Mum of trans teen who died by suicide warns NHS funding crisis is putting lives at risk
An NHS trust has said it will “investigate” the case of a trans teen in Bradford who tragically took his life, after his mother claimed it didn’t do enough to help her son.
Finn Hall, 16, from Keighley, reportedly died on Friday (18 November) after struggling with his mental health for years.
Finn’s aunt, Abigail Ford, told YorkshireLive he had come out as trans to the family in February of this year, and was on a waiting list to be referred to a gender clinic.
She told the newspaper: “He had the strength and the courage to tell us in February that he didn’t feel like a girl and he’d felt like that as early as he could remember. He’d never liked to wear dresses and always wanted to wear boy’s clothes.
“The more and more he grew up he met people going through similar things and he worked out for himself and realised he didn’t feel comfortable in that body – because he shouldn’t be in it, he should be a boy.
“He’s been known as Finn ever since – it was accepted by everybody in the family. He seemed a lot happier as Finn. He’d spoken to doctors about it and was getting referred to a transgender clinic, though there was a waiting list.”
Ford added that the teenager had been struggling with his mental health since the age of 11, and had gone through an eating disorder. His family had reportedly tried to find him mental health support, but believed it wasn’t enough for him.
“We’re all absolutely devastated and heartbroken. Finn’s life has been taken far too young,” she said.
Finn was the second of five children, and reportedly spent much of his spare time volunteering.
“He was a really kind and caring person… He always liked to make people smile. He didn’t like people being sad around him,” Ford said.
Finn’s mother, Hannah Hall, told the BBC she had contacted their local Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) team in the days before the trans 16-year-old’s death, but claims she was simply referred to A&E.
“They said that if I was really worried about him to take him to A&E… I wanted them to take it seriously, I wanted him to have the help that he desperately needed,” Hall said.
She called for extra resources for mental health services after Finn’s tragic death.
“How many more children are going to be lost in this system because there’s not enough funding or time or people?” she said.
“If we can help just one other family we will have done something for Finn.”
Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust told the BBC that there will be a “thorough investigation” of Finn’s case.
According to a troubling report published this year, almost half of LGBTQ+ youth in the United States has seriously considered suicide in the past year, with the trans community most at risk.
Nearly one in five (19 per cent) of trans and non-binary youth had attempted suicide in the last year, compared to approximately one in 10 cisgender queer youth (nine per cent), according to the report by The Trevor Project.
The report indicated that the pandemic and “relentless political attacks” have had a major impact on the community’s mental wellbeing.
The Trevor Project CEO and executive director Amit Paley said the research demonstrated that “suicidal thoughts have trended upward among LGBTQ young people” in recent years, making the organisation’s “life-saving work all the more important”.
“The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and relentless political attacks during this time period cannot be understated,” Paley said.
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