POLITICS
23/01/2019 13:33 GMT | Updated 23/01/2019 13:38 GMT

Labour MP Demands End To Mental Health Cuts After Death Of Constituency Volunteer

Nathan Garrett, 18, was a "talented, brilliant musician" and "incredibly popular", said John Mann.

An MP has demanded an end to mental health cuts after a “brilliant” and “kind” young man took his life after being denied emergency support. 

Nathan Garrett, 18, had been struggling with mental health difficulties and was referred by his GP to a crisis team just days before Christmas. 

His MP, Labour’s John Mann, said Garrett was refused help the following day, went missing and when “it all got too much for him” took his own life. 

Mann, who Garrett volunteered for delivering leaflets, paid an emotional tribute to the teen in the House of Commons during Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions session. 

“Nathan Garett was a brilliant, engaging, kind young man,” he told Theresa May. “He was a county athletic champion, he was a talented, brilliant musician. He was incredibly popular. 

“His parents and his grandparents are here today, would the prime minister agree with me that when a teenager needs emergency mental health support that that support should be available in 24 hours?”

Garrett had been referred for emergency mental health support by his GP on the Monday before Christmas, said Mann, but quickly deteriorated and was denied help when he turned to a crisis team days later.  

“On the Tuesday, he was helping others delivering my Christmas cards as he had delivered many leaflets in elections over the years,” said Mann. 

“And later he asked the crisis team for emergency help and none was forthcoming. 

“On the Wednesday, Nathan went missing and on the Thursday I learnt at the volunteers event that we have every Christmas and I was expecting to see him that it all got too much for him and he taken his own life.” 

The prime minister said Mann had described an “incredible young man”.  

“Every life lost is a tragedy,” she said.

May added that incidents of suicide were “deeply concerning” and that the government had appointed Jackie Doyle-Price as minister for suicide prevention in a bid to tackle the problem.  

May added: “We recognise the importance of increasing the provision for people who are suffering from mental health probs and I’m very happy to ensure [Mann] can meet the appropriate minister to discuss this.”