Mother praises support line for helping suicidal son

Picture: Time to change/Newscast Online

Picture: Time to change/Newscast Online

Time to change/Newscast Online

A mother who gave up work to look after her suicidal son and slept on his bedroom floor to keep him safe has praised a charity telephone line for its support.

Jackie’s 18-year-old son Adam (not their real names) started self-harming at 13 and Jackie took him to see his GP, but the pair found he was “quite old-school and reluctant to help”.

Adam, a student from Norfolk, said: “He said that I was just a kid and I was probably just doing it for attention.”

Jackie, who works in admin, added: “I knew that he needed help but we struggled to get it.”

Adam said: “I started making suicide attempts too and I was referred to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. I had four sessions with a family therapist but then they discharged me because they thought we were coping.

“But I was still depressed and things hadn’t got any better. I wasn’t going to school as they kept sending me home when I told them I felt like self-harming so I missed out on about a year of school altogether. My friendships suffered too as my friends didn’t know what I was going through. I felt isolated.

Jackie, 45, gave up work to look after her son. She said: “He was so hell bent on hurting himself it was scary.

“At one point, I was so concerned for his safety that I slept on his bedroom floor for a month. It wasn’t ideal but you have to do what you have to do to protect your children.

“We knew we needed more help to keep him safe. We couldn’t do it alone.”

Finally Adam was offered cognitive behavioural therapy, but he said this did not help. Nor did weekly sessions with a mental health nurse.

“I made a serious attempt on my life and mum took me straight to CAMHS,” he said. “They said that I needed to be in hospital, which I agreed with - but it took them a week to find me a bed.”

Adam spent seven weeks in hospital with access to 24-hour counselling, but when he went home sessions were only available once a week.

“That wasn’t enough as I needed to be able to talk to someone when I was feeling depressed or I felt like self-harming, not wait a week to speak to someone,” he said.

“I spoke to my mum about a lot of things but I know it was a lot for her to cope with so I started to call Childline when I was about 14. I called them and said ‘I think I need help’ and then I just broke down.

“If it was urgent and I needed to speak to someone straight away because I was angry or felt like self-harming then I would call them. They calmed me down and gave me advice on techniques to use to stop me self-harming.

“If it wasn’t for Childline I might have been sectioned or I might not even be here today.”

Jackie added: “It eased things for him and I saw his mood lift after his talks with Childline. I was proud that even when his confidence was low he was able to recognise that he needed the help and that he found the courage to call.”

Other news

Yesterday, 17:20

More than 2,000 hours when ambulance crews could have been responding to other calls in Norfolk were lost due to delays in handing patients over at A&E last month.

Yesterday, 16:03

An 83-year-old dog walker was attacked from behind and murdered in a savage knife attack carried out by a man with a strong desire to kill strangers, a court was told today.

Yesterday, 15:28

Norfolk police are appealing for witnesses after a hunting offence involving a group of dogs took place across farm land in Stiffkey, near Wells.

Yesterday, 14:40

Nearly 700 adults and young people with learning disabilities could be missing out on essential annual health checks because they have not registered their disability with their GP.

Most Read

Yesterday, 06:00

When doctors told her she had just months to live, Norfolk grandmother Liz Johnson and her family were devastated.

Read more
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
Yesterday, 15:28

Norfolk police are appealing for witnesses after a hunting offence involving a group of dogs took place across farm land in Stiffkey, near Wells.

Read more
Norfolk police
Yesterday, 14:42

A prolonged period of “bitterly cold” weather is on the way for East Anglia with day time temperatures staying below freezing.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:18

A jury has been sworn in to try a former soldier accused of murdering a dog walker in Norfolk woodland.

Read more
Norwich Crown Court

A burglar who targeted empty homes in North Norfolk to steal jewellery and valuables worth more than £40,000 was called a “menace” by a judge, who jailed him for four years.

Read more
Norwich Crown Court

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 0°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter