My daughter Rachael just turned 15. Growing up she has always been a very loving, cheeky young lady with a great sense of humour and an amazing ability to make everybody laugh. Unfortunately when she was 13 she developed severe depression and has been suffering ever since.
At a time when she needed her family around her the most, was moved to a specialist unit on the other side of the country. She is now in a medium secure unit 153 miles from home.
As her mother it has been unbearable to have Rachael so far away from our family, who live in Lancashire. I can only visit once every two weeks, for 2 hours maximum-- my other children see their sister even less. It costs £200 every time for me, my husband and my children to visit her.
I can’t afford to see her anymore and I am unable to be with my child when she needs me the most. Rachael often calls me up and begs me to visit her. I know this distance is hurting her recovery.
Young people’s mental health care has been overlooked in this country for far too long and thousands of families like mine are being neglected. In Lancashire, particularly, I know people aren’t getting the treatment they deserve. Even our MP, Lindsay Hoyle, has said the care in our area is “simply inadequate”. Something needs to change and high quality local care for Rachael could be the first step.
Petitions have helped other families in similar situations. When Phill Wills started his #BringJoshHome campaign to get care for his son, his local authorities started to listen. Public pressure can do the same for us.
Please join me in calling on Lancashire NHS Trust to localise Rachael’s care and get her treatment closer to us. Please, bring my daughter home.