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Child mental health

Anybody else’s dc not back in school due to mental health?

160 replies

PenOrPencil · 09/03/2021 17:29

My dd14 went for testing somewhat reluctantly yesterday, then had a complete meltdown last night. She is terrified of going back to school, not because of COVID but because of depression and anxiety. She did well during lockdown academically as she was able to withdraw from the world completely.

She has been referred to CAMHS and a counselling appointment will apparently be made within the next 2 weeks.
Up until then we are left to our own devices, but we feel absolutely helpless.

She promised to try to go to school tomorrow, but I am not particularly optimistic about that. Sad

OP posts:

1jumpforward2back · 10/03/2021 09:35

Teen ask your LA, preferably in writing so you have a paper trail. If you google 'your LA medical needs tuition EOTAS' you should be able to find who is responsible.

I would urge you to apply for an EHCNA too. The statutory duty for providing medical needs tuition only applies to CSA pupils, so it is very rare LAs will provide it post 16. Therefore the only way to secure tutoring post 16 is via an EHCP. EHCPs can include provision other than tuition, such as therapies, as well.


Tankflybosswalkjam · 10/03/2021 11:51

Sorry to correct you but it’s not EOTAS, for medical you need ESMA.


1jumpforward2back · 10/03/2021 12:52

Yes it is EOTAS. See the gov legislation here.

"Each [local authority] shall make arrangements for the provision of at school or otherwise than at school for those children of compulsory school age who, by reason of illness, exclusion from school or otherwise, may not for any period receive suitable education unless such arrangements are made for them."

EOTAS stands for Education Other Than At School, which includes all forms of education outside of a traditional school setting, including medical needs tuition provision. Some LAs call it other things, such as Hertfordshire call it ESMA, but EOTAS encompasses it all.

First 3 links on google where medical needs tuition in LAs is included under EOTAS.
West Berkshire
Bournmouth, Poole and Christchurch.

LGO guidance on EOTAS specifically mentions EOTAS in relation to illness.


PenOrPencil · 10/03/2021 19:32

Evening all! Today was a good day for us, dd managed to go to school until break. She did say it was a bit much by the end and will only go in for 1 lesson tomorrow. I am just glad that she managed to leave the house at all. She seemed to be in a bit of a better mood tonight.

At the moment I am telling school what we are choosing to do. Tomorrow is parents Eve, which dd will not join. Let’s hope they stay supportive.

OP posts:

Tankflybosswalkjam · 10/03/2021 21:55

@1jumpforward2back I stand corrected. Thankyou. I’ll bone up some more!Flowers


shanks313 · 11/03/2021 09:04

School refusal here
My Dd 13 is flat out refusing.
She says she won’t be happy going to school unless she’s in a room on her own .
I spoke to head of year and they are going to take it slow with her but it’s still so stressful


Whywonttheyletmeusemyusername · 11/03/2021 09:21

Placemarking to come back later. Also have a school refuser...hoping I can get some good advice here. Did just see ur last post though OP....I'm glad she managed to get in


Beamur · 11/03/2021 10:09

Mine went in today but seemed very sad.
Hoping she has a good day and enjoys seeing her friends.


1jumpforward2back · 11/03/2021 12:17

Tank I'm sure LAs use their own acronyms to confuse parents and put them off applying. Northamptonshire call it Hospital and Outreach Education, West Sussex Blended Learning Team, Suffolk have recently changed from EOTAS to Alternative Tuition Service...


PenOrPencil · 11/03/2021 19:54

Well, after yesterday seemed like a silver lining dd did not go in at all today. We also had parents’ Eve tonight. She is doing really well academically. One teacher was pushing me for a time frame so that they can conduct a speaking assessment 🤦‍♀️ That is just not going to happen any time soon.

She will try to go in for the first 2 lessons but not form tomorrow and leave at lunchtime. I have asked for a safe space for her for break and lunch, but I know she won’t go there if it’s too obviously supportive.

CAMHS referral has been denied as she doesn’t meet the clinical threshold and she is not answering the phone when the counselling service call.

Next step is school support (she doesn’t want that) or going private.

It’s just relentless.

OP posts:

tarapinn · 12/03/2021 10:50

Hi OP. I hope you dd managed to get to school today. I feel for all of us dealing with dc struggling at school.

My own dd (13) had a meltdown this morning and i only just managed to get her in, having to drive her rather than the bus. The bus journey also had its issues for her!

Does anyone have dc that are struggling because of friendship issues, mainly, lack of friends for one reason or another? DD is on a downward spiral where she believes everyone in the 'popular group' (her words) dislikes her. She is reluctant to try and strike up friendships with any others for fear of being rejected by them. She claims everyone else is in a group and have no need for her. She does have one friend but because this friend is also friendless (apart from dd) my dd feels judged by that too!
As an adult, I can see that she is overthinking everything and believing they are all talking about and staring at her when they are probably not. But for dd this is becoming a huge deal and she is struggling a lot and really unhappy in school.

Lots of tears and very down on herself.

