Maya is a refugee who has been living in the UK for the past three years. She was referred to us by her school as she has a complex family background, which includes episodes of physical abuse. She was manifesting this by putting herself at risk by engaging in unsafe online behaviour, including sharing explicit photographs of herself.

Maya started dating a boy and due to cultural pressures, when her parents found out they insisted she marry. She was 17 at the time.  Unfortunately, the relationship broke down after a few months and her husband returned to Bangladesh.  She lost her tenancy as a result and went to live with a friend. However, her friend assaulted her so she fled back to live with her parents. It was at this point she was referred to Love4Life.

Maya has complex issues of PTSD as she has lived in a war zone and she struggles with flashbacks. She has also had difficulties in forming healthy relationships and this has affected both her romantic relationships and her friendships.

Maya has been receiving continuous one-to-one support face-to-face from Love4life. The college she attends has made a room available for her should she need a refuge from home, so we take advantage of that and meet there.

We have spent time with Maya discussing what healthy relationships look and feel like, and how she can develop these. As a result, she has chosen to end a relationship that was causing her unhappiness and also can describe what she would want from a romantic relationship in the future.

During the national lockdown, we continued to support Maya with weekly one-to-one sessions. Now as she has turned 18 she is on the currently very long waiting list for adult mental health services support. She is also awaiting responses for different accommodation options and working to complete her final year at college whilst deciding what to do next. She is exploring the idea of a career in psychology.

We have seen Maya grow in confidence, become happier in herself and start to surround herself with more positive people. In a recent review meeting with a team of professionals, she was able to speak up and tell the team that she had decided that she wants to continue with her college education, something she said she would not have been able to do before coming to us.

She is now is focused on her future and leading a happy fulfilled life.