Bognor teen who committed suicide had been ‘abandoned by health services’, inquest told

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The mother of a teenager who took his own life says he was ‘let down’ by various health services, an inquest has heard.

An inquest held at Edes House in Chichester on Monday heard how Emma Medcalf found her son Kyle Medcalf, 18, hanged at his home in Willowhale Green, Bognor Regis, on May 21.

The inquest was told he had taken an overdose on two previous occasions, first at the age of 15 as a ‘cry for help’.

After the second occasion, in November, 2015, a health professional found there was ‘nothing in his demeanour which suggested he had an underlying depressive illness’, despite Mr Medcalf telling her he regularly drank 12 to 18 cans of beer a day and had smoked cannabis since the age of 11.

Speaking at Monday’s inquest, Mrs Medcalf said: “The sickening part for me is the fact that you’re presented with a boy in A&E that is only just 18...drinking that much alcohol, partaking in drugs, and to get a result where there is no underlying health issue.

“That’s not only affected my child, our lives, but that sort of attitude goes on to affect other people’s lives.”

The inquest heard how, after initially making ‘positive relationships’ when he began school at Chichester High School for Boys, Mr Medcalf began to partake in recreational cannabis consumption and his attendance and behaviour deteriorated.

“His mother found communication with the school extremely challenging and she feels Kyle took advantage of this fact,” a summary report, read by coroner’s officer Steve Unsted, said.

The report added that Mr Medcalf suffered depression in his teens and when he visited a GP he was told ‘there was nothing he could do’ other than to suggest joining a youth group.

“Both Kyle and his mother felt the GP was unfeeling and insensitive,” Mr Unsted said.

“Mrs Medcalf feels she was abandoned all the way along by various agencies and the GP,” Mr Unsted added.

Assistant coroner Jo Andrews recorded a verdict of suicide.

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