“Young people experiencing a mental health crisis are just being fired.” | Psychological health

My son was diagnosed with autism at the age of nine, he had a hard time at school and with family problems, and at the age of thirteen he began isolating himself and went into periods of depression.

But this was nothing compared to when he was 16 years old. He’s stopped wanting to interact with anyone, to the point where he’ll act badly if you even ask him about his day.

His school knew he was very depressed and advised him to contact his GP. It was his first kick in the teeth. The GP actually said ‘Here are some leaflets and some helplines’. He’s felt even more lonely since he asked for help and was turned away.

At one point he disappeared. I then realized he had started expressing suicidal thoughts, and when he disappeared he left very disturbing messages with a few people about how he intended to cut his own throat.

On the day he disappeared, I got a message that he didn’t come to school. He will not answer the phone to me or anyone else. He went with his girlfriend and did not disclose their whereabouts. I was so worried because he took a knife from our kitchen.

I spent the morning looking for him all over town. Two hours later, the police found him hiding behind the boundary fence of the local cricket ground. It was in bad shape and the police led us to A&E.

Have had an assessment with someone from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (Camhs) team. However, the A&E doctor explained that there was nothing the hospital could do for my son that day and that we had to go home. Had a Camhs rating and that service will be in touch.

They didn’t tell me what made him feel so sad, because he told them not to. This means that I have no real direction on how to keep my child safe at home. They said I should lock all the knives away, because he took a knife before, and the very strong pain medicine I take.

When we went to A&E, I hoped he’d be accepted because I felt like I couldn’t make it any better and that I was unprepared and out of place. I felt very lonely. I was out of my depth and scared that I was going to lose my baby. I just wanted someone to take it off me and take care of it and make it better.

I was so confused when my A&E doctor said we had to go home. I assumed they would keep my son at home, given how sad and vulnerable he was. I just thought: what state do you need to stay in? I was in complete shock.

I still have no idea what condition you need to be in to actually be accepted, because my son was in such bad shape that admission was not discussed. It wasn’t “we should, should we”, it was just “go home”.

I think young people who are going through a mental health crisis are just being fired. I’ve spoken to other parents and the story is the same. Young They could have eating disorders, they could have apparent plans to commit suicide, and Kamesh would say they’re not dangerous enough for inpatient care. It leaves me no confidence that a young man providing general surgery or an A&E clinic will get the help he needs.

Camhs were ultimately very good for my son. They did everything they were supposed to do. But it all came too late. He is coping well now. He has a girlfriend and is more conscious of his mental health. I just hope we never have to go through a crisis like this again.

  • In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116123, or email jo@samaritans.org or jo@samaritans.ie. In the United States, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, Lifeline Crisis Support is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at friendship.

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