A mother whose son killed himself after being told he would have to wait three months for ‘life-saving’ psychotherapy has urged the government to pump more cash into hard-hit services – or risk losing more vulnerable young people.
Tyler Smith died after suffering horrendous injuries after falling from Stockport Viaduct in 2014.
The 19-year-old was discharged from Stepping Hill hospital six hours before after being admitted following an overdose.
He was sent home with three days-worth of medication, despite making numerous threats to kill himself.
Tyler downed the pills and fell 100ft from the viaduct hours later. He died of his injuries in hospital a week later.
His mother Deborah Cooper has now called for ministers and health bosses to tackle the ‘crisis’ in mental health care.
She spoke out after it was revealed nearly 200 mental health patients have been forced to wait more than 90 days for treatment.
Shocking figures showed that those needing access to services in south Manchester face waits longer than almost anywhere in the country, at around 50 days.
The average wait for treatment across the region is 27 days, way above the national average of 18.8 days.
Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged an overhaul of services to tackle the ‘hidden injustice’ of mental illness. But experts warn more funding is needed.
Deborah added: “He was struggling to get through the next hour, the next day, never mind three months. It was too much for him.
“That was the deciding factor for Tyler. That was the point he decided to end his life. These figures show things clearly haven’t changed since.”
– DEBORAH COOPER, TYLER’S MUM
Mrs Cooper said mental ill-health and physical ill-health have to be treated equally, adding: “If you’re having a heart attack, you can see it happening. You can’t necessarily see when someone is having a mental health crisis, what’s going on in their minds.”
Mrs Cooper said she fears red tape will lead to extra support for services, announced earlier this week, fizzle out.
“People have to be pointed to these services, that’s half the battle,” she added.