Social media has informed me it’s World Mental Health Day !
Social education is important to release people of the stigma. Poor mental health is simply part of the human condition, it can be chemical or situational. I have begun to own my own mental health, by talking and education myself, being kind and responsible for that part of me. The power of acknowledging it and ending so many statement with “and that’s OK.” has been part of the process.
Recovery is a process, it is difficult to do alone. Ownership is key, responsibility of your self is empowering. This drawing, which is cropped because the full image makes me feel guilty. A mother reaching down to the child; who is struggling in their own dark place. The mother should be in the pit with the child, getting amongst the discomfort of the pit and darkness. At this point I was scared, frustrated, lost and struggling.
“Children don’t get depressed!” or “They’re Just being a brat.” they do and they are, yes but WHY? Why is key, it’s probably how they have learnt to be, and that has a lot to do with how parents model their own emotions and behaviour. Guilty. Taking that responsibility is a gut punch. Really understanding it is a relief.
Children’s mental health is a big part of my self education adventure, learning that babies and children are hard wired for struggle, brain chemistry forming how we grow to cope with all the world throws at us. I think the stigma and miss education is causing children to suffer longer, parents perhaps in denial about little Timmy’s behaviour or unable to own their own problems in order to honestly address their child’s needs. Though the sad news is, when you have acknowledged there is some thing going on; the road to getting the correct support is a long, lonely, frustrating and bumpy. If you have a feeling your child may need extra support, start looking NOW, access to information and support isn’t often readily available and even when it is, the process is one that takes a lot of learning. Little Timmy deserves the fight. There might be other underlying issues, it might just be a need for a safe space for their emotions and support tackling that gritty stuff.
Here is some gritty stuff to bare in mind movember exists because”Globally, the rate of suicide is alarmingly high, particularly in men. Too many men are ‘toughing it out’, keeping their feelings to themselves and struggling in silence.” That was perhaps a big jump, but social culture holds much weight in young men in-particular forming good self-image and knowing when and how to ask for help.
Accessing support depends on what is available. I started at School, talking to Parent Liaison, Parent Support Officers and Pastoral Staff. I went to the GP, and went back again more than once.
Point-1 Norfolk, can be a good place to look, it can then lead to MAP “MAP is here for young people. We are advisers, counsellors and youth workers who work together to provide the best help we can in a way that makes sense to you. We also provide education and training for young people, parents, carers and other workers.”
Little Timmy may need a CAMHS assessment, in order to get to the bottom of the situation CAMHs is part of Children & Adolescence Mental Health. This requires input form GP, School and you.
It might be helpful to look at Norfolk & Suffolk Foundation Trust.
If you can get Timmy’s school to access The Benjamin Foundation they do great work in schools, if the school can’t, go back and speak to some one, outline whats going on, you may be able to access other parts of The Benjamin.
This has been a very LOCAL post, but the premise for accessing help is the same every where, you have to look. Unfortunately when you feel lost you have to do a bit of leg work. You deserve it though. Through out my process I leaned into the discomfort of asking for help. I grew a village, it was always there. I found the more I put in it the more it gives. My village are my friends and my community, friends I never see but message sporadically, friends I call on for a coffee and a rant, friends I call when I have to get out of the house and ones I called when I needed some one to cook dinner while I had a bath.
It takes a village to raise a child.
Thank you World Mental Health Day!