Please do not respond to this with judgement or tell me that, as a child, this is down to my parents.  It's not helpful and I have heard it enough.

I am 22 years old and currently live between university and my family home.  I only started university this year as when I first attempted to go 3 years ago, it knocked my mental health and I took some years out.  I come from a family with a history of mental health difficulties.

I live with my mum, dad and sister.  A couple of years ago I probably would have said that financially we are better off than a lot of families in our area.  We have a nice house and were able to afford luxuries.  Unfortunately, about 2 years back my mum left her job as she was working with a couple people who made her life very difficult.  I say this with as little bias as possible because my mum is usually the kind to just muddle through.

Her severance pay is now running out.  We have about four months left before it is completely gone and due to her mental health difficulties, exacerbated a lot by her last job, she is struggling a lot to try and look for a new job.

She currently works in an agency sending her low paid work, despite the fact she is far more qualified than most people at the agency as she has a lot of experience. 

Before beginning this role, she had expressed an interest in training to be a counsellor or something, but it seemed impossible as there is no money at the moment so she cannot go and train.

On top of  this, both of her parents are very poorly.  My grandpa has just been given very little time to live and her mum has dementia.  I think she is struggling with this a lot more than she lets on.

I know I am also a worry because I have been struggling with the transition to university.  Unfortunately I didn’t know the extent to which any of this was going on until yesterday when I took the brunt of an argument which my dad then sat me down afterwards to explain things.  I’m completely baffled and just at a loss as to what to do.

She spends all day in bed.  On the days she has optimistic moments, shell say she’s going to apply for other agencies to hopefully get some better paid supply work.  But she loses this motivation as quickly as it comes and it never gets done.  My dad has tried to tentatively bring it up a few times but she just snaps. Unfortunately, when it comes to money he could approach things more sensitively.

Today, there was another argument, not involving me or my sister.  There was yelling about divorce and selling the house.  I just want to help.  I don’t know where to turn.  Would it be better for her to get a student loan a train?  Would that bring more money in as she would possibly get a child & carers allowance?  I don’t know.

My dad has tried to ask for a raise (he does so much at his company that isn’t in his contract).  His boss basically said “if you want to find a company to pay you more, feel free”.

In the aftermath of the argument today I went to see my dad as ma can get very nasty when she is angry.  He was  crying.  She had been stabbing her arm with a knife when they were arguing.  They were superficial wounds but I’m terrified.

I don’t know what to do.  Losing my mum has always been one of my biggest fears and now I am scared it is turning to reality.  She’s had care for her mental health before but there is just so much happening at the moment I think we are beyond that.  The only thing at the moment that I feel would be of any use is some sort of financial aid/advice.  But I’ve no idea where to turn.  She won’t agree to seek help until after that because she’ll say there is no money etc.

I just don’t know what to do.

I’m at a loss.  I’m completely desperate. I can’t keep it together anymore.

Hi, I understand that this is a very difficult and upsetting situation. We're not here to judge. If your mother's health has dissolved to the point where she is self harming, then perhaps it's time for the family to get involved and discuss this with her GP or you could call 111 the NHS advice line for information. It doesn't sound like you're going to get very far with your mother while she's having these issues. If you want to find out information about grants and benefits then you can go down to your local Job Centre and discuss it with them. You can also find benefit information on the .gov website here. Turn2Us are an organisation that helps people having financial difficulties, you may find their website helpful. You may find it helpful to contact The Mix, they're an organisation that provides support for young people like yourself, you can call their freephone helpline on 0808 808 4994. If you feel you need further support please e-mail us at or call our freephone helpline on 0808 800 2222.