JUST days after her 16th birthday, Aeryn Leigh Bond killed herself in her bedroom, an inquest heard this week.

Aeryn, who had suffered from depression, was found dead by her mother Ellen, at their home in Lower Wood Street, Ryde, on February 22, last year.

Aeryn had suffered with her mental health for a few years and her mother, and father Jason, had been pro-active in seeking help.

Mrs Bond felt Aeryn's voice had not been heard, but Isle of Wight Coroner Caroline Sumeray was reassured, after what she described as a harrowing two-day inquest, that Aeryn's plight had been heard by her family, mental health professionals, and her school teacher, who all tried to understand her suffering.

Mrs Sumeray said: "Sometimes these things are almost impossible to prevent, if someone is determined to take their own life, you cannot always keep them safe."

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.

The inquest heard that in October 2017, Mrs Bond came across Aeryn's diary and found the contents terrifying enough that she removed everything from her bedroom that could have been used as a ligature.

Aeryn attended Ryde Academy in Year 7, was home-schooled in Year 8 and went to Medina College in Year 9. She later stopped attending school but missed the structure and company, and wanted to go back but she didn't want to sit her exams.

She was particularly good at drama and kept in touch with her teacher Stephanie Shorrock.

Mrs Shorrock said: "Aeryn was one of the most wonderful performers, but she was shy and the panic attacks took hold and she suffered intense stress.

"She said there was nothing making her depressed, she had nothing to peg it on, and she struggled to understand it. The depression was ripping her apart."

Aeryn confided in Mrs Shorrock that she had to fake being happy, as she never felt it.

Mrs Shorrock always shared the information with Aeryn's mother, and Aeryn was aware of this.

Aeryn sent a disturbing email to Mrs Shorrock on January 29, last year, which triggered immediate alarm bells.

In it, Aeryn said she never wanted to sleep as she was afraid of waking up, she felt like she was quietly drowning, and everyone kept saying she would get better but she didn't think she would.

She said she had once found a rope in Mrs Shorrock's room at school, and considering hanging herself but was afraid of someone walking in.

She wrote: "I am sorry, I just feel like I'm a burden. I just wish I had never existed."

Aeryn told her counsellor Melanie Smith at the Isle of Wight Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) that she had been self-harming, and had had suicidal thoughts. Even her 16th birthday on February 5 failed to make her feel happy, which upset her as she expected to feel different.

Ms Smith said Aeryn was starting to confide in her, but it had been a slow process.

In a session just days before she died, Aeryn was talking about future plans, so Ms Smith said the news of her death came as a huge shock.

Mrs Sumeray concluded death by suicide. The cause of death was asphyxiation, caused by hanging.


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

Samaritans -116 123 24 hour support, every day of the year www.samaritans.org

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 www.papyrus-uk.org

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

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

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

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

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