What’s going on with me
Our eldest child had started self-harming. We then found out a few days later that she had also taken pills.
This was a major shock to us; we are a normal family, and we had no idea that there was anything wrong.
We were advised to take her into A and E for admission and after an emotional and difficult few days we saw a crisis nurse and a psychiatrist and then we went home, alone, and started to try to make sense of what had happened.
My state of mind
We felt lost as parents, our main concern was how we were going to keep our daughter safe.
We were scared. Our sense of normal had completely changed and that was hard to accept but we also knew we needed to get the right support in place for our children and for us.
By this point we were all confused and upset, we felt traumatised and still very emotional and had no idea where to turn. We were aware we needed to talk and needed guidance and support, but we felt so vulnerable, all this was new to us and we didn’t know where to turn.
A social worker was assigned to help us and they referred us to Platfform for Families.
Looking after my wellbeing
Someone from Platfform for Families contacted us within a few weeks and initially my partner and I chatted through our concerns and listened to our options:
- I received 1-1 weekly support to talk through what have happened and this helped me make sense of my own mind and the place I now found myself.
- I joined the group and met other parents it was lovely to have time to share experiences without being judged. It was a safe place to reflect on things and feel supported.I now have a network of people via WhatsApp and Facebook that I feel happy to talk to and that makes a difference.
- I have also attended the online monthly talks; these have been really useful. A book that was recommended in one of the talks has helped me a lot, I have felt understood and reassured by reading another parent’s story
I feel a lot better now, I’m much calmer about everything and knowing there are others in similar situation to me and that there are people that can help has helped me feel more stable, more in control and I am feeling stronger day by day.
After four months of support, I feel more resourceful, Platfform for Families helped me explore and find things that would work for me; and I have learnt to celebrate the small wins.
The peer support has been helpful, the place I found myself in was a lonely, facing mental health challenges and looking to find and access support for my child alone was daunting – the support I received (and continue to receive) helps me navigate services and gives me strength to face the daily challenges as well as providing me with a safe space for me to be a parent.