Aaron grew up in an unstable family environment. He moved around between his mother’s, father’s and occasionally grandparents' houses which led to him feeling rejected and unwanted by his family. Aaron has experienced depression since childhood and has reported suicidal feelings and thoughts.
He was bullied throughout school and has been physically assaulted twice, which increased his anxiety and fear of being in public.
The environment Aaron was living in was exacerbating his mental health problems, due to his complicated relationship with his mother who also has mental health issues and led an unstable lifestyle, which had a significant effect on Aaron’s ability to cope with his own condition.
When he was 21, he was referred by mental health services to a Depaul UK project in London.
Initially when he came to Depaul, Aaron was very worried about his future. His anxiety sometimes prevented him from leaving the project and his illness made him increasingly suspicious and paranoid about other people’s intentions.
At Depaul, Aaron was given care, consistency and support without pressure - and the chance to heal at his own pace. Staff provide an environment where he can work towards his overall goal of having a flat of his own and living independently.
Aaron has made significant changes since being involved with Depaul. He regularly takes part in support sessions and activities at the project and has a good relationship with staff and other residents.
His mental health has improved significantly. He has had his medication reduced twice and has started a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
Aaron is currently completing an access course and has applied to university to study nursing. He aims to move out and live independently during his degree. Aaron is now optimistic and positive about his future and has said that in the long term he hopes to become a doctor.
At Depaul UK, we support the most vulnerable young people by providing high-quality, specialist care. We believe in potential, not problems, and we encourage young people to see past their current situation and work towards a successful future, like Aaron.
* The image used with this story is for illustration and is not of the person featured.