Parents & Carers

Sara’s Story

Before I could help my son, I needed support myself

What’s going on with me

I am a mum of a teenage boy, his behaviour was very difficult, including school refusal, low mood, risky behaviours. I was finding it all very difficult to handle.

Then he just seemed to be better in himself so I stopped worrying until I had a call saying he had been found on a bridge preparing to jump.

Luckily someone had been able to talk him down, but the shock and upset was overwhelming for all of us.  We went to A&E and he saw the crisis team but this left us as a family in a place of uncertainty.

My state of mind

I was broken, it was so hard to focus on anything else and life became a blur of worry. I worried where he was and what he was doing and felt that keeping him safe and ‘happy’ was an impossible task.

I was sad and could see that it was having an impact on my mental health too. I had family support but no one who really understood the impact of having poor mental health, not for my son or for me.  My mobility isn’t great, so I also felt very physically isolated.

Looking after my wellbeing

We were given a social worker who referred me to Platfform for Families.  To be honest I didn’t think it was going to be for me and I was very nervous.

By the end of the first call, I was excited and motivated and wanted to be involved as I understood that before I could help my son, I needed support myself and that this was going to be just for me and that was just what I needed!

I started straight into the group, and I loved it!

  • I learnt about my own needs and tools to help me deal with situations and the importance of looking after myself.
  • I met others and we had lots in common and were soon helping and supporting each other.
  • I love the group catch ups – they keep me connected to people and have been and continue to be a lifeline for me!

I learnt more about myself in the one-to-one sessions, it helped me see patterns in my behaviour and how past events/ traumas were effecting me in my everyday life, I’d never even thought about it before, but it made total sense and has freed me up emotionally and is helping me deal with life much better.

Accessing this support helped me understand myself and my situation more, and my relationship with my son is so much better because of this.

It’s opened my eyes to other ways of thinking and doing things and I cope better with everything. I have also started studying mental health topics with the Recovery College, these are helping me personally and also helping me help my family.

I see life differently now and feel like I’m finding out who I really am for the first time. I have completed a level 1 peer mentoring unit and I’m looking forward to helping support the groups and learning more.  It’s definitely worked for me! It has opened my mind to a new view of myself and my family.

Find out more about the support offered to parents and carers by Platfform for Families.

Find out more about the courses run by the Recovery College.