I had moved to a new foster care placement, but this caused me a lot of anxiety as I was living in a town that I was not familiar with. I felt lonely and isolated and became depressed. It got so bad that I even felt scared when I walked from the train station to the house.

I started hanging around with a bad crowd, who encouraged me to drink and take drugs. I made bad choices as a way to escape my problems, and pretty soon I was in a downward spiral.

This had an impact on my education and I was suspended from school a number of times. Eventually, it led to the breakdown of my relationship with my foster carer.

Happy Teenage Student

Extern came along at just the right time in my life. They gave me the opportunity to talk to someone about my issues. My mentor really listened to me, and gave me guidance and advice. We set goals which we managed to accomplish. The support they gave me put me in a better place to return to the care of my mum.

"Having Extern in my life has given me a more positive outlook in life, and I have changed my negative behaviour since moving back home. I have been able to achieve set goals and I have engaged with some specific work around my issues."

Extern helped me understand that it’s okay not to be okay, and that you should always seek help when life isn’t going well. They taught me that it is also important to see the light at the end of the tunnel and not to focus on the darkness. Things can often get better when you have the right support.

James, (16), LAC Mentoring