York student’s book to help young people cope with divorce

York law student Emily Morris.  Pic: Suzy Harrison
York law student Emily Morris. Pic: Suzy Harrison
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A student who did not know where to turn for support when her parents were going through a divorce has published her own advice so that other young people do not feel they must suffer in silence.

Emily Morris, a second-year undergraduate at the University of York’s Law School, aims to give young people aged 14 and up a better understanding of the process separating parents are going through with her new booklet, ‘It’s Not The End: Divorce Support For Young People’.

Including personal stories from other young people who have been affected, it explains the potential reasons for separation and informs reader about legal rights and advice on coping mechanisms.

The booklet is being distributed in schools, libraries and by the NHS in Doncaster. It is also available online. The venture has been supported by charity Fixers and the Youth Social Action Fund and counselling charity Relate.

Ms Morris, 21, from Birmingham, said: “I’m passionate about this issue because my parents separated in 2012, and their divorce was finalised in 2014. At the time, I would have found it really useful just to have some information about what would happen and how to cope with it. There was nothing at all and I had little support at school.

“With this booklet, I hope to help other young people whose parents are separating, to show them they’re not alone whilst also encouraging adults to pay close attention to how a young person is coping.

“It can be a traumatic time for teenagers as they often already have a lot going on, and it’s common to feel isolated. I hope the booklet helps young adults understand the process, and helps schools to realise the effects of divorce so they can make sure those affected have someone to talk to.

“My message is that there is support for those going through this.”

Next year, Ms Morris plans to spend a study year in Hong Kong and upon graduating she is plotting to set up her own charity.