“I feel trapped in my house. Mum works shifts and she’s never around. Dad’s at home sick and he can’t do much; I have to help with the cooking and cleaning. It makes me angry, because all my mates are out and I don’t get to go and play football with them.  

“My dad loses his temper a lot. Mum tried to tell me that he is frustrated by his condition but she doesn’t see how he talks to me. He tells me I’m lazy and spoilt, and that I’ve got it easy.

“Mum’s always worrying about money, I know she tries to hide it but I see it. We used to do fun things but now there’s no money and she’s busy at work. We just stay in the house, and it’s tiny and I feel trapped. The worst part is sharing a room with my two younger brothers. They don’t seem to realise I need space and privacy now. 

“The only place I can be on my own is in the bathroom. There’s where I first cut myself.”

“I don’t even know what made me pick the razor up, but the release was such a relief. But my brother saw the cuts. Now I see a counsellor in school. For an hour a week, I get to sit and get some space. We play games, and I get a break from always having to think about other people. Just for that time, we think about me.”

*Name and photo changed for client confidentiality