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Young people in this country wait far too long to access services for mental health issues then consistently let down by those services and other services, young people need to be listened to and their cries for help need answered.
Less than 48 hours after my beautiful wonderful sensitive boy was taken from me, I was screaming down the phone to The Sun newspaper begging as a grieving mother not to label my child a "Druggy"/ To everyone in my family and everyone who is a friend and everyone who was lucky enough to have met Jay, I do not have to tell you what I am about to say as you all know the truth. Jay began life fighting, he was premature and in an incubator for 7 weeks, he endured at 3lbs constant collapsed veins from the drips. At the age of 6 his father abandoned him that man never bothered, no birthday card, no Christmas card and no child support EVER....on Jay's 21st birthday, he contacted Jay... it didn't go as Jay hoped and this affected Jay's mental health. Jay was happy when he was a little boy and when he left primary school and began his next step at high school his mental health issues began, he is the first born grandchild and nephew in our family and his uncle was loved by most but unfortunately a few where not fans and as a small 12 year old thrust into a new environment, Jay was targeted and bullied beyond words. He developed anorexia and would not eat or even drink and I took my son to A & E and was sent away, told to just give him a drink... a day later I carried the limp skin and bones of my 12 year old directly into the children ward, he was so thin and so cold they could not even get blood. At this time Jay's OCD surfaced along with depression, anxiety and self harm. He began the remainder of his childhood working with the child and family unit and was taken into a residential childrens unit for mental health illness. He was put on anti depressants and was the youngest child in this country to be given prozac, to which he seizured and then the test began for damage to his brain and heart. At 16 he was considered an adult and the service stopped. He was ambitious and talented and very very intelligent, he went to college to do his A levels but the OCD and depression took a hold massively and the support from the system was not there. He dropped out and we contacted the mental health services, he was put on a waiting list..... Jay was left hanging and having to deal with his mental health illness himself. Jay's OCD triggered a devastating condition of Intrusive Thoughts. It wasn’t that everything has to be neat and tidy, these intrusive thoughts meant he believed he couldn’t blink, or even go to get a glass or water without being wracked with a fear something terrible would happen. He couldn’t function without these destructive thoughts tormenting him and he couldn’t escape from them. It left him anguished and anxious – it caused him pain as it was like a constant, mental torture that impacted on every part of his life. Jay started to self medicate just to escape the pain. The past 2 years Jay has been let down by the system, the services have passed him back and forward and he has been left broken and fractured, Mental health would not help him and he has self medicated with prescription pain killers, he has begged the drug and alcohol services to help with the devastating and agonizing pain from withdrawals from pain killers and they would not help as they considered him not to be an addict. Just 5 weeks before he passed, Jay begged to be sectioned as he could not live with the pain and he thought about the Tyne Bridge as a solution, he was told no as he was inappropriate and he needed a detox programme from pain killers. By accident we also found out that over a year ago Jay was considered to have Bi-polar, this was never followed up and he was never given treatment for this and to make things worse his anti depressants don't work for bipolar. He cried in my arms every night. The drug and alchohol services said no, he was not an addict, they give Jay paracetamol for the pain and something for the stomach cramps. This was 10 days before he passed. The week Jay passed I took Jay back to the Doctors for the millionth time as his anxiety, depression and self harm had gotten worse and saw a different doctor who informed us that the medication Jay was taken where ineffective as the dosage was not an adults dosage. Jay was left completely broken and I could see he lost all hope that he would ever be given any help from any doctor, professional or service. He was left to just get on with it. On the day Jay passed a letter arrived from mental health services inviting him to an assessment. I just felt anger, that it was too little too late, he's been having assessments since he was 13 years old. Every day I am with my boy in the Chapel of rest and my heart is fractured and broken but at least I get peace in knowing that my beautiful wonderful boy in not fractured or broken anymore. You belong in my arms and until I am able to be with you darling you will be in my heart forever. Love you Jay and miss you every second. Shine on xxxxxx
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Please sign the petition to make changes to the Mental Health Act so that we may try and stop this happening to another young person.
Then type in the search box Jay Lennon Kerrigan Gascoigne