This blog is part of TheSprout’s Supporting Young Cardiffians campaign. It tells the story of 14-year-old Daniel, who got support from the Family Help Team, part of Cardiff Family Advice and Support service.
Why did you contact the Cardiff Family Gateway?
Before getting support, “I was worrying a lot about my mum. I was thinking that something bad would happen to my mum every time she went out. It wasn’t the best. I was worrying constantly. The worry centred around mum’s epilepsy”, Daniel explained.
Daniel’s mum asked him if he wanted help. He says “my mum explained everything and I was like, yeah, go on then. I worried it wasn’t going to work. If it didn’t work I’d be worrying constantly again. I was thinking is this going to help?”
What support did you receive?
Daniel said “I was told about the anxiety wave and understanding that although it would build there was the other side where I needed to let it crash. This helped me to understand that these feelings pass and aren’t always there.”
He found the support from CFAS to be “really good and it obviously did help a lot. The support was through video calls because of pandemic restrictions. Sometimes it involved listening and understanding what was going on for me. Direct work with my Family Help Advisor included being given advice and information and practical stuff.”
How has the support provided by CFAS helped you and your family?
Support from CFAS has “made me not worry about anything really. The only thing I used to worry about was mum. I now give her the odd call to check how she is when she’s out or if I need something from the shops but that’s about it”, says Daniel.
He continues, “when I used to go out with my friends, I’d stop to let them go ahead so I could contact mum and send her a quick text. This would happen every hour. Now she’s the one that has to text me! Mainly I play football and it helps me. It’s so much better to not worry about her anymore. It’s hard to describe how I was feeling but it wasn’t a nice feeling. Now I’m fine and I don’t worry about it anymore.”
The Family Help team helped me to learn “how to turn my negative thoughts into positive ones. I had a lot of negative thoughts going on at the beginning of support, now I don’t have many of those at all. When I would try to let the anxiety wave crash, I’d wait 5 minutes and relax and do something that I like to do. Like playing on the computer which helped me to take my mind off things and let that anxiety pass.”
“It helped just being able to speak to someone about it. It was nice to be able to open up to someone that I know won’t tell people, wouldn’t judge me and would offer ideas to help”.
What advice would you give to a young person going through similar challenges?
Daniel says “I’d tell them to do what I did. I got support from CFAS. It helped me a lot and hopefully, it could do the same to those that feel the same way as I did. The situation you’re in is one that can be improved.”
This is a true story from a young person who accessed help from Cardiff Family Advice and Support service. To respect the privacy of the young people who shared their stories with us, we have changed their names to keep them anonymous. To read more stories about how CFAS has helped young people and their families, click here.