Mom of teen calls for counsellors in every school after son takes his own life
"He dreamed of being a barrister or a politician and was very clever."
PHOTO: CATERS/WWW.MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA
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A heartbroken mom of a high school student who took his own life due to exam pressure is calling for all schools in England to have at least one counsellor in order to avoid similar tragedies.

Emma Oliver’s teenage son, Daniel Long, hanged himself in February last year, due to stress and anxiety caused by exams.

The star student, who had dreams of becoming a lawyer, was terrified he’d forget everything, and as a result would spend hours on end studying.

While Emma, from West Yorkshire in England, was cooking dinner, she heard a “loud bang" but wasn’t prepared for what she’d find.

"I was cooking on a Sunday and Daniel had gone out the night before with friends. I said to him he could revise all day if he liked,” says Emma.

"He was pacing up and down the stairs. I asked him if he was all right and he said he was fine, so I started cooking dinner.

"Twenty minutes later I heard a loud bang.”

When she ran to see what was happening, the mom discovered her son’s lifeless body on the floor.

Despite the desperate mom’s efforts to revive him, Daniel passed away in hospital a couple of days later.

"I gave him CPR and managed to get a heartbeat, but the damage was already done and he died two days later."

Emma, who’s an admin assistant is calling on the UK government to provide funding to have a counsellor readily available for children who may be struggling.

The mom has already set up an online petition, in collaboration with a local radio station, asking for a counsellor to be available in every English school.

"My son died by suicide in February last year and the coroner ruled it was due to the acute anxiety resulting from exam pressure,” says Emma.

"He dreamed of being a barrister or a politician and was very clever. He was an A- star student.

"Daniel was in his final year of school studying for his GCSEs (an educational qualification taken by school students in the UK). He'd mentioned in the past that he was worried about his exams. I just knew that he was feeling down.”

Following Daniel’s tragic death, the distraught mom claims the school offered little support to his close friends, most of whom failed their exams due to the shock and grief they were experiencing.

"Now I'm trying to get a counsellor into every school. I know schools are big places and one probably isn't enough but it's a start,” she says.

Ged Flynn, from Papyrus, a charity for the prevention of young suicide, commends Emily for her plight in raising awareness.

"Exam pressure can be extremely stressful for many students and for some it can become overwhelming, despite support from their families.” Says Ged.

"Daniel's mother is to be applauded in her drive to raise awareness that there’s life after exams and that there are always other career options." 

Sources: Magazine Features

 Pictures: CATERS/WWW.MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA

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