suicidal friend of teen - urgent help needed(19 Posts)
My DD(15) has a newish friend - has some 'issues' and also thinks they are transgender - mum wasn't supportive and now apparently is ... dad lives 100s of miles away ...I have never really spoken to the mum, never even seen the dad. I have no contact details for the mum.
I do know they have had turbulent friendships in the past - always surrounded by drama... and I think they are slightly controlling too.
DD has taken to visiting a lot- staying over at weekends etc (they live over 10 miles away and it isn't easy to get to their house from here. )
I was out with DD2 when I got a phone call - an emergency -you have to come home now.
When I got home DD1 said I had to take her to pick up another friend and then take them to the place 'new' friend lives. New friend is in the woods and going to hang themselves.
I said they needed to speak to their friend's mum - she said they can't get in touch with her. I said then we needed to phone the police - no that can't happen. I said I wanted to speak to new friend - nope it is nothing to do with me.
I have refused to take DD - said her friend needed professional help. DD is furious with me and said if her friend dies it is my fault. I am not sure if she will forgive me for not taking her.
I do vaguely know mum of other friend - they have apparently refused to take them too.
Not sure whether to contact the police (although I have no idea where the friend is) and not sure what their address is - I know what their house looks like ...
Don't want to lose the trust of my DD over this - but then I really don't think I should take her... Not sure how serious this threat is but then don't want DD to be in the situation where she is expected to 'keep' her friend alive...
I'm sure your dd thinks she knows best as it's her friend so her business....but she is just a child (without sounding patronising) You are the adult. This is a serious matter and needs adult intervention.
My friend went through this at 16 and I immediately involved my mum to help her.
Sorry pressed send too early
It was the right thing to do and she got past it after my mum encouraged her to get help from gp. She has a tough few years but went on to be happy and successful in her twenties.
It isn't fair for your dd and friend to be the only people helping such a serious condition. They may not like it but this friend needs genuine help either from a parent or gp or police if necessary. If things are truly that serious at this current moment in time I wouldn't hesitate calling them if there is nobody else. I really wouldn't. I'm not sure if a crisis team can be contacted on somebody else's behalf that isn't family but perhaps this is an option also?
Phone the police. This is the situation where you just have to say screw the trust and the upset and be the adult. She will understand - perhaps not immediately but it's the right thing to do.
I wouldn't phone the police. Get dd to tell you as much info as she can. Could you imagine if you took her and your dd came across her friend hanging I. The woods. She'd be traumatised. The police would be the best to deal with this and help her access the long term support she needs.
Call the police or an ambulance, if your dd does insist on going to see her bring friend to a&e (or maybe your dd could call the friend and ask friend to go herself so she is safe?). If the girl is serious they'll keep her in hospital so she can't do anything and she'll also get the help she needs long term with CAMHS and they can put her in therapy or on medication if needs be. I think your dd is very responsible and caring to want to go and be with her and help her through this time.
I went through this at 14 (since diagnosed properly and on medication) and I involved my mum as little as possible out of embarrassment and also I know my my mum would've had good intentions but sometimes close family and some friends are too close to a situation and can make it worse.
Friends son did hang himself in the woods. I don't know if anyone can tell how likely a particular suicide threat is to be carried out so take every one seriously. Phone the police or if you are really unsure phone the Samaritans and see what they advise.
Ok sorry I've just had a long, difficult and quite painful discussion with DD ...
Her friend apparently has lots of psychiatric help etc...but says it isn't helping. They see a therapist are on medication and see the counsellor or something at school every week.
Apparently they are at home now and have been talked out of it - safe for now. DD went to stay last Fri night - a last minute thing. I've just found out it was because the friend was feeling suicidal.
I have tried to persuade DD that this is not a long term solution and she can't help etc and her friend needs professional help. Need to talk to her therapist etc ...but she says it is her decision to help her friend.
I am going to phone the school tomorrow and tell them - I know the person they speak to's name. I'll also ask them to keep it discreet.
DD is fine with me now - crisis over ...
I told DD to get her friend to phone the samaritans but she said they wouldn't as they wanted to die...didn't want to be stopped.
I just hope talking to the school will help - and also I am going to keep on working at getting a phone number for her friend's mum. (DD has made all kinds of excuses for not giving me it...)
Failing that I could pop by and see if I can find them in or get their proper address and write to them....
Sorry, I thought a op advised phoning them in the next emergency situation but realise I'm wrong about that. It is tricky. Could you contact dds tutor at school and explain what is going on? They couldn't (obviously) give you any info but it might help dd to have someone in school to talk to.
