T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 107250
posted 05-18-2013 03:36 PM
Basically, I run the LGBTQ Soc at my high school, and as such I get a lot of students talking to me when they have issues. There's this one girl (AH) who's come to me with a fairly large set of issues, and I'm not sure what to do about it. AH self-identifies as gay, and has talked to me before about not being ready to come out to her parents. But, she's telling me now that her friends are pressuring her to come out to her parents. Also, she says her friends are being quite cold to her atm, and are making her feel stupid and overemotional. She has had issues with self harm before, and is also saying her scars from about 6 months ago aren't fading, and they're bothering her. I've already suggested getting her friends to come to one of the Soc meetings, (which also function a little as "educational sessions" about issues facing LGBT teens) and doing one on why pressuring someone to come out before they're ready is bad, or to maybe have her and her friends sit down with me and have a sort of mediated discussion, but neither of them options seems positive to her. Technically, I'm not obliged to go to a teacher, because I never signed anything, or whatever. But, I'm not around much longer because I finish a couple of months before everyone else, because of exams, and I am worried that she might begin to self harm again; even though she says she's stopped, I know how easy it is to slip back and she sounds really low. I asked her, outright, whether there was a teacher she was most comfortable with, and she started literally begging me not to talk to them. My school does have a habit of talking to someone's parents, whether it's the best thing to do or not, in any situation, and I do totally understand why she doesn't want me to. I don't want to go against what she wants, because part of my role as head of the Soc is to be approachable by students, but my instinct is screaming at me to tell someone. What do I do, and if I'm morally obliged (if not technically) to tell someone, how do I get her on board with that? Thanks.
Member # 90293
posted 05-18-2013 04:01 PM
Does your school have a counselor? that might be the first place to start. Alternatively, does your LgbT group have a staff liaison? I might also suggest, if this girl comes to you again, to let her know that you really want to get her some help and support, that you don't want to go behind her back, but that you care and really would like to get her some help before you're done with school. One of the tough things about helping someone is that they also have to want something to change. I know it's hard seeing someone struggle and worrying about them, so make sure you take care of you, too, okay?
Member # 107250
posted 05-18-2013 04:09 PM
We do have a staff member who does a lot of the support for the group, but she's directly asked me not to tell them, and I really don't know whether to ignore her wishes or not; I honestly don't mind helping, but I don't feel equipped to deal with this amount of stuff. I am concerned that she will hurt herself, and I don't want the guilt of having not done something, if she did. At the same time, I'm scared of pushing her into doing something dangerous, if I talk to the teacher.
Is there anything I can say to her, to convince her that getting a staff member involved is a positive move? Also, I always look after me, but thanks I've been talking to a psychotherapist anyway, while waiting for my gender treatment, and he's always prepared to listen if I need to talk about how to deal with other people's stuff.