Advocating for Help
I’m here to advocate for a very special person in my life who is currently in a very difficult situation and is not able to receive the help that he needs. He is 15 and currently lives under Wyoming law which has difficult consent specifications, to say the least. His parents are unwilling to consent to counseling or any care in the field, even though he is in desperate need of mental help and has said to me that he wants therapy. He suffers from symptoms of major depressive disorder and general anxiety disorder, along with self injurious behavior, suicidal ideation, and gender non-conformity. He currently lives with a mother who has been twice remarried, a step father, and a younger half brother who contribute to a lot of the stress he feels. He does cyber school while his parents work and his brother goes to public school which puts him in the situation where he is often left alone in the house for hours on end and there is no one around to stop him from hurting himself. I’m really worried about him and hope someone is able to get back to me about this situation and if there is a way to get him the help that he needs.
- Being concerned about a person you care about can cause a lot of stress. You are kind for speaking up for someone who you believe is in need of help.
- If your friend is in need of support immediately for thoughts to harm themselves or suicidal thoughts, encourage them to talk with as many trusted adults as possible. Help is out there also 24/7 through the Wyoming State Crisis Hotline (1-800-457-9312), the National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255 or by texting HELLO to 741741.
- If at any time you believe they are in immediate danger, either because of the choices others are making or their own thoughts and feelings, you can contact 911 or the Wyoming State Crisis Hotline 1-800-457-9312.
- On the Teen Central website, there are a number of resources available to help you and your friend learn about issues that may be helpful. Additionally, there are resources to help with wellness and taking care of ourselves. Community-based clubs, groups and activities may give them a way to balance the time they spend at home. You may be able to locate teen support groups in your area they can contact as well. Here’s a link from Psychology Today: Adolescents/Teenagers (14-19) Support Groups in Wyoming.
- People sometimes find relief from stress or difficult feelings by expressing themselves creatively if talking directly to others feels too overwhelming or uncomfortable. You could consider encouraging them express themselves through journalling/writing, art and music.
- How would it feel to take at least 10 minutes every day to do something to take care of yourself in order to balance the concern you have for others?
- Could you talk with your friend if you haven’t already let them know that you are concerned about them? Often, feelings of depression and anxiety lead to feeling isolated and alone. Knowing that someone cares often goes a long way to help someone get through tough times. If this person does know that you are concerned, continue being a positive support for them.
- Could you help your friend create a plan they are willing to use to help them stay safe and deal with difficult thoughts and feelings? Help them write down their plan and identify a place to keep their plan that will be easily accessible.