‘Let me die mum’ - Axminster teenager’s desperate plea

Axminster mum Debbie Humberstone and Rotarian Malcolm Reynolds

Axminster mum Debbie Humberstone and Rotarian Malcolm Reynolds - Credit: Archant

Rotray club hears of a mother’s despair and heartbreak when her daughter pleaded to end her life

“If you love me mum, just let me die”

That was an Axminster teenager’s terrible plea that will live with

Debbie Humberstone forever.

“It was the most heartbreaking and devastating moment of my life – a true moment of despair,” she recalls.


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Debbie, a school administrator, was speaking at last week’s meeting of Axminster Rotary Club.

She told them how in just six months her teenage daughter went from leading a normal life to being admitted to the adolescent psychiatric unit in Plymouth – the only such centre for young people in Devon.

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Having not wanted to live to see her 16th birthday her daughter had agreed to be admitted knowing that she needed help and recognising that she could no longer cope with life as it was for her.

Rotary members were struck by Debbie’s candour and directness in relating her experience as a mother of three, and in particular, to the sudden illness of one of her daughters.

They were also relieved to hear that substantial progress had been made with her daughter’s health and many of the problems had been resolved.

Now Debbie is moving forward to setting up a local support charity, called The Project, to help young people like her daughter, struck down by sudden mental health issues, and depression.

Talks have been held with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health team (CAMHS), local GPs, school nurses, social housing, youth workers, and members of the local action group, to develop this project and to ensure it can work in partnership with existing services already involved with young people locally.

Rotarian Bill Coltham said that members were able to offer a number of constructive comments and asked numerous questions around this difficult and challenging subject.

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