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.