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My mum is suicidal

hi sam. i dont know where else to go for this. my father and mother have never been very close since the beginning of time and they're becoming worse now. my dad refuses to get a divorce and my mum is very over him already. Today, i accidentally saw a notebook lying around and though i know about privacy, i couldn't stop reading after i saw she wrote that she will kill herself on my eighteenth birthday, which is years to go. but im really afraid shes not fooling around. i have a little sister and grandma and i dont think i can take care of them well. there are still years to come though. please help. my friends all told me its not my fault and i believe it too. i just want my mum to be okay.

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Sam

Hi there,

When someone is suicidal it can be difficult to know how to help them or what to do. If that person is one of your parents it can be especially difficult because they might be who you would have turned to for help. No matter what, you are not responsible for how they feel or what happens next. If you want to get them help you don't have to do it on your own.

It’s natural to be worried about what things will be like in the future and change can be difficult for everyone. Sometimes one or both parents might struggle with their relationship ending or with stresses like having financial problems afterwards and its possible it could affect their mental health. They might need help from family and friends and support from their doctor or mental health services if they’re feeling depressed or they’re having thoughts about suicide.

It’s always okay to tell an adult you trust, like your teacher, grandparent, aunt or uncle if someone you know is having suicidal thoughts. It can be hard to speak out if you’ve found out how they’re feeling by reading something private or you’ve listened in to a conversation you weren’t meant to hear. But getting help for them is important even if you’re feeling embarrassed or guilty about what you’ve done. If you’re worried about their safety right now you can call 999 for emergency help.

You might also want to speak to your mum about what she’s written and explain that you understand about privacy and you’re sorry that you read her private notebook. You could say that what you’ve seen has made you worried about her and suggest that she talks to a doctor or to an adult helpline like the Samaritans.

Remember that how someone else feels is never your fault, no matter how close you are. You are not to blame, even when it’s someone you’re very close to like a parent, sibling or close friend who’s having a tough time. And you can get more support by talking to a counsellor at Childline about this and about anything else that’s bothering you.

Take care,

Sam

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