SOAP BOX: Reach out for help

THE gravity of a teenage girl's mental illness really hits you as her mother reads aloud the suicide note she found while cleaning her daughter's room.

Tears stream down her face as she repeats the incredibly dark but honest conversations she has had with the 14-year-old.

Solace has come in treatment offered for the girl's anxiety and depression at the Maroochydore office of the Child and Youth Mental Health Service.

They are making progress but have a long way to go.

The mother just wishes she had picked up on her daughter's symptoms years earlier and pushed for an accurate diagnosis.

Mental health care workers spruik the importance of early intervention in stopping anxiety issues snowballing into more complex mental illness.

Teams of dedicated workers do the best they can to detect and manage children's anxiety symptoms.

A school guidance counsellor explained "when you work in mental health, you don't do it as a job - you do it because it is something you are genuinely passionate about".

There are a number of support options for children with anxiety, from its mildest to most severe forms.

Based on the experiences of a family dealing with the latter end of the scale, it may be worthwhile getting in touch.


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