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On 1st May 2019, sadly my 25 year old son Ben took his own life.  

I had been part of a successful Private Mental Health hospital, supporting a number of people both male and females of all ages with various issues concerning Mental Health.  I worked my way up from Ward Admin to Senior Business Administrator.  I felt I had to return to work as soon as possible as I didn’t want to let anyone down, least of all the patients.  Before long it became obvious to me, even though I fought very hard that I was not coping.  The years of worry and stress of trying to support my son and other people had finally taken its toll on my wellbeing and I was suffering from anxiety and depression.

I needed help and quickly.  I tried the normal avenues, but they did not specifically cater for someone in my position, I was only offered group sessions.  I knew that I wasn’t ready to share my experience with a group.  I felt I couldn’t take on anyone else’s grief.

Lauren Henty is a softly spoken, person who instilled calm and gentleness the minute I met her.  We talked about most of my life going right back to when I was a lot younger.  I found Lauren to be non-judgemental and uncommonly kind and understanding.  I was able to share painful experiences and thoughts that you would not be able to share normally with friends or family.

Counselling is a journey of self-healing with support.  You are able to share difficult subjects, thoughts and emotions with more freedom.  Trust is a massive part of each session.  Lauren has helped me work through each stage in my life that my particular journey took me down.  You close doors on past experiences and feel you have dealt with them.  When you suffer a trauma and shock it opens those doors and makes you judge yourself without mercy.  You doubt every decision you have made in the past and linger over what ifs and could/should I have done things differently. Lauren has taught me to be gentle with myself and not have to validate the feelings of anxiety, self loathing, failure, anger, frustration, relief and depression through the loss of my son.

I am so glad I picked up that phone back in August and had the courage to admit that I needed help.  I made that first step and it was the best decision I made. My experience was complex and very individual to myself.  I have learnt to take things more slowly and that the shock and trauma of my son’s death changed me and my life forever.  Slowly I am working my way back and learning to accept the changes.

All I have are memories and wondering what his life might have been.  I can only remember him no matter how much it hurts and walk with him by my side through my life.  No one can take him away from my heart.

Stephanie Turner