An 18-year-old student died only days after doctors said she ‘wasn’t ill enough’ to meet the criteria for mental health support.
Afrika Yearwood, who passed away after taking an overdose, was refused mental health treatment by medics and was even passed around, getting only two hours of care from different health services for more than three months.
An inquest was told that Afrika never received a clinical diagnosis by mental health professionals. She was described as impulsive and could change from happy to suicidal in only ten seconds.
She also repeatedly mentioned about wanting to die before taking an overdose that led to her tragic death.
Her mom, Beverley Yearwood, told an inquest: “Afrika said she wanted to try anything to get better. For me, in April when she was getting worse and I asked for help I was getting shunted.
“We got the letter from adult mental health services saying she had been refused and referred back to primary care.
“He said the threshold for adult services is very high and unfortunately she had not acutely ill enough.
“When I’m sat there by her grave I hear him say she is not acutely ill enough. I had a conversation with her and she said nobody is going to help me. She clearly stated that she could not cope anymore.”
It was in 2017 when Afrika displayed early signs of stress. However, she lost faith in doctors after she was wrongly sent to a chronic pain management treatment hospital.
There was a time when she locked herself in the bathroom before telling her parents she just wanted to die. She also threatened to jump out of her mom’s vehicle, an inquest heard.
After searching her bedroom, they found a note under her bed which said: “Why is everything around me so distressing.”
Our deepest condolences go out to this family. Rest in peace, Afrika.
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