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The wïsh centre – lockdown diary

Being involved in wïsh gives me something to do and to look forward to.

The wïsh centre is a charity based in London which works to prevent self-harm, abuse and exploitation of young people. Thanks to BBC Children in Need funding, wïsh are able to employ Kaira, a psychotherapist who supports young people through 1-to-1 therapy and peer support groups.

The pandemic has been a challenging time for young people and particularly for those with mental health needs. An early study by Young Minds reported that 83% found their mental health had got worse as a result of the pandemic.

Support from organisations like wïsh can make a difference. While the lockdown has meant wïsh aren’t able to work face-to-face with young people, they’ve been able to adapt their services online and via phone.

For the young people wïsh supports, even just a single day during lockdown can be full of challenges and triumphs. One of wish’s young ambassadors has written a diary of a day in their life – and they’d like to share it with you.

If you or someone you know are affected by mental health issues, you can find support and further information here.

Lockdown diary:

On Tuesday, I went to run some errands because my mum and sister can’t go out. I go to the shops once a week and the bank every two weeks. Usually, if I haven’t had to wait too long in the queue I’m fine, but if I’m waiting a while my anxiety builds up and I become more panicked.

This week I’d already been to the bank and waited an hour in the queue, then just before I got to the machine it jammed so I had to go to the counter. I always feel judged for my age and dealing with money so it panicked me having to go up.

After getting the bus to the shops, I had to then wait an hour and a half in the queue. I could feel my panic attack coming on and my breathing was getting heavier. I didn’t have anything to fiddle with e.g. a pen which can help calm me down, so I was tapping/hitting my leg. A couple behind me noticed and made comments which I could hear, which made me feel worse. By the time I was at the front the queue had doubled and I realised I didn’t have a trolley. The security guard saw me and realised I was panicking, and he asked me if I needed help. So, I managed to get a trolley.

The shop was really full, there were loads of people and I don’t like crowds. I managed to hold off having an attack.  Normally I’d have the panic attack within ten minutes, but I was able to keep myself calm enough. To do this I just called my mum about the shopping list and focused on what I needed to do. I’m proud of myself for that.

I took a cab home and when I got home, my mum told my sister to leave me alone for a bit and I started drawing lines on paper to calm myself down.

I’ve being doing some renovations and DIY at home, it’s been stopping me from going on the news and looking at figures. At the beginning I was constantly looking at the news out of habit and as the deaths were going up it was making me freak out. I had to find a way to distract myself from my phone and computer, so I’ve been helping with decorating the room, cooking, anything really to get away from it.

I’ve also been writing a few songs. I don’t have my instruments with me but at the moment vocals will do. I find writing and singing a real relief, though I don’t show them to anyone as they’re personal. I use lyrics like a journal, to express everything that’s happening to me/ I’m feeling in song form.

Being involved in wïsh gives me something to do and to look forward to. I spoke on a panel at a conference a few weeks ago and we’ve been doing lockdown creative sessions and I’m finding them quite nice. Peer support is something that I know will happen and be there every week, its gives me some peace to know that I’ll have communication and a space to let off steam without feeling like a burden.

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