Mother of teen who took own life tells of desperate bid to get him help

Norfolk Coroner's Court, at County Hall in Norwich.

Norfolk Coroner's Court, at County Hall in Norwich. - Credit: Stuart Anderson

The mother of a teenager who took his own life has described her desperate attempts to secure him mental health support in the days leading up to his death.

Austin Everitt died on July 28 last year in the garden of his father's home in Station Road, Cromer. He was 18.

The teenager had suffered a long history of anger management issues and self harm - particularly while drinking - but had largely kept his troubles hidden from his father and mental health services.

But an inquest into his death held on March 11 heard how in the days leading up to his death his mum, Sarah Everitt, had called mental health services in a desperate bid to get him support.

In a statement read to the court, Ms Everitt said: "He had never been a normal child and had a lot of anger in him. He used to say he was the odd one out and the child that did not fit in.

"He desperately needed help but nobody ever gave it to him. We asked and waited but we never received any and now he is gone."

The inquest heard how when Ms Everitt called the first response team at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust with her concerns, she was urged to encourage her son to contact mental health services himself, or speak to his GP about his issues.

Most Read

But a patient safety report from the mental health trust read to the court acknowledged that his death had highlighted the dangers of the Trust being over-reliant on self-referrals.

The report said: "The youth team should have tried more assertively to engage with Austin."

Wayne Ward, an assistant crisis care practitioner who handled Ms Everitt's call, said in a statement: "She said she felt she was just sat waiting for the phone to ring with bad news about her son.

"She said she had begged for support and that had never happened."

Assistant coroner Johanna Thompson gave a narrative conclusion that Mr Everitt had taken his own life, but that she could not conclude that it was suicide.

If you need help and support, call Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline 0808 196 3494 or the Samaritans on 116 123. Both services are available 24 hours 7 days a week.  You can also download the Stay Alive app on Apple & Android