It's tough being a teen. It's lovely that your DD wants to help and support her friend. I would keep fishing for the mum's phone number and leave the school to it, don't go to any great lengths to contact them aside from that. I think I also wouldn't go around finding loads of resources. I don't know whether the samaritans is quite right either. Maybe you could find a transgender helpline or something. But, TBH, it sounds like she already has very good support so it is just something she will probably have to work through. I mean, most teenagers are online all the time - they are not incapable of looking for support and it is out there. I don't think that not knowing what a helpline is is likely to be the problem.
I think the best thing would be to support DD in supporting her friend, not get involved directly (unless you know there is a current situation where the friend is trying to hurt herself) let DD know she can always talk to you etc, but also stress to her that if it's getting too much she can/should take a break and for you to keep an eye if DD is getting sucked in out of her own life. It is a nice thing to do to support a friend but it can also be a very draining thing, and it's a lot to take on at a time that is quite important for your DD herself. Maybe talk to her about the fact (she might not be aware) that professional therapists don't treat their friends and family, they have training so that they can keep their work and private lives separate and that despite this they often have debriefs with other colleagues because it can be very draining to take on someone else's struggles all the time. Just basically gently point out to her that she can't save or "fix" her friend as this is something her friend has to deal with and although being there can help, it can also be damaging/draining to her and you want her to be aware of that so she can look out for herself. One way of putting this is that you can't keep supporting and taking care of others without taking care of yourself first.
Bertiebotts is spot on about protecting your DD. My DD was in exactly the same position as yours when she was only 13. She didn't tell me for TWO YEARS. I just thought they were very close best friends. I remember times when we'd be telling DD to put her phone off and go to sleep, and she'd be frantic saying 'it's important, it's important'. I now know she was talking her friend out of committing suicide/harming herself.
Eventually my DD developed anxiety, couldn't go to school, couldn't visit the friend, could barely leave the house. I think the situation she was in and the intense support she was giving contributed massively to her developing anxiety. She's come on a long way since then (at uni now) and they're still best friends, but my DD knows to look after herself first and to distance herself if necessary. So yes, keep a good eye on your DD and have lots of talks - I wish I'd spotted the signs earlier.
One more thing - more recently she was in a similar situ with her now ex bf who threatened suicide when she broke up with him. She was frantic again, so I told her to phone his mum. This was totally the right thing to do and my DD was instantly relieved once she'd done it. The mum knows the child best - all the history etc, and my DD felt her sense of 'responsibility' lift.
Hope things are ok with them both - your DD sounds very caring.
Thank you - I am aware that is a lot of my DD to 'take on' -she is being investigated for anxiety too...but so far they think it is just normal teen stuff. (She had ADHD so sees MH people regularly about that)
I did phone the school and asked to speak to the person whose name my DD mentioned. They refused to let me without my DDs name, then told me it was another person I needed to speak to etc ... they couldn't discuss another child (confidentiality), it had to go through head of year etc. Nothing like keeping it low key and discreet...however in the end the person did agree to speak to me cos I said I wanted to tell them something I think they should know -not ask them anything, discuss anything -just tell them -so that didn't effect confidentiality. And it was information I didn't want to go all round the school...
Useful I guess for anyone else in a similar situation to know.
Anyway in all that fuss I forgot to say I didn't really want DD to know I'd phoned...I did say I thought it was a lot for DD to take on, friend needed professional help (to which the support person said all kinds of professionals are involved! And when I said it wasn't helping they said they had a lot of support! - so much for confidentiality...also not accepting the fact that from the child's point of view it wasn't helping -which is important to know.) They said 'next time' to phone the police.
DD didn't mention it till I asked how her friend was that day. She wasn't impressed. Apparently they are taking it more that I am concerned about DD - she had to go and talk to her support teacher, etc.
Meanwhile apparently friend and their family aren't pleased with me phoning the school - I should have phoned their mum - as I told DD, I had no choice - I would have phoned the mum but I didn't have her number - give the mum my number at least.
DD still hasn't given it to me - and in fact stayed there this weekend. I dropped her off and said I would come in and talk to the mum - but DD absolutely freaked out so I decided not to push it...but am still working on it
The exact same thing happened to me it's tricky as school have a duty of care but I wish they could be more discreet about how they approach it, they told me it would be dealt with but in a confidential way no names mentioned but that didn't happen . I would refuse for your DD to sleepover again unless you have mums number because if DD freaked out about it chances are mums not in and is out all weekend (same thing happened to me) or there's something to hide, plus the lots of agencies involved made me think she may be on some form of at risk register and you don't know what for. DD told me later when her and said girl weren't friends that when she was there her friend would try and cut in front of her and DD would have to fight objects off her so she didn't, not healthy for any teenager.
In your position I would refuse to let DD stay over night. You have to look after her interests and if there is a serious suicide risk you need to protect your DD from involvement.
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