Nottinghamshire serious violence support service helped teenager after knife crime incident made his mental health plummet
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Tom, not his real name, was left in shock after the fight took a turn for the worst when his friend aggressively threatened him with the weapon.
Luckily others in the group calmed things down and nobody was physically hurt, but the 15-year-old was left with emotional scars.
In the aftermath of the incident, Tom’s family members noticed that he wasn’t interacting with others as much and that he seemed to be withdrawing from people around him.
This led to his referral to the Evolution Plus program, a serious violence support service provided by Base 51 across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire commissioned by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
They offer advice, information, support, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy intervention and trauma counselling to young people who have been a victim of witness to or perpetrator of domestic abuse, sexual violence, knife crime, gang related violence or any other serious violence.
As a result of his sessions so far, Tom has started to express his feelings more and feels comfortable in doing so. He has also been able to start making sense of the incident he experienced.
Another valuable lesson Tom has learned from his work with the program is developing emotional literacy and normalising emotion as a human experience rather than hiding how he feels.
Tom said: “I didn’t know what to expect - but it’s been alright. I don’t feel ready to stop. I don’t know what it is, but it feels ok talking here.”
Tom’s sessions are set to continue and Evolution Plus plan to further explore his experiences and work with his sense of self and focus on the things he would like to change.
Katie Bush, counselling manager at Base 51, said: “Our Evolution Plus project is a vital specialist service that works with witnesses, victims and perpetrators of serious violence and works towards post-traumatic growth to enable young people to change the narrative and move towards a more positive future.”