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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 23 January, 2018
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'She was out of our reach' - Parents of 11-year-old who took her own life give powerful interview

Last month, a coroner returned a verdict of suicide at the inquest into the death of Milly Tuomey.

Source: The Late Late Show/YouTube

THE PARENTS OF an 11-year-old girl who took her own life just weeks after posting on Instagram that she had chosen the date of her death have spoken openly about the harrowing time leading up to her passing.

Last month, a coroner returned a verdict of suicide at the inquest into the death of Milly Tuomey from Templeogue in Dublin 6. The child died on 4 January 2016, the day before a child mental health appointment.

Her parents Fiona and Tim spoke to Ryan Tubridy on last night’s Late Late Show. Fiona said that the reason they went on the show was to let others know what they don’t know.

“The main reason we wanted to come on and talk to people was to really get across the message that you don’t know. People think of depression as a big glaring sign across somebody’s forehead.

“That is not necessarily the case.”

The parents remembered Milly as a “unique character”, but said she was “out of their reach”.

Milly was funny and mischievous. She was sporty. She had an abundance of talent. She played piano. She loved to ice-skate, skating up to competition standard. She spoke three languages fluently at 11. She was pretty special. She was a unique little character.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard that on 3 November 2015 Milly posted on Instagram to hundreds of friends of her intention to die on a certain date.

Her parents were alerted by her elder sister and her school. They took Milly to see their GP and during this visit Milly expressed a death wish. She spoke about thoughts of self harm and said she had been unhappy with her physical appearance for a number of years.

PastedImage-40886 Milly Tuomey Source: Family handout

Her GP recommended she see a clinical psychologist at An Cuan, a private counselling and psychotherapy clinic. The Tuomeys made an appointment but the psychologist was no longer taking patients. Milly was assigned to an art therapist, who was not qualified to make clinical assessments, the inquest heard.

“We had a conversation and had a chat with her to try and find out was there something behind it, was it serious, was it looking for attention,” Fiona said.

Source: The Late Late Show/YouTube

The parents used the interview to call for the establishment of a suicide prevention authority in Ireland. They asked the public to sign this petition.

Three times more people die by suicide than on the roads in Ireland and ten times more money is spent on road safety than on suicide. I think that our politicians should have the moral courage to equate the budgets to both, that people have equal status.

“We really would like a suicide prevention authority set up in the same vein that there is a road safety authority. We know how successful that has been in reducing road deaths, and what a marvellous job they’ve done, and I would like the same to be done so we aren’t losing people of every age to suicide, but particularly young people.”

If you need to talk, please contact:

  • Samaritans 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org
  • Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House 1800 247 247 or email mary@pieta.ie (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

Read: Mother of 11-year-old who took her own life set up suicide support group >

Read: ‘I idolised him’: Aisling Bea writes powerful article about her father’s suicide >

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