have being a number of articles written in The
Blanket about suicide. This is another and tells
the story of Annie. Annie was born in
Strabane in 1983 one of ten children in the Kelly
household. From an early age Annie had taken a battering
from the world.
was not long out of infant school when she was put
into care. Unfortunately Annie did not receive the
care and loving she so desperately needed. When she
was eleven she moved back into the family home in
one of the most deprived areas in one of the most
disadvantage towns in N.I. were she learnt to fight
back against society and others who hurt her.
At the young age of twelve Annie made her first of
what turned out to be many court appearances on minor
charges. At fourteen she was sent to an adult prison
on minor charges. While in prison Annie became more
and more distressed and disturbed and showed signs
of depression. Despite her cries for help none was
1996 a powerful commons committee expressed shock
that a child of fifteen was being held in an adult
prison. They did nothing to help Annie. Her despair
was eventually turned against herself. Annie became
so disturbed that she attempted suicide many times.
answer was to handcuff her to the floor of her prison
cell at night, in case she harmed herself. Annie became
so disturbed that a fully kitted riot squad accompanied
her at all times.
more M.Ps visited Annie in prison. They too
condemned the situation Annie was in, but still
nothing was done about it.
family repeatedly warned that Annie was gravely at
risk of taking her own life. Her sister Margo said:
'jail has destroyed her, she has tried to hang herself
and slashed her wrists on countless occasions, prison
has made her mental. We think she can be sorted out,
all she needs is a change.'
January 2002 a local mental health charity wrote to
the Governor of Magaberry prison offering to council
Annie free of charge. He replied that he had passed
their letter to the department responsible of Annies
health which would reply - 'they never did.'
September 7th 2002 Annie hanged herself in her prison
cell. She was 19.
death poses more question than answers. I have never
being to prison but you would imagine that if a prisoner
was suicidal the authorities would have taken measures
to protect the prisoner at risk?
suicide and the way the authorities dealt with it
is only one aspect of many problems to be faced within
our society and like so many other such issues that
affect many of our communities it needs to be addressed
ultimately at its root cause.
government need to provide proper resources and facilities
for the treatment of mental health.
there is a brief overview of common mental disorder
are three types of depression:
depressive disorder MDD
phase of bipolar disorder Manic Depression
year up to 25% of women and 12% of men suffer some
form of depression. Those aged between 18-44 are most
at risk. There is some evidence of inheritance, side
affects which can occur in clued 'panic disorder,
agoraphobia, social phobia, GAD, PTSD, substance abuse.'
costs the economy between £200-£2,500
million per year. Yet there is no government bodies
to provide support to sufferers. Many have to wait
between 9-18 months to see a specialist because they
cannot afford to pay between £30-£60 per
hour to see a private practitioner. By the way there
is no government standards for councillors any one
can open a practise and call then selves a councillor
with the minimal training.
people from interface areas, social deprived areas
need help and they need it now. Its time the
government and the health authorities tackled mental
health. People should not be left to suffer in silence.
THERE IS NO SHAME IN BEING MENTALLY ILL.
is painless? Tell that to the devastated familys
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