07-10-2018 10:51 AM
Thank you @taokat for your suggestion of "How did you find the right support services for your child/teen?" for topical Tuesdays this fortnight.
Knowing when to get help for mental well-being can be difficult. But what happens next? For many families, identifying difficulties in mental well-being is just part of the puzzle and knowing where to get support for your child is important in supporting their recovery.
This is a topic regularly discussed by parents on the forums.
Common questions or comments include…
Navigating the mental health system can be a challenge for everyone. There are many entry points and countless services available, so how do you access support and how do you know when you have the right support for your child?
This Topical Tuesday is a space to talk about your experiences in finding support (including mental health support) for your child and ask questions.
Some questions you might consider include:
07-10-2018 03:55 PM
Great idea for a discussion - It is something that comes up in the forum nearly every day, and no wonder with the mental health system being as complex and confusing as it is.
This could be a good one for some of our new Peer supporters, and members to jump in on!
07-10-2018 03:56 PM
07-10-2018 06:35 PM
The main thing I would suggest is to reach out early and get as much support on board as possible.
As a parent/carer the signs that your teenager is "not quite right" can sometimes be staring right at us and at other times the signs are more subtle.
For example, with my own situation, my son has seemed to struggle with school work from an early age so I tried to get him extra help in place at school. I found that as parents, we often need to advocate for our children as their issues can be overlooked or minimised.
With his behaviours, I initiated a child psychologist from an early age however they were not very helpful. I find you need to sift through the professionals as some will suit your child better than others. The behaviours at home are often not evident within an hours psychology session.
A family doctor can be a good starting point. Go and see them alone (or with your partner if you have one) and explain what has been going on with your teenager. They can help with referrals after they see your child. A school counsellor is also a good starting point.
If you as the carer can have some respite, that is ideal. A family or friend to help though is sometimes not possible so do something for YOU, even if it is going for a 20 minute walk in the fresh air. This was vital to me during times of immense hardship with my child. Meditation has also helped me enormously, especially when my son has been aggressive.
Importantly, reach out to others. If you are selective and private in who you share your teenagers troubles with, then go to a counsellor yourself or be brave enough to open up to at least one other person. I have found this the most difficult as I have wanted to protect my son and have been concerned about mental health labelling and stigma. But I am learning that it is important to open up to others. I am not just the helper but the one in need of assistance too.
Finally, pass the information on to other parents and carers (as well as the teenagers and their own forums) about the Reach Out website because it has been of immense benefit to my own situation and I am very grateful to have found it after it was posted on facebook. It would have been ideal if I knew about it years ago.
Hope these suggestions can help at least one other parent or carer.
07-10-2018 09:48 PM
07-10-2018 10:06 PM
07-10-2018 10:34 PM - edited 07-10-2018 10:34 PM
@Happy So glad to hear about some of the improvements in regards to school work. I really can hear such a loving and adoring nature toward your daughter, well done. You must be of great support to her.
@Tulip It can be tricky finding the right, and most affordable service for our young ones. There are some really good sliding scale counsellors out there too if you feel she does outgrow one practitioner. It sounds like at this point however, you're all doing all of the right things. It's great to hear of a young person being so supported at home, the road to recovery is far less painful as a result. How about your own self-care? Are you finding the therapy quite beneficial?
07-11-2018 11:37 AM
@Sister These are some really fantastic insights. One thing that really stood out to me was about opening up to other people about your experiences supporting your son, and how important that was for you. You mentioned that at first you didn't because you wanted to protect him stigma. How did you find that first conversation? Were you surprised by people's reactions?
So great to see that you are keeping your self care and well-being a priority
07-11-2018 03:08 PM