During my time in Orkney I spoke to so many people with wonderful stories to tell, and heard about different aspects of their unique approach to education.

Over and over again, I found a powerful sense of community seemed to be at the heart of so much good work and that the young people there certainly benefit, in a number of ways, from living in a so-called 'remote' part of Scotland.

But even in Orkney, there are those who fall through the cracks. Amber's experiences offer an important reminder that, for all the good news stories, there are also young people in desperate need of help.

Your life has been affected, and continues to be affected, by your experiences several years ago, when you faced significant struggles with mental illness. How did you find out that you were unwell? Did you seek help yourself or did someone else raise concerns? And how was it handled?

I didn't know I was ill. No one knew I was ill. My mum thought I was just a teenager because I wouldn't eat and I wouldn't do things. I wouldn't go to school.

It turned out that my teacher was really worried about me for how I was behaving when I was at school. Then a CPN (Community Psychiatric Nurse) had a meeting with me because I told my teacher: 'Look, I'm hearing voices, I'm seeing things, I'm experiencing these things." So I end up getting an appointment with the CPN and she told us I'm actually really ill and I need to take medication. So I go home that day, then the next day the duty CPN and duty doctor come to my house and detain me and send me all the way to Dundee. I had no idea - didn't have a clue - what was going on.

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What happened once you had been taken away from Orkney?

So first actually I was in Edinburgh. I got flown down in the middle of the night to Edinburgh and it was just lucky that my eldest sister was visiting family in England, and she drove up. I got there in the middle of the night and they put me in a room.

And I had no idea what I was doing. I was on all sorts of medication to keep me calm for the flight.

I woke up the next day was like: 'Where am I? What am I doing?' Oh, it was just surreal and my mum couldn't get down. She wasn't allowed to fly down as well.

So I was on my own. Completely alone. On that one occasion it was just the month and I got released and sent home. Not even a month later I was back down and I was put on a compulsory treatment order, which is around six months . You do a month and then they do a tribunal where they say whether you're fit to go home. You fight it, obviously, because you don't think you should be there. And they keep me.

They keep injecting me with different medications that I've no idea what they are or what they're doing. They explain it to me, obviously, but because I'm not in a position to understand, and because I'm refusing, it is always being restrained and intramuscular injection. So... it's a lot. Just everyday you get up and you don't know what you're doing. You don't know what's happening. It's just constant. And that lasted for six months. Then I got out again, and then back in again. So it's like over two years, maybe more, I was in and out of hospital.

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This all happened at the time when you would have been sitting exams, which would obviously have been incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to complete. What does she want now?

I want to learn. I want to get a future. The whole way through being ill, all I wanted to do is get back to school. I even did schooling in the hospital, just to see if I could get my qualifications, but I couldn't do it - I was too unwell and couldn't manage it.

Crossroads is the only support I've had - consistent support. I've had people come in and chat to me and say we're going to do this and we promise you we're gonna get you in courses or we're gonna further you with this. It's all talk - nothing happens. I'm 21 now. That was back when I was 19 and I'm still in the same position I was. The only thing now is I've finally got Lindsey.

So Lindsey is your new support worker, and is helping you figure out a way forward. Does this feel like it might be a turning point?

I really hope so. I really hope so. Because I've tried everything else. I tried online learning by myself. My sister, while she was working and stuff and looking after her kids, would sit and do online courses with me. But I just couldn't get it. I can't learn through online and I really want to learn. It's not that I don't want to - I'm not one of these people that just want to sit around. I want to do it and I want to have a good job that I enjoy but there's no support for it. But now I've finally got Lindsay so it feels like it might be a breakthrough.

I’m doing maths through the Learning Link. The only problem is that it is only a small part of the qualifications. So it’s National 4 that I’m doing, but it’s only National 4 numeracy, not National 4 maths, which I feel is a bit of a let down. I’m quite frustrated about it because I thought I’d be getting somewhere – I’m gonna do a qualifications and be able to move on to actually get something decent and be able to use it but then it’s just something I’ve done already. I know it's recapping and that's good, and it's good to practice things, but I kind of want to do something that's gonna take me forward. I tried the college and that was just hopeless: they were under-staffed and all sorts of things that meant they couldn't support me with my learning needs.

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If you could get on to the type of course you want, with the sort of support you need, what would you want to do next?

The dream job, which I'll never do, would be forensic science. I would love to do that. I'm all interested in crime and how things work and I love putting things together. But I was thinking maybe social work. I thought I could do that through the college, but there's nothing. I thought about nursing but you can't do nursing up here.

But now I'm also kind of tied to Orkney because if I leave this small bit of help I've got, what will I get instead? Is it going to be better? Is it going to be worse? I don't know. Or do I just wait around until something better comes along? Or, you know, jobs like Lindsey’s only get a certain amount of funding so she could not be here next year - she could not be here in a couple of months. There's no consistency other than from Crossroads, who are amazing and a separate charity. My carer Morag has supported me from when I was really ill, so when I couldn't do anything, and now I can go out in the town and do things with her. I couldn't be here if it wasn't for Morag and the Crossroads team. But they can't support me with the next steps - it's just not their job.

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Does she want to say anything to people in positions of power?

There's so much actually to say and that it's hard to put it all into words. There needs to be more support in schools before we even get to after school, I think.

I was ill in school, and no one knew that except for one teacher, and if it wasn't for that one teacher I don't know where I would be today. I think there are people that they seem okay and I really wasn't okay at school and I didn't know I wasn't okay.

But where are you? Where is the support? Because I've been promised since being out of education that I will have support and where is it?

My week is that Monday's I do maths. I see Morag, my carer, from 9 to 12, then do maths from 12:30 and that's my day for Monday. Tuesday: nothing. Wednesday: nothing. Thursday I do driving in the evening and that's it. Then Friday: nothing. Saturday: nothing. Sunday: nothing. So that's my week - and I can't get out to places because I don't drive yet and where I live there are no public buses.

Lindsey tries her best and she's always saying well we can do this or we can do this... but that's not enough. I can't just do hundreds of short courses because they're not going to get me anywhere. Where am I going to be in another two years?

I want to be able to go into a course like National 5, or even Higher, without any qualifications and be able to have the support there. Yeah, okay, maybe I haven't got the qualifications, but I have the drive to do it, I want to do it, and why shouldn't it be offered to me just because I haven't gone down the normal route? That's not fair. That's not okay.

It wasn't choice. I didn't have a choice.