WITH half of all mental health problems beginning by the age of 14, it's never been more important to understand the affect that depression, anxiety and other illnesses can have on young people.

An 18-year-old boy living with mental health approached the South Wales Argus to share his story. He told us about his about his constant battles that led him to try and take his own life last year.

Ieuan Deacon from Abertillery, now living in Ebbw Vale after moving there in February last year, has been diagnosed with having OCD, anxiety and depression.

South Wales Argus:

(Ieuan Deacon, 18, from Ebbw Vale. Credit: Chris Tinsley)

When speaking about mental health problems in teenagers, he said: “Mental health for those my age can be extremely difficult.

“Not only are we struggling with our mental health, we are still growing and learning.”

The death of Mr Deacon’s grandfather last year meant his mental health took a turn for the worse.

He said: “My grandad passed away last summer, and since then my mental health has deteriorated.

“I sadly took an overdose because of the grief I felt, and it left me in hospital for two days, which meant I missed his funeral.

“I was very close to him and used to visit him regularly.


“He was fair but firm, we had a laugh and he would always tell me jokes.”

Since his grandfather’s death, Mr Deacon has had many mental health assessments to help him understand the thoughts and feelings that he’s having.

He added: “Since it happened, I’ve had loads of mental health assessments.

“At one point I would have a safety check every night, to make sure that I was alright.

“Or I would be referred to home treatment, and someone would come out to see me or contact me every day.

“But sometimes, I just don’t feel up to visitors or speaking to people.

“When I’m feeling down, I stay in my bedroom and hideaway, I shut out the rest of the world.”

Singing and YouTube have been great ways for him to escape his mental health issues and focus on something positive.

South Wales Argus:

(Ieuan Deacon, 18, from Ebbw Vale. Credit: Chris Tinsley)

He said: “I enjoy singing, though I’m not very good at it.

“I enjoy creating YouTube videos of me singing too. I do videos of all sorts.

“I try and post as often as I can, it helps me to relax to create these videos.”

Mr Deacon is currently attending Sgiliau, an organisation set up to help young people with mental health issues gain qualifications and wider skills required for employment.

He’s currently working towards getting maths and English qualifications.

Seeing similar stories from people talking about their mental health on social media made Mr Deacon want to come forward and talk about his personal story.

“I saw a few social media posts recently that showed men openly talking about their mental health, anxiety and depression. So, it made me want to tell my story.”

His mental health assessments are ongoing, but Mr Deacon is doing well and making great progress.

He added: “I think mental health and young people should be spoken about more.

“They need to know it’s okay not to be okay and that there are people you can speak too.”

David Bland, CEO of Newport Mind said: “Half of all mental health problems begin by the age of 14, so it’s really important to have the right support in place for young people across Gwent.

Newport Mind provide tailored support groups, 1-to-1 support as well as volunteering opportunities.

These services are available across Gwent through Mind Monmouthshire, Caerphilly Mind and Torfaen & Blaenau Gwent Mind.

Mr Bland added: “Living with a mental health problem can be very isolating, but there is support available.

“We encourage anyone who is struggling with their mental health to reach out for help.

“It can be from a trusted friend, a helpline such as the Samaritans, or their local Mind or GP.”

For help, contact Newport Mind at 01633 258741.

For urgent help contact Helpline at 0800 132 737 .