Miss, my friend needs help #MentalHealth

There has been lots in the press about a Mental Health epidemic or crisis. That 1 in 4 will have a Mental Health problem at some point in their life.  I don’t know about this, I work in one school so only see a small percentage of what is going on.  But what I do know is that we haven’t looked at the bigger picture. What about those pupils who brother or sister is suffering from a Mental Health issue, or best friend?  This is my write up of a conversation with a best friend.

Miss, can I talk? I am really worried about ******. She text again loads last night and I was so worried. Her last text at 11pm said, something about how she doesn’t see the point in life.  She then stopped texting.  I couldn’t sleep, so I ended up waking up Mum, who knows all about her problems.  She phoned ******* Mum to check that she was ok.  She was, but now she is in a mood with me. I really want to be her friend and help but I am always mucking it up. For example, she showed me some of her cuts, one of them is on the back of her neck and she obviously keeps cutting it after its starting to heal so it looks really bad. I must have scrunched up my face because her mood changed so quickly. I told her that she needs to tell a teacher, but she doesn’t see the point. Nothing changes, she already has had a CAMH assessment and they gave her these coping strategies which do nothing.  In fact they suggested Parental classes for her mum to go to, which she did. Her mum is all over the place.  She knows all about it, but doesn’t know what to do. Don’t think the parental classes helped.  I try not to talk about her behind her back as I know this upsets her, but when she is so up and down with her moods its really hard.  She is starting to remove herself from our group of friends and wants me to stop spending time with them, but I like them and if I was with her all the time I am not sure I could cope. When she is in a good mood, everything is great and she is funny and we have a laugh. But if she is in a bad mood then its so hard to have a laugh. If I am down, then I try to hide it because I really don’t want her to be down.  So I don’t really talk to her about my life. My Mum and Dad are splitting up I think, but I haven’t told ****** any of this.  The School nurse told her to stop offloading onto me as its not fair, that she should use the counsellor. ******* will never go to the counsellor and now she hates the school nurse, as the nurse and her mum keep taking her to the doctors to try and get help but they don’t seem to be able to get any. My Mum has tried to tell me to walk away especially after the incident with my English mock GCSE exam. Just before we went into the exam, we couldn’t find her. She then sent me a photo of her in the toilet with some blades. We found her, and then everyone was saying she was doing it for attention.  I don’t think so, I think she just needs help. Can you help her?

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Assistant Head ( DSL) at a boarding school. Interested in all PSHE and safeguarding topics.

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