A Greendale resident has met with Selwyn MP Amy Adams to put a face to a family bereaved by a suspected suicide.
Geoff Booth met with Ms Adams on Friday to discuss his son Liam, 21, who died from a suspected suicide days after he had been treated at Hillmorton Hospital.
Liam’s body was found in Beckenham Park, close to where he lived on October 2.
Mr Booth said it was good to voice his concerns to Ms Adams.
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 but discharged.
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.
Mr Booth spoke to Ms Adams about the lack of support available for families left behind after a suicide, the mental health system and how not enough is spoken about suicide publicly.
“She is my representative in Parliament so she got an appreciation of what I have had to deal with and how hard it is,” he said.
Mr Booth said while Victim Support has remained in touch with the family, it is not the same as receiving counselling.
The family has been successful in getting counselling services funded by the Ministry of Education at Greendale School for Liam’s younger brother Finn.
Mr Booth said, as an outcome of the meeting, Ms Adams said she would speak to people in Parliament to help bring change to the mental health system.
Ms Adams said it would not be appropriate to comment on private meetings with constituents.
Ms Adams said she is concerned by the reports she receives about the difficulty some people have accessing mental health support.