14 year old son

My 14 year old son disclosed to his school nurse last week that he was self harmed by and had some suicidal thoughts. This was a complete shock to us. We have a CAMHS appointment next week. We had always said that we would periodically look at his mobile phone and that he shouldn't be texting messages that he wasn't prepared for us to see. We never enforced this. Last week I looked at his phone and it was full of texts to a friend about self harm. When I ask to look after his phone now ( which we always did whilst he did his homework) he is mich more secretive. I don't want to lose his trust but equally I am concerned about him becoming codependent or experimenting within his peer group. My priority is to keep open and non judgemental communication with  him. How should I deal with this?

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  • jo

    the balance between trust and safety is a very fine line - you are doing a good job. 1 in 5 young people will use self-harm as a way of coping with their emotions, so most young people know who is harming and they are open to talk about it - if you son feels able to talk to his friend, i wonder if you be able to get a low key conversation with him about it? It is unusual for self-harm to be done in friendship groups, although it does happen - keeping your relationship open will be key to him knowing he can open up without judgement. asking for his phone periodically is a good thing - many parents don't; perhaps you texting him a conversation starter about how he is feeling might be a good way to use his phone to communicate between you?

  • Over the last few weeks it has come to light that my 14 year old son has been self harming too. It appears that his group at school have also been. Overal I wouldn't say he was depressed and seems really happy most of the time, but sometimes Says things about death and the point of living. A CAMHS referal is going through. I really feel the music he listens too has been really influential. I have noticed a change since listening to groups like 21 pilots and linkin park. After lil peep Past away I feel this has had an affect. It seems these groups write music about depression, self harm and suicide. I hope this is a bizarre faze that they will grow out of before someone gets really hurt.