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getting help

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Well-Known Member
wondered if any of you could help me...
if you've seen my previous posts you'll know i'm not on here for me but everyone has always been helpful so i've stuck around

17 year old year old friend...
needs help, i think the reason things have got so bad recently is she has tried to suddenly stop self harming... but with no other outlet for her problems and now she is really really struggling
we've briefly discussed getting professional help but i think before i properly talk to her about it I need to have more of an idea what will go on
i think her biggest issue is her parents... so i was wondering whats the patient confidentiality rules/laws if she is 17?
and whats the best way to go about getting help for depression, best to go through GP? or elsewhere?

any advice/person experience you can give me would be great x
I believe confidentiality laws vary - what country are you in?

Certainly the best place to go for help as a start is your GP - if the issue comes from her parents then family counselling might be worth looking into?


Well-Known Member
In the UK :)
its not her family thats the issue, its just i know she'd be scared of them knowing everything and therefore no chance of getting help
As I understand it you can be 16 and there's definitely no need for an accompanying adult - I think in terms of appointments themselves that age is 13 - though I'm no expert...

In terms of the GP subsequently telling a parent I believe they can breach confidentiality but only in extreme life-threatening circumstances...this is only the result of 10 minutes reading on the subject in response to your question on the rules and regs.

On depression I can be a little more helpful perhaps, as I said the GP is the first port of call and I think that most parents knowing about their children having SI problems would want to encourage them to seek help...also try Samaritans for emotional support, though I must stress this is not technically an advisory service - if you're in school or college there should be someone who you can talk to who will oversee the area of pastoral care, be it a specialist counsellor, or someone to put you on the right track...

Hope that's hopeful - feel free to keep asking qs...
goldenpsych might know about age and confidentiality, she works in the mental health field, she's in the hospital right now but you might ask her once she's well and home. in the UK there's a group called the self harm network. they do counselling and might be able to meet your friend to help her develop other coping strategies. not sure if you can self refer or need a doctor to refer you.

when i needed help i started with my doctor. he referred me to a mental health team at my local hospital. they set me up with a community psych nurse (who was great) and a psychiatrist (ho hum). after that i started counselling, which really, really, helped. a good doctor can really help.


Well-Known Member
When I needed help, I faced the issue of not wanting my family to know...with that brought the issue of Money and insurance (or lack of it)...I couldn't use family insurance for the risk of insurance billing my parents house...I don't know the uk healthcare system very well, but if money is an issue, school is the best place to turn...usually, when the school kicked me out of counseling after a certain # of sessions, they referred me to a place that charged $20 or less...I'm sure similar places must exist in the uk, unless your healthcare system covers mental health (I'm sure it is wayyyyyy better over there than here)...

Good luck!!!

If it comforts your friend, I have had depression/suicidal thoughts since I was 13, 10 years now...I spent 5 years under the same roof with my parents and to the day they still have no idea...honestly tho, I wish they knew...but I know it isn't a good idea... if your friend's family is accepting and she is somewhat close to them, I would encourage telling the family...or at least one person who can look out for her in family situations when things get a little crazy...
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