In Mental Health Week Camp Simcha mum Jane has generously shared her family’s experience to help raise awareness of the impact on a family when your child has a mental health condition – and why getting support can make such a vital difference.

“People need to understand that serious mental health conditions can be life-threatening too. It’s not just the physical conditions.
“My daughter (pictured) has anorexia and we feel the impact of it daily, hourly even. We can be up at all hours of the night because she needs us due to severe panic attacks. Having a child with a mental health condition is all encompassing for the rest of the family, but people behave very differently towards you than they might if your child had a physical illness because they can’t ‘see it’. It’s incredibly isolating. It can be hard to talk about it to friends as, when in company, she can conceal her feelings, however when we get home it is beyond anything anyone can imagine.

“Having Camp Simcha in your life means that while you are trying to protect your family from how you feel, there is someone to protect you. My family liaison officer Mandy is a lifeline enabling me to be strong because I know there is someone there who can hold that strength for me. Even just a walk with Mandy can be what I need to give me the momentum to carry on. But mostly it is knowing she is here, knowing that Camp Simcha has my back and is there to hold me and my family up in whatever way we need.”