Callum started to struggle with anxiety when he was 7 years old. He would complain of pains in his tummy before school and found it hard to approach children on the playground, so would spend many break times on his own. He would dread school plays and wouldn't interact with class discussions, he wouldn't say or do anything that may draw any attention to himself and wouldn't ask for help if he didnt understand something at school, so his work started to suffer too. I raised these issues with the school and he had a few sessions with their school counselor.
Callum then started junior school, where his tummy pains were getting worse and more frequent. He also started getting chest pains and episodes where he struggled to breathe too. His school thought he may be asthmatic. He dreaded break times and would break down in tears over the most trivial of things, so I took Callum to the doctors, who referred him to Basildon Mind.
Callum was on a waiting list for 3 months, then started Counselling with Mind. Callums counselor was absolutely amazing and it wasn't long before we started seeing a change in Callums confidence. He stopped getting pains in his chest and tummy, no longer had episodes where he struggled to breathe and was going into school much happier. He actually started getting excited about school plays, and even started dance classes with Codey! Something he wouldn't even consider doing before! He became more confident in class too. He would contribute to class discussions and was no longer scared to ask for help. His school work was improving and he started coming out of school with a big smile on his face, telling me all the playground gossip and everything he got up to with his friends at break times. He was like a different child! So after 9 months of counselling, callum was discharged.
However, 4 months later, we went into lockdown and started seeing Callums anxiety reappear. He started breaking down over trivial things again and started pulling his hair when stressed. Then one day I caught him secretly digging his nails into his arm. As his mother, I was devastated. I felt totally out of my depth and petrified of what this could escalate to in years to come. Straight away, I called Mind and within 24 hours he started video calls with his counselor again, and is now doing much better. I dont know how his counselor does it, but he is amazing and really has made a huge difference to Callum. I really do not know what we would have done without the support of Basildon Mind, and Callums counselor, who gives up his time every week to work with Callum voluntarily.
However, like all charities, the pandemic has made it extremely hard for them to raise funds even thought they're needed now more than ever. So many families desperately rely on Mind and the consequences of families not having the support of Mind, doesn't bare thinking about.
Callum discovered after one of his sessions, that Mind at Brentwood has closed. He asked me why, and we had a chat about charities and funding and how sometimes charities cant raise enough money to stay open.
So Callum asked if he could do something to raise money for them. We put our heads together, and thought what would be a big challenge for Callum that he could be sponsored for? Then we came across the Nuclear mud run! For anyone that knows Callum, they'll know he's not very sporty and hates running. The complete opposite to his brother Codey, who will be happily running along side him. So please sponsor whatever you can to show your support for Callum and the Basildon Mind Charity.
Thank you for taking the time to read Callums story and we really appreciate anything you're able to offer. xx
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