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TW: Suicide - Struggling 14 year old boy

Discussion forum for parents in Australia

TW: Suicide - Struggling 14 year old boy


TW: Suicide - Struggling 14 year old boy

I’m new here so apologies if I’ve posted I’m the wrong area. 

My family and I have only been in Australia for 9 months after moving over from the UK. I have 5 children 2 older girls and 3 younger boys. My middle child who is 14 is really struggling at the moment with very low mood, he fell out with some new friends at school and then started to self harm. He has been self harming.

I have also recently found out that the reason he fell out with his friends is because he tried to end his life and they were all traumatised and said he was emotionally manipulating them. 

We have taken him to a psychologist and he has support networks at school but I don’t feel like anything is getting better. Some mornings he won’t get out of bed and go to school and it’s a real struggle for me and his dad not to get really angry at him. 

He can be in a great mood and have a laugh with us and his sisters and brothers and it seems like he’s ok, but then his mood will completely change by the morning. It’s like someone is sending him messages and making him this way.  I am concerned that the people he is now hanging around with at school are encouraging him to self harm. 

I just don’t know what to do, I’m even thinking about sending him back to the UK to live with my mum as he’s just not happy here. 

Prolific scribe

Re: TW: Suicide - Struggling 14 year old boy

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Hi @Sovilla and welcome to the online community. We're really glad you reached out for some support.

I'm really sorry to hear about everything that has been going on with your son. It sounds like your family has been through a huge transition this year after relocating to Australia, and that you're trying to support your son as best you can on top of all of this.

I'd imagine that it must have been very confronting to learn that your son has been self-harming and that he tried to take his own life. Has he spoken to you about trying to take his own life, or is this something that you found out from other people? 

I can completely understand your frustration around your son's school refusal and his struggle to get out of bed some days - it can be incredibly hard to watch your teen going through this without feeling helpless and sometimes angry that they aren't getting up and trying to carry on. I know that my parents wanted to yank me out of bed themselves some days when I was struggling. It must be confusing to see him laughing and getting along with his siblings one moment, and then feeling down and hopeless the next. Does it seem like anything triggers these changes in his mood?

It sounds like you're trying to get him the best possible support by sending him to a psychologist and creating a support network for him at school. Have you considered getting your son involved in your local Child and Adolescent Mental Health service? CAMHS provide community-based support to young people in your local area, as well as offering family-based support to help parents and siblings to cope with the effect of managing their loved one's mental health. Headspace also has youth mental health centres in most local areas and online if you'd like to investigate that too. 

You mentioned being a bit concerned that the people your son is spending time with at school may be encouraging him to self-harm. Is there anything in particular that makes you think that? We have some great resources on self-harm here if you'd like to give them a read and pass them onto your son, as well as an article for parents on supporting your teen to manage self-harm. If he needs support with his suicidal thoughts, Lifeline offers crisis support on 13 11 14. Kids Helpline is another option for people under 25 if he would like to talk to someone other than his usual psychologist and he finds himself needing support at short notice.

Hang in there @Sovilla. You are not in this alone and we are here to support you as much as possible.