Help moms- My cousin tried to kill herself - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 06-23-2006, 10:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I need direction. My cousin, a beautiful mom to three beautiful children, tried to kill herself this week. I can not believe these words are being written about someone in my life. I am in so much grief at the moment for so many reasons. But my goal for posting this is for someone to give me some guidance. how can I help her?

I am over 5 hours away from her, she has no other family close by, has no group of friends to support her and her children right now and her husband is part of the problem.

What resources are available? How can she get help with child care, food, essentials. SHe needs support on a daily basis but has no money to buy the help. It's such a complicated situation, but it seems insane that she's in so much pain without any place to go. I don't know if this is even the right forum, but I had to start somewhere.
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#2 of 13 Old 06-24-2006, 01:10 AM
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Wow! So sorry. Have you tried the grief and loss forum? Also, you might try to see if she can come live with you or with other relatives who could help take care of her and her children. I am assuming she is alone but I could have interpreted your post wrong. I have no idea of any other options but I do, sadly, know several people who tried to take their own lives. They all had to go back home with mom and dad or other relatives to get help on a daily basis. There is just not a lot of mental health care in our country and you sure don't want her to have to put her kids in foster care while she gets the help she needs.
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#3 of 13 Old 06-24-2006, 12:30 PM
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I am sorry for you and your cousin. She must be in a lot of pain.

I agree with boongirl, she needs daily support to help her through this time. Is it possible for both you and for her to stay with you for awhile? This will place a large burden on you, but if you're willing to take it on then I think it would be of great help to her.

I would also suggest she check out (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill). They have local chapters that provide a great deal of support and resources. They could likely help her find financial support as well as emotional support.

Again, I'm so sorry this is happening. It is frightening for family members when you realize a loved one is so desperately unhappy. The positive is that she didn't succeed and intervention is possible.

I wish you and your cousin all the best
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#4 of 13 Old 06-24-2006, 01:42 PM
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Honestly, the health care system in this country! That someone should have trouble getting help that she desperately needs...

But I have a whole soapbox speech about that, and that's definitely not what you need right now. Be prepared, though, that as insane as it is, it may be a fact that there is little help available. Wrong, yes, but often true nevertheless.

First, remember when you talk to her and try to help her that, as depressed as she is, she is probably minimally functional and unable to help herself. Making a few phone calls to some agencies for some help may be far more than she can manage. If it's possible for you to go help her, you might want to try to do that. Like a PP said, try NAMI. The chapter in her state can point you to what resources are available.

If she needs help with food and basic necessities, and if she's got no significant income, that may actually be in her favor because she might qualify for Medicaid, which would get her the medical care and counseling that she needs. She can apply for food stamps and TANF at the same time she applies for Medicaid. She may also qualify for SSI or SSD; you have to go to the social security office to apply for those.

For child care, the state child care subsidies can be hard to get (tons and tons of rules), but she may be able to circumvent some of those if she can prove she's disabled. BUT, SSI and SSD take lots of time and it doesn't sound like she has time. The YMCA gives child care scholarships based on income. Head Start is free to low-income families.

Obviously this is all probably going to be too much for her (it's a lot to handle when you're feeling just fine; all the bureaucracy is maddening, the paperwork, the waiting rooms, etc.), but maybe she could manage it with help, or maybe you could do it for her, or maybe...I dunno. I don't know nearly enough to throw out any more ideas.

I wish I could be more help. That's the stuff that came to mind straight off. If I think of something else, I'll PM you.

to you and your cousin.


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#5 of 13 Old 06-24-2006, 06:08 PM
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The only thing I can suggest is that you call her as often as you can and just try to be a shoulder for her. I guess the thing I would suggest is that you just listen and not try to give her suggestions of any kind (including what steps she needs to take at this moment as far as resources-that is, until she is able to handle the advice and is ready to get the help)--maybe this is the wrong approach, but it sounds like she really could use someone to listen.
I am so sorry that this happened to you and her and her family.
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#6 of 13 Old 06-24-2006, 07:12 PM
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I am so sorry. If you could either go stay with her, or have her come stay with you, I thikn that would be helpful for her.
If that is not an option, could her/your family (aunts uncles grandparents inlaws) put some money together to buy her a few hours of babysitting a week, or some house cleaning services?
Or a personal chef service? There are some great personal chef services where the chef comes to your home and prepares a whole bunch of meals for you and sticks them in the freezer. Costs a couple hundred dollars, but it would save her a lot of time and energy, while making sure everyone is fed.
I am not meaning to suggest that money is the only thing that can help her, but I don't have any other thoughts.

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#7 of 13 Old 06-24-2006, 07:52 PM
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I think she needs someone with her around the clock right now, assuming she's out of the hospital. People who attempt suicide are at very high risk for another attempt in the weeks following. The extended family needs to rally around her -- can you arrange a schedule of people who can go stay with her for a few days at a time this summer?

I know all too well how horrifying it is when a family member gets lost in the abyss. But it is possible to climb out of the hole, no matter how deep it is, with the right support; your cousin needs this hope.

"Isn't life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?" - Andy Warhol
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#8 of 13 Old 06-24-2006, 09:20 PM
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Is it a possibility for her to come stay with you?
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#9 of 13 Old 06-25-2006, 02:13 AM
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Moved to Talk Amongst Ourselves.

anna kiss partner to jon radical mama to aleks (8/02) and bastian (5/05)
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#10 of 13 Old 06-25-2006, 06:04 AM
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as the child of a suicidal mother, GET HER SOME HELP!!!! make her move near her family or get counseling or something. here in texas almost anyone can get free mental health aid if they look for it.
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#11 of 13 Old 06-25-2006, 09:26 AM
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"....her husband is part of the problem.."??
If it might be an abusive situation, you/she should contact:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline

She definitely needs some kind of support- I hope she gets some help.
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#12 of 13 Old 06-26-2006, 01:27 AM
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I know you are desperate to help her in any way you can, but I want to remind you that you cannot handle this on your own. You need someone to talk to about your emotions and also to give you professional advice.

This is the first place I'd call myself.

You could also call the hospital and women's shelter in her area. But I'd call the above number first. You can call right now. They're always there.

I've said a prayer for both of you tonight. I pray that she gets the peace she needs and that if you are meant to help her find that peace, it will happen.
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#13 of 13 Old 06-26-2006, 02:53 AM
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i didnt read all the posts, but i have been something near to in her shoes. i havent tried, but i just know the mindset. i have seen some dark days.

i agree she needs lots of phonecalls and visits. i went through the heaviest darkest days of my life just a couple weeks ago and i was blessed to have friends literally visit me nearly around the clock. when people were here i could do things like get off the couch and wash a couple dishes. when i was alone i was glued to the couch and could not move. i started taking a bunch of herbs which is what is helping me keep it together these days. let her know you really arent burdened by her. if one day you do feel burdened: see if she will let you find someone else to check on her too. i am serious the worst thing is feeling like a burden because that just fuels the depression. i didnt really care who the heck sat with me when i was that deeply depressed, it was just a relief to have someone, anyone here.. thats why i think its a good idea to kind of create a team of helpers. i didnt even want to talk about it all the time. i just didnt want to be alone, i felt so unsafe with my own depressivly skewed mind.

if she attempted and was hospitalized i am assuming they put her on antidepressants. which is good. but they wont kick in for a few weeks so thats why its good if she has visitors and phonecalls until then. realize, and try to remind her also, that its an illness and it can be helped with medicine and care. but medicine is a must.
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