A story of hope moves Jami supporters

Alex tells 2,500 digital audience how the support of mental charity brought him from his lowest ebb to feeling happy and wanted


Alex was desperate for friends but struggled to connect because of his Asperger’s.

Over time, his loneliness affected him to the point where he was no longer able to handle the hurt. So he attempted to take his own life.

The story of how Jami helped him get his life back on track was told at the mental health charity’s “Youtopia” fundraiser, which drew a digital audience of 2,500.

Sharing his moving testimony, Alex recounted that “over time, it just got worse. That sadness, grief, regret, that made me feel like I’m the loneliest person ever.”

His mum Caroline broke down in tears as she recalled: “He tried to commit suicide. My son found him face down in the bath one day. And that was just the absolute turning point, it really was.”

When he left hospital, Jami arranged for Alex to meet a befriender. He finally felt he had someone to confide in.

“It made me feel like I’m wanted, it makes me feel better about myself, and hanging out makes me feel happy.

“Having Jami’s support everywhere gives people more of a chance to turn their lives around. Without Jami, it would never be accomplished.”

The charity has been there for him for the past decade and Alex agreed to tell his story in the hope it would inspire others to seek help.

A Jami support worker said Alex had “come alive” through the charity’s programmes, which have included virtual catch-ups during lockdown.

There was celebrity support for the event with Rachel Riley hosting and appearances by Stephen Fry, Clare Balding and Maureen Lipman. “Jami’s work has never been more important,” Ms Riley said. “We are so privileged to have an organisation dedicated to ensuring everyone in our community who needs life-changing mental health support is able to access it.”

Chief executive Laurie Rackind said fundraising was crucial to meet increasing demand for Jami’s help during the Covid crisis. Employing 54 mental health professionals working across six hubs, the charity is almost entirely reliant on donations.

“The mental health impact of the pandemic is likely to be far longer lasting than the virus itself,” Mr Rackind noted.

“My utopia is that everyone in our community who needs Jami services can get them.”

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