‘I can’t work’: the mothers left to fight alone for their children’s mental health care

Three parents forced to give up their lives and careers to get help for their severely ill children tell their stories

Cassandra Leese should have been at the front of the queue when the NHS called on former staff to return to help fight the nascent Covid pandemic in March 2020.

As an ITU-trained nurse, she was exactly the sort of experienced frontline worker the health service desperately needed. But instead of rejoining the ranks, she was housebound.

She was unable to enter rooms on her own and started flicking lights on and off, showing anxiety about doors being shut

Related: Parents struggle to get help for mentally ill children during pandemic

In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 and the domestic abuse helpline is 0808 2000 247. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14 and the national family violence counselling service is on 1800 737 732. In the US, the suicide prevention lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 and the domestic violence hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Other international helplines can be found via www.befrienders.org

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Category: Mental Health