Children’s of Alabama helping families navigate available mental health resources

A mother's story of a suicidal child

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - An Alabaster mother shared her incredibly emotional story with us.

Her 11-year-old daughter is suicidal.

The mother didn’t want to reveal her identity to protect her daughter’s privacy, but she said she and her daughter are not alone. And she’s sharing her story so others can find the help they need close by.

A mother in Alabaster shared the struggles she and her daughter have encountered dealing with mental health issues.
A mother in Alabaster shared the struggles she and her daughter have encountered dealing with mental health issues.

“My daughter said she felt hopeless,” she said. “She knows that she’s got tons of friends and family around her, but there was that inside voice talking to her. She didn’t want to be here anymore. Things were too hard for her to get through every day.”

This mother said her 11-year-old daughter first started telling her about her suicidal thoughts in December.

“Having a child who is afraid of what they might do to themselves is very difficult,” she said. “A lot of sadness and a lot of guilt. A lot of parents struggle feeling guilty and responsible.”

Cindy Jones
Cindy Jones

“I think a lot of people really don’t know where to start,” said Psychiatric Intake Response Center Director Cindy Jones. “So what we’ve done here at Childen’s of Alabama is we’ve been able to provide the Psychiatric Intake Response Center, which is a system that allows adult callers to get in contact with us and identify the resources in their communities.”

Jones said this resource center does all the leg work for you.

“What we try to do is identify the resources that are A: best for the child or the teen, and B: maybe the ones that can see them sooner rather than later,” Jones said.

“When you’re scared, you have to have someone to talk to and you have to know where the resources are, and these people know where the stuff is,” said the mother of the 11 year old.

Since PIRC started back in March 2018, they’ve had over 1,000 calls. Their goal for 2019 is to expand their database of resources to cover even more counties than they do now.

To learn more about PIRC, click here.

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