In the System

The woman from Westmead Forensic Health did not take my phone call lightly. I received a multitude of phone calls yesterday afternoon.

All of them were from health officials. All of them took my words seriously. All of them were compassionate and helpful. I can’t tell you how much better this made me feel, and the weight that was lifted from my shoulders was enormous.

I’ve now been officially “assessed” by Australia’s mental health department and they passed my name onto the local area health for counselling, seeing as I’m not at risk. Mental Health also asked me plenty of questions about Daniel’s situation and requested that he phone them upon returning home from work. However, Daniel didn’t seem keen to do this and this meant I could do nothing further. He’s 21 years old and I can’t force him to do something he doesn’t want to do. So, with this in mind, I was thankful when Mental Health took matters into their own hands and phoned Daniel instead. He spoke to them and I’m told that he is actually in the low risk category. Words can’t express how much better this made me feel.

It doesn’t mean that he’s out of trouble and we still have to watch him carefully, but the man who spoke to me said that it was obvious that Daniel was planning for a future. And I know this to be true. Yet he will be referred for counselling, and I think that’s important to his future well being also.

So we are now in “the system”.

As a mother, I feel that I’m in a situation that can turn both ways. On one hand, I need to help my son through this difficult patch in his life and I’ll do anything within my power in this regard. On the other hand, I don’t want to place more stress on Daniel’s shoulders because he simply can’t manage it now. And, more importantly, I don’t want to do anything to destroy the trust between us and close the door of communication. At present, Daniel can come to me and tell me how he’s feeling. I can’t allow that to change, so I’m scared to do anything on his behalf that might make him feel that he can’t discuss things with me. But, I don’t want to do nothing either and risk losing him.

I feel that I’ve taken the right steps. I just hope Daniel agrees with me.

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