It is, OP, indeed relentless.....Sad


hapagirl · 12/03/2021 15:29

Tarapinn exactly the same! CAMHS strongly suspect ASD but my DD is refusing assessment for it saying there is no way she could be autistic. But she didn’t understand social cues very well and ends up alienating people. She also says the popular group dislike her and she is so desperate to be popular. I feel so sad for her. I was not in the popular group at school and none the worse for it but for her it bothers her to her core. I’m terrified she will do risky things just to try and look cool. She’s so easily influenced. No help to you but hugs, you are not alone.


tarapinn · 12/03/2021 16:31

Hapagirl.. Glad I'm not the only one! I don't think dd will do risky things to try and fit in. I am more worried about self harm and that route tbh.
I don't know how to help her with her overthinking things. A book maybe? She really needs to learn how to just 'be' without worrying so much about what everyone else is doing or thinking about her. Exhausting!!


PenOrPencil · 12/03/2021 17:26

@tarapinn That’s a perfect description of my dd! She desperately needs counselling but is very reluctant to actually do it.

She went into school today, we had planned until break but then there was an anti bullying assembly which upset her and she had to come home after that 😕

OP posts:

BananaBreakfast · 14/03/2021 13:21

Hugs OP.

And all of you. Isn't it rubbish?

I was wondering how many girls are struggling. DD says all her classmates are happy to be back at school.

I've told her she can study at home until Easter. I am dreading seeing the teachers and having to request special treatment - she is at a wonderful school.


PenOrPencil · 15/03/2021 10:51

Our school is "outstanding" on paper, but their pastoral care is really rubbish. I asked for a safe place for dd at break and lunch time, they suggested student services which is like the middle of Kings Cross Station...

I contacted a private counsellor yesterday. Everything is just really slow and hard. She did not go into school this morning as she hadn't slept all night.

I am wondering how long I can continue like this. I know I need to look after myself, but I am struggling. I don't want counselling or anti depressants, I want to help dd.

OP posts:

TeenMinusTests · 15/03/2021 11:10

Pen Honestly counselling has helped me 'keep going'. Just having an hour a week to talk to a neutral person and offload has helped me feel less alone. You can't help your DD if you aren't coping yourself . I know I have been there (and still am on some days.)

Mental health is more important than academics.

Would it be so awful if she ended up not going in to school this side of September? How much could she achieve if you had revision guides and access to online homeworks?

Keep pushing the GP. If she is out of school for 3 weeks+ people will start to pay more attention. It took numerous return calls for DD to be prescribed her Propranolol and then something to aid sleep too.


Whywonttheyletmeusemyusername · 15/03/2021 13:09

Fully agree with that @TeenMinusTests. I've just had to leave work and pick DD up from school. She managed 2 hours on Thursday, nothing on Friday, and 3 hours today. I guess we're heading in the right direction but my God, its hard going.


PenOrPencil · 15/03/2021 19:49

Thanks @Whywonttheyletmeusemyusername and @TeenMinusTests. I will ask for counselling for myself through my work place.

I am a problem solver and known to get things done, I find it very hard to accept things as they are without being able to fix them...

OP posts:

Whywonttheyletmeusemyusername · 15/03/2021 20:15

Its so hard pen....I'm used to solving anything and everything....and this...its awful to not be able to come up with a solution


TeenMinusTests · 16/03/2021 06:14

I am a problem solver and known to get things done, I find it very hard to accept things as they are without being able to fix them...

Me too! Also a planner.

So coping in an ever moveable pandemic, with a DC with no clear roadmap to improve, with a set of GCSEs whose parameters have kept changing has been somehwat tricky...

Part of the counselling has been helping me learn to accept I can't control everything, or plan too far ahead with too many unknowns.


PenOrPencil · 18/03/2021 16:56

Both dd and I will start counselling next week. She hasn’t slept for 2 nights, things just seem to get worse. Sad

OP posts:

TeenMinusTests · 18/03/2021 17:06

The following helped DD

  1. being in my bed Hmm she is still there...
  2. piriton (the anti-histamine helps)
    then we got onto
  3. propranolol from the GP, helps calm her anxieties down
  4. some little blue pills pro something hydro something (I think they are antihistamine)
  5. melatonin tablets (from consultant)
    and counselling to work through things

    She now has 1 propranolol before going up for bath and then melatonin about 60-90 mins before sleep. Still has the blue tablets occasionally too. (Still in my bed though)

    Sleeping better makes everything else a bit better too.

TeenMinusTests · 18/03/2021 18:02

DD is having 'equine assisted therapy' which is counselling in a field of horses. The first time we went she flipped out afterwards (due to anxiety, germs etc) and said she never wanted to do it again. By week 3 she was positively looking forward to it Grin. She loves animals so we thought it might work for her.


Whywonttheyletmeusemyusername · 18/03/2021 18:34

My DD has just seen a chiropractor for the first time. She said my DDs back was so tight, its one of the worst she's seen. Main cause? Stress Shock

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