Suicidal teenager pleads for help

Posted Nov 21, 2010 by Lynn Curwin
A British teenager, who has already taken two overdoses this year, is pleading for more help as she battles suicidal thoughts.
Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Stanford, of Weymouth, has suffered from depression since she was 13.
In July her mother, Debbie, arrived home to learn that the girl had taken 20 painkillers.
Rebecca was taken to accident and emergency in Dorchester for treatment.
In October she wrote a note saying “I’m sorry” and took more tablets. A friend called an ambulance and she was treated at home by paramedics.
“I’ve not had much help at all,” Rebecca told The Echo.
“I tried to hide it for a few years until I took an overdose.
“Then I spoke to a social worker at hospital and they said they would get in touch but I didn’t hear anything until a few months later when I got a letter saying I didn’t need help.
“I’d seen a social worker when I was trying to be positive for my dad but I was still really ill and felt awful.
“I was just hoping I would get help.”
She said she broke down in front of her GP and asked to be admitted to hospital, but was referred for counselling. A member of a crisis team called her every evening for a week, and she now sees a counsellor once a week, for a one-hour session.
“I feel like people in this situation need more support than an hour a week,” she said.
Rebecca, who has scars from cutting herself, describes her bad days as being in a black hole.
“When it’s really bad you have thoughts running through your head of how you would end your life and how your family would be better off,” she added.
“I wouldn’t want to put them through that but sometimes it feels like it would be easier for everyone.”
During her last meeting with a counsellor she admitted to having “really bad thoughts” again.
Her mother, who Rebecca calls “the best person in the world,” said she was in tears during the most recent counselling session.
“I want to be able to get her out of this but it’s hard,” she told The Echo.
“It’s the worst experience I’ve ever had.”
Her father, Dave, said that when he read of the recent suicide of Shawn Nutman it “shook him to the core” because his story was so much like Rebecca’s.
It was after she read of the death of 33-year-old Shaun Nutman that Rebecca contacted The Echo.
The former national Bowls champion, and father of two young girls, killed himself at his home in Weymouth earlier this month. He had been attending weekly counselling sessions, but had called the crisis number several times during the last few weeks of his life.
His wife Amanda is supportive of Rebecca’s appeal for more help for mental health patients.
“I think it needs to be shouted from the rooftops that there’s not enough information and help,” she said.