This blog is part of TheSprout’s Supporting Young Cardiffians campaign. It tells the story of 14-year-old Tomos, who got support from the Family Help Team, part of Cardiff Family Advice and Support service.
Why did you contact the Cardiff Family Gateway?
Tomos said “my mum wanted me to get some support after going to the hospital. The hospital contacted CFAS and then Rita, a Family Help Advisor, contacted us to help us go through difficult situations. We talked about how to be stable and things like that”.
He continued “I know I definitely wanted support but didn’t expect so much support at the same time. The support definitely helped me stop thinking about overthinking and my dad.”
What support did you receive?
“I remember Rita gave me a list of services that could help with low mood. She gave the advice to help me think about good things, not the bad. She asked questions that allowed me to explain how I was really feeling”, said Tomos.
He said that the advisors don’t tell you off for the “bad things you have done, you won’t be judged and they will still help you to go through it”.
The Family Help Advisor “gave me a plan to slowly go back to school and build up to this. She helped tell the teachers about my problems and how I was feeling and some teachers supported me differently because of that. It was easy to talk to Rita”.
How has the support provided by CFAS helped you and your family?
Tomos shared that “the support helped me learn about the services that could help me when Rita couldn’t. With the support, some of our family became more stable. We talked more with each other and helped each other more about difficult situations and helped to get through them”.
“Things improved – support allowed us to get happier, we worked together more, talked to each other. Everyone at the moment is pretty decent and stuff”, he explained. “The best thing was probably how everyone is more stable than they used to be and how it helped a family stick together”.
What advice would you give to a young person going through similar challenges?
Tomos would “encourage them to speak to the Gateway or CFAS. Stick with them to help you get through it because they helped me a lot and if you are going through a similar situation, they would help you too”.
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.