The new academic year will soon be upon us. Some parents will see their child head off for university. You may look at this as freedom-at-last: your child will be leaving home, allowing you to do what you have longed to do all these years. Some of you will fear the empty nest syndrome. And for others, possibly most, a mixture of both.
The growing number of young people with mental health issues is worrying me. I see young people everyday who are struggling; they don't know what to do, their parents don't know what to do and the schools are finding it difficult to cope. We need a system that is much more able to support those young people who need it.
If you ask a bereaved child a direct question such as, 'how do you feel about Mummy dying? their response is likely to be a shoulder shrug rather than a chatty response. On the other hand, if you tell them a story about an animal losing his Mum, the child is likely to identify with the animal and tell you how they feel.
People that don't know me, who have just met me, often say to me that I am a well-mannered and polite young man. I really appreciate what they say as it makes me feel good about myself. They are right, however I believe they're are two sides to every person, not just the saying 'two sides to every story'. I don't necessarily mean that I am a bad person, I'm just allowing myself to be honest about the other half of me...