Relate Cymru have praised an S4C programme for discussing the effects of divorce on children and young people.
When Hero Douglas was 5 years old her parents separated, leaving Hero and her brother Tybalt caught in the middle of her parents' divorce battle.
On Thursday, 20 November, Hero will be talking about the effects of divorce on children and young people in O'r Galon: Yn y Canol to coincide with Dyma Fi (This is Me) week on S4C. The Dyma Fi week gives a voice to issues affecting young people in Wales today.
O'r Galon: Yn y Canol is produced by Caernarfon based production company Cwmni Da.
"I was five years old, and my brother was three when my parents divorced," says Hero who lives with her mum in Capel Curig. "Things were hard for me and my brother, and I didn't know anyone else whose family had been torn apart like mine. I thought it was my fault, because they rowed about us. I wanted to do this programme to show that children, like me, need more help in this type of situation."
As a child Hero went to discuss her experiences and feelings in counselling sessions with a member of the Relate Cymru charity. As she attended the meetings she began to realise her parents' divorce wasn't her fault.
"I spoke to a counsellor and that made me feel more relaxed. I felt so guilty then, because when I was with mum I felt I needed to be with dad, and when I was with dad, I felt that I should be with mum," says Hero.
Gwilym Roberts, Chief Executive of Relate Cymru said:
“Deciding to separate is never easy, particularly when children are involved. But for some people it’s the best thing to do and the next step is to work out how to go about it.
"Heightened emotions can cause arguments and ill-feeling in a home before, during and after separation and kids often pick up more than we realise. This process can have knock-on effects for some children and young people, including problems at school, alcohol misuse and mental health and wellbeing issues. But having strong relationships that go the distance in good times and bad and knowing how to manage the separation process can improve outcomes for everyone."
Relate Cymru provides support for families at all stages, including when parents are considering or experiencing separation.
The charity works with parents to help them separate in a less painful way and to minimise the impact on children. Their services include Relationship counselling, Family Counselling, Counselling for Children and Young People and Mediation services. For more information call 0300 003 2340 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch O'r Galon: Yn y Canol on Thursday 20 November at 9:30 on S4C or catch up on s4c.co.uk/clic. English Subtitles available.