Chelsea was sexually abused by a family member when she was just six years old. This horrific trauma was at the root of her multiple and undiagnosed mental health difficulties; she was hearing voices in her head and having flashbacks.
As a teenager, she was alone with her problems; Chelsea’s parents had their own serious health and financial issues, so she had no-one to confide in. Chelsea’s dad was an alcoholic and violent towards her. He threw her out of the family home, and she had nowhere to go.
Aged 15, living on the streets, and in a truly desperate state, Chelsea found YMCA. Having a secure place to stay, Chelsea was finally able to begin her road to recovery.
At first, she was very anxious, quickly getting very upset and breaking down in tears. Working with her keyworker, Sharon, she slowly began to feel safe and comfortable. Together, they were able to work through what had happened to her, and Sharon was able to work out the best method for helping Chelsea.
Chelsea needed specialist help to get over the many deeply traumatic experiences of her childhood. She was given access to professional medical advice and treatment. These first interventions helped build up her mental strength and resilience.
Experiencing mental health difficulties is an extremely challenging time for any young person, even with support from their family and medical specialists. But… imagine how tough it is for a teenager without that care and empathy and love… and without a safe, secure home. That is why YMCA needs your help today.
Chelsea was encouraged to join the group arts and crafts therapy sessions at the YMCA hostel. She felt very strongly that this worked much better for her.
She has come a long way in the last few months. She’s working towards getting the qualifications she needs to be a Mental Health Nurse so she can help people who are going through what she did. She has also, with the support of Sharon, learnt how to budget, and has been able to move on from the YMCA accommodation, and into her own flat.
Chelsea is now rebuilding her life. However, YMCAs all over the UK are taking in hundreds of thousands of vulnerable young people whose problems are as severe as Chelsea’s were.
Shockingly, more than a third of them are also suffering from mental health difficulties, so please make a gift today, and help us be there for more desperate young people who have nowhere else to turn.
Please donate today to help young people like Chelsea.
* While Chelsea’s story is 100 per cent genuine, a model has been used to protect her identity.