Tiana witnessed a suicide two years ago while she was walking to school. Witnessing something so traumatic at such a young age has had an enormous impact on the young girl, who has struggled to stay in school as a result.
The impact of witnessing a suicide
Tiana is currently in year 11. She was referred to School-Home Support due to her poor attendance. Alongside this, her teachers were aware that she had been struggling with her mental health.
Tiana was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to continued struggles with flashbacks of the suicide she witnessed. These flashbacks caused her to fall out of education and in Year 9 she didn’t attend school for almost six months.
Since that day, Tiana has struggled to attend school for a full day. She felt school was no longer a safe place for her, and she preferred to be at home in an environment she could control.
During this time, Tiana’s school was incredibly sympathetic and tried to find ways to help. Sadly none of them seemed to work for her, and her attendance didn’t improve.
Being referred to School-Home Support
Tiana was then referred to us. She met her School-Home Support Practitioner Harriet, whose job was to make school feel safe for Tiana. She worked with Tiana on “what if” scenarios and together they worked on coping strategies. Harriet also worked on Tiana’s personal investment as she wanted Tiana to re-engage with life and become more sociable with her friends and family instead of just spending time alone in her room.
Tiana and Harriet set goals for each week and discussed possible triggers to minimise these trigger effects. Harriet also worked with Tiana’s mum and assured her that the school would support Tiana in any way they could when she was having a bad day.
In Harriet’s first month of working with Tiana, Tiana managed two full weeks at school and her attendance continues to improve to this day. Tiana has also started Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing treatment (EMDR) which is designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. In addition, she is also fully invested in improving her mental health.
A brighter future for Tiana
Tiana thanks SHS for working with her to get her back into school. “I was struggling to keep on top of things,” Tiana said when describing how she felt before her work with Harriet. “I was struggling with a lot of things including sleep and coming to school. I was feeling anxious all the time and could not control my anger and sadness.”
However, life really picked up once she began her work with Harriet and School-Home Support. “When I spoke to Harriet, I felt relief because I finally had someone to talk to,” Tiana explained. “I liked how Harriet supported me and understood me, she didn’t say just get over it. Without School-Home Support I would not be coming into school and would have remained stuck in my room and thinking negatively and possibly acting on my old thoughts. Since Harriet’s help, my Mum and my school have noticed a lot of positive improvements in my behaviour and attendance. I really want to say thank you to Harriet for all she has done.”
How can you help?
School-Home Support provides key workers to help vulnerable children and their families. This support helps to remove the barriers they face in accessing education. A donation today can make sure more people like Tiana have access to a School-Home Support key worker.
To donate, text SCHOOL to 70500 to donate £10 right now.