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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:

Hellenbach · 11/05/2021 15:56

It's week 3 now, a very low dose, started on liquid and now on tablets.
I spoke with the psychiatrist earlier as I was so worried. She was very helpful and said that the anxiety is the first symptom to ease but depression takes longer.
Feeling a bit more hopeful.


Elnetthairnet · 12/05/2021 17:41

My DD (yr12) is off school atm. Anxiety/depression and self harming. She’s a high flyer academically, always put a huge amount of pressure on herself, and just crashed during lockdown. Back to school for a while but had panic attacks and crying so off school again. We paid for private psychiatrist assessment and she’s now on Prozac but only past couple of weeks on a therapeutic dose. She didn’t want to engage with any kind of CBT etc but I’ve just bought the book recommended up thread and will revisit it. Lots of side effects at first. Some improvements now but it’s slow going and it just seems endless. I’m at my wits end trying to help her. She’s stopped self harming at least but I just want my girl back. It’s awful seeing her suffering. She’s still seeing her friends/boyfriend etc but is tired and just finding the thought of school too much right now. They’re being really good, but there’s not a lot they can do. Don’t know why I’m posting to be honest, it just helps to know others are in the same boat.


Elnetthairnet · 12/05/2021 17:44

It’s making me feel so stressed too, and then I feel incredibly selfish. I’m busy at work, I have other children as well, and I am also on meds for depression (for a long time now) - I’d been doing really well and feeling great and this is all just knocking me back, don’t want to lose my own mental health in the process but taking all of her offloading is straining me. Feel like such a crap mother writing that.


TeenMinusTests · 12/05/2021 18:32

Elnet Everyone has their limits. Are you getting help for yourself beyond medication? My weekly counselling lets me offload stuff which helps me put things in perspective.

By the way, your DD could repeat y12 or half of it or whatever - there is funding for 3 years in 6th form if needed. Or there are adult access courses for university if it takes longer.


Thisisworsethananticpated · 12/05/2021 20:10

It’s hard Elnet
Really hard
And my mental health is battered

Having a child that won’t do anything , blackmails me , refuses school, refuses to work , to wash , to exercise , to ever be nice

I know he is in a bad way but so am I ! And the worse I am , the worse he is

I know when I’m having a bad day when I fantasise sending them to their dad
Their abusive dad
Such a great idea , NOT

I’m speaking to GP tomorrow and starting therapy again

Sorry , moaning post


Thisisworsethananticpated · 12/05/2021 20:11

3 weeks isn’t that long
And there can be major Farigue to start with


Elnetthairnet · 13/05/2021 13:21

Thanks all, got her out of the house last night to see her friends and she had a good time. She’s brighter today, even done a bit of school work this morning which was brilliant to see. Gradually she seems to be finding her motivation again. Overall she is improving, but it’s hard isn’t it, the climb up from hitting the bottom. Hugs/flowers for everyone else going through this xx


Elnetthairnet · 13/05/2021 13:22

@Thisisworsethananticpated hope you get some help from your GP and therapy, life sounds very very tough for you right now.


Elnetthairnet · 13/05/2021 13:24

@TeenMinusTests I know she could repeat the year - we’ve said that to her and it’s good to have the safety net. In a lot of ways I’m glad this has happened this year - she’s through GCSEs and still has time to catch up. And if she doesn’t repeating the year would be no big deal. Life is pressured for teens isn’t it.


MuddlingThroughWithoutAClue · 13/05/2021 13:35

Hi all, my 16 year old Y11 DD hasn't been in school this year apart from a handful of lessons in Sept/Oct due to anxiety, panic and low mood.

She has been on Fluoxetine since December and us now having a few lessons via EOTAS.

It is very hard sometimes and quite lonely. We have now applied for EHCNA and I am worried about her future. Thanks to all


MackenCheese · 13/05/2021 13:56

Gosh, so many people's children are struggling, it's the new pandemic! It's just so draining and worrying for us parents. My ds y8 hasn't gone into school today, but he did have a good spell of a few weeks. I hope it's just a blip because the weather's rubbish. Come on summer.....!!!! Daffodil


Thisisworsethananticpated · 13/05/2021 17:17

I was talking about it with my mum
She’s been generally supportive (a few comments !) she said it’s a contagion
But I said to her this is more than that
Children are self harming , wanting to die , and in worst case trying
So to call it a contagion minimises it

The one thing I’ve learnt this week is self care
I cannot be the parent I need to be if I’m so stressed and my heart is beating


catlitterinmyturnups · 13/05/2021 20:12

We are in this situation too.

My DD, 11, has never loved school since the beginning, but went and coped. She has had emetophobia since she was around 7 (maybe before but we didn't identify that was the problem).

