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Back from the brink

11 July 2014

Weight related bullying plagued Callum throughout his school life, eventually bringing him to the brink of suicide. Now 17, Callum, from Wolverhampton helps others his age cope with similar problems.



My background all starts from when I was in primary school in year three. I wasn’t the slimmest of lads my age and a lot of my bullying in primary school was all to do with weight. But part of it was also to do with the fact that I couldn’t spell certain words or because I wouldn’t go and play with some of the kids.

A lot of the time teachers didn’t spot that I was being bullied. And, to be honest, I never felt that any teacher actually understood what I was going through.

When I got into high school I spent a lot of my time in my bedroom. I cut myself off. I got to a point where I was feeling really depressed and I just wanted to kill myself. My mum actually took away all my games consoles and the wires because of the thoughts I was having. It was quite tough at the time because I heard a lot of kids talk about the stuff they got to do at home and there was me just sitting there alone in my bedroom.

It carried on until I was in year eight and then I left the school I was in and the bullies and everyone else behind and went to a new school. I got bullied a lot there at the start. But after a while I just started to ignore it.

I went through counselling and it didn’t really help me at all, but peer support might have been a bit different. I might have got a group which would have been a lot more friendly.

Because of what happened to me I got involved in a peer support network. I just enjoy helping out young people who need it. I can give them advice about where they can go to get help and how they can be safe online with Facebook. I’ve helped someone get past a phobia of going out, which has given them more independence. With my support they can now go on the bus on their own and go to college and even out to meet friends. Before they wouldn’t go out to meet friends because they were scared of what might happen.

Projects like this are really important because a lot of kids need support. Peer support is great because you feel good about yourself when you help other people, so it’s really helping two people at the same time.

  • HeadStart is funding 10 new mental health projects, each receiving £500,000 to help young people deal with life’s ups and downs.
  • Peer support is just one of the services offered to young people through HeadStart
  • If you are a young person experiencing problems like Callum’s you can get help from 
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