Parents of suicide teen criticise mental health provision

Tom Boomer had been prescribed Prozac

Tom Boomer had been prescribed Prozac

First published in News

PARENTS of a 14-year-old boy who killed himself by jumping off a multi-storey car park 11 days after being prescribed anti-depressants, have criticised “under-funded” local mental health services.

Douglas Boomer also claimed he and his wife were not adequately consulted about the risks of their son, Tom, being put on Prozac.

The drug can potentially increase anxiety and the risk of self-harm or suicide, Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court heard yesterday.

In a joint statement, Douglas and Clare Boomer said: “The under-funding of mental health and youth support budgets means the help of many young people in Oxfordshire in need is simply not available, or comes too late.

“As a society we have to look at how to help young people such as Tom. They are the future and they deserve all the help and support we can give them.”

Tom, of Queens Street, Bloxham, Banbury, jumped from the Bolton Road car park in the town at around 12.45am on March 31.

He died from multiple injuries late that afternoon after being transferred to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.

Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter said: “Overall, it seems Tom intentionally jumped from the car park with the intention to take his own life.

“It does seem there were quite a few references to suicide ideation.”

Mr Boomer told the court he and his wife were not involved in the decision-making process about Tom taking Prozac, which he started on March 20.

The father said it had been “presented as a done deal”.

However, child and adolescent psychiatrist for Oxford Health, Dr Ann Rowlands, who was head of Tom’s treatment team, said: “It wasn’t a done deal.”

She said it was a joint decision by a multi-disciplinary team at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in Banbury that had been treating Tom’s depression.

Dr Rowlands added she had discussed “the increased risks of self-harm” with his parents.

She added that medical consensus was that Prozac could increase anxiety and the risk of self-harm or suicide among young people within the first two or three days of use.

Yet the medical evidence suggested “those risks are extremely low”.

To counteract this potential side-effect, she initially prescribed half-doses, rising to full doses after five to seven days.

Tom was also “quite upset” at moving schools, from The Warriner School in Bloxham to Chipping Norton School in January 2014.

The Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court heard Tom had begun smoking cigarettes and cannabis, and drinking alcohol around the time he switched schools.

However, Dr Rowlands said “Tom’s mood had picked up” as a result of treatment and that he was classified as “moderately depressed”.

The court heard evidence from a female Chipping Norton School friend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, that Tom had sent her a text message on March 30, the day before he jumped to his death, saying: “I [am] constantly contemplating suicide.”

  • Mr Salter recorded a verdict that he took his own life.



 

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS, SPORT and JAYDEN depending on what services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Our top stories

Sexual assault on woman in Oxford yesterday linked to earlier rape

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

4:35pm Monday 22nd September 2014

A WOMAN was sexually assualted in the city yesterday, in an attack police have linked to a rape over the weekend.

Update: Man bailed after teenager raped in city centre

Oxford Mail:

11:57am Saturday 20th September 2014

A MAN arrested after a woman was raped in the city centre on Saturday morning has been bailed.

UPDATE: Tributes paid to Ann Ducker, leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, who has died

Oxford Mail: South Oxfordshire District Council leader Ann Ducker

10:21am Monday 22nd September 2014

Ann Ducker, leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, has died.

Corn Exchange's future debated

Oxford Mail: The Corn Exchange

9:10am Monday 22nd September 2014

The future use of the Corn Exchange will be discussed at a meeting tonight.

Minibus in accident near Littlemore

Oxford Mail: oxfordshire fire and rescue logo

9:10am Monday 22nd September 2014

A minibus carrying a group of youngsters was involved in a crash with a car on the A4142 Eastern Bypass. Three adults, 10 teenagers and a child were involved in the crash.

Electricity line drama after fire wrecks shed in Yarnton

Oxford Mail: oxfordshire fire and rescue logo

9:10am Monday 22nd September 2014

Electricity cables collapsed after a blaze in a large garden shed in Yarnton on Sunday.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree