Teen who killed herself was failed by system – mum
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