HOLD. ON. PAIN. ENDS....
Below is the true story of what is happening to our children. A wonderful lady I know wanted to share her experience with you, in the HOPE that you will help support her in trying to make things better for our children.
If you have kids you will need to read this. If you have suffered mental health you need to read this and if you have a child that's struggling with their mental or emotional health you need to read this!
All the pictures were drawn by 'B' or created by her on the computer...
(c) Hope Charity Project
"My fight to get help for my child's emotional health has been a battle of love and fury over the last few years and it has opened my eyes to an area of our society that has left me in shock.
Please bear with me, as I am still in recovery myself from this traumatic experience of a mother’s deepest despair, I could never have imagined what we have been through nor seen it coming.
I am committed to helping my family and now as many other families as we can. I want to support them as I feel we have a care system failing thousands of children and their families who are in their homes, alone, struggling every day to keep their children safe from themselves and even just to keep them alive.
Mental Health hasn’t ever really been focused on children…..well until recently Mental health hasn’t been particularly noticed at all. Suddenly the media is reporting and sharing concerns and highlighting problems in this sector. The royals have made a big difference there.
It is so sad but a relief that finally facts regarding children and teenagers seriously struggling in their daily lives is beginning to surface. It really is only the tip of the iceberg though. This silent crisis that has up until now, been ignored, is a shameful situation in this day and age, especially for a leading country of the world, like Britain.
2016 I experienced for myself the shambles that is Mental Health Care for children aka CAMHS (Children Adolescents Mental Health System).
After a few months of me screaming out to the system for help, they finally came to our aid but it took for my 12yr old to attempt suicide by hanging herself to get the attention of CAMHS and for them to offer a form of help to us.
I am mother of two. My Daughter in question here (I will refer to her as 'B') has always been a very bright, expressive, confident, caring, extremely sensitive child in many ways. She loved school and learning but from the middle of year 2 (after her best friend left that she’d been with since nursery) onwards she struggled to find a new group of friends.
What she found instead was exclusion from peers, bullying and daily misery that led to her hating school.
Getting her to school each morning was a distressing battle. Symptoms of frustration and sadness have been a slow grow in her ever since the bullying began.
I’ve always known that something was different about her but GPS and CAMHS back then just kept turning us away, telling me, she was just super smart and very advanced in her emotional age, which was true….. but that’s not her fault and shouldn't make her sad, I could see and feel her frustrations with herself and that it was causing a lot of the issues in her life.
She wasn’t just being awkward, a drama queen, difficult, a cry baby………something wasn’t right. It was like she was trapped in her own frustration. She began to hate herself for the way she was.
I found it all very hard to cope with, often bursting into tears after dropping her off to school in the mornings from the level of distress it took at the start of the day to get her there, I became very protective of her and defensive of people’s opinions about her. On and off friends kept pushing her away. She found it hard to back down from disputes, when she was sure her logical point was valid (notoriously it was!). Very passionate regarding what is fair and right. She's a perfectionist, fussy with clothes and the textures of them.
These traits she’s had all her life.
Being my first born I had nothing to compare her to and just thought she was very advanced, bright and just sensitive, she didn’t deserve the difficulties it caused her in primary school.
No answers were offered by specialists as to why she could not contain her frustrations and thoughts ,when I went back several times with my concerns. Frustratingly 'B' wouldn’t show this overwhelming pressure she felt while at school, somehow she stored it all up inside till pick up time, where it all spilled out like a breaking dam of frustration, pain, anger. The school environment became increasingly, a place of misery for 'B'. To the outside world she came across as a very articulate, together, a normal confident child simply over sensative. No one would ever know what was brewing inside.
In the Summer of 2016 we moved to a completely new area for a fresh start. 'B' started secondary school that September which was the crash point.
