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12 yr daughter self harming

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12 yr daughter self harming

Hi my 12 he daughter started high school this yr. But recently she has been saying she doesn't want to be here any more.
She has a great group of friends and is seeing the school counselor.
She is generally a very happy carefree girl .
She has had trauma in her younger yrs around age 8 and due to this no longer see her father.
There is only me and her in our family.
Last night she had read out a speech to me for school she was so excited and pleased with it. Then 3 mins later comes to me and ask if lead poisoning can kill her. I ask why and that there are different lect.leads.wirhout going into detail. She then showed me her leg which had marks from a lead pencil . I then asked y are you doing that. She replied saying because I want too.
That night I went through her phone and saw she has sent a text to her friend saying she is not coping and wanting to leave and not be here any more. When I ask her why she feel this way she say be a use all my friends get what they want and I don't. I try and explain that at the moment I can only get you things you need not want like giving her money to go shopping ect. She has recently joined a soccer team and loves it as I was hoping doing what she loves and being with friends would help her be more positive about life. So any suggestions would be great.
Thank you.
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Re: 12 yr daughter self harming

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Hi @Belly12 , 


I'm so sorry to hear that your daughter has been experiencing thoughts of not wanting to be here anymore, that must be absolutely heartbreaking to hear as a parent, and I'm so sorry that your daughter is going through this. It sounds like you're a really connected and loving mum, and that is a really protective thing for her- it's also wonderful that she's able to open up to you about these feelings. 


You mention that she experienced trauma around 4 years ago and is no longer able to see her father as a result- that must have been really difficult for both of you. I'm wondering if she has had professional mental health support to help her through what happened? 


You've mentioned that your daughter has mentioned that she doesn't want to be here anymore - have you ever asked her directly if she is having thoughts of taking her life? I know that can feel like a really confronting thing to ask, but communicating really openly about suicidal thoughts has actually been shown to lower the risk of suicide, and it also gives your daughter the chance to open up more about what is happening for her.  We have an article here that might be helpful that talks about ways to talk to young people when you're concerned that they may be having these thoughts.



It's great that she is already seeing the school counsellor - another additional way to get a bit more support is to have a talk to your local GP, who can do a mental health plan for you so that she can see a psychologist for medicare subsidised sessions. Your local headspace is also a great resource, and they also offer online counselling here. Kids Helpline also offer  free 24/7 counselling on 1800 55 1800, and they also have online counselling as an option . 


If you're ever concerned that she's at risk of taking her life, then it's really important to seek urgent support by calling 000 -the suicide callback service can also give great advice if you're not sure what to do. 


On a positive note, it's wonderful that she's enjoying playing soccer with her friends, it definitely sounds like that would be a great social outlet for her and is a great thing for mental health as well! It's really hard when kids want thing that their friends have, and it can be really hard for them to realise that sometimes that's not possible. Are there other activities that she likes doing with her friends that are low cost, or don't cost anything? 


Being a single parent can be a really tough gig, especially when our kids are having a tough time, and it sounds like you are doing a wonderful job- do you have much support for yourself?  We do offer a one to one support service that might be helpful - you can learn more about that here. It's a free, and confidential, service. 


I'm also going to tag in some other parents who've experienced challenging times with their young people - you are definitely not alone, and I'd love to hear any other suggestions of what has worked for other parents @Birdwings  @JamOnToast  @PapaBill  @Dadof4kids