She had a panic attack at school before Christmas, which resulted in a migraine and puke when I got her home. That put the nail in the coffin, really. Then we went into Lockdown 3.

Barring one day, she hasn't been able to access school full-time since they reopened on 8 March. She is on a reduced timetable (9-11am), doing the rest of her work on Teams. School are being largely great. We are awaiting a CAMHS initial assessment for ASD. Had one previously but they cocked up the paperwork – extremely frustrating as has delayed progress by two months. Also awaiting a meeting with an educational psychologist arranged via school. Really, really want to get a pathway sorted soon as she is in theory supposed to be starting high school in September. I am also researching online learning as a contingency plan.

Self care is REALLY important. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Something that has really helped me is having therapy. Also, a book called Never Let Go by Suzanne Alderson. She runs a Facebook group and a website called Parenting Mental Health too which is great for info and support. Check out her guidance on partnering your child through it, rather than parenting.

Hang in there everyone. It's very tough, I know.


MondeoFan · 13/05/2021 20:20

We are also in this situation. DD15 hasn't been in school since beginning of this year, been dealing with counselling via EWMHS.
Self harming too. Meanwhile I'm trying my best to hold down a part time job. I worry about her so much and about her being indoors on her own whilst I'm at work.
It's so hard. She hasn't gone to school for any assessments, and doesn't see the point in anything.


1jumpforward2back · 14/05/2021 19:51

Just reiterating my previous post for more recent posters. LAs have a statutory duty to provide education to compulsory school aged pupils who can not attend school for medical reasons - including MH reasons. Alongside this you can apply for an EHCNA - this also applies if your DC is post 16.


teelizzy · 18/05/2021 12:11

Me too (waves at @1jumpforward2back).

DD1 in and out of school for over a year. Currently at home after a crisis over the weekend. So glad to know I am not alone.


MondeoFan · 21/05/2021 19:53

What's a EHCNA?


1jumpforward2back · 21/05/2021 20:27

An EHCNA is an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment. The assessment you apply for prior to getting an EHCP.

In Wales and NI you would apply for a statutory assessment to get a Statement of SEN, and in Scotland it is a CSP.


Hollyhocks7 · 22/05/2021 18:41

hi, I'm reading this thread with interest as I'm in a similar position with my DD who has been refusing school since March due to low mood, anxiety and stress, partly caused by ADHD, only recently diagnosed. The school is not being very helpful and does not have a good reputation for pastoral care or SEN provision, so I was wondering, does anyone know whether the school can force a child to leave if they don't attend?


1jumpforward2back · 22/05/2021 19:36

The school shouldn't off-roll DD, don't allow them to get away with it and don't deregister DD. It is easier to get support when on a school roll.

In very limited circumstances there is provision for schools to remove pupils from the roll if they won't be well enough to attend school before ceasing to be compulsory school aged and won't be carrying on at that institution post 16.

Does DD have an EHCP? If DD is compulsory school aged and can not attend the LA should be providing medical needs tuition.


Hollyhocks7 · 22/05/2021 19:52

thank you @1jumpforward2back , no, she doesn't have an EHCP - I'm wondering whether I should try to get one. Her ADHD assessment was only done recently and I'm not sure that the school takes it particularly seriously as until recently DD's attainment was high.


1jumpforward2back · 23/05/2021 13:18

You have nothing to lose by applying. The threshold for a needs assessment is relatively low - has or may have SEN, and may need SEN provision to be made via an EHCP. A pupil with ADHD and not attending school meets that test. Academic ability isn't the only consideration, you can get an EHCP and be academically able.


Hollyhocks7 · 23/05/2021 13:55

Thank you @1jumpforward2back - I think I'll apply


PenOrPencil · 24/05/2021 11:06

I am just checking in after a very unhelpful conversation with the school SenCo. We are being sent from pillar to post, everybody is very nice and nobody is actually helping.
I hope that the appointment with the Youth GP later this week will be more fruitful,

OP posts:

Muuuuuuuum · 25/05/2021 13:39

I am both happy and sad to have found my people n this thread.

Found it as looking for experienced of Prozac for children, which DD (12) is about to start.

She has been out of school since lockdown 1 (bar about 10 days). Attendance patchy before then, ever since transfer to secondary. She also struggles to leave house, interact with anyone except immediate family and has not seen friends since October.

After 25 week wait, CAMHS have finally seen her. Hoping meds will help her engage with some kind of therapy.

If the drugs don't work I have no idea what we'll do as her dad and I are at our wits end. Hospital education service worker thinks she is likely ASD, CAMHS (who haven't actually met her, but have report from school mental health support worker) think is "just" social anxiety. I just want to help her and am broken that I cannot.

So much love and respect to all of you going through this, it is so hard.

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