‘No help at all’ for daugh­ter

The Napier Mail - - FRONT PAGE - LAURA DOONEY WHERE TO GET HELP

Six months be­fore she died, Ari­ana Reedy had tried to take her life twice in one week.

Still, she was passed from one men­tal health ser­vice to another in the months lead­ing up to her death, her mother says.

On Au­gust 15, Ari­ana, 15, caught a taxi from Hast­ings to Napier near the Bluff Hill look­out area. Her body was found the next day, and the case is now be­fore the coro­ner.

Ev­ery night since then, Hana Reedy has thought about her daugh­ter be­fore go­ing to sleep. ‘‘I’m in the taxi with her, I’m on Bluff Hill with her ... it’s im­pos­si­ble to stop think­ing about it.’’

Speak­ing pub­licly for the first time since her daugh­ter’s death, Hana Reedy said her daugh­ter was not of­fered enough sup­port and ser­vices failed her.

Reedy said ‘‘there was no help at all’’ and she and her fam­ily were sent from ’’some­body to some­body to some­body’’ as they fought to get Ari­ana the help she needed.

De­spite telling those as­sess­ing her daugh­ter that there was a his­tory of se­ri­ous men­tal ill­ness in the fam­ily, Ari­ana’s di­ag­no­sis was ‘‘be­havioural prob­lems’’.

While Reedy had had trou­ble with Ari­ana in the past, be­fore she be­gan to have men­tal health prob­lems she was a happy girl. ‘‘She was a girl who would get along with any­body, she al­ways had a smile on her face.’’

The first time Ari­ana tried to take her life, she was taken to Hawke’s Bay Hos­pi­tal’s chil­dren’s ward and placed un­der 24-hour watch for two nights be­fore be­ing sent home, and given ac­cess to a coun­sel­lor through the Hawke’s Bay DHB’s Child, Ado­les­cent and Fam­ily Ser­vice.

Six days later she tried again. She was again put in the chil­dren’s ward un­der con­stant sur­veil­lance for two nights.

The Hawke’s Bay District Health Board said it could not com­ment, for pri­vacy rea­sons.

Reedy said she was told there was a bed for her daugh­ter in a fa­cil­ity in Welling­ton, and thought Ari­ana was go­ing to get more help, but was told be­fore she left for Welling­ton the bed had been taken. Ari­ana was in­stead sent to a lo­cal com­mu­nity based-ser­vice where she stayed for three nights be­fore go­ing home. ‘‘The se­cond time it should have been taken more se­ri­ously, she should have been put some­where.’’

Reedy felt health pro­fes­sion­als tried to push the prob­lem back onto par­ents, and peo­ple trained to help did not have time to do the job prop­erly.

Reedy re­cently met with other par­ents who had lost chil­dren to sui­cide at an event in Hast­ings, called the Shoe Project, be­cause 606 pairs of shoes were laid on the ground to rep­re­sent the lives of those who’d taken their lives in the year up to June.

It was or­gan­ised by YesWeCare.nz – a coali­tion of com­mu­nity groups, pa­tients and their fam­i­lies and peo­ple work­ing in health.

One woman told her that her son had died 20 years ago and noth­ing had changed since.

‘‘I thought I was the only one, I couldn’t speak out be­cause I thought I was the only one who went through all this.’’

Reedy will wear a yel­low T-shirt, call­ing for a in­quiry into men­tal health to all the can­di­date meet­ings across Hast­ings lead­ing up to the elec­tion, and en­cour­aged any­one who wanted to, to join her.

‘‘Some­thing needs to change.’’

Life­line 0800 543 354, Sui­cide Cri­sis Helpline 0508 828 865, Youth­line 0800 376 633, Kid­sline 0800 543 754, Sa­mar­i­tans 0800 726 666.

PHOTO: LAURA DOONEY/STUFF

Hana Reedy says her daugh­ter was not given the treat­ment she needed, be­fore she died. Inset, empty shoes laid out to re­mem­ber Ki­wis who have taken their own lives.

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