GP ‘told teen to ‘carry on cutting herself” while waiting for mental heath care

A doctor allegedly told a suicidal 16-year-old girl to ‘carry on cutting herself’ until she qualified for adult mental health care.

Jade Norris, now 17, had visited her local GP with worried family after self-harming and numerous attempts to take her own life.

But Jade’s mum, Dawn, and stepdad, Ben Garnham, from Bridgend, Wales, were appalled when doctors allegedly refused to help their child because she fell into a ‘limbo’ age.

They claim medics told the family Jade was too old for child mental health and too young to access adult services at 16.

Mum Dawn went on to claim the doctor said as long as Jade wasn’t ‘cutting herself to death’, she could continue until she turned 18.

Now, her fraught parents are terrified the 17-year-old – who suffers from depression, body dysmorphia and gender confusion – could take her own life before she turns 18.

The Mirror has used images of Jade’s self-harming after her parents released them in a bid to raise awareness and get help.

Mum, Dawn Norris, 41, a hairdresser, said: "We took Jade to the doctors because she continually self-harms.

"They basically told us that we have to ‘learn to cope’ with what Jade does.

"The GP told us as long as she isn’t ‘cutting herself to death’ she should continue self-harming until she is old enough to see a proper adult mental health specialist.

"What they told us was unbelievable – it’s madness."

After filing a complaint with Oak Tree Surgery in Bridgend, Dawn and Ben received a two-page apology from Jade’s GP.

The letter states: "I am sorry if the way I discussed the issues with Jade led you to believe that I thought her problems were incurable or that self-harm is ok.

"Self-harm can be dangerous, and I discussed how this can be a risk-factor in more serious harm; but that for the time being Jade was practicing this in a low risk way."

Jade’s parents said 17-year-old also sees things that aren’t there and hears voices that have told her to kill herself.

Her parents are also convinced she has autism, as she has failed to socially develop at the same rate as her peers and has been diagnosed with a speech-language impairment.

But despite being seen numerous times by doctors and child mental health professionals, Dawn and Ben claim she has yet to receive a positive autism diagnosis and is ‘being passed from pillar to post’.

Stepdad, Ben, 39, a DJ, said: "Jade has been fobbed off too many times with the excuse that there are no services available for her until she turns 18.

"She doesn’t turn 18 until next May, and her self-harming has been going on for the last four years and is getting worse.

"If she were to kill herself between now and then who will be accountable?

"We feel like we can’t get any help.

"We took her to the GP who referred her to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services).

"So we went to CAMHS who told us we should seek counselling through her college.

"We went to the college, they gave her counselling, but it was discontinued.

"Then we went back to the GP and were referred to CAMHS again.

"It’s just a vicious circle and we’re not getting anywhere with it."

Dawn said she first noticed something was wrong with Jade when she was a baby.

Jade began self-harming at the age of 13, after being bullied at high school, and has tried to hang herself on several different occasions.

And her parents believe that her undiagnosed autism heightens everything she feels, which leads her to self-harm.

Ben and Dawn have also written to their local Labour MP, Madeleine Moon for help.

Ben said: "When Jade was 14, she began ‘seeing’ a person called Claire, who she says is the dark side of her personality.

"Claire tells Jade she’s no good, and she should cut and kill herself.

"We’ve had a crisis team out to Jade on numerous occasions and still, nothing is being done.

"We’re so worried and frustrated. We believe Jade needs proper psychiatric care.

"We just want to get her some help, we’re desperate.

"Something needs to change with the whole mental health system.

Read More

Top Stories from Mirror Online

  • Bride’s friends refuse to pay £1200 each
  • Gran holds Christening ceremony for dog
  • Most popular Royal Family member is…
  • Brave Kate girl, 9, dies in mum’s arms

"All we want is to be helped.

"Not just for Jade’s sake, but for all those out there who are suffering the same."

Oak Tree Surgery said: "We are sorry that Jade and her family were unhappy with her treatment at the practice, but we are limited in what we can say due to patient confidentiality.

"Oak Tree Surgery strives to provide the very best care for our patients and act in their best interests at all times."

NHS Wales said it would not be appropriate for them to comment as Jade is under the care of CAMHS South Wales, run by Cwm Taf University Health Board.

Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected]

Source: Read Full Article