What’s Your Story

What’s Your Story?

For some people their stories are so overwhelming, sad or traumatic it can make it very difficult to imagine a brighter future

These stories are the reason CHUMS exists. We’re here to listen, and to offer support advice and hope – and to help people find ways of coping, processing and adjusting.

In Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, and West Essex, we’re like a big family, supporting young people, families, and adults through the ups and downs of mental health. And now, we’re inviting you to join our journey with our “What’s Your Story” campaign.

We’ve got three big goals for this campaign.

Firstly, we want everyone to know about the incredible work that CHUMS does, so we’re sharing some of the stories from people who have been helped by us, their friends and family, and our team.

Secondly – we want to encourage people to keep talking about mental health. It’s time to share, and support each other, because we know how important it is to keep talking.

Last, but not least – we want to inspire action – and for this bit, we need your help because many of CHUMS services simply can’t happen without YOU.

Whether it’s donating, volunteering, or just joining our mailing list, every little bit helps us make a difference. We hope you’re inspired by our stories to GET INVOLVED.

From one time to another, everyone is affected by things relating to mental health, whether it’s something that has happened to you directly, or to a friend, family member or work colleague. That’s why the work we do is so vital – because you never know when you, or someone you love may need our support.

We want you to get involved! Your voice matters, whether it’s sharing your own story, lending a hand, or spreading the word.

What’s your story?

Tochi's Story

Tochi was just 11 years old when she lost her father in 2006/07 to a brain tumour. During his illness, her father had multiple hospital visits, eventually staying there for an extended period before coming home for palliative care, during which time their living room was transformed into a hospice space for him.

Tochi and her two brothers and her sister had a huge amount to cope with emotionally as a result, and it took its toll. There were times their mother also found it hard to talk about what was going on with her children, and so she reached out to CHUMS for support.

CHUMS provided the space for the family to grieve, to talk about what was going on and to talk about their feelings. The group sessions they attended also allowed them to meet and talk to others who were experiencing similar, helping them to come to terms with what had happened.

Tochi said, “I remember I was very, very nervous as I didn’t know what to expect, and I didn’t want to talk about what was going on initially. But I slowly eased off and it really helped me and my siblings to understand what it means to grieve and to get our emotions out.

You don’t really comprehend what’s going on as a child so it helped me to understand on a deeper level. And just being with my siblings in that safe space really helped as well.”

Tochi said the biggest thing that helped was hearing other people’s stories, realising that they weren’t alone and seeing that others who had experienced similar bereavements were able to deal with what had happened.

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