVID: I have been involved with CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) for around 3 years and I have received CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). I have had many assessments from the crisis team and we are currently waiting for the results of a psychosis assessment.  

How do you feel about the transition from children to adult services? 

DAVID: CAMHS should do what they are required to do and assist the transition for those young people who will be supported by the local adult mental health teams. 

Have mental health services supported/treated you as a whole person? 

DAVID: No. Throughout the years I have been in situations where my dignity has been destroyed and my concerns for the safety of myself and others ignored. Communication has been poor and I have been called a liar because of a mix up in notes. 

Can you share a time when you have felt unsafe, unwelcome and disrespected? 

DAVID: I was having an episode and my head was knocking against the wall in A&E. The staff were not equipped to manage it and the crisis nurse refused to come. 

Is there a time on your journey that made you feel safe, welcomed, and respected? 

DAVID: A mental health nurse sat with me and played cards and spoke to me all day. It didn’t solve my problem but it did make me feel better about the long wait to be seen. 

Reflecting on your experiences, have there been any opportunities to express your satisfaction or dissatisfaction with mental health services? 

DAVID: Yes there are regular complaints made but little action is taken. 

This interview was conducted by Ellie, a young person part of the Our Minds Our Future Wales project.

Our Minds Our Future strives for action, to ensure that young people such as David feel supported and valued. The Call to Action campaign is led by young people across Wales and aims to improve the support from Welsh mental health services for young people by focusing on the 5 demands.  

You can read other OMOF young people’s stories here, or find out more about getting involved in the campaign here.