Father to meet with MP over son’s suspected suicide

LOSS: Geoff Booth has received an apology from the CDHB about the death of his son 21-year-old son Liam Booth. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER

Greendale resident Geoff Booth will meet with Selwyn MP Amy Adams this week to discuss the death of his son and raise awareness of the mental health system.

He will meet with Ms Adams to discuss his son Liam, 21, who died from a suspected suicide on October 2, days after he had been treated at Hillmorton Hospital.

Liam’s body was found in Beckenham Park, close to where he lived.

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Mr Booth said he is hoping to show Ms Adams what is left for people who survive after there is suicide in the family and what sort of affect it has on them.

“She is my local MP – she represents me in Parliament and I suppose she needs to be aware, but it is probably more Jacinda Ardern and the new Government. I need to get in their ear to be able to change the outcome to suicide,” he said.

He has written to Ms Ardern and Minister of Health David Clark to raise awareness
about the country’s mental health system.

About three weeks before Liam’s death, he had threatened to harm himself at Halswell Quarry Park. Police were called and he was taken to Christchurch Hospital.

He was discharged and continued receiving outpatient treatment at Hillmorton Hospital until the Friday before his death.

Mr Booth has since told the Canterbury District Health Board that hospital staff had wrongly discharged Liam and taken his word he was not going to harm himself.

Following Liam’s death, Mr Booth filed a complaint with the CDHB and is still waiting for a response.

Mr Booth has since met with some of the CDHB’s key managers to ask what went wrong – but they were unable to tell him anything.

He said things have been up and down for him since the death of his son.

“Some days you win and some days you don’t. Some days it affects you more than others,” he said.

Liam’s death has been referred to the coroner.