Being diagnosed with depression had a profound impact on my life. I left university, I became unmotivated in my work, and had difficulties socialising, which caused all sorts of relationship problems for me.


As a volunteer at Bangor YMCA, I was already familiar with Extern's Youth Engagement Service (YES), but when I first went for help from them I felt like a mess, like I was broken. Extern helped me, though. Through their counselling sessions, they not only rebuilt me but gave me the skills and wellbeing tools to face those ‘down days’.


It was my own experience with Extern which taught me so much more about how they work and the dedication that they have for others. They were always there if I needed an extra chat. They always had time for me, and they still do. I had been through counselling before with other organisations, but always felt like I was a number on a page, or that I was taking up their time. Extern have a real personal touch, though. They genuinely care about the people they work with.


I’m doing partnership work with them now, and I don’t think I would have had that relationship with them if I hadn’t been in their care. It shows how genuine they are that they would take me on after all that.


Sophie Dempster (21),
Bangor