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Brother not coping with loss of father

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My brother (step brother really but I've never differentiated) since his father died suddenly at the beginning of last year has withdrawn himself completely from life. 

He's 15 and I've tried everything I can think of to try and help him. The thing is he doesn't seem to want to be helped. He runs away when my mother invites his friends to come visit. He won't talk to me and has told my mother he's not interested in talking to or seeing anybody. 
He flat out refuses to see a councillor. 
Hasn't attended school in 10 months. 
Bar one or two occasions I don't think he's actually left the house in that time either. 
He sleeps all day and is awake all night. The issue now is he's obviously of an age where my mother struggles to control him. He can get aggressive and she has no option but to back off. School and social workers aren't able to provide much help. 
Has anybody had a similar experience with a loved one that can provide some advice or guidance on how they coped?
I don't live close but get out to see them as often as I can and up until this year we have always had a good relationship I don't want him to withdraw any further. 
At the end of this month I'm heading back home for a few days to make sure he attends his court hearing for the school he's missed. My mother has had to pay numerous fines and I feel it's important for him to attend these hearings which he's adamant he isn't. 

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I know you love your step brother very much and it pains you to see him like this. And I know you are doing everything possible to help him. Losing a parent is very traumatic. And it sounds like he is in a deep depression. I know its not easy on him and he just wants to hide from life.

If you are in Canada, maybe have him call the Kids Help Phone.

I don't know if friends or family members can stage an intervention. It is very hard to help someone when they are in so much pain. I would consider talking to a social worker and see what other resources are available in the community or at church. I hope you can find something that will help him. I'm so sorry for his loss. I know the grief and sorrow can be overwhelming. Thinking of you and your family.

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Thank you for your reply Reader and your kind words. Unfortunately where they are in Malta unless you have a lot of money to throw at the situation social workers and counsellors aren't willing to do more than the bare minimum. 

I have been been told though by his one counsellor who he has seen a few times previously that he's not clinically depressed. How they worked that out with their limited interaction with him I'm not really sure.

I'll be honest I hadn't considered the church as a place to seek some assistance and it is a massive part of the community in Malta so while I'm over I will go and talk to the Father and see if he can try to help in some way. 

Again because our family don't live on Malta getting an intervention of sorts organised is difficult. I am talking with my Uncle who is going to try to get out at the same time as me to see if we can get him to open up to us even just a little. As we all know too well work and personal circumstances can make this difficult. At times over the last year it has caused me great financial difficulties. I just don't want him to make too much of a rod for his own back when it comes time to get himself back on track.

I know there isn't going to be a magical fix but I hate feeling so powerless and like I've let him down by not being able to help.



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You love him and care about him and it shows. I know you are doing everything in your power to make things better for him.

I wonder if he will consider joining an online forum. I know he is in Malta. But the Kids Help Phone Canada also has a online help forum. Maybe he will consider it, I have included the link:


I also found this website called What's Your Grief also helpful. Maybe if he reads some articles, it will make him feel less alone. They also offer an online course on grief recovery.

Me, too. I wish there was a magical fix for grief. From what I have learned so far it can be a long and dark road. It takes a long time for the intensity of the pain to lessen.

Your step brother is so lucky to have a loving sister. I hope with time and the right resources, he will come around.

Sending you all my thoughts and prayers.




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Reader I doubt I could convince him to join a forum. I myself have joined multiple recently just seeking any advice on how to move forward and the general consensus is there's no one answer. It's going to be a case of trial and error. 

As he won't read messages from me online it's been suggested I send him some hand written letters. Which I will try as it will be novel for him and I imagine curiosity will get the better of him eventually. At least I hope. 

Ive been linked to several groups / charities recently and I'm setting aside a day tomorrow to ring them all. 

Lastly no offence taken but I'm his big brother. Still means I feel an overwhelming need to protect him. 

Thanks for the links. I'll look into them and see if I can get him to meet me half way somewhere along the line. 

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