On June 20th 2017, local mum Helen lost her teenage daughter Maisie to suicide.
Helen has written a book called ‘The Knot’, which tells the stories of fictional characters in Class 6, who each have worries or are anxious, but they are reassured by adult figures in their lives that their feelings of unease are completely normal. According to Helen, the title of the book “refers to the knotting feeling you sometimes get in your tummy”. We all get this and I think the concept of helping children understand this at even a very young age is great. The story helps children identify and undo these worry knots in their tummies.
The book, aimed at primary children, will raise funds for Helen’s charity ‘Help Me I’m Fine’ , which has so far raised thousands of pounds for suicide prevention training sessions in primary schools. The THRIVE training programme aims to help teachers and school staff identify children who might be unhappy, worried or suicidal.
I was given a copy of the book by Helen and the local publisher JJ Moff’s and I can honestly say that it is a lovely book. As a mum, I can’t say I didn’t shed a tear about the reason for this book coming around and think that Helen is an amazingly brave lady, having the strength to set up the charity and write this book to help others.
Before reading it, I mentioned to my children that we had a new book to read at bedtime. My son had coincidentally been read the story in school that day! So he knew all about The Knot and said ‘it’s great’ and was excited to read it again.
The book is written as a poem, which my two noticed and pointed out and it is illustrated beautifully, with images popping out of the page and bringing it to life.
Reading the book helped us discuss anything worrying them and we also spoke about things worrying me, as the book moved us in this direction. It was good for them to see that sometimes mummies have worries too. We thought it seemed a good idea to jump around and sing; they especially loved the part about shaking their bums! It’s a great book for prompting conversation and we have read it a few times now.
I’m glad that our school has a copy and are reading it to the children. If you work within a school or are a parent who would like to purchase the book or find out more about the THRIVE training programme, email Helen at email@example.com or contact Help Me, I’m Fine via their facebook page
Two Years on from Maisie’s death, Help Me, I’m Fine have a Big Bollywood Bash on Saturday 22nd June 2019 at Misterton Primary School. It is £25 per ticket and it is a fundraising evening, with a raffle and auction. If you can help with a raffle prize or would like to go along and support on the night, please contact the facebook page mentioned above.