Picture via Twitter
11-year-old Milly Tuomey tragically died in hospital on January 4, 2016, four days after her family found her in critical condition.
An inquest earlier this year confirmed that the Dublin 6 girl's death was a suicide, Independent.ie reports.
Her parents Fiona and Tim appeared on the Late Late Show yesterday and revealed that they did not feel that sufficient support services were made available for Milly during her greatest time of need.
The 11-year-old had shared on Instagram the day she was going to kill herself, and upon discovering this her parents took her to a doctor.
It was recommended that she see a clinical psychologist at private counselling and psychotherapy clinic An Cuan. However, that psychologist was no longer taking patients, so Milly was assigned an art therapist who was not qualified to make clinical assessments.
After their first session together, the art therapist recommended that Milly have an appointment with the HSE's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
The appointment was set for January 5, a date that had been brought forward from late January after her parents found a worrying entry in her journal.
Sadly, of course, it was too late.
“The main reason we wanted to come on and talk to people was to really get across the message that you don’t know. People think of depression as a big glaring sign across somebody’s forehead... That is not necessarily the case” – Fiona Tuomey #latelate pic.twitter.com/uEvIgQesKg— The Late Late Show (@RTELateLateShow) 15 December 2017
Her parents shared with Ryan Tubridy that if they had known of supports like SafeTALK, which helps people understand how to talk with people who are suicidal, they would have found them useful.
Fiona said that as a parent, it can be difficult to see the signs of suicide if you aren't fully informed.
"There were highs and there would be lows," the mum said of Milly's mood.
Tim confessed that he struggled with the feeling that he did not know how to help his daughter when she told him that she felt suicidal 'all the time', despite her sometimes positive and happy demeanor.
"The main reason we wanted to come on and talk to people was to really get across the message that you don’t know," Fiona shared with Ryan, "People think of depression as a big glaring sign across somebody’s forehead... That is not necessarily the case."
Are you concerned that someone in your life may be Suicidal?What do you do or how do you approach the topic?3Ts resources are a good place to start - easy to follow videos & self-help guides on Suicide & on a broad range of mental health topics https://t.co/j1ClavQzTI #ItsOkToAsk pic.twitter.com/8ubum5lsy7— 3Ts (@3Ts_irl) 16 December 2017
The Tuomeys also called on the Government to step up and establish a suicide prevention authority, comparing the importance of this measure to road safety.
Fiona noted, "I really wanted to say, just to encapsulate for people - three times more people die by suicide than on the roads in Ireland. And ten times more money is spent on road safety than on suicide.
"I think that really our politicians should have the moral courage to equate the budgets to both, that people have equal status and I would encourage anybody watching this to please sign a petition on the 3ts.ie website."
We wholeheartedly agree with their message. We need to give support to people who are contemplating suicide.
Our hearts go out to the Tuomeys.