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A 13-year-old schoolgirl found hanged at her home “had no intention of taking her own life,” an inquest has learned.
Faith Hindle, of Salford, committed suicide a day after telling an “overburned” mental health nurse that she feared she could not protect herself. She was pronounced dead at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital after she was found hanged at her family’s home in Cadishead on December 8, 2018.
During an inquest at Bolton Coroner’s Court today, a coroner ruled Faith, a student of Irlam and Cadishead Sports College, has died as a result of “adversity”. During the hearing, Faith’s family, school and primary care practice had been trying to help her access mental health care in the months leading up to her death after she began self-harm.
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In August 2018, two referrals were made to Salford Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) after Faith attempted suicide, the inquest learned. Tayaba Nicholson, a mental health practitioner at Salford CAMHS, took the referral and promised to see Faith on a “three to four week basis.”
Dawn Dunleavy, a mental health therapist with the Salford Mental Health Liaison Team – based at Salford Royal Hospital – said she saw Faith on September 17 after taking an overdose at school. She said Faith told her she had an argument with a friend and overdosed because “she thought it would help her forget”.
Ms Dunleavy said the teen denied having suicidal thoughts but admitted she had previously cut her arm while upset. She then spoke to Faith as she was taken to the emergency room by her father, Lee, after she bumped into a wall at school and bruised her hand.
Faith also appeared to have a ligature on her neck, Ms Dunleavy told the hearing. Salford CAMHS was informed and Faith was referred to the Junction 17 wing of Prestwich Hospital.
While attending Cloughside College, a hospitalized school, Faith made several Internet searches, referencing “suicide,” “hanging” and “easy ways to commit suicide.” Headteacher Karen Ingham told the hearing that on Nov. 20, staff received a warning to say Faith had made the three searches within a six-minute period.
Ms Ingham added Faith would have known the searches were being monitored and said she had subsequently contacted the teen’s mother to inform her.
The inquest found that during an appointment with Ms. Nicholson on Nov. 27 – after she was fired from Junction 17 – Faith rated her mood as “two out of ten” and revealed that she “still wanted to kill herself”. At the time, the risk to her was considered “high,” but the hearing was told it was then reduced for her next appointment on December 7.
During that telephone consultation—the day before Faith’s death—she told Ms. Nicholson that she had daily suicidal thoughts and felt unable to protect herself. However, the inquest found that Ms Nicholson considered Faith’s presentation on the phone “as before” and all risks were controlled.
Faith’s parents were unaware of what she had said during the appointment and Ms Nicholson told the inquest she had a “very heavy caseload” at the time.
The next day Faith met a group of friends. When the friends left her shortly before 8 p.m., they said she appeared to be in a “good mood.” The inquest learned that Faith then returned home before her mother found her hanged in a bedroom at 10:20 p.m.
Paramedics attended and Faith was taken to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, where she was pronounced dead by medics. A pathologist listed Faith’s cause of death as “hanging”.
Recording a conclusion of “adversity”, coroner John Pollard ruled that Faith “had no intention of causing her death”.
He said: “I know from the evidence I’ve heard that Faith tried to end her life on several occasions. All her actions amounted to a series of cries for help or attention.”
The coroner added that he believed that instead of Faith planning to kill herself, she thought she would be “found and cared for”. Pollard described the support given to Faith as “patchy in its effectiveness”, but said any shortcomings were due to a “well-intentioned but overburdened person”.
“This was not a system error, just a matter of work volume,” he added.
Samaritans (116 123) samaritans.org has a 24 hour service available every day of the year. If you’d rather write down how you feel, or if you’re concerned about being tapped on the phone, email Samaritans at email@example.com, write to Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, PO Box 9090, STIRLING , FK8 2SA and visit www.samaritans.org/branches to find your nearest branch.
mind 0300 123 3393 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm) promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems. Visit www.mind.org.uk
CALM (0800 58 58 58) thecalmzone.net has a helpline is for men who for any reason are down or against a wall, who want to talk or find information and support. They are open 365 days a year from 5pm to midnight.
HEALTHY (0300 304 7000) Emotional support, information and guidance for people with mental illness, their families and carers, daily from 4.30pm to 10.30pm. Visit www.sane.org.uk/support
For information on your local NHS urgent mental health helpline, visit here