Mental health: Talal’s story

The loss of a loved one can have a devastating impact on an individual’s mental health, particularly a young person. When Talal was 12, his father tragically died from a heart attack, leaving him in a state of shock. His grieving family tried to support him, but without specialist support, Talal’s existing drug habit now spiralled out of control. He dropped out of school and became involved in robberies and gambling, as well as associating with various local gangs.


With our support, he was placed in accommodation and provided with care from our local partner, AAS Trust. Initially he was angry, aggressive, and uncooperative with his peers and staff but he gradually began to open up to his counsellor and expressed his desire for a brighter future. Through the use of counselling, play and art therapy, he built a strong with his treatment team.

Mental Health (3)

As part of his therapy, one of the things Talal expressed an interest in was playing football. With the help of sport instructors, he developed and honed his skills and he was eventually selected to take part in under-14 trials at the zonal and district levels.

Talal has faced many challenges along the way, including balancing his treatment and his passion for football and managing his emotions when he was unable to practice or focus on his treatment.

However, Talal remains optimistic about his future. He has a positive relationship with his family and has learned how to ask for help with his mental health when necessary. He hopes to pursue a career in football and dreams of playing for national teams after receiving proper training from professionals.

*name changed to protect identity
*Photo not of Talal