THE GRIEVING mother of Aeryn Bond has spoken about the rising terror she felt as her daughter's self-harming and suicidal thoughts were 'normalised' by mental health professionals.

Ellen Bond also paid tribute to her creative, compassionate and beautiful daughter, who killed herself just days after her 16th birthday.

Mrs Bond spoke to the County Press this week as the inquest into her daughter Aeryn's death was heard at the Isle of Wight Coroner's Court.

She said: "I have found it virtually impossible to separate thoughts and memories of my daughter from the cold, hard, terrifying fact of her death, from the depression that robbed us of her.

"When she first began suffering, Aeryn's depression mimicked teenage behaviour. She spent more time in her room, lost interest in activities she previously enjoyed, became despondent about her school work.

"Then she began to have panic attacks and disclosed that she was self harming. We sought help. But Aeryn's sense of failure and worthlessness were exacerbated by therapists who asked her why she thought she was depressed and what she thought would help. She didn't know. She just wanted to feel better.

"Aeryn's artwork and writing expressed thoughts about taking her own life, her self-harming intensified, but these cries for help went largely unheard by those treating her.

Isle of Wight County Press: Artwork by Aeryn, depicting her depression. Her mother shared this image with the County Press.Artwork by Aeryn, depicting her depression. Her mother shared this image with the County Press.

"I will never forgive myself for allowing the normalisation of self harm and suicidal thoughts by mental health professionals to stop the rising terror I felt at times.

"I am so sick of hearing about mental health awareness. We are all aware by now. But what is actually being done about it?

"My daughter asked for help when she needed it, but the lack of appropriate support left her feeling hopeless and alone.

"For those of us who loved her, Aeryn will be remembered for her quiet passion and determination, her quick sense of humour, her creativity and courage, her compassion and loyalty, her beautiful smile, and so very much more that will always be impossible to express because it is simply too painful.

"I want my daughter to be so much more than just a statistic, another suicide in an age of increasing mental health troubles in our society.

"But I also want her voice to finally be heard."


The following organisations offer free and confidential support over the phone:

Samaritans -116 123 24 hour support, every day of the year

Papyrus 0800 068 41 41 Monday to Friday 10am to 10pm, weekends 2pm to 10pm, bank holidays 2pm to 10pm or Text 0778 620 9697 – prevention of young suicide

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – 0800 58 58 58, 5pm – midnight. Dedicated to preventing male suicide

Mind - 0300 123 3393, 9am - 6pm, Mon - Fri (except Bank Holidays). Advises on a range of mental health issues

Young Minds - 0808 802 5544, 9.30am - 4pm, Mon - Fri. Supports any adult worried about a child’s welfare

The Mix - 0808 808 4994, 2pm - 11pm, Mon - Sun. Helpline for people under the age of 25

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