‘My daugh­ter might be alive if given help she needed’

The Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

BRIAN DON­NELLY

Her mother said she is “fu­ri­ous” that in-pa­tient care was never considered.

She said: “There’s just so many things that are wrong in the sys­tem.

“I don’t think any par­ent should have to fight to get ap­pro­pri­ate health care for their child.”

The Men­tal Health Min­is­ter said the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment is in the process of talk­ing to fam­i­lies as it pre­pares a new men­tal health strat­egy.

She said: “The loss of Libbi Toledo at such a young age is a tragedy and my sym­pa­thies are with her mother and fam­ily.

“As is ap­pro­pri­ate, there is a multi-agency in­ves­ti­ga­tion un­der way.

“We’re work­ing to give ev­ery young per­son the right ac­cess to emo­tional and men­tal well-be­ing sup­port, par­tic­u­larly at times of cri­sis.”

Ms Watt added: “In ad­di­tion, NHS Ayr­shire and Ar­ran, on be­half of all of NHS Scot­land, is cur­rently de­vel­op­ing a plan for a se­cure in-pa­tient care for un­der 18s.

“We’re en­gag­ing fam­i­lies, in­di­vid­u­als and com­mu­ni­ties di­rectly af­fected by sui­cide to de­velop a new sui­cide pre­ven­tion ac­tion plan for pub­li­ca­tion next year. This will help us un­der­stand what could be done bet­ter or dif­fer­ently to re­duce sui­cide and the aw­ful im­pact it has.

“Through our Scot­tish Strat­egy for Autism we have funded an im­prove­ment pro­gramme to re­duce wait­ing times for as­sess­ment and as part of our Men­tal Health Strat­egy we’ve started a na­tional re­view of per­sonal and so­cial ed­u­ca­tion in­clud­ing coun­selling in schools.”

There are 48 in-pa­tient beds for chil­dren and young peo­ple with men­tal health prob­lems in Scot­land and some char­i­ties that work with peo­ple at the most ex­treme end of

Libbi Toledo, who had var­i­ous men­tal health is­sues in­clud­ing autism and ADHD, was found dead in a scrap­yard.

men­tal health is­sues say sto­ries like Miss Toledo’s are not un­com­mon.

So­phie Pilgrim, a di­rec­tor of Kin­dred Scot­land, told BBC Scot­land the ex­per­tise was avail­able but there was no fa­cil­ity to pro­vide the ap­pro­pri­ate level of care.

She added: “These chil­dren are sim­ply not given the same pro­por­tion of sup­port as other chil­dren are. There are re­ally good pro­fes­sion­als in Scot­land, there is a lot of ex­per­tise, and we know how to care and sup­port these chil­dren and to get good out­comes for them.

“So it’s not a prob­lem – we have the treat­ments and the knowl­edge to sup­port them. The prob­lem is that we have put them at the

Judi Toledo crit­i­cised men­tal health care.

back of the queue, sim­ply be­cause they have learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties and autism.”

An NHS Tay­side spokesman said: “Due to pa­tient con­fi­den­tial­ity, we are un­able to com­ment on mat­ters re­lat­ing to in­di­vid­ual pa­tients.

“Ev­ery sui­cide is a tragedy and we of­fer our con­do­lences to the fam­ily at this sad time.”

An An­gus Coun­cil spokesman said: “While we do not com­ment on in­di­vid­ual cases, the full cir­cum­stances around this tragic loss of a young life are cur­rently un­der con­sid­er­a­tion by the rel­e­vant agen­cies, so as to estab­lish whether it is ap­pro­pri­ate to con­duct a fur­ther re­view.”

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