Support from Llamau has helped me to feel so much happier, healthier and confident. It isn’t always easy, but the coping strategies I have learnt have helped me to feel in control of my mental health issues, and I am looking forward to the future

I moved to the UK with my family as a young child, but over time the family relationship broke down and became abusive. As a result of the trauma and abuse I had experienced, I developed a number of mental health issues including anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Social services became involved, and eventually I was placed into foster care.

I was having horrible flashbacks of the trauma I had experienced. Over time, the flashbacks became more intense and more frequent. I was using cannabis as a way of coping with the flashbacks, but this only made things worse. I was having flashbacks almost every night. It was causing me severe distress - I was in a constant state of intense anxiety. I found it difficult to sleep properly, and my anxiety levels were so high that I didn’t have the confidence to access medical services on my own.

In Summer 2017, I moved into Llamau supported accommodation. I was nervous about moving into Llamau, my anxiety had gotten so intense, but my support worker at Llamau made me feel so welcome and helped me to learn healthy coping strategies. I was supported to access medical services, and I felt comfortable to speak openly about my emotional wellbeing with my support worker. My GP prescribed me medication for my mental health issues, and my Llamau support worker helped me to practice mindfulness as a way of managing my anxiety.

I’ve also started regularly attending Llamau’s Learning 4 Life, which is helping me to build my skills in maths, and to learn how to manage an independent tenancy. I’m currently training to become a peer mentor to support other young people leaving care. My dream for the future is to gain qualifications in child care, so that I can help to support young people who have had similar experiences to my own.

Now, I’m saving money so that I can move on into my own tenancy once I’ve moved out of Llamau supported accommodation. Support from Llamau has helped me to feel so much happier, healthier and confident. It isn’t always easy, but the coping strategies I have learnt have helped me to feel in control of my mental health issues, and I am looking forward to the future.

*Names and images have been changed