05-24-2021 05:07 PM - edited 05-26-2021 10:20 AM
It can be incredibly frustrating, heartbreaking and helpless when we can see as parents that our child is struggling- but they refuse to seek help.
This is something we hear a lot from parents, and we thought it could be good to have a space for parents to connect with each other and share what's worked, how they are travelling, and get support in a safe space.
Sometimes, it can be really clear to parents that something isn't right - maybe your teen has suddenly become withdrawn, or stopped seeing their friends. Maybe you're concerned about a specific mental illness- we often hear from parents that they're worried that their child is depressed, or struggling with eating, or highly anxious- help is available, but there's often times when a young person is reluctant to see a professional.
As a parent myself, I know that my oldest child ( who's 12, going on 16!!) will sometimes absolutely refuse to discuss things. Or they won't want to engage at all with any kind of professional, especially if it's something personal.
As a parent it can sometimes be so hard to know exactly how to approach this - and the truth is that there's no one size fits all answer. It can be a long and winding road, of working out what is happening, what the right support might look like, and above all keeping the lines of communication with your young person.
If you prefer to read articles, we have some great resources around this issue:
There's also this great video we made with a psychologist- how do you know if your teen needs professional help, and how can we support them in that process?
So we thought it might be good to create this space for parents to connect- often it's really hard to discuss these sensitive issues with friends and family, especially if you're not quite sure what's happening, or you're worried about your teen finding out you're talking about 'their issues' to other people.
I'm also going to tag some parents who've posted recently around these kind of issues- we'd love to hear your thoughts, and this is a place where people may understand what you're going through.
05-24-2021 05:18 PM - edited 05-24-2021 05:18 PM
05-25-2021 07:54 AM
05-25-2021 09:36 PM
My 13 yo daughter is refusing to see the psychologist she has recently been assigned with through the mental health program. She was seeing someone privately but unfortunately this person has had to take extended leave for ill health. My daughter is devastated as she really trusts this person. We understand she doesn't want to go through her story again with someone new but the new psych already knows a lot and, is very experienced in teens who self harm and talk about ending it all. She is on medication and this has helped to a degree but she cant go forward unless she has someone to open up to. Apart from me. I know how to support her but, it is 24/7 as a lot of parents out there know. The last time we went to see this person, she had a mild panic attack and then ran away. I had to drive round looking for her and calling her. She answered so i was able to keep her on the phone and find her. I haven't ever wanted to call the ambulance for her severe meltdowns 2hich are mostly at night but if she won't see the psych, then I'm going to have to the next time Is there anyone who has had to do thins and can you tell me what happens when your child is taken to the hospital? My husband and i work very closely with her but it is taking its toll. Her brother is her twin, and he has aspergers. He is being so great but this is also affecting him. Id like to hear from any other parents who are experiencing similar issues with a teen who has anxiety depression and may possibly be on the spectrum We don't know if she is but its looking more and more like it is possible. thanks for reading its nice to just get it out sometimes.
05-26-2021 05:31 PM
@GW-QV75 @Hopesprings123 that's a really tough one - I think we do have a lot of young people who are true digital natives, and are more comfortable online. It can feel incredibly confronting to see a mental health professional for the first time for anyone- let alone a young person, who may never have had those types of conversations.
I'd be really interested to hear a bit more about what is happening for your kids - sometimes being curious, and exploring why they feel the way they do without judgment or anger (I'm aware this is much easier said than done!!) can give us surprising insights. I know that sometimes I'll assume my daughter is against something for one reason - and it will turn out I've got it completely wrong.
The reason I ask that is also because there are online options for mental health treatment, which are really well supported by evidence, and are increasingly popular with young people. These range from things like early intervention and online peer support, like our Online Community for ReachOut Youth, to individual counselling with a psychologist or counsellor online.
eHeadspace and Kids Helpline both offer online models, either via email or webchat, and there's also an increasing amount of telehealth mental health professionals. So they may be more comfortable talking to someone over zoom, for example, than having that confronting experience of going to a psychologist's rooms or Headspace centre.
Does any of that resonate with you? I'd be happy to explain more about some of those different options if that would be helpful, or you can also read more and link to those services here.
05-27-2021 11:38 PM - last edited on 05-28-2021 01:35 PM by Hannah-RO
I have called the ambulance twice in the last 10 days. Keeping my child safe is what I keep saying to myself. It’s hard , heart breaking but been necessary on both occasions.
The second time was very confronting as 3 police also came,
Go prepared with snacks and drinks, I’ve had very long nights there.
I have felt supported and my son has been cared for each time and have had follow up calls. I appreciate and thankful for the mental health team.
It is helping us to upscale services too. It’s just accessing services and the long wait times are hard.
Private access to a psychiatrist is January 2022, headspace is 6 months too.
We are now seeing Cahms in 3 weeks, I’m not even confident if he can manage a 3 weeks wait.
If I’m worried or know he is self-harming with very low moods I feel I need to ring the ambulance.
05-28-2021 01:34 PM
Thanks for sharing how things are going for you and your family. It sounds like an incredibly stressful and upsetting situation for all of you, I'm so sorry you're going through all of this.
I'm glad to hear that you feel thankful and appreciative of the mental health team, its really good to hear of when people have helpful experiences with these team and that they are doing follow up calls. You and your family deserve the very best of support
That is so disappointing about the wait times, its so tough to have to be waiting all that time, did cahms give you any ideas of supports to try in the mean time?
We're here whenever you need to chat about what is going on for you
05-28-2021 08:10 PM
I'm so sorry to read this. I dread the time when we may have to call the ambulance for our daughter. I have tried to find out what exactly happens and now at least I have an idea. Even though we haven't got to the stage, it's been close a few times and it could still happen. I want to say how much I understand the worry and the pain that you are going through with your son. I'm so glad at least there is this forum to talk about it because I need an outlet or else I'll go mad. I get so angry sometimes because I can't fix it. As a parent, I feel I should be able to. But like you, I just keep going and supporting and looking for help when it is there. I sincerely hope there are some easier times ahead for you and for your son. I am always happy to listen and tell you I can hear you, and I care what you are experiencing.
05-28-2021 08:15 PM
Janine-ro I would love my daughter to participate or explore the online mental health forums She is refusing to deal even with those although today I did ask her if she would consider ever talking to someone, her own age or a year or two older, who has been going through this. She said as long as it wasn't someone just saying they did and now everything was fine and they were all fixed etc. I said I thought it would be more useful, if possible, talk to someone or even a group of people her own age currently experiencing this and talk about the things that do and don't help- under safe and controlled circumstances of course. Are their online forums like this which would be safe for her to investigate?