Our new ambassador, Harvey, says his bereavement counselling at the hospice has allowed him to have a ‘positive outlook on life’ following the death of his older brother.
Seventeen-year-old Harvey’s world was torn apart in June 2015 when, aged just 10, his older brother Ed died.
Following Ed’s death, Harvey became angry and isolated, getting into scrapes at school and having panic attacks.
He and his family found the support they needed through our counselling and emotional service.
Reaching out to other bereaved young people
We invited Harvey to be our ambassador and he is sharing his experience with other young people to help them understand more about counselling.
I’ll never be able to fully give back what Treetops Hospice and the people here have done for me, so being made an ambassador is a massive honour.
“If I can reach out to just one person and they think ‘I’ll give counselling a go’ then that’s enough for me.
A roller-coaster of emotions
Looking back, Harvey says those early days following Ed’s death were a roller-coaster of emotions.
I’ve not had a childhood since Ed’s death. I’ve had a life, but not a childhood. That was taken away from me.
“Immediately after you lose the person, you’re no longer an innocent child. You have to grow up very quickly because everyone around you who is close to you, changes too.
"As I got older and hormones kicked in, I got angry. I was afraid of crying and letting out my emotions. I thought ‘if I’m angry, then I won’t be upset’. So any time I felt myself getting emotional, I’d go and find something to be angry at.
Harvey says that Treetops was – and still is – a ‘safe’ space where there is no judgement.
“My counsellor was amazing. She made me feel so comfortable.
“It’s hard to admit that you’re struggling but I’ve said things to my counsellor that I would never say to my mum or dad. I am really close to both of my parents but I don’t want to worry them.
I don’t hate life anymore. It’s quite scary to think where I would be right now if I hadn’t have had counselling.
A positive outlook on life
“If I hadn’t had counselling, relationships with my family would have been rough. I wouldn’t enjoy life the way I do now. I wake up every morning and even if I feel sad, I find things to do that I know pick me up.”
I wouldn’t have had a happy life if it wasn’t for Treetops. I’m thankful for being here, doing amazing things; Treetops have allowed me to have a positive outlook on life.