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My girlfriend is the temporal guardian of a 16 year old girl who has admitted self harm

My girlfriend is the temporal guardian of a 16 year old girl who has admitted self harm

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My girlfriend is the temporal guardian of a 16 year old girl who has admitted self harm

What can we do if she needs help?
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Re: My girlfriend is the temporal guardian of a 16 year old girl who has admitted self harm

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Hi @Coonip thanks for your post and sorry to hear that she has admitted selfharm. In the case of an emergency please call 000 so she can get immediate assistance. If it is not an emergency some other options include contacting Lifeline, Kids Helpline and eHeadspace

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: My girlfriend is the temporal guardian of a 16 year old girl who has admitted self harm

Hi @Coonip, welcome to the forum. Your girlfriend sounds like a lovely person to take over the care of this young girl. I'm sorry to hear that she'd been harming herself. 

 

In addition to @Lan-RO suggestions, I'm just wondering if this girl has a counsellor that she sees, or is that something you would consider setting up if she's not currently seeing someone? It could be really helpful in dealing with the underlying issues that are causing the self harming behaviours. 

 

Super frequent scribe

Re: My girlfriend is the temporal guardian of a 16 year old girl who has admitted self harm

I feel for you both. It is a very traumatic behaviour to be seeing in someone that you love and care for. You can get a referral from your G.P for Headspace if you have one near you. They have a website that you can have a look at to help you understand the services that they provide. You can use a Mental Health Plan which you can also get from your doctor to cover the cost of the service. Besides giving psychological help they also have courses/classes that they can be part of to teach them skills for things like learning to cope with anxiety or the skill of mindfulness. There are also free apps for phones etc that you can use to learn how to use mindfulness and to also aid in helping them to go to sleep. Another thing that can help if you have one in your area is CYMHS (Child, Youth, Mental Health Service). They have psychiatrists and psychologists on staff as well as classes/courses that they use as part of the treatment plan that they develop for each individual client. Your G.P should be able to tell you what services that you can access to help you all. If you have access to private health insurance your wait time to see a psychiatrist etc will be shorter than if you go through the public health system. If she is in your day to day care securing things that can be used for self-harm might help. Sometimes though this will lead them to becoming more secretive in the way they access things to use for self-harm. If the person is in a care facility because of their self harm they remove everything [that can be used to self harm] .

There are some good clips on youtube that explain trauma and how it affects a child as they grow which you might find helpful to look at. My husband is dyslexic so youtube is a tool that as a family we have found helpful. Looking after your own health is important and having family or friends that you can talk to. Self-harm is something that no only affects the person doing it - it also affects those that love and care for them. Having people like the ones here also can help. I’ve learnt I’m not alone and that there is always someone who has been through something similar and there are times when they tell you that you are perfectly sane and your thoughts and feelings are normal. Sadly there is no easy answer or easy fix for someone that self-harms. Your 16 year old revealing what she has been doing is the first step and together you have begun a journey to healing.

Super frequent scribe

Re: My girlfriend is the temporal guardian of a 16 year old girl who has admitted self harm

Another tool that can help is finding and using an outlet that she can use to express how she is feeling instead of self-harming. It might be music (writing songs or music etc), art (drawing or painting etc) or writing ( stories or journalling etc). Sometimes it’s recommended that the person keeps a diary of how they are feeling. In some people though it can cause them to hyper-focus on all the negative things they have written in the past. A diary where they write about one good thing that has happened each day can possibly help them see the world isn’t as black as their thoughts are telling them. They don’t need to be major things … a good thing could be as simple as having seen a baby laugh or a bird in flight or smelling their favourite flower.