Mark's Story

At 15 years old Mark was admitted to a hospital psychiatric unit for young people under a compulsory section. He was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and was severely depressed.

He was in hospital for 6 months before being discharged. He went home and lasted only 2 days before being readmitted. This became a pattern over the next 2 years.

He spent 2 months in a different psychiatric unit and while there was arrested for attempting to abscond and given a police caution. Again when discharged he was home for a only a week before being readmitted for a further 7 months.

During this period Mark tried to kill himself on four separate occasions, he would walk on railway lines and try to throw himself under trains. Mark was referred to KIM the last time he was about to be discharged from hospital in April 2016.

KIM staff visited him in hospital and arranged support for when he got home and has not been back to hospital since.  He attended KIM 4 Him and enjoyed socialising for the first time, trying activities that were new to him and beginning to grow in confidence and self-belief.

At Christmas 2016 he got up with the band and sang a song to an audience of 70+ people.

In January 2017 he began accredited training to volunteer to support the men’s’ group. Mark has since become a trained volunteer at KIM and supports the autism, learning difficulties and mental health groups. Mark has made excellent progress from when we met him in hospital only 10 months ago and is now feeling more positive and hopeful for his future.

In Mark’s words… Summer of 69 in the Winter of 16!”

He wrote this piece to share in the KIM 4 Him newsletter, Jan 2017:

“Standing up in front of lots of people at a party is something I never thought I would ever be able to do. Standing up on stage at the KIM Christmas Dinner at St. David’s Park in Ewloe, waiting for the song (Bryan Adams, Summer of 69) to start was absolutely terrifying, but once the song started It was just like I went into my own little world, and I was enjoying every moment of it.

Once the song finished, hearing everyone clap felt amazing. Singing is something I really enjoy very much, and I always have, but I enjoyed it that much that I got up and sang another one Lionel Richie, “Dancing on the Ceiling” But I would never have done it if it hadn’t have been for Mike and his band for supporting me on stage and Andy for supporting me over the past 8 months and also the Kim Inspire charity in general. Just getting up on stage and singing hasn’t only given me confidence in singing but it has given me confidence in life. KIM has given me the confidence to get up and get out!”

Mark has now been offered his first job. He will be working at a visitor centre showing people round and looking after the exhibits on a 6 month Jobs Growth Wales Scheme.