No help after seven year-old’s suicide attempt

In a middle-class Napier suburb on week two of the lockdown, a seven-year-old boy attempted suicide. The following morning he tried to do it again. His mother says she called various social services for help. No one would.

Her son has ADHD and autism and is undergoing assessment for psychosis. He has been under the care of the Hawke’s Bay DHB’s Children and Adolescent Family Services (CAFS) since he was three years old – until his mother discovered two weeks ago he had been discharged from their services without her being told.

When she found her son attempting suicide for the first time, she immediately called the suicide prevention hotline Lifeline. They told her he was too young for their services, but to keep an eye on him. They also recommended she call her local DHB. His physical condition was not serious enough to warrant hospitalisation, so she called CAFS, but couldn’t get through.

The following morning, after the boy’s second suicide attempt, she tried calling CAFS again. The woman who answered said her son had been discharged from their services since their last quarterly meeting three months earlier, his file was closed and that she would need another referral from the boy’s GP to reengage their services. When the mother explained that her son had just attempted suicide and how worried she was for his mental health, she says the woman asked if she had completed their recommended parenting courses.

Via No help after seven year-old’s suicide attempt