Telling Harry’s Story

7th April 2021

Standing Up For Scotland’s Mental Health Animation: The family behind the story.

Today as part of the Standing Up for Scotland’s Mental Health campaign, SAMH has launched *Harry’s Story, an animation based on the real experiences of one young boy. His struggle to access support is a story we hear too often, and draws attention to the thousands of children left behind when they need help with their mental health.  

*Name has been changed

Harry's Story
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The new campaign video comes as Scotland’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are in crisis. The latest figures  reveal that 1 in 4 children who reach out for support are rejected, and although these figures have worsened since the pandemic began, mental health services for our children and young people were already on their knees. 

The subject of our new animation, Harry, is one many children who have been left behind. His story is one that we want to see an end to; he was rejected from support, leaving his mum feeling defeated. 

Harry’s mum, Shirley said:

“I shared our story with SAMH after reading testimonies from other parents who had similar problems accessing support for their children. When I read about their experiences, I immediately recognised the first part of our story; where we were rejected and the responsibility was put back on me as a parent to try and manage something which clearly needed professional support. I was really shocked when the rejection letter came through, I felt very much like I was being blamed; and although I was initially upset, it quickly turned to anger.”

Thankfully, Harry’s story does have a positive ending, but many children’s won’t. Shirley continues,

“Now we have the right support I know it’s been worth the battle, but it shouldn’t be this way. I don’t want children and young people getting to crisis stage before they’re seen, early intervention is absolutely key going forward.

“When I showed Harry the animation he said: “Mama, does this mean I’m helping other kids who have stuff like me?”  We feel really proud of this animation, and we hope our story can make a difference to other families out there.”

For a number of years SAMH has been campaigning tirelessly for urgent action, yet we have not seen the change that is so desperately needed and things are getting even worse.   

Simply put, children and young people deserve better. That is why children and young people are a key focus of the Standing Up for Scotland’s Mental Health campaign. Our next government must make our young people’s mental health a national priority, to ensure that our young people can get the support that they need without the threat of rejection. 

You can watch our new animation in full above and on our YouTube channel

Want to learn more about how you can support our campaign? Visit: