The Acting Children’s Commissioner for Wales has called for an inquiry into the ‘spate’ of suicides by young people in and around Bridgend, South Wales.
County Coroner Phillip Walters confirmed that a total of 13 people under the age of 26 had taken their own lives in the area in the past year, the most recent a 17-year girl from Blaengarw who hanged herself last week.
Maria Battle, the Acting Children’s Commissioner, said: “It’s a tragedy for this to happen in such a small area and we want a full inquiry into issues such as funding – child mental health is still a Cinderella service in Wales
A group including police, schools and health workers along with local MP Madeleine Moon has met to discuss the spate of suicides.
Janet Roberts from the Community Advice and Listening Line (CALL) said: “The recent cases in Bridgend will have left family and friends distraught, and other parents concerned – if you need to talk or need information or leaflets, please ring the helpline.
“These sad cases have received widespread reporting; it may raise issues for many parents who are worried their child is suicidal as well as those who have lost a child through suicide. There will be painful memories that these reports bring back. It can help to talk to someone who understands but is not emotionally involved. I would urge anyone concerned about a young person to call or text the helpline or look for information on our website.”
CALL is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and hosted by North East Wales NHS Trust to provide a listening ear, information on statutory and voluntary services as well as free self help literature to anyone in Wales who feels they would benefit from talking through their feelings and emotions in confidence.
* The CALL helpline is free of charge, just dial 0800 132 737. You can also use your mobile to text the word ‘help’ and your question to 81066. Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 10am-2pm, weekends 12 noon – midnight.
To go to the CALL website, click here.