steven's* STORY

Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week.

The news will bombard us with ever increasing statistics of children and young people suffering from anxiety, depression, self-harm and attempted suicide. There isn’t enough government money to go round and waiting lists are spiralling out of control.

But there is always hope.


Steven* is eight years old. Kind, caring and generous – he felt the weight of responsibility for his younger brother Ben*. This nearly crushed him when they both suffered severe neglect. Locked in a bedroom for months and treated like animals – their only contact was food pushed around the bedroom door before it was slammed and bolted again. Thankfully, Steven and Ben were discovered and removed to a safe environment. But Steven’s head was packed with horrible memories – he couldn’t concentrate and felt full of fear and anger.

Gradually, thanks to counselling and creative art therapy, Steven opened up and was able to share his experiences and his worries for the future. Today, this lovely caring boy can play with his friends, interact with adults and still be big brother to Ben. Trust remains a major problem – but he is beginning to try, one day at a time.


£20 will give a child hope.

Steven isn’t a one-off. Every week, thanks to your generosity, Fegans helps as many as 400 children and young people find hope through professional 1:1 counselling.

But let’s not stop there. Let’s work together to tackle this crisis. Together we can reach twice as many children. If each person reading this letter donates £10, together we could replace despair with hope for 800 children every single week.

Be part of the solution.

Your gift will mean that children like Steven are given the chance to be a child, not a statistic.

Thank you. Your support is transforming children’s lives.

Ian Soars, Chief Executive Officer, Fegans


MHAW18 theme

Stress and your family

The theme of this year’s ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’ is stress. Stress can cause serious problems with both mental and physical health. It can also have a great impact on families. To read more articles on stress and mental health within the family, visit our parent’s page here.

Exam Stress

Exam pressure on a child can be very upsetting, and bring lots of stress – from last minute revision and fears for the future. This can also be very distressing for a parent to witness, especially if you don’t know what to do. So how can you support your teen? Read Fegans’ Counsellor Vicky Bellman’s  article on Exam Stress here.

mental health survey

report due June 2018

“I’d hate to be a teenager now…”

This is a phrase we soften hear. With one in four children referred to mental health services being refused treatment, and maximum waiting times for required treatment having doubled*, our services have never been so in demand.

Fegans’ counsellors deal with the increasingly urgent and serious emotional distress and trauma children and young people face every day, but we are also committed to understanding why these issues are becoming ever more prevalent and what we can do as a nation, a community and as individuals to protect our young from further harm.

Please could you spare a minute to complete our short and confidential survey by clicking this link. Thank you.