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The following names have been changed to give privacy to our young people.


“I think the biggest change is at home because me, mum and Pete don’t argue. They don’t drink as much and we’re getting on more as a family.”

When Young People Cornwall first started working with Lucy, she was witnessing domestic violence at home between her mum and her mum’s partner. Sometimes it got so bad she’d have to call the police. Lucy found it hard to sleep because she worried about her mum, particularly if she knew her mum and partner had been drinking. She’d often avoid being downstairs at home or spending any time around her mum and partner. Her attendance at school was low and when she did go, her behaviour was challenging. She’d started self-harming and experiencing intrusive thoughts.

We created a safety plan for Lucy, giving her clear directions on what to do if she witnessed another incident between her mum and partner, or felt concerned things might escalate to a situation where she felt unsafe at home. We worked on what healthy relationships looked like and how to identify those that aren’t.

We also spent time talking through adult and child roles and responsibilities. We looked at how the brain works and how neuron connections can strengthen and fade to make changes. Lucy identified her Nan as a person of safety and support. Together, they spoke to mum about how she feels and how she wanted things to change. Lucy also identified her Head of Year as a support link in school and we held a meeting with her in sessions to share what would help Lucy improve her behaviour.

Lucy now spends more time with her mum and partner. She cooks dinner for the family most evenings with her mum’s partner as this is their shared interest. She spends one-on-one time with her mum shopping, watching films or doing each other’s nails once a week.

School is slowly improving with the support of her Head of Year and teachers understand Lucy more. They’re communicating her positive behaviours on a daily report card and she’s working on managing how to stay calm when things don’t go to plan.

Lucy feels “happier and doesn’t get as mad at herself as much”. The relationships in the home are working well and they’re enjoying spending family time together.

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From drop-in youth groups to one-on-one mental health sessions, we offer a huge range of support – all over Cornwall.

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