The mother of a teenager who killed herself after accidentally sending a Snapchat message to her ex-boyfriend has called out for better systems of mental health support.
Debbie Guy, whose 17-year-old daughter Charlotte killed herself, has said more could have been done to save her life, if she had more mental health support earlier on.
Detailing the ordeal, Debbie revealed how Charlotte suffered with mental health problems since she was 12 years old as a result of bullying at school.
If she had immediate mental health support when she first felt suicidal in 2013, we’d still have her with us today.
Charlotte and Jack had broken up days before and it was a chaotic 48 hours which led her to doing this.
It was my birthday on the day she died and we’d spent the morning together, opening presents and cards and celebrating.
Later that evening she told us she was going to her friend’s house to pick up her clothes but just one hour later, when Charlotte still wasn’t home, we arrived at her friend’s house and realised she’d never been there.
Jack – who’d received a message from Charlotte which said ‘knowing you hate me is enough,’ – sent us a photograph showing her location as he was worried.
We followed the map to some nearby woods and after frantically racing to the scene we were greeted by the police who’d already found her body.
Despite the hospital working to try and save her for an hour we were told she hadn’t made it. That’s when my world fell apart.
Charlotte killed herself as a result of a Snapchat message she accidentally sent to her boyfriend Jack, in which she admitted she’d slept with someone else days after they broke up.
Charlotte had struggled with mental health for some time and Debbie thinks Charlotte was attempting to ‘cry wolf’, saying she thought she was going to be found as well as believing Charlotte didn’t know the full severity of her actions.
Despite her struggle with mental health problems, Charlotte was still a very happy and active person, with a passion for kick boxing and martial arts. Debbie called her ‘one of a kind’.
Charlotte was a great person to be around, she’d always cheer you up and would put everyone before herself.
But her mental health often got the better of her – she’d previously taken two overdoses she survived from.
After this we helped Charlotte and got her the help she needed, but there was a lot of waiting for this.
I often find myself thinking if mental health services had been quicker and more readily available for her, she might still be here now.
Debbie and the family regularly visit the location where the teenager took her own life in order to pray for her and to feel like they were with her.
They regularly play Elvis Presley in the house – Charlotte’s favourite artist – and try to spend as much time together as a family as possible.
They also have plans to commemorate Charlotte in the future.
In the future, once we’ve had a bit more time to process what’s happened, we’re going to campaign to increase mental health services – so this doesn’t happen to anyone else’s little girl.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123.