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Written by Callum Patterson, DonateToday
‘Frantically searching the internet with my head screaming…’ A young man’s desperation for answers delivers him to a charity’s website
'Frantically searching the internet with my head screaming...' A young man's desperation for answers delivers him to a charity's website in the midst of a long-distance, teenage pregnancy scare
- The Mix provides online support to around two million young people per year
- After learning his girlfriend might be pregnant, Adam Campbell searched for help online
- During this search, he stumbled upon The Mix's website
- The organisation supported Adam through scare and then through wider issues
You Might Be a Dad
Despite rates of teenage pregnancy decreasing in recent years, the prospect of unplanned parenthood at such a young age is still very real for many of our nation’s youth.
While sex education is possibly more prevalent in our schools than ever before, nothing can truly prepare a young person for the realisation that, despite all the precautions they took, they may soon be a parent.
Who do you turn to with such a pressing problem on your mind?
When Adam Campbell and his girlfriend Charlie (names changed for privacy reasons) were both aged just 18, she told him she thought she might be pregnant.
‘It certainly wasn’t something I was going to bring to my family,’ he recalls, ‘Not because they actively made me feel I couldn’t – but because it just wasn’t what I knew or felt comfortable with.’
Uncomfortable with talking to his family about such a sensitive issue, and feeling in need of some external reassurance, Adam was reduced to ‘frantically searching the internet, with my head screaming “you might be a dad.”’
Fortunately, his search was not in vain. Adam stumbled upon The Mix, a multi-channel support service for under-25s, accessed by around two million young people a year.
‘Initially, when I came to The Mix, I landed in their group chats,’ Adam recalls. ‘I managed to talk things through with people and generally calm myself down. I was pretty taken aback by how supportive everyone was and how kind the moderators were.
‘Group chat became a space for me to just talk, vent and get some emotional support,’ he continues. ‘It also became quite a social space for me as I was never very outgoing so having that virtual ‘company’ was comforting.’
While The Mix’s moderators are not trained to give expert advice, they were able to clear up some queries Adam had. In fact, Adam claims, the regular group members gave him some of the most useful opinions and advice on his situation.
‘The community acted as a really good sounding board,’ he says. ‘After venting and getting things off your chest, just getting a second perspective on things can really help you realise if you’re not seeing things clearly.’
"I was in pretty bad shape without even realising it."
Asked the burning question of how it all turned out, Adam has his answer ready. ‘It was a false alarm in the end,’ he confirms. ‘I am happy to say I am child-free.’
This was not, however, then end of the young man’s association with the organisation. On the contrary, in fact, it was more like the beginning. ‘Finding The Mix opened a lot of doors for me,’ he enthuses. ‘The pregnancy scare was just a stepping stone in opening myself up in other, more impactful ways.
‘I ended up getting support with my relationship more widely,’ Adam continues. ‘It was long-distance and my now ex-girlfriend was struggling with depression so I tried to find ways that I could help her. At the time, what I didn’t realise was that I needed help too – being in that position takes its toll on you.
‘I was in pretty bad shape without even realising it,’ he admits.
Adam found support in The Mix's online community
Adam ended up getting support for ‘some very long-term, almost life-long, anxiety that I’d never addressed or even really acknowledged before, and for a space of depression I went through as a result of the break-up.’
The Mix ended up giving him much more than support though.
‘About a year and a half after I first found The Mix, I began volunteering as a Chat Moderator,’ Adam recalls.
'From there, I realised how much I enjoyed it,' he goes on, 'And how rewarding it was so I kept finding other opportunities to get involved like workshops and work experience, and some other moderation roles.’
Looking back on how The Mix helped him, the gratitude Adam feels towards the organisation is clear. ‘The Mix community was a space where I could talk without shame, fear of judgement, and find people to relate to,’ he enthuses. ‘I didn’t realise how valuable that could be at the time, but it really was.’
The Mix helps around 2 million young people a year, but it can only keep doing so thanks to kind public donations. Please give what you can to help them continue their important work.
About this charity
What they do
The Mix is a UK charity that provides support to young people aged between 13 and 25. From articles and video content to phone, email, peer-to-peer and counselling services, there are many ways to access their support and deal with everything from money to drugs, break-ups to job-seeking.