Getting extra help

When to think about getting extra help

While some of the grief reactions we have described  are normal and natural in the early days, they usually change and may be come less intense however if they continue over many weeks and months despite following the advice on previous pages you may need to discuss the situation further with your GP or school nurse. Make sure that you are clear about what the symptoms are that you are worried about. They will advise you about what other help is available.

Continuing signs to look out for are changes in behaviour such as:

  • excessive anxiety when away from family members
  • reluctance to go to school
  • headaches, stomach aches
  • bedwetting and other regressive behaviours
  • nightmares and significant daily sleep problems
  • excessive fear of dangers and worries about personal safety
  • continued deteroration in academic progress
  • persistent low mood that interferes with day to day life
  • withdrawing from friends and refusing to take part in social activities that they enjoyed before the person became ill
  • self- harm or expressing suicidal thoughts

Seeking help for significant concerns:

If, after following the advice above you still have significant concerns about your young person it is important to seek help from your GP. They will be able to help you and your child get the right help help however, in order for them to do this they need to know exactly what the difficulties are. Try to tell them exactly how the bereavement is affecting your child and what you have already tried or done to help.

Keeping your child or young person safe:

Very occasionally a young person can feel overwhelmed by their difficulties and they consider self-harm and suicide. Many times in our grief we can miss the person so much that we want to be with them and have thoughts of dying- this can be normal and these thoughts do not usually last long.

Sometimes though they  can have persistent thoughts of death, dying and harming themselves. It is important that we take this seriously and encourage them to keep talking to us without over reacting or judging them. As a parent this can be very difficult to do however we need to remember to :

  • take them seriously
  • listen
  • show we care
  • be patient
  • seek help

If you strongly suspect that your child or young person is making plans to harm themselves or talking about dying, it is important to ring the GP surgery, tell the receptionist you concerns about your child and ask for an urgent assessment appointment with a GP.

If something happens outside of normal surgery hours , your child tells you that they have done something to seriously harm themselves or you do not feel that you can keep your child safe then you should visit your local A&E and request help.

This leaflet can help you understand your child more when this happens www.papyrus-uk.org

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