Four months ago today, I wrote the Nora’s story page of this site.
Re-reading this now, it seems extraordinary to think how ill Nora was, and how rapidly she is recovering.
Four months ago, my beautiful daughter was in the grip of a crippling depression. She had stopped speaking (she was completely mute for several months), she was unable to get out of bed or get dressed without help, and she had lost so much weight we thought she’d have to be fed through a tube.
Nora’s anguish was so unbearable she didn’t want to continue living. More than once, she was admitted to hospital after serious suicide attempts.
It was a terrible time for our family but, even during the worst of it, we never stopped believing Nora would get better.
Four months on, and Nora’s recovery has been nothing short of miraculous. She is no longer suicidal or self-harming. The symptoms of her psycho-motor retardation are gone. She is speaking again, having fun and engaging with life.
Since I started this blog, I’ve met so many parents taking care of children with mental health problems. Parents, like me, who are struggling to deal with the challenges of supporting a child with a mental illness. Parents who desperately need help that simply isn’t available.
It’s no secret that the lack of resourcing and funding for children’s mental health in the UK is disgraceful. This is something I’ve blogged about previously, and it’s a topic I’m sure I’ll come back to again.
The problem isn’t just with children’s mental health, either. One in four people in the UK are reportedly suffering from some form of mental illness. Yet, all too often, these people are not getting the help they need.
It’s left to mental health charities to fill the gaps in mental health provision. Yet these charities, too, are stretched to their limits.
That’s why I am asking all readers of this blog to support this year’s Telegraph Christmas Charity appeal, which is raising much-needed funds for three mental health charities:
- Changing Faces – which provides advice and support for people with a visible difference through counselling, networks and skin camouflage services.
- Young Minds – a charity that offers a vital lifeline to thousands of parents and carers to prevent young people from coming to harm.
- The Fire Fighters charity – which offers psychological support to firefighters in the wake of major incidents.
You may not have suffered mental health problems yourself, but I guarantee you know someone who has. Mental health charities offer an essential service to families and individuals who desperately need help.
Please help these charities to carry on doing the great work they do.