Integr8 Befriending - #BefriendingIs Life changing

Fri 4 Nov 2022

During #BefriendingWeek, let's hear what #BefriendingIs from Integr8 Befriending

Sophie originally came to the Youth Action Project via the mental health screening group, following a referral from her GP. Sophie transferred into the Youth Action Project’s befriending service, where her support continued, but also included opportunities to engage in social and recreational activities, while still working on her emotional reactions to demanding situations. Sessions gave Sophie the time and space to think about the different ways she could deal with her challenges, and strategies to help her to choose alternative ways of reacting to things. She was able to begin considering the impact of her actions on others.


Sophie’s journey has not been smooth; however, she has continued to engage in her sessions regularly and has used the time to share her experiences and talk through what led there, and what she may do differently in the future. Over time, Sophie’s reactions and outbursts have reduced significantly, her communication with her family has improved, and she is able to weigh up any consequences relating to her choices. The opportunity to participate in social and recreational activities brought an added benefit to Sophie, giving lighthearted fun while navigating her emotional challenges.



Sophie has the following to say about her support:

“Hello, my name is Sophie. I got referred to the Youth Action Project from my Doctor because I was struggling with my mental health.

When I first got referred to the Youth Action Project, my mental and physical health weren’t too good which was putting a strain on my home and personal relationships. The relationship that was struggling the most was with my mother. It got to the point I would go hours without saying a word to her.

The Youth Action Project really helped me have a bond with my mum. Before I was with my youth worker I would be running from the police, getting into physical fights, stealing, and breaking stuff and trying to run away. I went through a rough patch with my mental health difficulties a couple of months before the Youth Action Project got involved. I tried to commit suicide a few times before but with no major injuries.

My youth worker has helped me reach my goals and I have been and am going places I never thought I would go. She’s helped me turn my life around. I am now on my way to exploring a successful career starting with studying preparation for health & social care at West Lothian College beginning in August. I am also considering the army. I have many friendships that I wouldn’t have had a year ago.


The befriending sessions are absolutely amazing. There have been so many opportunities for me to learn and experience. We try to take photos during most sessions to track my progress and how I’ve been coping. The sessions have helped me more than I could have asked for. We have been swimming, skating, gone for food and gone to Starbucks as well as other things, and they have also watched me change myself completely in a good way; going from a small (I mean I haven’t grown) little girl making bad choices to a sweet, sort of well-mannered young lady with blue hair.



The Youth Action Project is a life changing experience and I’m glad I chose to listen because I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. They have my full trust and appreciation and have helped me get to my goals.”

By:Integr8 Befriending

If you're inspired and would like to get involved please visit:
West Lothian Youth Action Intergr8 Befriending (