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I help to run the youth community, ask me anything.

I help to run the youth community, ask me anything.

Prolific scribe

Re: I help to run the youth community, ask me anything.

@taokat wrote:

The forums are a fantastic resource, and I'm so glad to be a part of it. Parenting can be a tough gig and I love the support and the sharing of advice that can really help families.

I've seen your posts and amazing support @taokat you are a huge part of what makes the parent's forums great. A true founding member and a very skilled supporter. 


I think all of your reasons are true in part for each young person that chooses not to tell their parents, we all have out secrets too, sometimes there's not much rhyme or reason to it!  


This next paragraph could be upsetting for some. I know that some of my members have parent's that are... not so nice... for example one member was scared to come out because their parents threw out a sibling for their sexuality.


So unfortunately not everyone is as fortunate as your children are to have such a great parent looking out for them. I actually wonder what we could do if we supported a parent who had views like that. What could we do? 



Parent Peer Supporter

Re: I help to run the youth community, ask me anything.

Oh thank you @Ben-RO, that's lovely of you to say. I'm proud to be so involved with such a wonderful organisation.


I cannot understand how a parent can do that to their child. It's such a shame when parents choose not to support their kids. You said what I was getting at! I'll be brave and say religion can be a blockage when it comes to non-hetero sexuality.  


I think the best way to support parents with views like that is to educate with facts. A big misconception, is that sexual orientation and/or mental health issues, are a choice. If we can educate parents that this is not the case and that their kids aren't bad kids or doing anything wrong, I wonder if that could help? Maybe parents do not understand what effect their judgements have, so education around young people's needs? 


Fact sheets?


I'll think about it in more depth and see what other ideas come to mind.

Prolific scribe

Re: I help to run the youth community, ask me anything.

Hi @Ben-RO,

This is more like feedback than a question. I'd like my son (depressed/anxious) to get involved with something like your community as I think it is important to share with peers, and to have as many support avenues as possible. But....he won't.


The reason is that his only experience with online counseling didn't go well. He was down at the time, and I could see he was not well. He didn't want to go to hospital and was sick of talking to me, so I encouraged him to chat online with the kids helpline. He described his anger too graphically ("I'm gonna burn this place down!" or something similar), the operator became concerned, and before you know it I've got six burly coppers on my door step.


The cops were really good. We are lucky to live in a country with such a professional and caring police force. They worked out pretty quickly that we were in no danger from my son. However the experience scared my son, he still mentions it 1 year later. The result is that he does not trust online services.


I don't blame the Kids Help Line operator, they obviously cannot fully appreciate the situation and are bound to respond if they have reasonable grounds to suspect there is a dangerous situation. In fact no one is to blame. However it troubles me a little that there are so few places a kid can really open up safely about their inner thoughts. My son has discovered that the school counseling office is not a "safe place" too, they have a responsibility to the other students, staff, etc


On the one hand we say to kids "It is good to open up and talk", on the other hand we say "You can't say things like that!". When you are 14 years old with mental health issues this must seem very confusing.


Who among us responsible adults and parents has not thought about a driver who cut us off, a customer who is rude, a politician who has lied and been caught: "Geez, I'd like to smack that guy in the face"? There are few of us who never have violent thoughts. Of course, we don't act on them. But for kids like my son with mental health issues if he is honest and says something like that a SWAT team is activated!


You are doing a valuable job Ben, good on you.


Parent Peer Supporter

Re: I help to run the youth community, ask me anything.

Hey @Schooner. I'm sorry that your son has had that experience. I can understand to his not wanting to risk that happening again. Such a confusing message for him.


I think your post is awesome and everything you say is spot on.


I'll be interested to read @Ben-RO's thoughts.  


Re: I help to run the youth community, ask me anything.

Message contains a hyperlink

Hi there @Dan2787 Thanks for sharing your story here.  I have moved your reply into a thread of its own so that other parents can find it more easily and reply to it.  It is too important to get lost in a thread here and hopefully this will help you get more perspectives on this.  I hope this is ok with you?


You can find your original post by clicking on this link.

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