Mum whose teenage daughter took her own life writes a book to help children their discuss feelings
An Isle mum whose teenage daughter took her own life has written a storybook to raise funds for the charity she founded.
Helen Cousin, of Misterton, lost her 16-year-old daughter Maisie Cousin-Stirk in 2017.
After her daughter’s death, Helen launched a charity called ‘Help Me, I’m Fine’, and has now written a book called ‘The Knot’ to help other young people cope with their feelings.
The nine-page book tells the stories of Trevor, Beth, Katy and Class 6, as these are characters that children can relate to.
They are reassured by adult figures in their lives that their feelings of unease are completely normal.
The adults then share their coping mechanisms, which include breathing techniques, blowing bubbles and dancing, with them.
Helen said: “The title of the book refers to the knotting feeling you sometimes get in your tummy and is a universal term.
“Children as young as five understand what is meant by it, and the idea of the book is to help them manage their emotions and positively channel their energy.
“It also demonstrates how everyone can get knots no matter how old they are and – crucially – that there are ways of dealing with them.”
There is also a section at the end of the book in which children can share what gives them a knot in their tummies.
Helen was inspired to write what became ‘The Knot’ after waking in the middle of the night with the first few verses in mind.
She said: “Since running ‘Help Me, I’m Fine’, many of my ideas have come to me while I’m dreaming, and I like to think that it’s Maisie’s way of supporting the charity.”
‘The Knot’ only started to become a book after Helen shared the wording for a leaflet with friends, who told her that it was too good to be just a leaflet. Since then, the book has taken shape thanks to the help of illustrator Sam Brown and publisher JJ Moffs.
She added that the book has already helped youngsters to open up and talk about their feelings with each other, and adults.
“I have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from everyone who already has a copy of ‘The Knot’, including several schools, which is fantastic as it is encouraging children to talk about their feelings.”
‘The Kno’t is now available to buy at £4.99 via the ‘Help Me, I’m Fine’ Facebook page or from JJ Moffs.
All the proceeds raised from the sale of the book will be donated to the charity, which gets its name from the ambigram Maisie had left in her room which read ‘help me’ when read one way and ‘I’m fine’ when read the other.
Over the last two years, ‘Help Me, I’m Fine’ has raised tens of thousands of pounds which has paid for vital Thrive training in schools across Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.
Thrive training provides online tools, training and mentoring, to support primary schools in learning about the emotional and social development of children.
There will also be a ‘Big Hollywood Bash’ held at Misterton Primary and Nursery School on Saturday, June 22 from 7pm to raise money for Thrive training.
Money raised is also being used to form a dedicated sensory garden, which is due to open at Maisie’s former school, Misterton Primary School, where Helenll sti works, this summer.
To find out more about Thrive, please visit www.thriveapproach.com.
To visit the ‘Help Me, I’m Fine’ Facebook page, please visit www.facebook.com/itstimetotalksuicideawareness.