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Songwriter Lisa blogs about how she has used music to help promote positive mental health with young people, after almost losing her teenage daughter to suicide. 

Lisa writing songs at her desk, and the artwork for her latest release ‘okay to not be okay’. Click to see the full image.

“My 16-year-old daughter has struggled with her mental health since she was 14. It was a gradual decline with her becoming withdrawn, spending lots of time alone, her appetite going, and she had stopped smiling and laughing. She refused any help.

At the end of 2022, I had a call from the police to say that she had just been saved from ending her life. I was heartbroken and terrified. Again, she refused to engage in any support.

Months later I got the dreaded call again to say she’d tried to end her life a second time. I was terrified. When I talked to her, she didn’t know why she felt this way and wanted it to stop but didn’t know how.

Now it’s April 2024 – she’s on medication and in a better place than before. She is also engaging in therapy sessions. She realised there was no shame in talking about her feelings and asking for help.

My daughter is proof that you can get through this, and learn how to deal with those demons.

I wrote a song for my daughter based on these experiences, called ‘okay not to be okay’. I’ve been writing for years but never done anything with the songs I had written until now.

My mum, who gained her wings 16 months ago, kept telling me to get my songs heard and now here I am with three having been released.

I see this as a great way of promoting mental health – especially with young people – and that it’s okay not to be okay.

For many young people music is their life. They often sit with their earphones in and listen to music – it becomes almost like an escape for them – so having a song focused at these young people which they can resonate with just seemed to make sense.

My song has had an incredible response from parents of young people as well as young people themselves. I shared it on a Facebook group called ‘parenting mental health’ and received a lot of messages thanking me for the lyrics. They had played it to their own children and so many resonated with it. It was an incredible feeling.

My dream is to hear my songs bought to life for real by a singer or a band, which is potentially on the cards with a couple of artists. It would mean the world to us, being such a personal song, with special meaning for me and my daughter.

If a young person can relate to the lyrics they might just think to themselves ‘yes, I can do this. That person is me but it’s going to be okay’. That for me is an amazing thing to achieve through this song.”

A huge thank you to Lisa for sharing her and her family’s story. If you would like to share your story, please email

Leeds Mind has a range of mental health support for young people – if you or someone you know if affected, then please get in touch.