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Boy, 17, found dead after seeking mental health help ‘had not seen GP in person’

A coroner has expressed concern at the difficulty of getting face-to-face appointments with GPs and other health professionals after a 17-year-old boy suffering from mental health problems was found dead.

Sean Mark, who described himself as an “anxious paranoid mess”, was desperate for help but felt “palmed off” when he asked for assistance, an inquest heard. He was found dead in his bedroom four months after a phone consultation with a GP and before he had spoken to anyone in person about his concerns.

The area coroner, Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp, recorded a verdict of death by misadventure, saying she could not be sure Sean had intended to kill himself.

Dr Robin Harlow, clinical director of the Willow Group, where Sean Mark was a patient, said it had increased the number of face-to-face meetings. When told that Sean felt palmed off, he said: “I would want him to be seen face to face at the second time, if not the first time. We have seen a lot more face-to-face appointments since then.”

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Source: The Guardian (23 August 2022)


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