June 28, 2022 6.00 pm

Grieving parents of teen who took her own life want better mental health support

“We hope another family doesn’t have to go through this.”

The grieving parents of a “socially anxious” teenager who took her own life want better provision of mental health support.

And a coroner has echoed their feelings at the inquest into the death of Tiannah Flaherty, from Quadring.

The hearing at Boston Coroner’s Court on Tuesday was told that Tiannah had anxiety about going to school but denied being bullied.

The 16-year-old had made a file on her phone entitled Before I Die. Heartbreakingly, it was updated on January 25 this year, the day she died at home in Town Drove.

Part of a statement by her parents, Adrian and Georgina, said: “There have been so many thoughts running through our heads.

“Do we try to reach other teens and make them understand the devastation they leave behind and try to prevent them from doing the same thing?

“Do we lobby for a better education system that prioritises mental health instead of putting too much stress on our youngsters?

“Do we fight for better mental health support?

“Everything feels like it’s one size fits all. Sadly, she didn’t fit.”

They added that they hoped Tiannah’s death would not be “entirely in vain” and something could be learned from it.

“Maybe people in the same situation can be educated on what they leave behind as well as ways to cope with their problems,” they said.

“We hope another family doesn’t have to go through this.”

Paul Cooper, senior coroner for Lincolnshire, said he found the statement “moving” and insisted he was right behind them on the fight for better mental health support.

“I’ve done many, many inquests where mental health services have been involved,” he told the couple. “I’m not blaming them per se because they’re not the one with the purse strings. Resources are dealt with by higher bodies.

“Many other families are in the same situation as you. Whatever I or you can do to fight for better mental health support, we should do.”

Mr Cooper urged people to lobby MPs and councillors because, he said, they have the powers to influence matters.

The inquest was told that Tiannah had received specialist care after first attempting to take her own life in May 2021.

She isolated herself and did not want to do such things as socialise with friends outside of school or go shopping.

When asked the “miracle question” – what a preferred future would look like – Tiannah said not having to go to school.

Mr Cooper concluded that her death was suicide.