Ben’s marathon fundraiser for Beat

Ben Gibson was admitted to Gloucestershire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in October 2022, following a clinical diagnosis of depression.

Ben

At the time of admission the 17-year-old A-level student was being treated for anorexia, as well as battling frequent low moods and suicidal thoughts.

Since his discharge in August 2023, Ben has gone on to achieve three A-levels at Grade A, gaining him a place at Manchester University to study music.

In this time he has also travelled to New Zealand by himself, made the final of Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year and, most recently, trained for and run in the Manchester Marathon in support of Beat Eating Disorders.

Ben’s story

Here Ben shares his experience of being under the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service and how, with the support of CAMHS, he managed to turn his life around completely.

“My name is Ben Gibson and I was admitted to Gloucestershire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in October 2022, at the age of 17, following a clinical diagnosis of depression.

“At the time I was being treated for anorexia, was battling frequent low moods and suicidal thoughts.

“Within the space of 10 months, thanks to the work of CAMHS, my whole life was turned around. It wasn’t a straightforward path by any means, as I continued to have setbacks and troubles during my time in CAMHS. However, the work that was done with me was truly incredible.

“I always felt fully supported, and bit by bit I was helped to rebuild the skills I needed to take me forward in life.

“By August of 2023, having recently turned 18 and finished my A-levels, I was discharged and my mental health was in a completely different place to that of less than a year before. I felt confident in myself, I had self-belief, I had things I was passionate about. I felt like I had a deep purpose and, most importantly, like I could deal with anything that was thrown my way.

“Since discharge I received my A-level results, which allowed me to successfully apply to read Music at Manchester University, starting September 2024.

“I travelled to New Zealand for a month by myself, where I enjoyed the time of my life. I also made the final of Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year and, most recently, I trained for and ran the Manchester Marathon in support of Beat Eating Disorders – raising over £900!

“I would not have been able to accomplish any of this if it wasn’t for the unbelievable work CAMHS had done with me.”

CAMHS Mental Health Nurse, Shahnawaz Dagada, said: “Ben is an exceptional young man. When he came into CAMHS he was very unwell, but has since gone on to achieve three A-levels at grade A, get into his chosen university to study music, and is planning to go travelling in his gap year – something many of us that worked with him would have struggled to envisage at the time.

“And just a few days ago he ran the Manchester Marathon, raising more than £900. Well done Ben – I am so proud of you!”

If you would like to make a donation to Ben’s marathon fundraiser for Beat, please visit his JustGiving page: Ben Gibson is fundraising for Beat (justgiving.com)

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