The joy of children is this:
that they give hope that there is a future;
a continuance of all things dreamed
and wished for.
This piece was written in response to the attempted suicide of my key boy at a Secure Residential Unit for male young offenders.
Keyworking is a system for providing individualised social care through named persons. A keyworker is the person who has responsibility and accountability for the care of the service user and for decisions relating to their situation.
The keyworker takes primary responsibility for co-ordinating and planning care based upon a close relationship between them and the service user.
I had been working with Stan (name changed for purposes of anonymity) for several months at this point and was aware that he was not in a good place emotionally; and had been working with him and his allocated psychiatrist on this matter. He’d had a good day overall and had even joined in the social activities that evening with the other young men on the unit.
It was coming to the end of my double shift and the boys had been locked in their individual bedrooms for the night. I had asked the Waking Night staff member to check on Stan during the night as he’d been having trouble sleeping.
So there I am writing up the notes for the day and I hear my colleague scream Stan’s name. I dropped everything and ran down the corridor – only to find Stan hanging by his neck from his bathroom door. My colleague and I raced each other to open the bedroom door and then I held Stan up by the legs whilst my colleague (being much taller than me) untied the bed sheet that Stan had used to string himself up. Then it was onto the floor to perform resuscitation, before calling for an ambulance.
I am happy to report that Stan survived this incident.
This was the first time I had ever seen someone hanging: I never knew that skin could turn so blue.
On the bus ride home that night, I shakily put pen to paper to try and get the picture of a hanging child out of my mind. This is all that would come out. And that night, I slept with the piece of paper in my hand.
SO TELL ME: What do you think of this piece?
- Did it engage you?
- Does the meaning come across? Are there any images or lines you don’t understand or find unclear?
- Are there obvious errors in spelling, punctuation or grammar?
- Do you have any suggestions for revision?
Please be brutally honest in your assessments – good, bad or indifferent.
I don’t scare easily; and I really do want to hear what YOU have to say about my work.
Many thanks in advance for your time and your criticism.
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AUTHOR: I am might war. I have a love of music, the written word, travel, Anime, polar bears, people and “sticking and colouring”.