We learn about Joanne from ReachOut Parents

australiaJoanne, a single mother of three girls, recently opened about her experience as a parent...

‘My eldest daughter is 15 and she was getting bullied,’ Joanne explained. ‘She never spoke a word about it but to help herself deal with the pain she started to cut herself.’

Joanne’s daughter, like many people her age, didn’t know how to talk about what was happening to her. She didn’t know how to ask for help. When it finally all came out, Joanne felt very alone and struggled with how best to support her daughter.

Parents like Joanne often feel guilty and ashamed, and they worry that they’ll be judged by others. Or worse still, that their child will be. Trying to handle serious issues like these alone, however, is not the answer.

‘It feels completely overwhelming – you feel like you can’t ask anyone because they will judge you and think you’re a bad parent,’ Joanne confessed to me. ‘It shouldn’t need to be this hard. It feels like you’re doing something wrong. But then having someone acknowledge that they’ve been through something similar makes you think, “It’s not just me. I’m not the only one. I’m not a failure.” ’

That’s why ReachOut Parents exists: to provide parents with a place they can turn to, to get evidence-based, practical support and to connect with other parents. Today, it is accessed by thousands of parents each month.