Our 16 year old daughter has dropped out of college because of anxiety and self esteem issues. She has battled with these issues for several years whilst at school and often took time off. Then Lockdown happened and, I think, having to stay at home actually papered over some of the cracks and meant she, we and the school didn't deal with them head on. I don't know that it helped that she was in the year that didn't need to sit their GCSE's as, who knows, dealing with them might have helped her develop a few coping strategies for her anxiety.
Anyway she, understandably, decided she didn't want to stay at school but do a BTEC at college. Her mother and I felt very positive about this as a lot of her anxiety seemed to be linked to the school and failed friendships in the past that had affected her adversely and we hoped a change of environment and new friends would be really positive for her.
She did the first half term of a course and all seemed to be going well and indeed she made some good new friends but, at the end of the first half term break, all the old issues of anxiety about going to school/college came flooding back and, despite a lot of interaction and support from the college, she could not face returning and we could not persuade her otherwise.
This resulted in her giving up her course with a view to trying to work on her mental health. We also found her a private counsellor to talk to, although we're not sure if that is helping (see below). For about 2 months or so she did very little except occasionally seeing the close friends she has from outside of school/college
She managed to get herself a part-time job for a few weeks and again we thought, maybe this would help her confidence to grow. She seemed to really enjoy it at first and everyone there was really lovely. Indeed we were further encouraged that she said on a couple of days that she was feeling anxious but still managed to go into work. However, unfortunately we seem to have gone round the same circle again as, last week, she started saying she really couldn't face going in and has basically now handed in her resignation and left.
Her mother and I are really not sure what to do now? The counsellor I mentioned doesn't seem to be dealing with the problem just a safe place for her to talk, which is of course absolutely fine but even my daughter says she doesn't think they are helping her. She wants someone to support her and maybe give her some coping strategies to deal with her anxiety. We tried on 2 occasions in the past to go through the NHS, but both times they said my daughters situation was not serious enough to refer her to CAMHS. Also, my daughter has heard so much negative comments from her peers about CAMHS she id resisting trying that route again. The thing is we do have the means to pay for some professional help, we're just not sure how to get the right sort of help for her, so any advice on that would be gratefully received. We and she really hope we can get her to a place where she can return to education in September, but time seems to be against us unless we get her some more constructive help asap.
As you can probably tell we are pretty desperate for just a little guidance as to the best way forward for her and us.
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