Pembrokeshire family confront mental health in young people

Pembrokeshire family confront mental health in young people

Health professionals are meeting in Pembrokeshire to discuss concerns about the mental health of young people.

It has been set up by the relatives of 15-year-old Oliver Edwards-Cavill, who took his own life in 2008 following a family argument at home in Llawhaden.

The forum, called Improving Young People’s Mental Health Services, is being held in Pembroke Dock on Friday.

Oliver’s aunt Suzannah Palmer said she hoped it would stop another family “having to bury their child”.

His cousin, London barrister Matthew Watkins, told BBC Wales that since his death, they have read about other young people taking their lives.

‘Direct our efforts’

“Over the past few years, there have been a number of children who have taken their lives and from what we have seen there has not been a huge amount of support, he said.

“We want to go about it the right way.

“We want to engage with all the services because we are not mental health specialists; we need to be informed where we can direct our efforts.”

Ms Palmer added: “We can’t help the children that are already gone, but if we can stop just one family from having to bury their child then I’m going to shout at the top of my voice ‘hold on a minute, this isn’t good enough’.”

Hywel Dda health board, local GPs, Pembrokeshire council and representatives from young people’s counselling services are among those expected to attend the forum meeting.

Pembrokeshire Council said there are “a range of universal school-based support available to secondary school pupils in Pembrokeshire, as well as targeted support provided in school by outside agencies”.

There is also “specific support for complex young people”, the council added.