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Teen's Parents Outraged After Doctor Tells Her To "Carry On Cutting Herself" Until She Turns 18

Jade Norris/Facebook, Google Maps

When you have a health issue, going to see your doctor is one of the most sensible things to do.

But while physicians are asked to take the Hippocratic Oath to protect their patients from harm, they sadly don't always stick to their word.

Parents of a 17-year-old girl from Bridgend, Wales are furious at doctors from Oak Tree Surgery after they allegedly refused to treat their daughter.

When Jade Norris was 16, her mother Dawn and stepfather Ben Garnham took her to the clinic, where a doctor said the teenager was in limbo, as she was too old for child mental health care but too young receive adult services.

"We took Jade to the doctors because she continually self-harms," Dawn told the Mirror, adding that her daughter has also made several suicide attempts.

"They basically told us that we have to 'learn to cope' with what Jade does."

"The GP told us as long as she isn't 'cutting herself to death' she should continue self-harming until she is old enough to see a proper adult mental health specialist."

"What they told us was unbelievable - it's madness."

Oak Tree Surgery
Google Maps

After Dawn and Ben complained to the clinic, they received a two-page apology from Jade's doctor, who said they didn't condone self-harm.

"I am sorry if the way I discussed the issues with Jade led you to believe that I thought her problems were incurable or that self-harm is ok.

"Self-harm can be dangerous, and I discussed how this can be a risk-factor in more serious harm; but that for the time being Jade was practicing this in a low risk way."

According to Dawn and Ben, Jade has self-harmed since she was 13, and suffers from depression, body dysmorphia and gender confusion.

Now they're afraid Jade will take her own life before she's old enough to receive the proper medical treatment.

"Jade has been fobbed off too many times with the excuse that there are no services available for her until she turns 18," Ben told the publication.

"She doesn’t turn 18 until next May, and her self-harming has been going on for the last four years and is getting worse."

"If she were to kill herself between now and then who will be accountable? We feel like we can’t get any help. We took her to the GP who referred her to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services)."

He added that the family feels like they're now in a "vicious circle" where potential treatment is concerned.

"So we went to CAMHS who told us we should seek counselling through her college. We went to the college, they gave her counselling, but it was discontinued."

"Then we went back to the GP and were referred to CAMHS again. It’s just a vicious circle and we’re not getting anywhere with it."

According to Dawn and Ben, they believe Jade has autism, and along with a speech-language impairment, hasn't achieved the same socially develop as her peers.

They also claim their daughter envisions things that aren't there and hears voices that tell her to end her life.

"When Jade was 14, she began 'seeing' a person called Claire, who she says is the dark side of her personality," Ben said.

"Claire tells Jade she's no good, and she should cut and kill herself. We've had a crisis team out to Jade on numerous occasions and still, nothing is being done."

"We're so worried and frustrated. We believe Jade needs proper psychiatric care. We just want to get her some help, we're desperate."

"Something needs to change with the whole mental health system. All we want is to be helped. Not just for Jade’s sake, but for all those out there who are suffering the same."

In a statement, Oak Tree Surgery said: "We are sorry that Jade and her family were unhappy with her treatment at the practice, but we are limited in what we can say due to patient confidentiality."

"Oak Tree Surgery strives to provide the very best care for our patients and act in their best interests at all times."

[H/T: Mirror, Daily Mail]

If you or anyone you know needs help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.  

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