Support from friends and family

Young people seek mental health support from their friends and family in lots of different ways, including face-to-face, by text, or over the phone. 

  • How likely are the young people you care for to seek mental health support from their friends and family?
  • What has been their experience of speaking to friends and family when they have needed support?
  • What might make it easier for their friends and family to support them if they’re feeling low and/or anxious?

Why the contribution is important

It is important for us to learn about your experiences and ideas for improvements so we can make it easier for friends and family to support young people to get mental health support.

by ScotParlCEU on November 06, 2018 at 05:22PM

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  • Posted by cairistiona2003 November 27, 2018 at 13:11

    When my daughter began suffering from anxiety around P7/S1, she talked to me. It was also obvious that something was wrong as my daughter became very frightened about going out and doing things. I was not sure what to do and thought that if I gave her lots of love and attention and time, it would eventually go away. We also got a book on childhood anxiety out of the library and began working through it. Unfortunately, the anxiety did not go away and due to ongoing bullying at school, the anxiety got worse and eventually turned into an eating disorder.
    Looking back, I wish I had sought help sooner or known when it had gone beyond normal levels of anxiety, or a phase which might clear up. Due to the stigma about mental health, I was frightened that I would be criticised for being a bad parent if I sought help. At the back of my mind, I was terrified someone might even take my daughter away, because I hadn't been able to prevent her anxiety.
    If there was more information for parents on children's mental health problems, it would have helped, with emphasis on the fact that it's okay for parents to ask for help. Does the NHS have a teenage mental health internet site with information on what to do for different mental health problems (a bit like they do for physical health problems)?
    I'm not sure how this could be improved, but parents need to be made more aware of when they are dealing with mental health problems and not just a particularly difficult teenager.
    If I had gone to our GP when my daughter just had anxiety, what would have happened? Maybe we still wouldn't have got professional help as it might have been seen as low-level. There need to be clear signposts for parents, too, so that we know how to recognise when a young person needs help and also know where to go.

  • Posted by angiebean123 December 07, 2018 at 10:18

    As a parent it's very frightening when your child had mental health issues. While we aim to do our best to help them there is always the fear we're making it worse or we will be blamed for the situation.

    When my daughter lost her 14 year old friend in her grief anxiety and depression arose and it was extremely difficult to interact with her or even get her to go to school. I tried all the tools that I knew of and the school had put in some support but it wasn't enough. I can't fault my GP when we went to her she was amazing and referred her to CAMHS, but it took 18 months before we got an appointment. During this time I had no NHS support and wasnt sure where to turn to.

    It worked out in the end, but if there was common knowledge and education available for parents then I feel we as parents could help more and make a start on the healing process. However for that to work parents would need to be proactive and present in their kids lives and due to other commitments this is not always the case.
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