Teen who killed her­self was failed by sys­tem – mum

Scottish Daily Mail - - Life - By Mau­reen Sug­den

THE mother of a teenage girl who killed her­self is ‘fu­ri­ous’ at the lack of men­tal health sup­port her daugh­ter re­ceived.

Judi Toledo said 17-yearold Libbi – who had se­vere men­tal health is­sues, autism and ADHD – was ‘let down by the sys­tem’.

The teenager’s body was found in a scrap­yard in Kirk­caldy, Fife, on Septem­ber 21, ten days af­ter she was re­ported miss­ing.

Be­fore her dis­ap­pear­ance, Libbi had spent three days with fam­ily mem­bers in Brechin, An­gus, where her mother lives. She re­turned to the care home she was stay­ing at in Kirk­caldy the day be­fore go­ing miss­ing.

Libbi had spent time in care due to chal­leng­ing and some­times vi­o­lent be­hav­iour. At 14, she ran away from her foster carer and tried to kill her­self. She was taken to Ninewells Hos­pi­tal in Dundee be­fore be­ing dis­charged to her foster carer.

Six months later, she was di­ag­nosed with Asperger’s syn­drome, a form of autism. Her mother said she could not un­der­stand why Libbi was not ad­mit­ted to men­tal health care. Say­ing she was ‘fu­ri­ous’ in­pa­tient care was not considered, Miss Toledo added: ‘A psy­chi­atric nurse did eval­u­ate her and it was her that flagged up autism.

‘If she had got the help she needed, maybe she would still be here. We can’t guar­an­tee that but maybe I wouldn’t have had to plan a funeral last month.’

Miss Toledo said her daugh­ter had been in ‘se­cure’ res­i­den­tial ac­com­mo­da­tion three or four times since 2014, adding: ‘Se­cure ac­com­mo­da­tion is never good enough for peo­ple who need to be in a psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal.

‘It is suc­cess­ful in be­ing able to pre­vent dan­ger­ous be­hav­iours but it does not ad­dress the root cause. Kids are not get­ting the help they need.’

There are only 48 in­pa­tient beds for chil­dren and young peo­ple with men­tal health prob­lems in Scot­land and no spe­cial­ist psy­chi­atric pro­vi­sion for those with autism.

Nei­ther NHS Tay­side nor An­gus Coun­cil would com­ment, al­though both ex­pressed sym­pa­thy for the fam­ily.

Wel­com­ing the pub­li­ca­tion last week of the Learn­ing Dis­abil­ity, Chil­dren and Ado­les­cent Men­tal Health Ser­vices Re­port, Men­tal Health Min­is­ter Mau­reen Watt said: ‘We are happy to ac­cept, in prin­ci­ple, the re­port’s main rec­om­men­da­tion that a na­tional in­pa­tient unit should be es­tab­lished.

‘This is a hugely sig­nif­i­cant step for­ward. We will now work closely with NHS Na­tional Ser­vices Scot­land on de­vel­op­ing the pro­posal fur­ther.’

For con­fi­den­tial sup­port, con­tact the Sa­mar­i­tans on 116 123 or visit sa­mar­i­tans.org.

‘Let down’: Libbi Toledo

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