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Petition calls on Scottish Government to change mental health services after two young people took their own lives in one week during coronavirus lockdown

By Ian Duncan

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An online petition is calling for changes to mental health services in Scotland.

It was set up by a man called Billy Rodgers after two young people took their own lives in the Highlands in a seven-day period.

As well as the Scottish Government, copies of the petition will be sent to Highland Council and politicians including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Highland MSP Kate Forbes and MP Iain Blackford.

It has been set up on the change.org website and can be viewed here.

More than 2600 people have signed so far.

Mr Rodgers said one of the young people who hd taken their own life was an 18-year-old woman known as Hannah who had been fostered by his parents for the last three years.

However, since the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown, it had been advised that she moved out for safety reasons as she was working in a care home and her foster parents were considered to be in the high risk category.

Mr Rodgers said: "Hannah had suffered from poor mental health most of her young life but had been doing so well until she moved on March 15.

"On the lead up to her death she had attempted to take her own life on three occasions in one month."

He claims that, despite several warning signs, nothing was done to help her before her death.

"Hannah had been assigned a mental health worker who was supposed to help her," he said.

"Before Hannah died she told her mental health worker that she was going to take her own life; that worker took no action.

"She did not inform my parents, who were Hannah's foster carers; she did not inform the police; in fact she informed no-one to my knowledge.

"What she did do is write a care plan that explained how Hannah could safely self-harm. If this is normal practice for mental heath workers then in my view this needs to change. "

He added: "I am pleading to everyone I know to sign this petition as radical changes need to be made.

"If by signing this petition we can save a young life and reform mental health provisions in Scotland then we have achieved our aim."

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