With the fear of what primary school had been like before & the longing to be liked & cared for by peers, she felt she had to wear a mask and be the same as others, to 'fit in'. She tried so hard, nervously, too hard. However, she couldn't get out of her head the way she had been rejected at primary school and was starting to believe she was irritating and that she deserved to be bullied, it was all her fault. She came to the conclusion that she was "stupid", "Idiotic", "disgusting", "irritating" & worthless, she wrote a letter to me telling me just that. She believed this was it, she would never fit in... anywhere.
Within that first term her depression grew and started to accelerate causing her to start self-harming, she spoke, through heartbreaking tears, of "not wanting to be here anymore".
(c) Hope charity Project
I found disturbing dark art work and messages in her notebooks. She began to express through tears of sadness that she felt like an alien and would never ever fit in. B was overwhelmingly sad and lonely, having no friends and therefore concluding it was all her fault and no one else’s, she was the problem.
My gut knew this was a very serious turning point. I needed professional help for her. I was desperately reaching out to my GP for help and support, I was emailing and calling any organisation I could find who might help but the repeated advice I kept getting was "take her to A&E' ?! I persisted to our GP who referred her 3 separate times to CAMHS, they rejected us every time telling us, they couldn’t help at this time and simply advised us to approach the school nurse!
Even though she ticked every symptom on the CAMHS website that said, she qualified in being at serious risk and to get in touch with them our plea for help was still rejected.
We were in CRISIS. I was a parent in despair as to how to help my child. By now her tears had stopped and turned to a cold stare……..my little girl had gone, given up, to her no one could ever understand or was wanting to help her. She often said "i'm invisible, no one sees me".
The overwhelming pressure she felt inside for it all to stop, the need to punish herself for being such a disgusting human being was so powerful. The loud, provoking voices in her head constantly putting her down, telling her she needs to die, everyone will be better off, she doesn't belong here..... became all too much for her to take anymore..........the suicide attempts began.
Suddenly, we got CAMHS attention, social workers and a crisis help team came to our doorstep........but that was due to a blue light A&E admittance after I walked in her bedroom seconds after she’d stepped off a chair and had hung herself from her wardrobe!
Words could not describe that moment. A CAMHS counsellor visited the hospital to asses her/us and we were sent home. Even then it was still lots of words and no real action.
'B' had lost all faith. We were on suicide watch 24-7 which was relentless. 'B' was attempting suicide daily. My exhaustion began to take over after weeks of not sleeping and being assaulted daily by my child, determined to hurt herself and die, she would attack me and anyone in her way or who tried to stop her. She would accuse me of not loving her, she'd say "if you really loved me you'd let me go, you'd let me do it! She was like a possessed child, 'B' was lost, she was suffering from Major Depression.
7 weeks later 'B' was admitted to hospital when we were informed a bed was due to become free and the seriousness of her condition won her the bed! (many other children as serious as her were also waiting for that bed, teams would discuss who should get it! (It’s a lottery) We thought we’d got lucky……
We had convinced her she would get the help we’d been waiting for, reluctantly 'B' agreed to go in. That’s when our living hell really began.
(c) Hope Charity Project
Care, support, help…. not really. It was like she was in prison and being punished for being poorly!
She was on mixed sex wards ranging from ages 13-18. The hope that it would only be a 3 to 4 weeks admission turned into 9 months, with 3 hospital transfers.
'B' shouldn’t have even been in there, being only 12ys old, but other than being taken to a cell at a police station (which was offered!) this was the only option.
The Police are dealing with countless cases of families needing help with emotionally distressed children. Cells are not the answer for poorly children nor the duty of the police to have to deal with, even though they are doing a great job with response, support and care. This is another huge problem which is spiralling out of control within the health sector.
A week after 'B' arrived at the Adolescent Mental Health Hospital she was sectioned as she was becoming so distraught in the environment.
The lack of understanding support there caused her to deteriorate further and traumatized her beyond belief, with the awful experiences, poor treatment, poor safeguarding and in general very bad care was received by my daughter.
She was judged, tormented, assaulted, treated like a badly-behaved child who needed disciplining. She gained more problems than she originally we