You've got a friend


Over the last few months I have blogged about Mental Health Awareness and wellbeing as part of the #wellbeingdgmeet‍ and had a wonderful ongoing discussion with some amazing colleagues about how we can promote wellness in our schools. I've talked about supporting a colleague through a really challenging time and about the training that we have put in place for staff in supporting  their peers and our students.

I can't emphasise enough the importance that I place on wellbeing in my school but there are things that have taken place beyond my own workplace that have frustrated me about the support on offer in this country. Having just spent the weekend with a university friend and her family the discussions that we have had mean that I am writing this through tears. Watching her with her beautiful daughters you would think that everything was idyllic but the hidden pain of PND started to show. A teething baby who can't settle was simply the final straw in breaking her composed front and her pouring her heart out. 

We talked openly about some of the feelings that she has had and the help that she is, thankfully, getting but that it took far too long and such extreme feelings for her to get there. Given that she was so unwell after the birth of her first child, the support could easily have been ready for her. Yet it took her pretty much taking herself to A&E to get the help she needed. We talked about being able to see an end and knowing the reasons; rationalising what she is feeling. We talked about how amazing it is that she asked for help and got it. We talked about what an incredible mum she is and that her daughters are bright, inquisitive, kind and confident. We talked about her fears for her children and that that they might suffer in the same way that she has. And we talked about how she will be there for them if that happens and that she will understand, empathise and support them in every way they need.

My wonderful, strong, incredible friend will be fine because she is now getting what she needs. This just makes me more determined to support @cerasmusteach‍ and other wellbeing-supporters on the journey to ensure that we help our children to be confident enough to ask for help and know how to find it.

Author Profile

Natalie Wilcox

Natalie Wilcox

Deputy Principal of an All-through Academy in charge of Pupil Premium and Raising Standards. I work in a true community school and am passionate about what I do. @redhappyshoes on Twitter

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[Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] 4 months ago
When students keep hearing it's ok to not be ok but it's not ok to say it helps open dialogues. Having a life toolkit is critical too. Hope your friend is ok.
Natalie Wilcox Natalie Wilcox @natw 4 months ago
Thanks Julie @mshmfl you are absolutely right. It's all down to time I'm sure with her but I am sure she will be ok. There's definitely going to be an assembly or a PSHE lesson that come out of this.
Clare Erasmus Clare Erasmus @cerasmusteach 4 months ago
I find this heart wrenching to read. This is why it is so important that we are ALL literate about mental health. It's being able to understand our triggers, listen and offer support empathetically and ensuring our community services are in a position to properly resource . Beautiful post.
Hannah Wilson Hannah Wilson @misswilsey 4 months ago
Poignant post which was difficult to read as my best made went through it. It is hard to watch someone you love struggling. Xx
Natalie Wilcox Natalie Wilcox @natw 4 months ago
Thanks Hannah @misswilsey I had no idea how bad it was and you never feel like you can do everything you want to do. I don't think I've cried so much in a long time! Xx
Lena Carter Lena Carter @lenabellina 4 months ago
This is beautiful.
There is a real frustration in being able to do so much and then wanting to pass on to 'experts'... and then there are none.
However a listening ear from a friend can never be underestimated.
And the more of us who can admit that we have been to those terrible places and come back from them, the better.

I hope your friend feels better soon @natw
Natalie Wilcox Natalie Wilcox @natw 4 months ago
Thanks @lenabellina It's amazing how many people are affected and we simply aren't aware. There are so many great stories of people making it through the toughest times that it really gives me hope. X
Kiran S Kiran S @kiran 4 months ago
A powerful post. Thank you for sharing @natw x

I hope your friend will be ok - I am sure she will be with a supportive friend like you around her x
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