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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Carlisle mum killed herself while waiting for specialist treatment

A mother who sought help for mental health problems took her own life while waiting for treatment.

North Cumbria’s coroner raised concerns after it emerged Caroline Jerram, of Harraby, Carlisle, had waited almost three months to see a specialist adviser.

David Roberts said it would never be known if it would have prevented the 39-year-old from taking her own life, but added: “Looking from the outside, that was a very long time for someone to wait.”

A representative from Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust admitted there were problems within its First Step service.

Janine Carr, who manages the service, told an inquest into Miss Jerram’s death that high demand, problems recruiting and other issues were resulting in some people having to wait longer.

The trust has taken steps to improve the situation.

Miss Jerram, a mother of two grown up sons, was found hanged at her home in Pennine Way on December 19.

She trained as a hairdresser until she had her sons, Nathan and Keir. Her relationship with their father later broke down.

At the time of her death she had two jobs, at the Olive Tree Cafe in Bank Street and Fontana’s chip shop in London Road.

Her mum, Carole Jerram, told the hearing: “She gave everything to her boys. They were her all.”

The inquest heard that Miss Jerram met a new partner Neil about a year before she died but their relationship had its ups and downs.

In August last year – shortly after being convicted of drink-driving – she went to hospital suffering from an overdose. It was suggested she contact First Step.

 

Mr Roberts ruled that she took her own life.

He said: “It seems to me that if someone seeks advice and wants support, then the longer the gap the greater the risk must be.”

A spokeswoman for the health trust said: “We offer our sincere sympathies to Caroline Jerram’s family.

We have taken this case very seriously.”

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