The Student Room Group

am I eligible for financial/social support?

Hi im in yr13 and have been receiving treatment for my mental health since august 2021 (so almost 2 years) although I’ve been having problems much longer than that.

I’ve been in therapy continuously since then, where I would have 6 weeks of counselling with one person and then as soon as that ends I would see another person. This was all from charities. I see my doctor every month/every 2 weeks if I’m getting worse. I’ve not been diagnosed with anything, which is frustrating, but so far doctors/therapists have referred to me as having severe/moderate anxiety. My current therapists and previous ones have agreed that I need more support than I’m getting, I’m in the process of that as I’ve been promised that a team would see me for my anxiety/have been referred for a diagnosis. I’m not on any medication because of my age (17)

I stay in bed all day everyday, I isolate myself and I don’t speak to family or friends most of the time outside of college. I don’t wash myself, brush my teeth, brush my hair or change my clothes unless my mum keeps reminding me too. I struggle travelling to college (I live very far because I’m in temporary accommodation so have to take train and bus) because of my anxiety and because I struggle getting out of bed. My attendance for the past 4 weeks is 40%. I have to set multiple alarms hours before I wake up and even then it takes me up to an hour just to mentally prepare myself to get out of bed. I don’t eat unless food has been ordered or it’s already been made or I’ve brought pre-made meals from a shop.

I’m very forgetful and struggle with time management, organisation and just remembering things, this and my attendance has had a huge impact. I’m failing in one subject and have exams soon. I already have access arrangements (I wear noise cancelling headphones, sit in a separate room and have rest breaks for my exams).

I don’t have a job, I keep bombing interviews and I gave up after a bit because travelling and speaking to people I didn’t know was very stressful. I’m not good at coming across as confident or friendly or talkative because of my anxiety and I dissociate A LOT, so I have problems concentrating and it looks like I’m not paying attention. This has caused me to have problems in a previous job I did have and I wasn’t able to keep the job for long.

I have no hobbies and interests anything I did like I don’t practice anymore. I did sign up for a gym, youth group and leisure centre but never went because I was too anxious to go on my own and no one could take me.

I’m going to take a gap year to sort out my mental health or at least have a solid care plan before I go to university, I’m aiming to be an English teacher but in the interim am I eligible for any kind of financial support, social support/help for employment??
(edited 11 months ago)
It sounds like you are experiencing significant challenges with your mental health and daily functioning. I'm sorry to hear that you have been struggling with this for some time, but it's great to hear that you are taking steps to address these issues and are planning to take a gap year to focus on your mental health.

In terms of financial and social support, there may be resources available to you. Here are a few options to consider:

Disability Support Allowance (DSA): DSA is a government benefit that provides financial support to students with a disability or long-term health condition. This can include mental health conditions. The amount of support you receive will depend on your individual circumstances, but it may cover things like travel expenses, specialist equipment, and personal care support. You can apply for DSA through Student Finance England.
Access to Work: Access to Work is another government scheme that provides support to individuals with a disability or health condition who are in employment, including self-employment. This can include mental health conditions. Support can include things like workplace adaptations, travel expenses, and a support worker or job coach. You can apply for Access to Work through the government's website.
Local charities and support groups: There may be local charities and support groups that can provide additional support, such as counselling or group therapy, employment support, or social activities. You can search for local mental health charities and support groups online or through your GP.
University support services: When you do go to university, be sure to take advantage of the support services that are available to you. Most universities have a student support or wellbeing team that can provide a range of services, such as counselling, disability support, and academic support.
It may also be helpful to discuss your situation with your GP or therapist, as they may be able to provide additional advice and support.

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