Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Grieving Mothers Call for Changes in Mental Health Care ; Campaign by Women Whose Suicidal Children Died after Their Cries for Help Were 'Ignored'

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Grieving Mothers Call for Changes in Mental Health Care ; Campaign by Women Whose Suicidal Children Died after Their Cries for Help Were 'Ignored'

Article excerpt

TWO mothers whose suicidal children died after their cries for help were 'ignored' have joined forces to demand an overhaul of mental health services - and more cash to help vulnerable youngsters.

Deborah Cooper and Martina Brincat-Baines have launched a campaign to improve provision for troubled teenagers, criticising the government for 'inadequate' funding for young people in crisis. Their Together4MentalHealth group already boasts hundreds of supporters. An online petition calling on the prime minister and health secretary to intervene has gathered 1,300 signatures.

Martina reached out to Deborah following her criticism of mental health services in the wake of her son Tyler Smith's death.

The 19-year-old plunged from Stockport Viaduct in October 2014 after threatening to commit suicide to police and medics hours earlier.

Martina's 17-year-old daughter Kesia Leatherbarrow was found hanged in Tameside in December 2013 - a day after she appeared in court following her arrest for criminal damage and possessing drugs. Her family were not told of a threat she had made to take her own life while in police custody.

She had spent five weeks in a specialist mental health unit before the events leading to her death.

Martina, 38, from Prestwich, blasted 'disgracefully inadequate' mental health provision.

She added: "Kesia was completely let down by mental health services, despite her desperate need for help. The number of teenagers taking their own lives is increasing - as is self-harm."

At Kesia's inquest, coroner Joanne Kearsley said the handling of her case was 'littered with failures'. …

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