AIBU to be pissed off that my dd has to suffer emotionally after her friend committed suicide cos I can't afford private therapy?(140 Posts)
Last year my dd's friend took her own life. My dd was just 13 at the time and her friend 14.
Because they weren't at the same school dd's school didn't offer a counselling response. They did provide her with a counsellor but unfortunately this woman isn't trained in dealing with bereavement by suicide which I have since learned is a very specific type of counselling and it's even more specialised when it's for a teenager.
So, since then I've tried Winstons Wish - they only provide help for children directly related to the person who has died; Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide who don't provide counselling help and Cruse who have nothing and nobody in our area that could fulfil my poor dd's very specific therapy needs. ANd there's a waiting time of 6 months+ for counselling via our GP and no guarantee that she'll get the specialist help she needs.
I've looked into private therapy but it's too expensive for me right now. So the only thing I've been able to provide my dd with is some highly recommended books and a listening ear, but she needs so much more than that.
AIBU to be pissed that my teenager has to emotionally suffer because I can't afford to pay for private therapy for her?
And does anybody have any advice on how best to help her and/or get her the help she needs?
Have you tried phoning CAMHS directly to see if they have any ideas?
She is emotionally suffering because her friend killed herself, therapy may help but it won't erase this from her history. Have you/ has she tried phoning Cruse?
There is long wait lists but CAMHS should help. If her emotional stress is v severe then keep,pushing with gp as urgent case..eg if she can't go to school because she is so anxious and distressed etc.
How is her suffering manifesting. What impact ? How severe ? This might impact on the wait list... Take up the school consellor tho . If she can talk to someone it will help. Unless she is displaying extreme anxiety in which case take her back to gp and keep asking for urgent referral. To CAMHS.
Try also young minds.
Look, counselling is not magic. It's massively hit-and-miss even if you sell your left foot to pay for it; an expensive counsellor can be clueless or a condescending dickhead or just plain unnecessary.
Your DD doesn't necessarily need it. What has happened is a horrible, distressing thing, but (unless she has some MH issues already) you can give her all she needs to recover: love, support, kindness, reassurance and patience. You're her mum. Encourage her to talk to you but don't push her; be patient with her if she's tearful, distracted or wants to have the same conversation over and over again, give her time to get over it.
This happened to my ds. His best friend killed himself, but because ds had left the school he missed out on all the help given to his friend's classmates.
But, you know, in the end I'm not sure it made much difference. Few teenagers are prepared to accept counselling. Your dd is suffering not from lack of counselling but from the fact that her friend killed herself .
I realise you are angry - I was very angry for a long time. Angry with ds's friend, with the school, with anyone I could be angry with. Because I wanted someone to blame for ds's unhappiness. And I sort of felt subconsciously I think that if I could find someone/something to blame I could "fix" him.
All you can do is support your dd, give her time to come to terms with this, to get used to it all. If you are worried about her take her to your gp, or ask her school to refer her to CAHMS. And you probably need to get some help for you so that you can help her - again your gp may be able to direct you.
There may be a local charity who help out friends and family of people who have committed suicide, and ime they are the best people to help because they have first-hand knowledge, not just book learning. But remember, there is no guarantee that private therapy will help - believe me, I paid for ds to see a counsellor who made things significantly worse.
Have you seen the GP? I went to the GP in February about my 8 year old dd's phobia and was offered an appt with CAMHs at the end of March. They might refer you there or elsewhere or offer some sort of advice.
Or what SGB said, much more succinctly and better.
Your dd will come through this, really she will. But give her time.
Excellent advice from SGB. I'd echo all she says. Counselling isn't the magic bullet, and you can do a lot to help her yourself.
I'm not implying that you haven't been helping her, just wanted to say that you shouldn't underestimate the power of a supportive mum.
"So the only thing I've been able to provide my dd with is some highly recommended books and a listening ear". That will do a lot, especially coming from someone close. I would recommend reading the books yourself to be able to empathise better with your DD.
Also, go back to GP and push for a quicker referral. It always pays to hassle. You could also do this in conjuction with the school nurse. Most secondary schools have a school nurse for one day a week and they usually have a drop-in session where you don't need referrals. The school nurse will often be better at assessing needs and referring to CAMHS than GPs.
It might be that your dd would be helped by therapy, it might be that she would not.
What would not happen, even with the best therapy in the world, would be that the hurt would be taken away from her and she would not have to suffer emotionally from her friend's death. That is something therapy simply cannot do.
What it can do- when it works- is to give you the tools to handle a difficult and stressful situation. Not for it not to hurt, but to enable you to get on with daily life despite the hurt.
At the same time, therapy is hard work at the best of times and can be emotionally draining. Whether it is the right thing for your dd or not probably depends partly on how well she is handling the situation now. Is she unable to get on with her daily life? Is she unable to eat or sleep normally? Is she self-harming, or has she lost all interest in hobbies or her social life? Is she school refusing? Has she become very aggressive or withdrawn?
If any of the above apply, then her school may be well able to put pressure on CAHMS to push her up the waiting list.
I completely agree with SGB - good post
My friend killed herself when I was 14. Different schools, so no help offered. Honestly, my mum got me through. I was sad, then angry, then suicidal myself. Nothing but my mum being there for me got me through. Just be ready for everything she can throw at you for a few months until she comes to terms with it.
Why on earth would you hope SGB isn't right? Of course she's right. No question about it.
So sorry to hear so many examples of young people in such distress that they kill themselves,really shocking....and saddening
My DH lost his best friend at a similar age (15) also through suicide. No counselling offered back then, he has come through it fine. Supportive parents can get you through it. Sounds like you are doing the best for her already
I'm a counsellor - one who specialises in seeing young people. (Who are perhaps more ambivalent than adults about coming, but we've still got a waiting list.)
I can't really suggest any avenues other than the ones you've already tried/others have suggested, but I would say that if/when you get a referral that a counsellor who is experienced with young people is more important than one who is specifically a grief counsellor.
What your DD needs is a non-judgemental listening ear, space and time. Yes, there might be some stuff she doesn't want to say to you (or even to her friends) and that's where an outsider can really help, but it's not mandatory. You sound like a brilliant mum
Child Bereavement UK is an excellent charity which offers support to both adults who have lost a child and children who have suffered a bereavement. They have a helpline and email service which either you or your dd can call. They may well be able to offer some more specialised help. Their website is www.childbereavement.org.uk.
Really sorry you're having to go through this.
"Why on earth would you hope SGB isn't right?"
"...counselling is ... massively hit-and-miss even if you sell your left foot to pay for it;"
Why do you think I hope she's wrong?
im sorry for your friends loss.
I think too many people think counselling is a magic cure and if someone gets counselling theyll be sorted.
Ive had counselling 3 times and its been really useful and ive benefitted, but by no stretch of the imagination has it cured me or even close.
Don't forget Samaritans - they will listen to her but not tell her what to do and she might like the anonymity. Visit their web page for local number or she can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Maybe have a chat with GP too, or school nurse?
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