Does My Daughter Need Inpatient Help?

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"Had a parent reach out to me yesterday because her daughter was concerned that mine has started talking about hurting herself… A little backstory, she’s recently “came out” as not only gay but transgender, and a lot of our community is just not ready for an 11yr old to be announcing that kind of information. Now she’s getting bullied at school but she REFUSES to talk to me (or anyone really) about it… I have her waiting to start group therapy but now I’m wondering if she needs inpatient help? I’m a single working mom of two & the stress of what she MIGHT do while I’m at work and she’s not at school is already giving me heartburn."

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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

"I would bring her to a therapist before committing her. Locking her up could lead her to believe you don’t accept her, or be construed as a rejection."

"Make an appointment with a therapist first and find a support group in your area that she can go talk to people dealing with the same changes"

"Just try to find your daughter a good child therapist. Someone she can relate too. Be sure to reinforce your acceptance. Even though she is not talking to you, she needs to know you are there for her 1000%. Best of everything for her, you, and the rest of the family dynamics."

"I would talk to her & ask her what she needs. Say you understand they don’t want to talk about it but you as their mother, needs to know they are safe. You care so much & love so deeply that it’s really effecting you & you need to know because you couldn’t bare anything happening. If you don’t think the school counselor is a safe place I would call the therapist and let them know this is urgent, they will find a way. Committing them is not the way to go only because knowing ppl who were - it made the situation so much worse. They say there, alone, with no one & nothing & got in a worse place mentally because at least around here, they are so full & understaffed & I live in a pretty big city. Also, “check ins”. Let me know you got home, call me at these times, and call to check in as well. That way if you have a time they do not answer - you know that there may be someone that should check in. I used the they/ their ext. Pronouns just because I’m not sure their identification at this time but hopefully this can help in someway. Hugs, momma"

"Start with out patient first. Pick someone who specializes in LGBTQ."

"Committing her will leave a record permanently and they don’t even help. My parents did that to me. Get her in therapy specific to her needs and now!"

"TALK TO UR KID!!! Ask them how they feel tell them what they are going through is a bit out of ur league u want to help u just do know how but u know of way to get help they need explain the options explain ur fears and make a decision with ur child!!!"

"I think you should ofc do the individual therapy. But also maybe keep reassuring them that you fully support their decision and youre there for them every step of the way. I think freaking out and sending them to therapy will make them more upset tbh. They just want love and support from the ones who are closest. And the bullying at school, my advice is don’t ignore it, raise hell at the school and see what they can do too. Because it’s truly traumatic. And instead of worrying if they are gonna harm themselves, like I said reassure her, maybe suggest to her things to do to let off steam or different emotions. And they are only 11 so maybe they are being influenced by something to not want to talk to you or wanting to harm themselves. You need to look further into it. But I think a hundred percent that they really truly feel that way. And never tell them that being gay or trans is probably a phase."

"First off please reiterate to her (or him depending on their pronouns) that you accept her. You love her. Let her know that you won’t judge her for anything, and no matter her sexuality or her gender you love her just the same as the day she was born. Im sure you’ve done this but keep saying it. Keep letting her know that she can always talk to you. If you think it will help, create a word. A word that, if she says it, no matter what she says, you won’t judge her, you won’t get mad, you will listen. Also when she does tell you things, ask if she wants to just get it off her chest, or if she’s looking for solutions. Sometimes as mothers we always try to solve problems and sometimes it makes it harder for kids to talk. If you feel it won’t put her in danger, let her know that you’ve heard that she may want to hurt herself and you want to help her in whatever way might help. Second, get her individual therapy as soon as you can. If you can’t afford it (I couldn’t for my child when she had extreme anxiety) reach out to your local family services. They might help find therapists for her at little to no cost. Also, if she is being bullied at school, see if its an option to transfer schools, or once she is in therapy, home or online school. If she wants it of course."

"As a person from that community and have alot of transgender friends…Use their proper pronouns make them feel accepted and love (buy the right clothes, toys ect) one on one therapy would be good get them a diary of some sort tell them if they can’t tell you how they feel wright it down tell them to help you understand so you can help list goes on mama… alot of them just want to be accepted…that probably why they are thinking about this. I’d even go as far as going to the school or having them be on an online school."

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